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Review: Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics

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Welcome to the world of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s filled with all kinds of fantastic creatures and an attention to detail that will make your head spin. D&D: Tactics is a PSP game that follows the world of Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5 (which is the latest version, from what I’m told).

From the beginning of the game you can choose to either play using pre-created characters, or make your own. The level at which you can customize your characters is pretty well done. You can choose their fighting type, race and even what god they follow. After you created all of your characters, you can then start your single player experience.

Essentially the game plays out on a map. You are shown towns and specific paths of where you can go and where you’ve already been. Each town has an adventure you can choose, a place to sell items, or other areas of special interest.? If you choose to adventure, you are taken to a battle screen. This area is usually different depending on what adventure you choose, and is pretty much a large chess board. You place your characters in the designated areas and then can move them or use them to complete your missions task. From what I’ve played so far, it’s usually search and destroy. Each character has a certain number of blocks they can move, but if your character has collected too many items from treasure chests, or has too much equipment, the number drops somewhat. This becomes a bit of a problem if you are an item collector like me. Another fun little distraction during battle are small obstacles used to block your path. During my last battle, I had to hit certain switches from a distance to lower drawbridges so I could move on in the level. The fighting isn’t all that hard, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a pain. I’m a newbie to the D&D universe and even I was able to stumble around and kill the baddies.

Like most role playing games, the battles aren’t what’s important. It’s the character progression that counts. For every kill, you get experience points which are used to level up the character. It’s the typical RPG formula most of you have come to know and love. Once you level a character, you can then access the character management menu and use the provided points in areas where you think it will help you most. Considering the sheer number of possible options for your character, the different build possibilities are massive. Now, most of the time you wouldn’t want to give your Barbarian offensive magic skills, but it’s nice to know there an option for it.

Graphics were not the best I’ve seen on the PSP. The character models are fairly blocky, but only really noticeable when customizing them at the beginning of the game. The rest of the time you’ll be much smaller and their flaws will be harder to notice.

The sound is absolutely the worst part of this game. Aside from the occasional grunt each time your character attacks, you get to listen to the same repeating loop of ‘holy music’. People wonder why I almost always play games with the sound off. It’s because of music like this. If you aren’t going to do better than continuously loop the same 30 second music clip, then give me an option to upload my own music to play.

All in all the game seems about average. It’s certainly not the best PSP game I’ve played, but it wasn’t the worst either. It kept my attention and provided a decent game experience with only a few minor problems.

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