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Review: Darkmoor Dungeon 
 PostFri Oct 17, 2008 12:12 am
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Whoa! I was most definitely somewhere on the map a second ago!
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A-are you serious?
This is a review of Darkmoor Dungeon.

Reposted/Tweaked from Castle Paradox

Introductories
    After reading the exported e-mail conversation of a Mr.Ekoss and Mr.Lash, I have learned all that is necessary to decimate the evil within a dungeon.
    Which dungeon? Why, Darkmoor Dungeon, of course.
    Which heroes shall I ask to complete this task?
    None other than the PALADIN, BERSERKER, MAGE, and, of course, the NINJA!

    May a most epic journey begin!

Graphicalities
    I am instantly tossed into a dark dungeon with brick walls and dirt floors. I am not impressed with the dungeon master's lack of graphical creativity; fortunately, I am quickly able to confront the more colorful enemies of the game.

    The graphics aren't the most impressive I've ever seen; but that's okay, because they don't play too big a role in the game.

    Walkabouts: These all follow a consistent character model and feature an adequate amount of shading, so those work out good and well.
    All of the enemies share a common sprite outside of battle, but they are made so that you can very easily identify them as baddies.

    Battles: The hero graphics are the side images of the walkabouts.
    Frankly, I'm a fan of the FF6-esque battle sprites, so I enjoyed these quite a bit.
    The quality of the enemy sprites ranged from mediocre to great.
    Such sprites as the Juggernaut enemy were nicely shaded and had great form;however, others like the Basilik were lacking in overall pixel art goodness.
    However! Everything had a form that I could identify, which allowed these sprites to succeed.

    Maptiles: I'm pretty sure the entire dungeon was made with a total of three tiles and it's pretty obvious that more work could have been spent on these.

    Other: Around the time this was released, changing your game's custom palette was a pretty out of the way thing to do.
    Moogle1 did this for Darkmoor Dungeon and it was great.

Storylineage
    My fellow prisoners, Nat and Red, update my understanding of the Dungeon Owner's evil.
    I order my party members to take deep breaths and to step forward towards their escape...

    From what I could gather, your character(s) has(have) been captured and thrown into the very back of the Dungeon Darkmoor (and would probably like to leave because of the depressing interior).

    You can choose to play as a party of four with any combination of six heroes (Paladin, Berserker, Ninja, Wizard, Priest, and Witch).

    You can also play in a single hero mode as a Civilian (who is faster, stronger, and overall better than any individual character, but lacks the strength of a party).

    After a briefing from the only other prisoners in the entire dungeon, it is decided that it would be in everybody's interests if you left.
    Fighting ensues and the story of the dungeon unfolds all at once in the end of the game.

Gameplayosophy
    Gameplay is mighty straightforward: You've got the walking, the talking, the menu, and the fighting.
    Battles are impressive, map-walking is tedious, and the armor doesn't do enough (as far as I could tell).

    Battles:
    Darkmoor Dungeon is battles
    Upon talking to a battle holder, you are given a synopsis of the foes you are about to face and then a choice to engage in battle, or to run away.

    Run away? Haha! As if we wouldn't battle to the deaths!
    After winning a fight, you are rewarded with tokens, which purchase items to wreak total havoc upon your future foes.

    As the included ReadMe says, some of these battles are based upon battles found in commercial games; however, many other battles are of Moogle1's own creation. All of them were very well executed.

    Before each battle, the player is given all of the enemies' stats. Including weaknesses, strengths, health, and the likes.
    This is a huge plus, considering you'd die very easily if you had to figure everything out in battle.

    Picking from a possible 127(?) parties gives you quite a few different strategies.

    I actually would've liked the attacks to have descriptions so that I wouldn't have to switch between game and Readme to remember what every attack did. "Dispel? Is that like mute? Or does it cancel something? *Alt+Tab* Damn, Game.exe closed itself! The OHRRPGCE is now Windows-Based, so there is no need to use Alt-Tab anymore!."

    Map Design:
    Walking through parts of the game could be pretty scary.
    There was actually one point where I had to travel through a screen full of brick tiles (with overhead on) in order to get to the next room containing the tokens I needed to get back to the other room.
    However, the walking distances between enemies got considerably shorter as you progress, so no other complaints there.

    Balance:
    Victory in battle rewards the player with a party of fully-restored heroes ready for their next challenge.
    After each battle, your health is replenished and you're unchanged and ready for the next fight.
    This was a very nice plus, as your heros will die very often if you don't know what you're doing.

    Some battles in this game can be won through dumb luck and others through brute strength; however, having a definite strategy before running into a battle can usually almost always lead you to victory.


Musicus
    Meh, the sound track was ripped and placed into nice places.
    Not much more to say about that.



Enjoymentit?
    Yes, Yes. Very much so.

    Moogle1 really pushed the OHRRPGCE's default battle system to a pretty high point by releasing this game.

    If you haven't checked out this game, you most definitely should.


♪♪♪ Du du duuuu ♪♪♪
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