Buy this game.

User Rating: 9 | Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale X360
If you like action RPGs like Diablo, where there is much experience to gain and loot to plunder, you MUST play this game. That's really about all there is to it.

Plus, it's co-op! Both online and local, meaning you and up to 4 friends can plop on your couch and all play on the same screen! Lots of fun to be had with co-op.

To go a little deeper, I'll talk about the various aspects of RPGs that I find important.

Let's start with the story. The story is nicely done. As any other RPG, quests propel you along the main path, and there are a few sidequests along the way as well to gain extra experience and loot. But the main story is told through quests and you will meet several important characters on your journey who can help you. The characters are cool and the story has good pacing so you are constantly wanting to play a little more to see what happens next.

The writing and dialog is quality. I enjoyed it because it mostly is simple and straight to the point. There isn't a lot of BS to read through (yes, you do read the text in this game, there is no voice acting, only during cutscenes), every bit of dialog is simple and to the point. "Go do this for me because this happened, and I'll do this for you." End of transaction. There's something to be said about being "elegant" and simple and this game pulls that off pretty well.

Next, the gameplay itself. Gameplay is standard hack n' slash fare. You mash the attack button to kill off hordes of enemies, occasionally pressing a button on your controller that activates a special ability that helps you kill more efficiently. Occasionally you can dodge or block an attack, but it's mostly button mashing. It's simple and fun. If you like Diablo's gameplay, you will like Daggerdale's gameplay.

There is a general theme that is carried out in this game, and that is of elegance and simplicity. Everything in the game is simple to pull off. From attacking enemies, to using your skills, to comparing loot, it's all done very well. When you want to buy a fancy new item from a merchant, you simply look at it and you can easily compare it to what you're using. Simple. Elegant. That type of simplicity is present in the entire game. Everything in the game is easy to do.

But that's not to say the game isn't challenging, either. You will most definitely be consuming many health potions as you try to fend off waves of enemies. Get surrounded and you could be in trouble, unless you're a tank, of course. The game has a reasonable amount of challenge, though I would prefer a few higher difficulty levels to choose from, or a harder initial difficulty. It's not the hardest game, but it's not a complete push-over, either. It's somewhere in the middle leaning towards the easier side.

It should also be said that the game has a wonderful "flow" to it. You are constantly progressing the story, unlocking new areas to explore, new quests, and in general it does a great job of pacing you through everything. It never got bland or boring in the 12 or so hours I spent with it. It even introduces new elements and new little twists that you wouldn't expect to happen in a game like this. You can tell that pacing was very important to Bedlam Games when they made this game.

Anyway, back to the categories. Graphics and sound. The graphics are nice. Not much more to be said here, but they look good and they do the job. The sound is sufficient and all the clangs and thuds of battle are well represented.

Loot. The loot is a ton of fun. Again, if you like picking up items like the "Burning Greatsword of Slaughter +2", you will love the loot in this game. It's similar to Diablo where the enemies explode loot upon their death for you to pick up and either equip or trade off at a merchant. It's a fun system of constantly upgrading that makes playing the game addictive and fun.

Finally, character customization. There is plenty of customization in the form of armor, weapons, rings and amulets, as well as skills, passive traits and "ability scores" such as strength, dexterity, charisma, etc., to play around with. It's a "meaty" experience in that it gives you a lot to chew on if you're a fan of leveling up your character and gaining new skills and abilities to use, and getting to put that one point of strength in so you do just that much more damage in battle. Quite simply, it's very fun in this aspect.

It should also be noted that there are 4 classes to choose from, so there is some replay value if you would like to experiment with each class and see how the playstyles differ.

So that's about it. If you're still reading this, do yourself a favor and buy this game. It's only $15 on Xbox Live Arcade. However, it should be noted that this is not a long game. It took me and my dad playing co-op around 10-12 hours to beat, though it might take you more if you are the type that likes to grind for the highest levels and best loot. They give you the option to grind, but it's not necessary if you don't want to do it. Best of both worlds.

Pick this game up now! It's well worth it.