The holidays have always been a time for togetherness, and what says that more than a standard RPG adventuring party? The standard group is an icon of being together, not just out of usefulness, but due to their similarities. As much as it’s always handy to have a rogue to pick locks or a cleric to heal wounds, the backstory and reason they’re all going on this quest is normally about a sense of adventure or duty that they all share with each other. Or… I suppose people could be working selfish angles… or it could be a marriage of convenience… Ok, I really didn’t have anything for this game beyond that I got it as a gift and that fits my criteria. Here’s Dungeon & Dragon Heroes for the Microsoft xBox.
I’m not a D&D fan myself, but I’ll be honest when I say that I never quite understood how things like a movie could be based ON D&D. I get that certain creatures, spells or other details like that could be referenced, but it seems weird to base a structured narrative on a game about creating your own story.
Not to say you don’t know what to expect with the D&D name: it’s going to be something medieval themed, potentially involving sorcery, powerful artifacts, the end of the world and a fight of good against evil. And if you assumed all that you’re right. The story starts with the legend of the evil wizard Kaedin, who sought amazing power with 5 magic gems, each powered by an element. After destroying many towns, 4 brave heroes were called in to stop Kaedin. They stop and kill him, but with his final breath, he kills them right back (which… I don’t know why he wouldn’t do that sooner). 150 years later, a group of evil clerics believe that they can channel Kaedin’s powers for their own use. That backfires, and it brings Kaedin back from the dead. Knowing the best way to stop him is with the same heroes who stopped him last time, the 4 legendary heroes are also revived to fight the evil wizard.
The intro about needing a party and coming together is not completely a joke. My personal experience with this game is that I actually had to start it twice. The first time I decided to play it, I got passed the first boss. However, my rogue character could not get passed the onslaught of enemies that were right after. The boss fight also used up a good portion of my potions, so even going back was not an option. I was stuck. The second time, I played the game with a friend. Granted, I decided on a different class too, but it changed the game so much that I don’t believe that it would make a difference. This is all to say that I don’t think the developer and publisher Atari envisioned this as a one player game, much like how D&D is a better experience at least a second person in the party.
And obviously this game is very much D&D based, but like I said before, I don’t get how things can be based on D&D all that much. Yes, some of the game mechanics do mimic some of the aspects of D&D, such as the skill tree that you get to allocate points to (with the classes having different skills), the different stats, equipment and inventory management, optional quests, etc… The issue is that all that stuff is now very common in games. It doesn’t matter if video games originally took it from D&D, in the video game medium it just doesn’t stand out. As a matter of fact things that are missing from D&D could have added to making this game stand out at the time, such as being able to select your race, more classes or having luck decide some of your stats. It’s still a well done hack and slash style RPG, as I cared about certain aspects of my inventory (since it felt like it made a difference). There’s just that little spark missing to it.The biggest fall of Dungeons and Dragons Heroes is that, because so many RPGs have evolved from the base of D&D, it sadly makes it seem generic. Considering that over the years so much has been added to the RPG formula, they were sort of painted into a corner. Along with the fact that I don’t find this game being much fun one player, there a lot of the games in the hack and slash RPG genre that are easier to recommend. That being said, saying that a game is generic or hard doesn’t mean that it’s BAD. It still works fine and it’s easy to really get into with a group of fellow adventuring friends. The only other problem is that the last boss was so disappointingly easy, but if you’ve gotten all the way to the end of a D&D style RPG game, it has to have been holding your attention to that point. I give Dungeons and Dragons Heroes for the xBox 7 levels out of 10.