Dungeon Hunter Alliance
Ubisoft delivers a boring, rushed and ridiculously expensive action RPG for PlayStation Vita.
This article was written by Modojo community member Jeff Masser.
When Sony first revealed PlayStation Vita, fans wondered what kind of RPGs would appear on the new handheld. Some hoped for BioWare or Bethesda style masterpieces, titles that would take full advantage of the system's power. While we didn't receive anything from those developers at launch, Ubisoft was right there with Dungeon Hunter Alliance, a port of an iOS game.
Dungeon Hunter follows the typical dungeon crawling archetype. You choose from one of three classes, warrior, rogue and mage. Then you basically jump into a story where the queen dies, you resurrect her and then she runs amok. Now it's your job to take her down.
The X button is used for a basic attack, while the other face buttons execute special moves. These maneuvers are more powerful extensions of the basic attack, and they deplete your magic bar when used.
Your HUD consists of a health/magic bar, along with an icon to change your weapon sets. You can have up to four weapons equipped at once (one in each hand, with two sets equipped) and change them on the fly. This helps for when you switch from a ranged to melee weapon.
The combat in Dungeon Hunter: Alliance feels like Dynasty Warriors, where you mindlessly press the X button to slaughter enemies, which gets old quick. On top of that, the hit detection seems a bit off, so you basically flail around most of the time.
Health Potions, sadly, get consumed like oxygen, especially during boss battles, where single hits deplete as much as half of your life bar. Restarting isn't the end of the world, though, since you respawn at the last checkpoint, and all of the previously killed enemies remain dead.
Bottom line, you'll traverse the land, kill creatures, pick up loot, rinse and repeat. There are side quests, but most times, you'll complete these missions by accident, as opposed to actively seeking them out.
As for the graphics, don't expect visuals that put Vita's processing muscle to work. If you've seen Dungeon Hunter on iOS, then you've seen Dungeon Hunter: Alliance on the Vita, with choppy animations and bland environments.
At least on the positive side, the game comes with unique modes. Story mode can be played solo, ad-hoc or infrastructure with other players. The online portion works surprisingly well, with no lag while playing in a group of four, though we did experience surprise disconnections. You'll also find online leaderboards that display various categories, such as "wealthiest character" or "fastest level attainment".
Dungeon Hunter Alliance is at times an enjoyable game, though at $39.99, it's tough to recommend. It feels like a budget PlayStation Network title, a fair criticism, seeing as how its iPhone predecessor costs considerably less. Might be worth a rental, but expect to see it in a bargain bin near you.
Review copy provided by Ubisoft.
What's Hot: Online dungeon crawling, enjoyable hack and slash action, grabbing loot.
What's Not: The price, overall production value.