Wasn't taken seriously and was made just to squeeze some quick cash out of the PSP's lacking RPG market.

User Rating: 3 | Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony PSP
Thone of Agony is yet another title that wasn't taken seriously and was made just to squeeze some quick cash out of the PSP's lacking RPG market. The story is uninteresting and the interface feels completely slapped together. Not only is it a huge step backward from the Dungeon Siege titles on the PC, but it wouldn't even be able to compete with the original Diablo.

The first major disappointment that hit me was the fact that you cannot create your own character or choose a class. There are three premade characters to choose from that cannot be edited. This would be understandable if the story revolved around these specific people, but it doesn't. There are a few unique cutscenes for each character, but any player created person could have been thrown into the game.

Once the game begins, it doesn't take long for it to start falling apart. I played through as the battlemage and he starts with a few basic fire spells. Soon you get a fire mastery spell that improves all fire magic. After that, you get lightning mastery that does the same for lightning. The problem is that there are no lightning spells. Other mastery spells are unlocked, but you are never given anything but fire spells. There are also several area of effect spells that are available. The problem with these is that you will never be attacked by more than one or two enemies at a time, so these spells will not ever be useful. About halfway through the game, I started finding weapons that were far more powerful than my spells. At this point, every battle broke down to me looking at the enemy and holding down the attack button until they are dead. For the last half of the game, I never cast one spell. Since I had a ranged attack, I never even saw most of my enemies because you character can target them from the mini-map and they never appear on screen. To make matters worse, I killed the final boss with five hits without getting a scratch on me and she was only visible on screen for a few seconds. There were also countless occurrences that I couldn't decide if they were glitches or horrible design ideas. For example, every barrel containing gold in the game only spills them in 1 gold piece piles. When items later in the game cost 100,000 or more and enemies regularly drop hundreds, breaking a barrel and picking up three gold seems completely pointless. All these things made the adventure feel like it was created by quickly slapping itself over the framework of a much more fleshed out game.

The followers in the game are basically useless. There is about a three second delay from the time you get attacked and the time your follower joins the battle. Most enemies are weak enough that you can just about always kill them before your follower jumps in. Sometimes they will get the sudden urge to actually attack an enemy, but they don't choose the closest one and will run away and get killed. One of the followers you can choose is a pack mule that is supposed to allow you to hold more supplies but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to hand items over to him. The only follower worth anything is the healer because she does a good job of staying out of the fight and making sure your health is full. I have a feeling that she is the only one that anyone will ever use.

Throne of Agony plays from an isometric view with the camera locked in position. It isn't close enough to really enjoy the graphics, which are rather good if you hold your PSP an inch from your face. It isn't far enough out to be able to see much of the action and you will constantly be attacked by enemies off screen. The camera also can't be rotated if a part of the environment gets in your way. There is also no map for the dungeons and each is so randomly constructed that it would have been extremely helpful. There is a mini-map onscreen, but it only shows your immediate surroundings.

Though the graphics look nice, they are just about all taken straight from the PC versions of Dungeon Siege. Aside from major people key to the story, there are no original character models for this title. The cutscenes and character's portraits for conversations are totally out of place. They are hand drawn cartoons that would be more at home in the Sunday paper. They don't look bad, but the style is completely wrong for the game. Nothing about the game really pushes the envelope for the PSP, but that doesn't stop the constant loading pauses. Putting on a new piece of armor, switching followers, or simply walking more than one hundred feet into a dungeon will result in the game freezing for several seconds. Loading the world map also brings up an excessively long loading screen. The map is simply all brown with a few hand drawn icons to mark the points of interest, but for some reason it still needs a thirty second loading screen.

The game has some interesting ideas, but absolutely zero of them are actually fleshed out. It appears to have been designed by taking Dungeon Siege on PC, removing the party based gameplay, and making it as much like Diablo as possible without spending too much money. If a game breaks down to me running toward red dots on the mini-map and holding down a button until it disappears, I have to feel that there is something better I can be doing with my time.