by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
Of Death and Drops (cntd)
There are a surprising number of enemies, starting off with simple skeletons and bats, but things really start to pick up the deeper you go. A nice touch is that your cause of death is listed next to your name on the leaderboard. Some of the people higher up in the rankings look to have been killed by all manner of things that I never even encountered, like bazookas and droids, and… a unicorn.
Another reason I’ve started to enjoy Rogue-likes more recently is that they are beginning to give you a sense of progression even when you die. This might make them ‘less like Rogue’ to a more elitist player, but it is nice to give you some feeling of achievement after a death. When I played Rogue Legacy earlier this year, I wanted to jump straight back into the action after dying and spend the gold I had accumulated. In Legend of Dungeon, death is a depressing experience, and when you have to start back in that tavern and fight bats rather than huge Cyclopes, it’s just less fun. You can’t save your progress on a run, so if you start a game, you’d better make sure you have enough time to finish it.
It could be argued that multiplayer is the main draw of the game. Playing with up to three friends can result in chaos on screen, and everything is better with other people. However the lack of online multiplayer is a huge oversight. If you want to enjoy Legend of Dungeon with your pals, hopefully they live nearby.
The combat is pretty standard. You swing your sword, or whatever weapon you happen to have found, and keep hitting enemies until they die. It’s not very nuanced beyond that. You can move up and down and side to side to lead enemies around, but there aren’t any dodge or block buttons. You will occasionally find a ranged weapon to shoot enemies from afar, but once they get close you’ll have to resort to swinging your melee weapon again. There is a degree of verticality to some rooms, where you jump on blocks to reach new treasure, but the jumping was sluggish and I often seemed to get caught on the edges of the environment.
Legend of Dungeon has plenty of charm, and some good ideas, but lacks in execution. There is plenty of variety in the equipment that you find and the enemies you will face, but it is never enough to engage you for any great length of time. Some online multiplayer and a greater sense of progression would work wonders, because the framework is there for a great little indie beat-em-up. As it is, it’s not really a legend but perhaps more of a fascinating tale.
Has a degree of cutesy charm, and some nice variety.
Forgettable combat. I wasn’t compelled to keep playing after death.