Thursday, June 2, 2011

MashButtons’ first experience with Dungeons & Dragons is Daggerdale

Okay folks, I am going out on a limb and trying my hand at my first D&D product. Daggerdale is the recent game to be released by Atari. Focusing on quests, looting and leveling up, Daggerdale is chock full of all these as you work your way up the Tower to fight the evil within. Whether you choose to play alone in the campaign mode or play online with up to three other people there is a lot of replay value behind this title to keep people coming back for more. So how will this hold up against other titles in the genre, especially with this being an XBLA title.

Well, this is a tough one as I feel it has potential, but the bugs eat away at the features that could make this a very solid dungeon crawler. We will get to the bugs in a bit since you all should know about what makes Daggerdale fun none the less. Easily the four player multiplayer, using a microphone or not, it is way more fun with the more people you have playing, that is unless you are playing with people that have a much higher level than you. The graphics look good, but the hack and slash action is where it is at. And the more you take down, the more loot you get, oh yes, there is looting along with character customization with level. I played through the game with the rogue and will most likely give another class a chance shortly, but the character was fast, able to attack from afar, and battles were a challenge at times. With all the elements in place that make a solid action-RPG, where did this gem go bad?

Well to start, the screen tear when moving the camera a bit too quickly and having the camera get stuck behind objects, which is one of the bugs to be listed. Another bug was a game freeze each time I interacted with the dwarf giving me my first quest instructions, after the third attempt after reset, reload, and an attempt the next day. The solution was to create a new character. Now for the matchmaking transitioning to the last bug encountered. Like I said, it sucks when you are a lower level than your teammates, not only because you die a lot, but a number of times, which increases your chances of falling into a mapping black hole, forcing you into a reset where you lose both the loot and the gained experience. All semi irritating on occasion, the frequency is what has me chomping at the bit for a patch.

Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale, though fun when and if it is running on all cylinders, is equally irritating to the point of being unplayable with the bugs that need to be patched. Once patched, it would be a great XBLA action-RPG that could outdo Dungeon Siege III, another title in the same genre that also is also scheduled to be released this month.

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