Dungeon Party Review
By Joshua Temblett (Dontkillmydreams), OnRPG Journalist
Dungeon Party is the first game in a long time that I've had real problems reviewing. It's not the game's fault that I've had these issues it's just that it's so unique, and indescribable that no matter what I write about it, I won't be able to do it justice. What I will say though is that you won't find an MMO like this anywhere else on the market. As soon as you've downloaded this game, you'll know what I mean and you certainly won't regret it.
Time for a real Party
There isn't much of a story in this MMO (apart from a few character descriptions) so I'm just going to dive straight in and talk about the gameplay. Dungeon Party is a fun and interesting title that attempts to fill the gap left by the free-2-play market. Instead of focusing on a persistent world and the various variables that make up games in the genre (such as exploring, gaining permanent levels and equipment), Cyanide, the developers, have opted for a different approach by just focusing on PVP. Instead of joining a world filled with many players, you join a waiting room (with about 2-10 other people) and then begin playing.
The concept for battles is intriguing, your team has to grab the incredibly personified treasure and take it to the end of the level. But wait, there's more. You need to make the chest happy and feel loved before you can win the game. You do this by fighting bosses and carrying it. I know it sounds simple but there are a lot of things going on during the frantic fights with the other team. First off there are traps decorated around the entire map, meaning that it's not as simple as just walking up to the treasure and taking it. Bosses, and mini bosses, also fill the map and by killing these not only do you gain experience (more about that later) but they're one less thing to worry about. Last but by no means least are the mini games that occur randomly during gameplay.
The name "mini games" may be a bit deceiving so allow me to explain. At any point during the round the chest can declare a mini-game, these are small events that change the general gameplay experience. These events include things such as the screen turning upside down and your characters not being able to use magic. Even though the effects are fairly insignificant, they do make the game much more exciting and if you play Dungeon Party regularly you'll be more than happy when these alterations pop up.
What class you choose also impacts your play style and your role in the party. There are three classes the Thief, Executioner and the Wizard. There is also a fourth class, the Bard, however you have to pay to unlock it. You can customise your characters looks and add various pieces of "bling" to your avatar.
Earlier in this article I mentioned experienced points, let me elaborate a bit on this. You only gain levels during rounds, and you start at level one at the beginning of each match. At the start of each game you'll be able to choose a skill or two but when you fight monsters you'll gain experience and then when you level up you gain a skill point which can be used to unlock more skills. Most skills traditionally cost one point, however the more powerful spells costs two points. The more you fight monsters and engage in combat, the more skills you'll have (although you can only have a maximum of five).
If you haven't realised already, there's certainly a lot going on at any given time, however it doesn't feel that way in game. Dungeon Party is a deep game that is accessible to everyone and anyone, the fact you never feel over whelmed whilst playing the game is only a testimony to its brilliant design. The game is all about playing for fun's sake, not for new weapons and a higher level. Whilst you can earn titles and there are guilds, the only incentive you'll get for returning to the game is its unique and very enjoyable gameplay.
When I first entered Dungeon Party I was surprised by just how beautiful the world looked, not only that but it has its own style that fills the world with individuality (something that is a rarity now days in our genre). From the monsters that try to kill you, to the characters you play, everything looks great especially with the soft glow that surrounds them.
The levels are designed perfectly and you'll never find yourself getting bored of one particular map, which could have something to do with the excellent use of colour and the level layout. A unique theme runs throughout each level, such as a volcano theme, or a pirate theme. You'll quickly find your favourite type of map. There are also various crates, which if picked up and thrown will do Area of Effect damage or debuff/buff the character around the area.
Find Your Favorite Type of Map
Musically the game is supported by a light jazz score that suits the humour in the game. After a while though you may find the music just becomes annoying noise in the background, however the interesting sound is just one of the many things that makes Dungeon Party different from every other MMO.
One of the most important factors about any MMORPG is the community that backs it, unfortunately for Dungeon Party; this aspect of the game is probably the weakest. This is probably due to lacklustre marketing scheme that hasn't supported the game whatsoever. In fact this is so much of a issue that a variety of times I have had problems even getting into a game, with it sometimes taking at least ten minutes to get into a match after joining a waiting room. From what I can understand the game also uses Peer 2 Peer. Surely with this in mind it would be much better to have a match making system to aid the room system that's already in place.
Generally the people you play with will be French, however there are a few English people playing the game. It'll be very interesting to see what happens to the community in six months time, as it does feel very baron at the moment.
Dungeon Party is a unique experience that focuses on fun, rather than on grinding and gaining new items. Whilst it still feels like the game has some growing to do before it becomes a "must play" title and truly evolves into a great MMO, the premise is there and this game has more originality in it than the vast majority of MMORPGs on the market. One of the most unique and different online rpgs I've ever played and if you're looking for something new, then make sure you check out Dungeon Party.
- Unique and fun.
- No grind.
- It's funny.
- The graphics are gorgeous.
- Level design is top notch.
- It's community is fairly small.
- It can be hard to get into a game sometimes.