30 Days of Xbox: Dungeons & Dragons Heroes

Or why beauty (and game value) is in the eye of the Beholder.

Though I tried many times, I could never get “in” to World of Warcraft. I’d sign up for a free account, run around for a while killing things in the introductory area, or maybe a little further beyond, and then I’d inevitably give up.

This used to confuse me, because WoW features a fantasy setting (tick!), plenty of content (tick!) and it’s broadly reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons (but not enough to pay licensing fees), which I’ve loved since I was a very young Alex. It took me some time to work it out, but a big part of why I could never quite get into WoW has to do with games like tonight’s effort, Dungeons & Dragons Heroes.

Dungeons & Dragons Heroes is an arcade style hack-and-slash game with very light RPG elements. Frankly, the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games are better, and I could have dabbled in those, but this was sitting on the shelf and I couldn’t entirely recall where it differed from the Dark Alliance games. The answer was that this is a more light, combat focused game; Gauntlet with the D&D licence, really. Which makes it ideal for this challenge, because I don’t quite have the time to go in as deep as Dark Alliance deserves.

It also reminds me, to get back to my first point about WoW, why I could never get into that game. There’s not a whole lot, gameplay-wise, between the early parts of both games, except that I would have to pay the monthly subs for WoW, whereas games like this are a one-shot deal.

Yes, I know, I know, not a MMORPG, so less social interaction. I’m fine with that; back in the day I played games like this typically with a friend sat on the sofa, sharing health potions and tossing free weapons around as and when needed. To each their own, and if you can get your value out of an MMORPG, more power to you.

Will I continue on playing Dungeons & Dragons Heroes specifically after this challenge is over? Maybe not, but it has reinvigorated my desire to play the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games, or maybe the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games that were (more or less) the last hurrah of this gameplay style on console.

Fat Duck Tech Retro Xbox Game Rankings

  1. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time
  2. Taito Legends 2
  3. Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  4. Panzer Dragoon Orta
  5. Burnout 3: Takedown
  6. Outrun 2
  7. Ninja Gaiden
  8. Black
  9. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
  10. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
  11. Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb
  12. Godzilla: Save The Earth
  13. The Punisher
  14. The Hulk
  15. SSX Tricky
  16. ToeJam & Earl III
  17. Dungeons & Dragons Heroes
  18. NFL Street
  19. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure
  20. FIFA 2004
  21. NHL Rivals 2004
  22. Rocky
  23. Spy vs Spy
  24. Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers
  25. Rugby League
  26. Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
  27. Wrestlemania 21
  28. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

A pretty easy placement. Dungeons & Dragons Heroes is fine, but it’s not really great, even though I have a deep and long-standing love of the lore on which it is based. An easy 7 Gygaxes out of 10, though.

Next time: Arguably the most racist game I own.

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