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Written by  :  Ryu (56)
Written on  :  Nov 25, 2003
Platform  :  GameCube
Rating  :  3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars
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A solid action RPG with impressive visuals, and insanely addictive co-op mode - 4 Stars

The Good

--> Impressive visuals - well developed environments, good character models with realistic facial expressions, nice texture work, great spell effects (though they do sometimes slow the action down when in co-op mode)

--> Good sound and music - voice acting is above average, sound effects are appropriate though not extraordinary, music is well composed and really sets the mood.

--> Good variety of weapons and armor, though I would have liked more, everything from serrated daggers to the Mithril Axe is here...half the fun is gradually improving weapons and armor until you are a mighty fighting machine.

--> Great cooperative mode - nothing like laying waste to a hordes of beasts with a buddy - and in the 2P mode there are hordes, be prepared for a challenge.

The Bad

--> too short, an experienced gamer can finish the game in 10 hours or less

--> a few more items would have been nice.

--> some levels should have had alternative versions for the 2P mode, areas like the Thieves hideout are very annoying in co-op mode. Also, it would have been nice to have the option to exchange gold and items between players.

--> An Auto-Camera mode would have been greatly appreciated as the camera can sometimes be a burden.

The Bottom Line

Action fans and RPG fans alike will love this very entertaining title. Based on the Dungeon & Dragons 3rd Edition rules, with authentic monsters, weapons and the like, gives the player the formidable task of purging the land of evil via several challenging quests. Before beginning the adventure, the player is asked to choose a class, Fighter, Dwarf or Archer...each class a unique gameplay experience....pick off enemies from a distance as the archer, charge in full bore as the hearty dwarf, or choose the fighter for the best of both worlds. Several quests compose this adventure, providing tasks ranging from destroying an enchanted orb to destroying the leader of the dark elves in the dwarven mines. As you travel through the various quest, your character will gradually level up, giving you experience points to distribute among various statistics such as endurance (carry more items) and dodge (increased agility), this is old hat to RPG aficionados but the variety of stats is nice for an action hack-n'-slash, imbues the game with a little depth and strategy (will you place all experience into magic, or try to create a well rounded warrior?). As you travel and gain gold, you will have every weapon at your disposal from lowly daggers to mighty Mithril Axes, each with their own unique properties - such as the flame weapons that ignite when enemies are near. One thing that immediately struck me when playing this game was the environments - absolutely beautiful (one trip into an ice cave will drop your jaw), high polygon counts and hi-res textures combine to make very believable environments complete with realistic lighting and shadows, I think even the most jaded gamer cannot help but be impressed by the environments and water effects in the game - very nice. The character models are well detailed, but take a back seat to the environments. The sound is appropriate, and the music really helps to set the mood. The only thing that prevents me from giving this title 5 stars is the few problems I found with the game, but I still heartily recommend a purchase. and at $20, it's a steal. A great, while relatively short action title that is worth playing again in co-op mode