Crawling Away From This Dungeon

Based on the PSN game of the same name that was inspired by the popular Dungeon Hunter iOS series, Dungeon Hunter: Alliance has you play as a wise and benevolent king who falls apart at the sudden death of his beloved queen. Not willing to accept this, he dabbles in the dark arts to resurrect his wife, but changing one’s fate can have consequences and the queen carries within her now a dark presence. Upon her reanimation she betrays her king and stabs him to death. Now 25 years have past and the king has been resurrected by fairy magic in order to free his kingdom that has suffered for long enough under the oppressive thumb of his former bride.

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance is done in the classic dungeon crawler style akin to games like Gauntlet Legends, but has a lot more side quests and a central hub that help the game from becoming as linear as those arcade action styled games of old. There is also the positive of being able to play with up to three of your friends as you choose from your typical classes of Warriors, Rogues, and Mages. The hack ‘n’ slash game play is everything you’ve come to expect from the genre and adding in the portability and multiplayer compatibility of the Vita are nice, but this game is far from perfect.

Although fun to play at first, the action does get repetitive quickly and the item system is sloppy at best as there is no easy way to organize the many items you pick up along the way in your adventure. The graphics also aren’t anything particularly special as even though the characters seem to have been done in great detail, they exist in a bland and generic world that will have you get turned more than once as every dungeon and town you visit look exactly the same as the last.

The biggest negative for the game though probably lies in the price point. The only difference you’re getting between this $40 game and the $15 PSN version that has had numerous sales and promotions for it since it became available last April is the fact that the game is now obviously portable. And if you played the $5 iOS games that are a part of this series, then you’ll know exactly what to expect as well as the formula hasn’t changed at all from there either. So although the game had a few bright spots, it’s hard to recommend a game in the already flooded list of launch titles for the Vita when you can get the same game for less than half the price via another means of distribution.

SUMMARY: Solid dungeon crawler action is held back by monotonous game play and a cluttered loot system, but most of all a price point at $40 that is more than double the PSN price for virtually the same game.

  • THE GOOD: Classic dungeon crawler action
  • THE BAD: Cluttered item system and generic game play
  • THE UGLY: Another example of a barely upgraded iOS game that is clearly overpriced on the Vita

SCORE: 5.0

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance is a PS Vita exclusive.