The Wait is over. Finally, a Diablo-esque dungeon crawler for the pint-sized portable makes its way to the N-Gage platform and it’s a rewarding hack ‘n slash that pays homage to its roots. Like it’s forefather, it isn’t a straight RPG and is similarly quite a blast to play. You can choose either a male or female character (Troy or Linda) that has been, essentially, raised from the dead to battle the evil King Dalu and his attempt to crush the world. You’ll be accompanied by the fairy GiGi, who offers advice if you ask for it (and sometimes if you don’t) and reminds you of your history along the way. The interaction between these two characters is often amusing, translation gaffes aside, and her wry remarks are bound to force a smile.
At its core, the game is a tried and true hackfest wherein you’ll have to battle dozens of different creatures over the course of your adventure. The game can pack many enemies on the diminutive N-Gage screen and the console doesn’t chug at all. The foes are often unrelenting, even if they are as dumb as they come. Often, you can exit the screen and come back to where the foes are in order to get you in a better position. There are varied instruments of attack and weapons that you can equip along the way. You’ll be able to use projectile weapons, handheld weapons, and even the occasional spell. Finding a weapon that you’re too comfortable with can be costly because eventually it will shatter and you’ll be forced to equip something else. As such, it is advisable to equip smartly based on the opponents that you’re going to dance with. Despite the fact that you can’t use this title via the N-Gage Arena, you can play cooperative multiplayer through the units built in Bluetooth.
The game features a very sparse experience system wherein you can advance levels through the amount of kills that you accumulate. There isn’t any customization or the like, so if you go up a level the only benefit that you’ll see is better attacks and a larger hit point base. Controls are simple enough, opening a control panel allows you to either equip a new weapon or use an item, such as a healing fruit, with ease. Attacks and blocks are used utilizing the “5” or “4” key respectively. There are also mini maps to help you to keep from getting lost.
Graphically, the game’s characters are animated very respectably. The characters that you control and encounter as well as the enemies that you battle are nicely rendered and detailed. The environment that surrounds you is a lot blander and you’ll find that you’ll get stuck in certain areas that it looks like you can pass through, but you really can’t. All in all, it’s one of the N-Gage’s best offerings to date in the visual department. The audio is a bit repetitive, but it gets the job done effectively.
After the debacle that was Shadowkey, this is a welcome addition to the N-Gage library and a must own for the system. Digital-Red has done an excellent job in bringing this from overseas and the future is looking much brighter for the N-Gage.