Dungeons & Dragons Tactics

 
List Price: $19.99

Our Price: $18.37

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Product Description

Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics brings the excitement of fantasy battle and role-playing to the PSP system for the very first time. All of the core races and classes will be available to the player, including two Psionic classes, the Psion and the Psychic Warrior. Players will be able to customise their characters and store as many as their memory stick can handle. Faithfully utilizing the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rule-set, Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics allows players to take a party of six adventurers into a wide variety of dangerous environments to experience deep and exciting turn-based action. All core races and classes are available, plus the addition of Psionics Deep and exciting turn-based gameplay using the D&D 3.5 rule-set

Features:
  • Deep and exciting turn-based game play that uses the D&D 3.5 rule-set
  • All Core race and class type is available, including Psionics classes
  • Highly customizable characters can be created and traded via wireless
  • Multiplayer mode for cooperative adventuring.
  • Players explore a newly created world with a wide range of areas like dark dungeons, forests, towns, even the astral pane

Customer Reviews:

  • What a waste of 40 bucks.
    Just to give folks a background, I have played D&D since the mid 80's. When I heard a D&D game was coming out for the PSP I got really excited, disappointed, excited, disappointed and excited again as the release date kept getting pushed back. As the company pushed the release date back they kept removing cool features like possible expansion packs you could download or multi player with characters you create.

    I became a bit more hesitant but decided to pick this game up. I knew it was going to have a tactics feel to it, but they still billed it as an RPG. I can't believe how wrong that is. There is no world to explore, just a bunch of menu type areas that lead from one battlefield to another. The "cut scenes" look and read like they were typed up by 12 year olds, no offense meant to 12 year olds out there, but it's the closest thing to what this game offers... Also character movement in this game sucks too. There were many times I tried to move my character around the attack range of mobs and it just wont let you. It has some kind of wierd auto path arrow that seems to have a life of its own when you pick where you want your characters to go.

    The graphics are sub par to other RPG's I have played on the PSP. The menu system is probably the worst in this game, clunky and time consuming. When they say there is 40 or so hours of game play for this game they may have been correct. 10 hours of play and 30 hours of using the menu system.

    The rules for 3.5 D&D are followed fairly well but that can't cover up the smell of poo this game leaves behind.

    I guess if you love overly clunky interfaces and pure strategy games this may be for you. If you love a great RPG with true character development and a story line you should really look for something else....more info
  • Clunky Interface but still alot of Fun
    I was very excited when I heard a D&D game was coming to the PSP. The good points are the ruleset 3.5. Follows the rules of D&D perfectly. The bad point is the clunky menu system and trading weapons. My characters are mostly encumbered all the time, and I can't figure out how to move items along, and what item is better than the next.

    All in all a fun game for the D&D fans, but if you aren't into the rules, pick up Untold Legends - brotherhood of the blade....more info
  • Great if you like D&D
    This game is great if you like D&D. If you dont then you wont have a clue wat is going on in the game. The game can be kinda slow but it can get tense. So if you like D&D or know how to play it get this game....more info
  • Dark and Clunky
    On the plus side, it's Dungeons and Dragons.

    On the minus side:

    - It's dark. Really dark. Not Film Noir dark but hard-to-see dark. Take a look at the screenshots above and you'll notice that all but one of them is an outdoor encounter. The one indoor shot is full of lava. 75% of the game takes place in unlit indoor dungeons. Playing the dungeons in daylight places is difficult, even in the shade. Light levels vary between characters, and sometimes don't follow. Go from a human with a light spell to a dwarf using darkvision and you may or may not be able to see the dwarfs surroundings. It's difficult to distinguish doors from walls.
    - Shopping for gear, equipping gear and figuring out how to lighten your load is clunky. What a particular weapon or piece of armor will do is displayed in a column that's only a couple of words wide, with the numeric information at the bottom. There's no mechanism for comparing an item in a shop with what your character currently has equipped.
    - Buffs don't get displayed. You get an icon over your characters head on screen, but there's no display for +stats anywhere. Maybe they work, maybe they don't. Hard to tell.
    - Very difficult to get started, especially if you don't save/re-roll/reload each character level to get better hit points. It then gets abruptly easy with some of the upper level spells.
    - If the one character you chose first (the one that's "you") dies, the game ends. Even if you have a Cleric standing there ready to raise you.
    - Dungeons shut off on events, if you don't collect the loot before killing the boss, you missed it....more info
  • It Locks Up and Shots down the PSP
    I have been waiting so long for a patch for this game, i guess i will have to take it back to amazon and get something else, I liked the game it was an old test of d&d but it locks up when i fight the 4 flying angels. EVERY time. I am stuck there and it shuts the machine right off. anyone else do this? There are no scratches. i wonder if the game disk is just bad or is it the game in genral? I never find anyone else online either...more info
  • If it wasn't D&D...
    ...this game would get a much lower review.

    The developers did a decent job of taking the D&D rules and putting them on the PSP. A few things are missing, but that's understandable.

    This issue comes in with the difficulty. D&D rules say encounters should be scaled so you can get through 4 of them before resting. The game doesn't do that. I find myself having to rest every battle or 2. Also, monsters do not always match the available equipment to fight them. (There are a lot of early monsters with damage reduction, but there is no way to get the weapons needed to overcome DR.)

    User interface can be a pain. You always have to move the camera so you can see where you are going and move your characters. (It would be nice if walls and such were semi-transparent, but that may be too much to ask.) ...more info
  • Fun game- really keeps the tradition and gameplay of D&D
    I used to play D&D back when I was a teenager, and I was currently looking for a time wasting game for traveling that was turn based. Since Risk hasn't been rehashed, I decided to give it a shot. From what I remember about D&D, this game seems to follow the rules exactly. The graphics are good, and the game plays well. I dig it....more info
  • The words "let-down" are not enough.
    Now, I have never played tabletop D&D and I am not a huge video game advocate either, but I was very stoked about getting this game. I love rpg's and strategy games so I assumed this would be an excellent buy. I tried, I really tried to like this game but the truth is, it's no fun. There was no enjoyment in playing this game. It felt like a chore, learning how to play and then generating characters was impossible. The game plays very slow and I couldn't quite get the "hang' of the controls. I only played the game one time and now it sits in it's original box in my closet. I wonder if I'll ever try it again. I prolly won't I can still vividly remember the onslaught of extreme depression when I played; Like I'd never be happy again. Please don't buy this game. Save yourself some good time and money. I would only recommend this game is you were masochistic and hated yourself.

    Your Friend,
    Sleek Mouse ...more info
  • Hard to start
    This game has alot to offer a fan of the D&D universe, but has a learning curve....more info
  • Mediocrity
    Let's get right to the thing most people interested in buying a D&D game are going to be worried about: how faithfully does it interpret the rules of the game?

    The answer is, quite frankly, poorly. First and foremost, the ability to multiclass seems to be completely absent, which in and of itself almost completely disenfranchises this game from D&D 3.5 and its ease-of-multiclassing, build-your-own hero design. Further, there don't seem to be any prestige classes either, which while far more understandable (and acceptable) than a lack of multiclassing serves to even further distance the game from what people who play P&P D&D naturally expect.

    Throw in changes to feats and base classes (what the heck were they trying to do with the Ranger?), ambiguous or missing class abilities (do Clerics even get Domain-related special abilities?), and a generally thin selection of all of the above to begin with, and you end up with a game that completely removes the character-building and development strategy aspect from D&D, which quite frankly is about the only thing truly 'tactical' about 3.5 to begin with...

    This would be understandable if the changes were merely made to make the game more 'playable' in its given format, but that doesn't seem to be the case. For example, the Perform Skill in this game only has any utility to a Bard character, and you can't multiclass from other classes to a Bard, but non-Bards are still allowed to pick it. If you were trying to 'streamline' the game for hand-held play, things like that would be what you would want to 'fix'...

    But instead we get 'fixes' that show a questionable, at best, sense of what the original rules were intended to do, and little to no concept of game balance. The Psionic Weapon feat, for example, adds +2d6 damage to all melee attacks. ALL melee attacks. All the time! You don't have to spend Power Points or anything, you just get +2d6 damage on every swing (vs. +2 damage for Fighter's Weapon Specialization). How in the world could that have slipped by someone?

    Then there are the changes they seem to have made to try to be 'sticklers' to the rules, making the naggling little details that no one who plays P&P bothers with--at least, nowhere near to this anal-retentive degree--into massive issues the player must deal with. Encumberance is not only enforced, it's going to ream you on every single level in the game unless you've got a team stocked with Barbarians. You're going to be constantly groaning over being told you can't do something with your hands full. (A Cleric needs a feat to cast spells while wielding a mace and shield? Since when?) You're going to wonder why some things just don't seem to work right (Tumble nerf?). The strict adherance to the Light and Vision and Surprise Round rules is going to give you endless headaches, especially if you try to use a Rogue or Ranger...

    If you push past the thousand and one little annoyances, which extend further into a poor interface, weak story, and mediocre graphics, there's a half-decent game buried underneath. However, that's all it is: half-decent. Don't go into this expecting more, and don't bother at all if you're a rules purist or lacking patience....more info
  • Can't Stop Playing
    Seriously addicting game. I just got back from a vacation. Five nights in Maui and 5 nights in Las Vegas...I played this game for about 60 hours during the trip....more info
  • Highly Addictive
    This game is simply the most fun I've ever had with a PSP game. No, it's not perfect D&D, it's missing multi-classing and a few skills and feats. But it's damn close, and you get more character customization than you're going to find in any other PSP game anywhere, guaranteed.

    If you've ever played "Temple of Elemental Evil" game for the PC, this looks and plays very similarly. The focus here is a little less on role-playing and more on fighting though (but that's why it's called D&D Tactics).

    The game is LONG too. I spent about 92 hours on the campaign and finally finished it. You start at level 1. I don't know what the highest level you can hit, but everyone in my party got up to level 19. Even after you complete the campaign, you can go through it again, and make some different choices about which dungeons to explore, or whether to lean toward good or evil, so there is a fair amount of replay value.

    -Graphics are smooth, colorful, and fantastic. Almost every spell has it's own animation. Each character has a unique look, and you can customize their hair and faces to a certain extent.

    -Sound is wonderful, and there's a wide range of background music. There's even a sound player option so you can play the music during your pencil & paper games if you want.

    -Gameplay would be hard at first if you have no knowledge of D&D, but soon anyone will learn it. There are lots of ingame help available on just about everything.

    Game balance may be a bit off, my party was leveling faster than the game was expecting, and I was going through some adventures 2-3 levels higher than I should have. You can mitigate this by switching characters between adventures though.

    The manual is a little lacking. It doesn't tell you that hitting the "select" button will zoom the screen in and out. It's a very useful feature that I discovered by accident. I wonder if some of the negative reviews here are by people who never figured that trick out?

    My biggest problem with the game is that I'm already dying for a sequel!...more info
  • Stop right there.
    I know. I was there, too. I read all the mediocre reviews. I read the bad ones. Incredibly, once in a while, I found a good one. I thought to myself, "Could it be true? Could D&D Tactics really suck that bad?" The sad, sad answer is "Yes."
    This game is truly horrible. Blame Atari, or blame Wizards of the Coast, or blame Kuju, or blame yourself for thinking this could be at all decent.
    Just don't blame me.
    I told you not to buy it.
    Oh, wait, I didn't do that yet.
    OK, here's my advice: Press your browser's BACK button as quickly as possible and never look here again.
    Don't buy this.
    Don't.
    You'll even regret spending the shipping even if this game cost you a penny.
    The purchase of a game like this only encourages the production of awful video games.
    Here's the real deal:
    Q: Does it have Dungeons?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Does it have Dragons?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Does It have even an INKLING of fun?
    A: No. Sadly, no.
    I wanted to like this game. I really did. I wanted to like it so much I played it for 29.7 hours. True story. But, try as I might, I can't like an awful game. And I sure as hell would never recommend one.
    If you still want to play it, I have one for sale cheap....more info
  • D & D without the social interaction, or endless variety.
    For $2[...] I got what I expected. A steep learning curve, even though I already knew 3.5 rules (I had to keep looking up spells, as well as how the mind flayers kept murdering me). A large variety of character customization (but not enough faces). A paranoid experience brawling through dungeons (every step can get you smeared). A review with a ton of parenthetical asides (yup).
    Replay value is good, as one play through won't give you the full experience, and if you made your characters poorly, you'll be starting over pretty quickly.
    I did not like the set lists of available magical items. Diablo made random items, way back in the 90's. Surely, the PSP can do somewhat of the same.
    The graphics in the battles are excellent, especially the settings though I ended up turning them off to speed up the game (a great boon!).
    The camera controls are decent, and easy enough to pick up.
    It's no Disgaea or Final Fantasy, but it cost half as much!...more info
  • Great turn-based D&D game - P&P fans only!
    There are few games in the past ten years that have given me satisfying turn-based tactical combat experience. This one has. I currently DM pen and paper D&D and have found this gem to hold up very well against the ruleset. Sure, there is very little in the way of role-play elements, but truth be told, you can't role play on a computer (AI) worth a darn any way (reading page after page of "story dialogue" and choosing from a tree of contrived responses in not what I call roleplaying) , so this gets right down to brass tax; turn based combat.

    Character creation is very involved and exciting; the experience point system has been accelerated, so leveling happens often (maybe a little too often, actually, as the lower levels offer excitement that is entirely different from mid and high level characters). Atari has included most major feats and their implementation comes off well. The skill system is fully included, but a bit deceiving. With the lack of RP elements, I haven't seen any use for knowledge skills (or other non-combat skills) and wonder why they were included. Had I known the game was almost strictly combat based, I would have configured my skills differentally for each character before starting.

    The in-combat interface works well. Line-of-sight seems to be right on and using cover seems to affect my characters chances of being hit. What this game desparately needs is a status screen that shows a breakdown of your numbers (i.e. if your AC is showing 17, there is no way to tell how you arrived at that number, you have to figure it out yourself). Also the game lacks a numerical breakdown of the damage each character does in combat, or even the potential damage you could do based on your weapon, base attack and feats.

    I hope Atari comes out with a patch that brings the background numbers out so the player can see them. A real character sheet would be such a welcome addition (the interface for viewing each character's stats is terrible). As far as I can tell at this point, there is no numeric data that shows what spell(s) each character is currently affected by (just a generic symbol over his head). Without these fixes, this game will have a hard time finding a group to identify with as it won't satify the hardcore players enough and will likely confuse and frustrate the casual player.

    All-in-all, though, I have been glued to this game before going to bed every night. Each weapons and suit of armor has been rendered (although there is no close-up vanity view of your character). All items, feats, skills, etc. have a detailed description available at any time. If you plan on picking this up - do youself a HUGE favor, if you don't already own it, pick up the Players Handbook to go along with this title because you WILL reference it! I look forward to the the next title in this series (fingers crossed) - I bet it will be spot on!...more info
  • Pretty Fun!
    This game is overall a fun game,its hard but easier if you know the D and D rules,most parts of the game are fun and challenging;its also neat that you can make your own character,or your whole party if you want.Its cool they have all the races and classes(and 2 new ones!)normally DnD games have like 4 races and 2 classes or something.I think it would be really cool to have it on the Nintendo DS though,thou id really rather play the good old pen and paper table top Dungeons and Dragons,but DnD Tactic is fun for fueling your Dungeons and Dragons rush any time and any were on the go. ...more info
  • pretty good
    It's a great game if you play D&D 3.5 or even 4 (but not so much for 4ed players) but for people new to the game it's a little challenging at first and could start off a bit slow. I'd still recommend this game for psp users who want to play D&D but can't for some reason....more info
  • Horrible interface hobbles a good game.
    It took me a long time to get into this game. The first time I played it I became frustrated trying to move equipment around between characters. The interface is the worst I've ever seen in a video game. Once you learn how to work around the shortcomings of the interface, you'll find an enjoyable and fairly challenging strategy game.

    This game is probably strictly for D&D players, though. You won't find any spell descriptions in the instruction manual, you'll need to pull out your Players Handbook, which the game stays true to for the most part.

    I recommend this game for D&D fans who like strategy RPGs....more info
  • Boring
    I like RPG's, Dungeons and Dragons, and Tactics games; but I put this game down after about 15 minutes and haven't picked it back up.

    For one, if you want to roll your own characters, it will take you close to an hour before you even start playing the game. After that, I just don't find that the D&D 3.5 ruleset makes for a good backdrop to make a tactics game. Furthermore, there is inclusion of some D&D details that just distract from gameplay.

    I would be more inclined to think that the D&D Miniatures franchise would be more suiting. Are you listening WoTC? ;)...more info
  • It's D&D
    Well, I am definately enjoying this game, the controls are not too bad, just it is quite a pain to trade items between your characters, you can't control (as far as I can figure out...)if you want to give a bow to your ranger that your bard has, it seems like you have to give it to your cleric Then to your barbarian, then to your rogue...then maybe your ranger? If someone figures this out I would be happy to hear it.

    Gameplay is enjoyable, be sure you save often. I've had to replay battles just because I accidentally loaded instead of saved.

    Well overall, there is a whole lot to this game, I've barely scratched the surface, I'm sure...more info
  • Best PSP game so far, if you like D&D 3e.
    The game is great, though it is extremely difficult to understand and play correctly because it is so rules heavy, and this limits the enjoyment for people who have no experience with the table top version of the game. The rules are implemented quite nicely. OTOH, if you know the rules prior to playing this you'll find it way too easy.
    It does lack important aspects of the game, such as random encounters and a possible "automatic" threat releveling for missions. Maybe in d&d tactics II.
    Some things though make little sense. During missions you are permitted to rest and heal completely while standing outside the Boss' door!!! ...more info
  • Great game that gets ragged on.
    Seems to me a lot of reviews that trash this game are really unfair. I loved it and really missed it once it was over.

    I am a Dungeons and Dragons player and I'll admit that the fact that this game is based on DnD rules was a major draw for me. Lets just say it's very satisfying to see all the classes and races and items you know so well and to form your own well balanced party to kill stuff and find treasure. That's what it boils down to and that's what it delivers.

    There's no use in complaining about the game not adhering strictly to the rules since obviously a PSP game has limitations that your imagination and pen and paper dont.

    The story is retarted. There are no real decisions to make and there is no role playing. It's dungeon diving, plain and simple. Level up your guys, explore cool settings and get stoked when you get your head bitten off by a mind flayer.

    The graphics are beautiful. Lighting a torch in a pitch black dungeon looks just as it should. The menus are awkward as hell, but you learn it after a while. It's also sort of glitchy. Save it in multiple slots. Hopefully they make a sequel and work out some of the irritating bugs because this game has a lot of promise for strategy fans and DnD freaks alike.

    ...more info
  • D&D Tactics Fails its Save
    I love Dungeons and Dragons, playing it with two different groups twice a week. I also love handheld tactical games, with some of my favorite handheld games of all times being tactics-style. So when this product was announced, I found myself waiting for it with 'bated breath. And waiting. And waiting.

    The screenshots and video looked good, the press releases and interviews and previews all seemed to suggest that things were heading in the right direction, a tactics game with great graphics, based around the complex (and carefully thought out) 3.5 edition D&D rules. Each time it was delayed, I dared to hope that it was because they were taking the time to really get it right.

    Having now played a good chunk of the game, I think that what was instead happening during the delays was that the development team, overburdened by the complexity of what they had set out to do, was simplifying and reducing, getting rid of stuff that didn't work, dropping features that were too hard to complete, and just generally scaling back the ambitions for the project until its parameters fit within what they had already done, rather than what they had set out to do.

    It is a reasonably fun game nonetheless. Controlling a party of six adventurers, representing the base D&D classes, plus a couple extra psionic ones, is relatively fulfilling. It's even a decent tactics game in some ways, with the step by step planning of what your characters will do, and the mutual supporting interactions between them. This fundamental enjoyment is what pushes my overall rating of the game up from 1 to 2 star status.

    But there are two important respects in which it falls very short.

    First, as a tactics game, the controls are finicky. It's hard to get a good overview of the situation, in part because the 3D rendering is so intensive that the poor PSP's responses are jerky rather than smooth. Lighting is also a problem, with the lighting conditions being based on which character is selected, rather than on what lighting pertains overall. This means that if you have a character without a light source of their own, you sometimes can't see clearly, even if they're standing next to two or three other characters with light sources. Area effect spells are hard to position, because some of them cover so many squares that you can't see the edges of the selected region.

    It also lacks any tactical finesse. The scenarios are straightforward, and its really more about using your party's "brute force" capabilities to batter opponents into submission. The computer's AI doesn't take advantage of all the available rules, so the game never really gives you a chance to explore the tactical depth of which those rules are capable.

    Finally, the menu based controls are complex and slow. Moving equipment from party member to party member is excrutiating, picking options in combat requires you to navigate a multi-level menu tree, and the interface for leveling up manually is so cumbersome they included an "auto level" ooption. This will provide a hefty barrier to entry to anyone that just wants to pick up the game and play, and would only be forgivable if the complexity was to support the depth of D&Ds complicated ruleset.

    Which it doesn't.

    The second problem with the game is that when they started cutting corners, they began hacking off parts of the rules system that were inconvenient to them, or changing things to work around bugs or missing features they'd decided to abandon. Here's what I've noticed so far:

    * No multiclassing
    * Opponents never use the 5 foot step to avoid attacks of opportunity. They always take a "move" action, even if they're only going 5 feet. Spellcasters never "step back" to cast spells.
    * Metamagic feats cause all spells that _could_ be affected to be affected at all times. So, if you take the "Widen Spell" feat, all of your fireballs will have a 40' radius. You can't turn it off, and it still uses a 3rd level slot. (Fireball is pretty unusable in the game anyway, since you can't tell if it's going to hit an obstruction and blow up on top of you, but taking widen spell turns it into a spell that you almost never get to cast.)
    * Undead are subject to critical hits.
    * They're only using a fraction of the possible creature base. I'm a good chunk of the way in, at 10th level, and I keep encountering the same kinds of creatures again and again. (werewolves, anyone?).
    * Burning hands doesn't appear to be castable. (Don't know why, but it never lets me cast it.)
    * Magic missles must all be directed against a single target.
    * Lightning bolt is a single target spell.
    * If the character you designate as your "main" character dies, combat immediately ends with a "FAILURE!". Not very D&D-like.
    * No prestige classes. (see no multiclassing, above.)
    * Things stack that shouldn't. Bracers of Armor stack with armor bonuses, for example.
    * No secret doors. (or at least, if there are, I haven't found them.)
    * A character moving through an allies square is never subject to an AOO.
    * Even high skill tumblers can't tumble through an opponent's space.
    * If you take a full attack action, both attacks end up directed against the same opponent, even if the first hit kills that opponent and there's another opponent in reach.
    * No school specialization, so your wizard won't have many spells. I recommend a sorcerer, since there aren't a lot of non-combat spells.
    * A cleric with a weapon in one hand and a shield in the other can't cast spells. (It's well established in the rules that the cleric can move the weapon to the shield hand in order to allow this.)
    * No paladin mount.
    * Power attack has non-adjustable intensity. (i.e. you can't select how much of it you're using.)
    * You're not allowed to assist other character's attacks or ACs. This is a fairly minor rule in regular D&D, but since its specifically marketed as a Tactics game, this seems like a strange thing to leave out.
    * Monsters never have treasure, it's all in chests scattered about the map.
    * If you kill the last monster, you never get to open any chests you hadn't reached yet.
    * Turning undead always destroys them, never turns them.
    * Bardic Music doesn't follow the rules for same. It clearly gives allies a bonus, but what bonus exactly is clearly not quite in line with the original rules.

    I'm sure there's more, but its a hodge-podge of rules changes. Some made in order to accomodate the electronic nature of the game, to be sure, but many made just because the developers either didn't understand, or didn't bother to implement, the original rules' intent.

    The sad part is, you can see the bones of a much more expansive (and exciting) game here, but they just failed to deliver. What's left is a reasonably fun set of dungeon crawls with a clunky interface.

    Who knows, handhelds keep growing in power, maybe they'll get it right next time. ...more info
  • Great gift
    My husband is an avid gamer and when he has to go away for duty with the Marines he gets rather cut off (Boot Camp broke his WoW addiction). So when his birthday was coming up and bought him this game only having read the reviews. Let me tell you this has been the hardest game for him to play but he is loving the challenge. It takes his mind off the Marines completely....more info
  • Game keeps crashing
    I bought this game for my husband as a gift. He absolutely loves it and plays it almost everyday. However, I am so incredibly disappointed with the glitches. The game keeps crashing in the same spots. There is one particular mission that he tried to play 3 times and each time it would crash at the same place. He gave up on that mission, played a few more and then it happened again somewhere else in the game. We've tried to contact Atari but they haven't responded yet (it's been over a week). I feel like it would have been a great game, but it's certainly not worth the money as is....more info
  • Best D&D RPG for PSP, Yippee!!!
    D&D fans rejoice! Finally a game to implement the 3.5 rulebook with psionic characters! You can finally put those long dormant mental powers to use using all the characters designed in the d20 D&D 3.5 system in this game. The downside is, this is one your PSP, which isn't that great a platform for party-based/turn-based adventuring. I can explain.

    First of all, this game is amazing. I mean, it is the closest thing to the pencil, dice and paper games of D&D past with great TRUE implementation of the rule set. I mean, I like to move around from 'tile' to 'tile' in turn based mode when roaming dungeons, so I can better plan, rather than real time RPG's which leave me feeling somewhat panicked. I mean sure, battle can do that to you, but I feel that taking some time to make your moves assures that you are putting more thought into it, which would be impossible in real time across multiple characters. This gives individual control and thought to each person's actions in the party, and that trumps all other styles of play, IMHO. All of the 'basic' classes are there, including psion and psychic warrior, as all of the 'basic' races, and most of the applicable rules.

    The graphics are fine, very three dimensional, and with a rather blocky polygon count. However, base body appearances that remain static regardless of body armor or headgear are a little disappointing. Still, the animations are pretty good, especially non humans, like the wolves and dogs. Some problem animation issues weren't resolved, like the issue surrounding 'unseen' monsters which do not move at all but slide like chess pieces when coming out of the cover of darkness. On the plus side the lighting and fog effects are great.

    The sound is ok. The music is good, but gets repetitive, and the sound effects are nothing special, but fairly varied and appropriate. There are no voice overs for the 'sliding puppet show' cut scenes, and this is fairly disappointing. I guess no voice overs is better than cheap voice overs, and imagine they were left out for budget reasons.

    The game play seems pretty linear, as your encounters are laid out on a map kinda resembling a "skill tree" and your battles are sequentially tougher as you travel further along the road. The availability of new adventurers to hire, and new stores to peruse is great, and really adds to the gameplay. Your party is not limited to the original cast which you can create, or borrow the ready made ones to start things off quickly. You find out as you travel, the ready made ones you passed up in the original party formation can be added later in the game at various stops along the way.

    Character creation is simply the matter of picking your race (Human, half-elf, half-orc, elf, dwarf, gnome, or halfling), your sex (male, or female), your class (barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, psion, psychic warrior, ranger, sorcerer, and wizard) and your attributes (strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma) and then assign your skill points and pick your feats. These are familiar to every D&D fan, but if you are new to D&D, but have played other RPG's, this will give you some idea of what to expect.

    The downside is significant, and predictable. D&D requires a wealth of information to displayed on screen at once, since each character has huge inventories and stats to keep track of. Not only that, but buying and selling inventory from stores further complicates matters. The exchange of inventory between characters further complicates matters. The fact that both right and left hands may be equipped with weapons further complicates matters. This is just one aspect of the problem.

    The other problem is game control itself. Each character has a wealth of options to do at any given turn, including spells which need preparing and accessing. How do we access these all these options, and keep track of everything going on the screen, while not losing sight of the character whose turn is underway?

    Well, they attempted to solve the information display problem by using abbrevations, and collapsable bullet menus, and with the rest of the navigation (including gameplay) they went with a central horizontal/side scrolling menu. This menu, which is visible for almost the entire game, does everything from character options during a fight, to dungeon exploration options, to map navigation and party management.

    This takes some getting used to. I mean, most of the up-down, side-to-side scrolling is done with the directional buttons, but some descriptive information about items is accessed using the joystick. The 'x' button is the select button, the 'circle' button is the back button, the 'square' button changes from equip to unequip and back, the 'triangle' button is good to quick sell inventory, and the 'left' and 'right' triggers can be used to horizontally scroll through the characters. During battle or dungeon exploration the 'select' button can be used to zoom in the viewing angle, and the joy stick vertical axis controls the degree of overhead angle, and the horizontal axis rotates the view. The character menu is accessed through the directional buttons, and the 'x' is used to select. Hit start to bring up the 'save/options' screen during the battle to save when on the fly, or speed up gameplay by using chess mode, or other options.

    There is not much intuitive about how this game is controlled, but it can be learned without too much effort. I have often found myself drawn to the character creation and shear infinite combinations of party members that are possible, and whenever I come across a difficult dungeon, sometimes I start again thinking some other configuration would be more successful in EVERY possible situation. Once you play this game, you might start thinking like I do, that there is a challenge behind every corner, and you really have to be prepared, and make the right choices at every turn, or you will find this game very difficult. The first three battles are quite easy. A team of halfling bards could survive with no armor, if you play it correctly. But, could a team of halfling bards make it all the way through? I doubt it. It would be nigh impossible. This is the attraction. They designed this game to kill you, and destroy your party. While it helps the more times you've been through a dungeon, you will find new challenges along the road the further you travel, and often times you'll find regrets. But it is overcoming these obstacles that makes it addicting, and seeing your character with just a few hit points make a miraculous save is always heartening.

    If this game was made for the PC, it would be a five star must buy since all the problems could be overcome. Even with the limitations of the PSP, it overcomes much of its negatives by giving us so many positively creative 'tactical' challenges, and enduring replayability.

    Recommended....more info
  • Entire 3.5 Core Rules D&D Psionics Too!
    ok 1st off I am a dungeons and dragons former nerd. so my review might be seeming to be in favor of all the options in this game (which I am) but they may not be for everyone.
    this game has all the D&D favs such as the Beholder, Illithids, Dragons of course, Undead and so much more. also the (up to 4 player) multiplayer wireless adhoc option is pure genious.
    just dont think this is one of your standard level up/ loot grinders. it has these options and so many choices for everything from eye color all the way to feats and Psionics!
    Overall this game is done well and executed in the truest dungeons and dragons experience out there.
    Fans of the baldurs Gate series might want to rent this first since it's turn based combat and huge menus may slow down this game too much for the hardcore action RPG'er.
    Beautiful Grphics on the monsters and Loads of Equipment and Loot. enough here to keep everyone including me busy for many many hours.

    Graphics: Crisp 5.0

    Sound: clear but repeatitive. 4.0

    Overall: with multi-player modes and all the loot options then toss in the Entire 3.5 core rules set and you get the D&D experience that most Hardcore Fans Have Been Seeking the whole time. Give it a try! 5.0!

    buy this 5 star title by clicking the link below.
    Dungeons & Dragons Tactics...more info