An excellent action RPG that takes it's inspiration from Diablo.

User Rating: 9 | Dungeon Hunter IOS
You have to admit, Gameloft sure knows how to make excellent games inspired by popular console titles. Hero of Sparta (God of War), West Coast Hustle (Grand Theft Auto), and Modern Combat: Sandstorm (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) are just a few. Now add Dungeon Hunter to the list, which is an excellent action RPG that takes it's inspiration from Diablo.

Viewed from a top down, isometric perspective, Dungeon Hunter is a typical hack and slash role playing game. At the start, you choose your name and one of three character classes: warrior, mage, or rogue. Just like most other games of this sort, your main draw is the near constant loot gathering. You will be hard pressed to kill five enemies without one or two dropping a weapon or piece of armor.

The controls work well, but the buttons could have been bigger. The movement joystick on the left side works just fine, but all of the actions along the right are sometimes difficult to activate. It is even more difficult to scroll through your skills, since you are required to hold down the skill button and scroll side to side to find the skill you want. Not only is the button small, but in this case you have to look around your finger as your go through the skills. The attack button is larger and is easier to press, but it has it's own problems. Sometimes it simply doesn't respond. The button will react as if it was pressed, but your character won't start attacking the enemy. Although this was a bit annoying, I just got in the habit of double tapping the attack and this more or less solved the problem. While the controls aren't perfect, they do get the job done and most players will eventually get used to them.

In the world of Dungeon Hunter, the dead can see faeries. Since your character has been resurrected from the dead, several of these faeries will join you in your quest. Though you begin with only one, four more will join with you during the course of the adventure. Each has a different elemental power and bonuses added to your character. Since you can only have one following you at a time, it sometimes takes some thought as to which one should accompany you through each area. Sometimes it takes a few enemies to decide which faery would work out best, but it's never frustrating to try and figure it out.

Character development is perfect for the game. It isn't too basic, but since it is a mobile game, something as deep as Neverwinter Nights would seem like overkill here. Each character has four statistics: strength, dexterity, endurance, and energy. Each stat has obvious effects on a player's abilities and each class has one stat that they favor over all the others, however endurance is important to everyone since it determines how many hits they can take in battle. For example, warriors are more effective when their strength is higher and won't need as much put into the others. To use the best warrior related weapons and armor, a high strength is required. In addition to these statistics, each class has numerous skills to unlock. You start with the option of three and three more are unlocked every five levels. Since you only get one skill point per level, two of the same classes can play a bit differently depending on what skills are assigned. One thing new to the iPhone was the addition of trophies, which are virtually identical to achievements that the Xbox 360 started. Now the addiction to get every possible award has made it's way to the mobile format.

If you load your character after finishing the game, you start just before the final battle, but you still have the experience and items drops from when you completed the final fight. From here, you can leave and go to any of the other areas of the game, so you can continue leveling your character indefinitely or keep fighting the final battle over and over to see what awesome loot they will drop each time.

The story is actually rather interesting at first, but quickly takes a backseat to the action. You play as a prince who's fiancé died on their wedding day. Stricken with grief and unable to live without her, he performs a dark ritual to resurrect her. This ritual backfires as her body is possessed, which results in her killing him and plunges the world into darkness. As the game begins, your character has been resurrected to right the wrong he committed. This sets up some potentially emotional moments, but these are lost once the game begins. The prince is single-mindedly set on killing the woman that he was unable to live without just a short time ago and the grief stricken man from the intro is instantly replaced with a stern, battle-hardened hero.

The graphics are excellent. They are very reminiscent of Throne of Agony on PSP (lucking nothing else resembles that embarrassment of a game) and everything is quite detailed. While the game is called Dungeon Hunter, there is actually quite a variety of locations; ranging from woods to catacombs to a castle in the faery world. An overworld map maps travel between areas quite easy, but the game could have benefited from a minimap while playing. There was one occasion where I wandered for almost ten minutes looking for the door to the next area when I finally gave up and used the overworld map to move forward. The menu presentation is easy to figure out. The statistics screen is overflowing with useful information about your character, but it is organized well. The item screen always compares your new item to an equipped one so it is easy to tell which is better.

Everything in Dungeon Hunter contains the high quality we have come to expect from Gameloft. I expect that someday they will be required to actually make an original game, but for now, I am content to keep playing their excellent versions of popular console and PC games.