Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient Arts ReviewJason Leyanna
Few will remember, but Dungeon Explorer was actually an action RPG back in 1989 on the TurboGrafx-16. A new game, a sequel so to speak, has now arrived and is obviously graphically superior to the TurboGrafx game. Warriors of Ancient Arts is also from Hudson and is now out for the PSP (and DS).
Kingdoms arose to fight the monsters that had been released from the dungeons. With the newfound monster-hunting came more trade and wealth from these new-formed kingdoms – along with ambition, hatred and greed, which the monsters thrived on.
A sorcerer, Deldren, warns the king of monsters in the dungeons within the kingdom. Deldren seeks the assistance of two adventurers to help keep the enemies inside to ensure that the magical barrier keeps them sealed inside for all eternity. One of these adventurers happens to be none other than you.
First off you select a character and choose from one of the basic job types: Thief, Hunter, Monk, Fighter, Shaman, or Bishop. You can customize your character with a name, sex, and a specific job. Race (Olff, Izark, or Ist) can also be predetermined when you first boot up the game. Izark is your normal-looking human being, while the Olff look more like a cross between a monster and a human, and the Ist appear to be elf-like with blue skin and very long pointed ears. Arts are just the unique abilities of characters. There are Weapon Arts, Job Arts, and Big Bang Arts.
Dungeon Explorer is an action role-playing game. The camera has a fixed style and you get a 3rd person view, mostly from above. The analog stick is used to move your character. The buttons on the right are used for fighting. You may come across the occasional chest, vase, etc. that contain useful items for the taking. The job arts are helpful in fighting more powerful creatures. There are literally hundreds of items like equipment, an arsenal of weapons, and armored protection. Through your journeys you will find it useful to stop by the blacksmith, alchemist, and the shops to buy and sell items. It is a good idea to save frequently when in town before going out journeying, as to not lose all your progress.
There are enemy generators where enemies will spawn, similar to Gauntlet games. These generators may fire at you after they have been damaged, as a means of protection. It is important to make it a priority to destroy these first so that you have fewer spawned foes to deal with. There will be boss fights after you have vanquished enemies from some dungeons. These bosses will have special moves that you have to watch for and learn how to avoid while using your ‘Arts’ to annihilate them.
The graphics are decent and are kind of reminiscent of a PlayStation game. There is some voice acting, but mostly you will see just text – probably a limitation of the storage space on the media format (UMD). There is a map in the upper left corner that shows where things are, but pixels are kind of choppy and make it stand out on the screen among the other more polished-looking graphics.
If you are an RPG fan, Dungeon Explorer is a satisfying experience. If you don’t have a PSP, there is also a DS version of the game available.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.