Title: Dungeons, The Eye of Draconus
Platform: Steam, Windows, Linux, OSX

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Beat em’ up
Players: Single player, Co Op (1-3 Players)


Written by Bad Demoman 16th November 2014















In recent years there's been a galore of great beat-em-ups to choose from. Castle Crashers really set the bar, but others like Scott Pilgrim and even Devil's Dare (recently reviewed by Whistler on the site!) have meant that fans of side scrolling brawling action have been spoilt for choice. Dungeons: Eye of Draconus, developed by Sucker Free Games, hopes to make its mark on the genre, branding itself as a 2.5D retro beat-em-up in the vein of classic arcade hits like Golden Axe. But does it do enough to compete with the modern greats, or even the classics that inspire it?


The first step on our adventure is selecting our character, and things take an immediate downwards turn. Greeted by a sadomasochist skeleton, our three ''Heroes'' are introduced. We have Bollax, the morbidly obese barbarian with a penchant for hitting things. The absolute standard bruiser character, he is slow but strong. He is portrayed as incredibly dumb. His dialogue usually consists of complaining about the party not currently hitting things, and being the butt of all fat jokes. Next up we have Rose, the scantily clad female character that the introduction cinematic gives the title of ''The Harlot'', correcting itself to ''The Rogue'' afterwards. Rose has quick and weak attacks, and moves a lot faster than Bollax. Her character is absolutely obsessed with gold, and refuses to do anything without monetary compensation. Lets just say she's far from a progressive female protagonist. Finally, we have Gleobryn, the cleric. He attacks from afar with fireballs, hardly a style of fighting I associate with arcade beat-em-ups. Gleobryn is a nerdy, effeminate cleric who makes such jokes as ''I dreamt I was fondled by a grape...and I reciprocated!''. Classy.

As you can probably see, the game plays up various stereotypes as ''humour''. Quite a lot of the dialogue relies on the characters exchanging quips about each others traits, and it all ends up extremely juvenile. Needless to say, there's probably a fair few people that would be quite offended by a large amount of the comedy in this game.


























But even if this comedy is your style, I can't recommend this game in the slightest, as the combat is awkward and sluggish. Something that seems to be a consistent problem in beat-em-ups is the hit detection. Even good ones often have some problems with this. Dungeons, on the other hand, has some of the worst hit detection I've ever seen. The amount of times I saw weapons go straight through unphased enemies is ridiculous. Even when your attacks do hit, it can be hard to tell as your attacks are generally very unsatisfying. Characters moves are extremely unvaried, with the extent of the depth being quick light attacks and slow heavy attacks and next to no actual flow between attacks. Impactful sound effects can add a lot to the satisfaction of using abilities and can even slightly make up for a lack of complexity, but even this is woefully underwhelming. The unexciting combat is joined by a startling lack of variety in environments and combat situations. Every enemy seems pretty much the same. These factors combined make playing through Dungeons a prospect that I would equate to punishment. Thankfully, if you do ever find yourself in the improbable situation of torture by Dungeons, your suffering will be short-lived as the game is only three hours long.


The game is also exceedingly glitchy. At one point in a co-op game, I found myself unable to move off the screen while my co-op partner was moving on ahead, although no enemies were spawning. It turns out this was because the game had spawned a third, uncontrolled player who was using the exact same character as myself (usually not possible in character selection). This character appeared on my end, but not player 2's, although it was noted that my co-op partners UI seemed confused by the phantom player, as it alternated rapidly between displaying information for a player 3 and not displaying anything at all. This was the most game-breaking of bugs that I encountered, but it was joined by too many graphical glitches and inconsistencies to count.


























Dungeons claim of being a classic arcade brawler is practically an insult to those games. I see absolutely no reason why you should buy this game, as so many exceptional beat-em-ups are readily available that knock this game out of the park. Rather than progressing the genre of beat-em-up, it regresses it into a primordial ooze, and a complete mess.



Pros

None whatsoever.


Cons

Terrible combat,

Incredibly glitchy,

Offensive humour.


Final Verdict,

gets a 1 out of 10.


Written by,
Bad Demoman



















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