By Dan Zuccarelli . March 11, 2008 . 3:38pm
After playing Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom for more than 2 minutes I was more than a little leery of jumping back into dungeons of any kind. Truth be told after that nightmare of a title I was ready to give up the genre all together. But one soldiers on and once I washed the horrible memories out of my brain I was ready to tackle another RPG Dungeon game, the most generically titled Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of the Ancient Arts.
Dungeon Explorer at it's heart is an action RPG. So yes, you'll be dealing with numbers (levels, HP, etc) but you'll be doing all your own fighting. Quite honestly I enjoy it this way much more these days, instead of the turn-based random encounter systems. Of course that's all personal preference.
The world and storyline, like the title, are pretty generic. You're some hot shot new guy out to rid the world of some monster who's just seething evil. You know the drill. When making a character you'll pick among the usual list of suspects like magic users and warriors. I went with the warrior since they're always easier to get off the ground and I was just in the mood to go tearing through enemies.
In addition to your chosen class you'll also be able to learn different "arts" that give extra stat and abilities. Luckily you can change these arts just like changing your armor/weapon to match the situation. In an interesting twist, you'll also get the chance to work alongside a robot companion (pretty much a pet). It's certainly out of the ordinary to have a robot along for the ride in a game like this (set in a typical medieval time) but what the hell, I'm never one to turn down fighting alongside a robot!
The fighting is pretty simplistic, though I think it'll grow more complicated as I rise in level. There's a strength meter to be mindful of, as pounding the button quickly results in a bunch of light hits. So while it's simple fighting, there's still an air of strategy to it.
I've enjoyed what I've played so far but I really get the feeling that I've only begun to scratch the surface of the plot. Hopefully it'll keep my interest long enough to play it, though I fear I'll grow tired of it well before finishing it. This is one that'll probably get looked over because of the title, since it's really not going to stick out. But all that aside this action RPG is pretty solid and really deserves a look, as long as you're a fan of the genre. It does nothing to set itself apart from the crowd, but what it does it does it well.