A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
DungeonLand Review: A Gamer’s Wonderland
Welcome Adventurers, to DungeonLand, the only theme park where the employees are supposed to try their hardest to kill you! Bring all your weapons and armor, not to mention tons of potions of healing, you’ll totally need them! There’s plenty of gold to be taken, both from the monsters and also from the various destructible objects found throughout DungeonLand, so don’t be afraid to break stuff!
Not content to dish out death to monsters, want to see how the other side lives and take out some adventurer’s instead? DungeonLand can accommodate that wish, by letting you be the Dungeon Master and set up the traps, monsters and other obstacles that slice, dice and fry the adventurers into submission. The better you do, the more powerful traps and creatures you’ll get. And, if you have a few friends willing to dare your fiendish creations, they can play the hapless heroes fighting their way through your dungeon if they wish.
In DungeonLand, you play one of three adventurers, the mage, the rogue or the fighter. If you’re playing alone, then the other two adventurers are bots and run by the computer. Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses, the mage is physically weak and easily damaged, the rogue is sneaky and good at back attacks, and the fighter is strong and kicks a lot of monster butt.
You can also play as the DM, where monsters, traps and fiendish attacks are at your command, and the heroes need to battle through what you create.
DungeonLand itself is a multi-colored theme park celebrating everything that gamers love. There’s huge dice scattered about, and the park itself is made up of pieces that look like the map tiles we lay out for gaming sessions. Clearly, this was a game made by gamers, for gamers to enjoy.
There’s a shop in DungeonLand where you can equip your characters with new and exciting weapons, armor and potions. While the weapons do more damage and have different looks, it’s not quite clear whether the armor has just a cosmetic effect or if it actually ends up being better, because the description doesn’t actually mention it. The shop has some problems; there’s a button for inspecting the items, but clicking on it doesn’t always bring up what it’s supposed to. The items themselves all have unique looks to them, even if they perform the same essential function as the one you’re replacing. My favorite was the mage’s Staff of BBQ, which is a staff with two hot dogs on the end of a two pronged skewer that shoots flames and sets the monsters on fire.
The monsters are standard gamer fare as well, orcs, skeletons and dragons along with other, weirder stuff are constantly trying to kill you. Monsters spew from the mouths of wormy looking creatures that you have to kill to stop the waves.
There are other dangers in DungeonLand besides the monsters. They’re called Challenges, and they show up randomly in the game, though you can request a certain number of them when you set up the game. Each one gives an advantage to the monsters, like a regeneration circle or a lightning aura that does extra damage to the players. These can make clearing the dungeon very tough, and teamwork is required to get through them.
DungeonLand really shines in Co-op play, because the bots in single player mode only attack and don’t use their healing potions, which makes it difficult to keep yourself alive once you go through your own potions. You can find or create games online if you want, so if you’re comfortable with that option then you can go that route.
There’s another dungeon coming soon, and two extra sections in the shop will be added as well. I think there’s a lot that Critical Studio, the developer, could add on to this game, so I’m hoping to see some new characters and other theme parks sooner or later.
Note: DungeonLand was reviewed on PC after 10 hours of Gameplay.