Reviewed by J.M. Hornbaker
Do you remember "Drakkhen"? Well, this is the sequel and it's a lot more fun
than the original. In Drakkhen, you had to watch as your party members fought
the enemies on their own, which was annoying to say the least. And all you
could do was watch. Well, that has been improved upon drastically. Now you
only control one party member, and all of the battles are fought in separate
battle screens. They are set up in a "Final Fight" type fashion. You can look
left and right, jump, attack, and move in all eight directions. The layout of
the world is still practically the same, with a desert area, ice area, forest
area, and a fire area. Only they all aren't laid out in nice neat patterns like
in the first game. You need to collect pieces of the map to find your way
around or you could end up lost very quickly. The game is also quite long. If
you invest a lot of time and exploration into it it can take you 50+ hours to
beat this baby on the first try. Very tough, and very involving.
Graphics 8 out of 10
The graphics are great in the battle sequences and when you are in town
and the caves etc. but the world in which you spend the majority of your
time travelling is horribly done. First, the bad things. The overworld is
horrible, with choppy graphics and a very slow moving character who is
even slower at turning around. In the time it takes for this guy turns around,
you could probably order a pizza and have it arrive at your door just as the
hero is finishing his rotation. This is totally uncalled for. One other minor
thing about the overworld graphics is that when you are walking near a wall,
it seems to get closer and closer even though you are walking parallel to it.
Now to the good part. The graphics in DV are presented in a cartoony sort of
way, with large detailed sprites and a wide variety of colors. One other gripe
is the large amount of repeating characters in the game. Nothing major but I
just thought that I would touch upon it.
Music and Sound 7 out of 10
I'm usually not too picky when it comes to music and sound, but this is my
all means a little less than mediocre. The whole score seems to be done on
a generic keyboard, and there is very little variety of music in the game,
with 7 or 8 tracks at the most. And you'd think that they'd make up for the
lack of variety with some half decent music at least. Now the sound effects
on the other hand are superb, which is why i gave it a 7 out of 10. From the
sound of your sword cutting through the air to the whipping of the scorpions'
tails as they prepare to attack you, they are all done to near perfection. Not
much else to say except the sound is one of DV's strong points, and the music
is very, very dumb.
Game Challenge 6 out of 10
Okay, this is a hard game to rate on challenge; the enemies that you fight
are all easy to kill after fighting them a few times. At first though, they are
extremely tough and don't be surprised if you find yourself dying three or
four times before you even win one battle. But after you gain some levels,
you can even venture ahead and destroy some super powerful enemies if you
have patience. For example, you can go to the fire realm when your guy is on
level five and beat up the little caterpillar guys and gain two or three levels,
and all you have to do is dodge their pitiful attacks and have the patience to
hit them a good sixty or seventy times. Another thing that is very hard to
grasp at first for some players of traditional RPG's is the lack of the ability
to run from a battle. It can be very tough to determine where to go or what
to do next. The NPC's tell you very little or nothing about what to do next.
Very time consuming and very tough.
Game Play-Fun 4 out of 10
The gameplay is not that great. The storyline is not very smooth and it really
doesn't give you very much background information. One of the good qualities
of the gameplay though, and possibly the only one, is the way that the story
is presented from a first person point of view, which is very rarely done well,
or done at all, in an RPG. The game is linear, yet it lets you go wherever you
want whenever you want. This is sometimes confusing when the wiseman at
the temple tells you about the desert so you figure "Oh, I got to go to the
desert" but when you get there you find that all of the enemies there are
super powerful and they'll kick your butt in a hurry. This is just uncalled for.
Yes, very much. You can often find yourself stuck and have no idea where
to go, even though you're where you're supposed to be. There is often not
enough information given to you as to what to do/where to go, and
sometimes there are things people say that are irrelevant to the game and
all they do is confuse you even more. Very frustrating.
Replayability 3 out of 10
I've never actually finished the game. I didn't have the nerve to finish it
the whole way through. I got so frustrated as to where to go that I gave
up. Also the battles got so repetitive i found myself dodging the enemy
encounters just so i didn't have to waste time. They could have made the
enemy encounters a little tougher just so it would actually be a challenge
instead of a chore to play.
Game Value 5 out of 10
I bought the game from my uncle for $15 and it was worth that price,
but just barely. The enemies offer no challenge whatsoever and the
music is horrible. Only pick this one up if you see it in a bargain bin
somewhere for a couple of bucks.
Overall 4 out of 10
This game is one that improved upon its previous effort drastically but
didn't really have enough power to make it as a blockbuster title. If a
little more time and effort were put into it, it could have been a good game.
But all it turned out to be was what seemed like an unfinished mediocre