Wednesday, October 04, 2006

PSP Review: Chronicle of Dungeon Maker

Japanese customers of are showering Taito's ill-titled PSP game Chronicle of Dungeon Maker with praise. They love building their own dungeons room-by-room, and running through the dungeon hundreds of times over to exterminate all the monsters that loiter inside. The game follows a rather suspect premise: the player, as a generic knight-in-armor type, must build a dungeon (a gulag, if you will) outside the town. As soon as the first rooms are completed, however, a group (perhaps I should say "an insurgency") of monsters start to appear and the player must fight them over there so that he doesn't have to fight them over here. Before you know it, the player is bogged down in a seemingly inescapeable quagmire of extremist goblins and slime-o-fascists.

As fun as it should be to clean out the same slowly growing dungeon over and over again, hoarding valuable items (like, for example -- oooh! -- yet another pair of fur pants!) so that you can sell them to the funny-looking weapons shop owner and use the money to buy more dungeon parts, I can't help but feel that dungeons, by their very nature, are boring. The dungeons in this game are no exception. Sure, the player can build his own "dream dungeon," but he is limited by rigid adherence to right angles and a selection of room and hallway types that is far more limited than it should be.

In writing this review, however, I face a dilemma because, while the dungeons are boring, the music is stupid and the monsters are not much more imaginative then the standard RPG rabble of skeletons and bats, I keep playing. The same ultramagnetic draw that keeps audiences coming back for Animal Crossing, The Sims and other "games" that seem more like work than play seems to be at work in Chronicle of Dungeon Maker. I am probably a fool for playing this game as much as I have.

Technorati: Chronicle of Dungeon Maker, The Sims, Animal Crossing

No comments: