Dungeon Explorer: review

  • Format: PSN (version reviewed), PSP, DS
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Hudson
  • Developer: Hudson Soft
  • Players: 1 (2-4 Ad-Hoc)
  • Site: http://www.risingstargames.com/games/dungeon-explorer-psp-psp.html
  • PSN has seen a rise in games trying to make comebacks. Here we have a digital download re-release of the 2008 RPG Dungeon Explorer.

    Isn’t it fun when a game’s title describes what you can expect from it? It’s like an FPS called Shoot People. A world which has seen its fair share of wars against monsters decides to trap them with magical doors. As the player you can choose from three races and numerous classes and then you are let loose in the world to undertake quests and…explore dungeons.

    The gameplay is incredibly simple and easy to get the hang of. You move your character around hacking and slashing or casting at every enemy that decides that it’s a good idea to slither into the eye line of a well armed individual. Using Arts (special attacks) and Big Bang Arts (special, special attacks) are about as complex as it gets and all that means is either pressing a different button to the basic attack or holding down a shoulder button first.

    Ease of play might be a plus point, but pressing a single button over and over again (which is all you really need to do in order to survive) wears thin very quickly. Perhaps what confounds this further is how totally uninspiring everything else is. Locations and music are dull and the story drags its heels from the very start, never picking up or getting interesting no matter how much you might persist.

    Earlier on, did we say dungeons? That is a little misleading. You’ll be in a dungeon for the first few hours, but it’s the same dungeon over and over. We took our Fighter out and got questing, and came to a point where there were two quests available. The first was to go to an area and destroy all generators (these constantly spawn enemies until destroyed). The second was to destroy all generators in the exactly same place, but also to use a certain number of special attacks. Both had to be completed to further the story but both could not be undertaken at the same time. The worst part is that there’s no effort to even disguise the similarity between one quest and the next.

    Where the game redeems itself slightly is in the ability for friends to join you as their characters so that you can quest and level together. However, since there is no real rare drop system or challenging varied quests or anything else you would find in the bigger named games like Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star, we can’t see why people would choose this instead.

    This is as complex as the menus get.

    Dungeon Explorer is as bland an experience as you will ever play. Yes, you can play with friends – but why would you want to? No variety, stale quests, boring environments, and everything else previously mentioned all add up to the gaming equivalent of lukewarm porridge.

    We suspect that as a DS game this would be far more passable and it can be argued that it does slightly improve more as you go on as you learn more Arts; but dangling a metaphorical steak in the distance doesn’t make that trudge to get there through all that porridge any easier (apologies if you like porridge).

    Dungeon Explorer is available now on PSN for £8.69 (PSP compatible only).


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    Written by Ian D

    Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

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