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About the product
- Deep and exciting turn-based game play that uses the D&D 3.5 rule-set
- All Core race and class type is available, including Psionics classes
- Highly customizable characters can be created and traded via wireless
- Multiplayer mode for cooperative adventuring.
- Players explore a newly created world with a wide range of areas like dark dungeons, forests, towns, even the astral pane
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Faithfully utilizing the D&D 3.5 rule-set, Dungeons & Dragons®:Tactics will allow players to take a party of six adventurers into a wide variety of dangerous environments and experience the ultimate RPG adventure.
Top customer reviews
First of all, this game is amazing. I mean, it is the closest thing to the pencil, dice and paper games of D&D past with great TRUE implementation of the rule set. I mean, I like to move around from 'tile' to 'tile' in turn based mode when roaming dungeons, so I can better plan, rather than real time RPG's which leave me feeling somewhat panicked. I mean sure, battle can do that to you, but I feel that taking some time to make your moves assures that you are putting more thought into it, which would be impossible in real time across multiple characters. This gives individual control and thought to each person's actions in the party, and that trumps all other styles of play, IMHO. All of the 'basic' classes are there, including psion and psychic warrior, as all of the 'basic' races, and most of the applicable rules.
The graphics are fine, very three dimensional, and with a rather blocky polygon count. However, base body appearances that remain static regardless of body armor or headgear are a little disappointing. Still, the animations are pretty good, especially non humans, like the wolves and dogs. Some problem animation issues weren't resolved, like the issue surrounding 'unseen' monsters which do not move at all but slide like chess pieces when coming out of the cover of darkness. On the plus side the lighting and fog effects are great.
The sound is ok. The music is good, but gets repetitive, and the sound effects are nothing special, but fairly varied and appropriate. There are no voice overs for the 'sliding puppet show' cut scenes, and this is fairly disappointing. I guess no voice overs is better than cheap voice overs, and imagine they were left out for budget reasons.
The game play seems pretty linear, as your encounters are laid out on a map kinda resembling a "skill tree" and your battles are sequentially tougher as you travel further along the road. The availability of new adventurers to hire, and new stores to peruse is great, and really adds to the gameplay. Your party is not limited to the original cast which you can create, or borrow the ready made ones to start things off quickly. You find out as you travel, the ready made ones you passed up in the original party formation can be added later in the game at various stops along the way.
Character creation is simply the matter of picking your race (Human, half-elf, half-orc, elf, dwarf, gnome, or halfling), your sex (male, or female), your class (barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, psion, psychic warrior, ranger, sorcerer, and wizard) and your attributes (strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma) and then assign your skill points and pick your feats. These are familiar to every D&D fan, but if you are new to D&D, but have played other RPG's, this will give you some idea of what to expect.
The downside is significant, and predictable. D&D requires a wealth of information to displayed on screen at once, since each character has huge inventories and stats to keep track of. Not only that, but buying and selling inventory from stores further complicates matters. The exchange of inventory between characters further complicates matters. The fact that both right and left hands may be equipped with weapons further complicates matters. This is just one aspect of the problem.
The other problem is game control itself. Each character has a wealth of options to do at any given turn, including spells which need preparing and accessing. How do we access these all these options, and keep track of everything going on the screen, while not losing sight of the character whose turn is underway?
Well, they attempted to solve the information display problem by using abbrevations, and collapsable bullet menus, and with the rest of the navigation (including gameplay) they went with a central horizontal/side scrolling menu. This menu, which is visible for almost the entire game, does everything from character options during a fight, to dungeon exploration options, to map navigation and party management.
This takes some getting used to. I mean, most of the up-down, side-to-side scrolling is done with the directional buttons, but some descriptive information about items is accessed using the joystick. The 'x' button is the select button, the 'circle' button is the back button, the 'square' button changes from equip to unequip and back, the 'triangle' button is good to quick sell inventory, and the 'left' and 'right' triggers can be used to horizontally scroll through the characters. During battle or dungeon exploration the 'select' button can be used to zoom in the viewing angle, and the joy stick vertical axis controls the degree of overhead angle, and the horizontal axis rotates the view. The character menu is accessed through the directional buttons, and the 'x' is used to select. Hit start to bring up the 'save/options' screen during the battle to save when on the fly, or speed up gameplay by using chess mode, or other options.
There is not much intuitive about how this game is controlled, but it can be learned without too much effort. I have often found myself drawn to the character creation and shear infinite combinations of party members that are possible, and whenever I come across a difficult dungeon, sometimes I start again thinking some other configuration would be more successful in EVERY possible situation. Once you play this game, you might start thinking like I do, that there is a challenge behind every corner, and you really have to be prepared, and make the right choices at every turn, or you will find this game very difficult. The first three battles are quite easy. A team of halfling bards could survive with no armor, if you play it correctly. But, could a team of halfling bards make it all the way through? I doubt it. It would be nigh impossible. This is the attraction. They designed this game to kill you, and destroy your party. While it helps the more times you've been through a dungeon, you will find new challenges along the road the further you travel, and often times you'll find regrets. But it is overcoming these obstacles that makes it addicting, and seeing your character with just a few hit points make a miraculous save is always heartening.
If this game was made for the PC, it would be a five star must buy since all the problems could be overcome. Even with the limitations of the PSP, it overcomes much of its negatives by giving us so many positively creative 'tactical' challenges, and enduring replayability.
He really hits a a lot of good points. Menu system is garbage at best, often find myself frustrated by it. Trading items from one character to another is like copying and pasting files from one folder to the next by keyboard alone. Playing you have two "speeds" to play at, Normal and "Chess mode". Normal is WAY too slow, Im not entertained by watching a character slowly walk around, then it takes 2-3 seconds for him to start to attack, then follow through, then it shows damage and then it changes turns...its like watching paint dry...and Chess mode is so fast it will go through 5-6 enemy turns ( All of which do damage and effects ) in a split second...this makes you have to cycle through all your characters to see who got hit.
All in all, yes it can be fun, buy it used its not worth the new price. Its very D&D but its missing the "random" encounters that I liked in Baulders/Neverwinter. Id say only buy it if you REALLY LOVED D&D games before, and play the PSP often.