Game play: 13
Replay ability: 10
Total Value: 63%
The first thing I thought upon getting this title was “whoa my first PSP game!” Approximately 2 hours after playing the game my impression was “What the hell is this game trying to be? Handheld Diablo 2?” And I still think it is.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Diablo 2. My Amazon was something to be feared; even Jay’s nancy Barbarian trembled in fear from her when we were hunting Diablo in the depths of hell. In any event, as I said this game was trying to be Diablo 2. Just without the control and on a tiny screen in a moving car with half the story line. Released in March with the PSP launch, I figured “why not?” when I bought the system. Well, I won’t say it’s a bad game, it’s certainly not. I don’t think though that it really stands on its own two legs as a good game either.
Overall I felt they were the best I had ever seen on a handheld system. Of course this was also the first PSP game I ever played. When seen at launch, with the promise of many more games to come and hopeful glee, we tend to look at ULBB more optimistically. This is a flaw we should avoid. Comparing it to games some months after release and we see that the PSP is capable of much more than ULBB offers.
Basically it’s an overhead view like Diablo, and you have a pretty decent world to move through (although a bit small) and it all looks pretty good, especially the bosses. Only, the thing you’re really left wondering is why you paid so much money for a system and a game that has graphics like a computer game you played before years ago. I admit Diablo 2 graphics were awesome when they came out. But c’mon it’s 2005, not 2000. I wanted to be fair and not penalize this game for being a handheld, but I couldn’t say its graphics really enchanted me.
Nothing really impressive. Indeed the shitty speaker on the PSP will make you often wonder “what music?” But if you have a handy ear plug or headphones you will hear it. Hear it? I know… not that good is it? It’s not terrible either, but it’s decidedly mediocre.
If you played Diablo you can skip this portion of the review. If you haven’t, well it’s not point to click, but it’s just as annoying. You got to use that little roller pad thing, yes the slippery one. The one that tends to break with excessive use, the one that is too small for most men to handle without looking like a chimp smashing on a toy. It’s slippery, sweaty, and leaves an indentation in your thumb. The attack and special moves buttons are placed oddly and are kind of cumbersome as is making your way through the games menus. The game is smooth, when it doesn’t freeze, and its fun to nuke the hell out of some monsters with your spells, but overall it was pretty generic. The game, like the system, suffers from certain physical flaws that make playing more like a chore. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking frequent breaks every five to ten minutes.
Plot wise, the game is exceedingly generic, a paltry mix between Diablo 2, the Revenant, and Bauldur’s Gate. You choose one of three heroes and make your way through town and obtain quests to kill demons, cure virgins, stop tree monsters, kill goblins and spiders and bears oh my. Along the way you power up your skill tree and gain bigger, badder weapons, but there really is no sense of accomplishment. It was like playing an RPG and doing all the side quests while not having that one central story line to glue them all together. There were some plot mechanics thrown in here and there for every quest, which I suppose tie in together later on down the line, but at that point you probably decided to play something else.
Not much. You make it through the quests kill the baddies and then what? Ohhhh, you can restart all over with your end game character and make the game even easier than it originally was. This is a play through on an airplane ride type of game. Once you land where you’re going you probably won’t see it again until the plane ride home.
In closing, I would urge you not to buy this game until you see it in the sale bin for 14.99 with Madden 04. It wasn’t worth the 40 dollars the first time around and I would seriously have a hard time paying the 15 the second time around.