While faithful to the pen-and-paper RPG, this game falls a bit short

User Rating: 6.5 | Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder GBA
Back in the dark ages of video gaming (i.e., 1990) SSI released an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons-licensed computer game called Eye of the Beholder, where the gameplay moved in real-time and in a complete first-person perspective. With the 2002 GBA remake by Atari, the game is entirely different from the past.


Graphics-wise, the game is fair enough. While the traversing part of the game is still in it's first-person perspective, it suffers from a butchered art-style. There is little-to-no animations to the dungeon layout and you'd be likely to see the same wall patterns for most of the game. With combat, the game moves into a third-person isometric perspective, with the PCs and monsters only having two-frame animations.



As far as sound is concerned, it could be alot better that it really is. The music is very minimal, at best, with the occasional tune being played for two seconds then nothing but silence afterwards. The sound effects are good, but they can get rather tedious after awhile, with the same sound effect being played over and over again.



Control-wise, it might need some tinkering. During traversing phases, you move forward, backwards and turn either left or right. One occuring complaint is that to move through the various menus, you have to press L or R to cycle through them. Also, the L and R buttons could've been used to straift around the dungeons, something that was perfected by the 2001 RPG Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land.


Regarding battles, the controls feel very clunky. In most instances, you have to press the control pad in the diagonals just to even move your PCs around the battle field



In regards to gameplay, the game is alright. When your party enters battle, the game uses a tactics-style combat system, as evidence of the 3rd Edition D&D ruleset. One of the annoying things about battle is that some monsters can cast a spell that either holds your character or put him/her to sleep, usually resulting in an easy one-hit kill afterwards. Also, to progress through the game, you have to put alot of skill points into a specific feat, as it usually takes quite a few tries to force a locked door to be open by brute strength.



Overall, Eye of the beholder is a good game, but definately not the best RPG for the system, or the best RPG, period.
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