As one of the first RPGs on the Playstation Vita, Dungeon Hunter Alliance offers RPG fans a taste of what they are going to be like on the new handheld. Dungeon Hunter Alliance is a third-person, dungeon-crawling, action-RPG which was simultaneously released on the Vita and the Playstation 3 as a downloadable title. Though this game does not bring anything new to the genre, it is a competent game that will offer some fun to those that decide to invest in the franchise.
The game starts as you, the king of the realm, are murdered. After some time has passed, you are resurrected with the hopes that you can destroy the new threat facing your kingdom. It is a straightforward story, and something that we’ve seen before, but luckily, you get right into the action without much delay.
If you played Diablo, you should feel right at home with this title. At the beginning of the game, you choose between a Mage, Warrior, or Rogue. Each class has its own benefits and stat modifications. Warriors are suited for dealing heavy damage and have a defensive bonus, Mages use magic attacks and have lots of magic reserves, and Rogues are a hybrid of melee and magic. Each time you level up, you are given two points to add to your attributes. You also get one skill point, which allows you to learn new attacks or spells. It is a relatively standard RPG system, and fairly straightforward.
From this point, you run around dungeon after dungeon, killing monsters and collecting loot. Though this is not a new concept, there is still a lot of fun to be had. The progression from dungeon to dungeon is smooth, and you always find better loot along the way to your goal. Your character does change appearance when you get new itemss so finding a cool-looking helmet is fun and rewarding in its own way. There is also a co-op mode included with the game that you allows you to play with up to four of your friends in “ad hoc” mode. This also works well and can be lots of fun.
Unfortunately, there are some issues with this game that extend past the gameplay. There are two versions of the game that co-exist with the Vita version: a PSN title and a stripped down iOS version. The PSN version is the same game as the Vita title, without the Vita control schemes. The PSN and iOS versions of the game are less than half the cost of the Vita game. When you take that into consideration, it kills any value gained on the platform. Though this does not take away from the fact that Dungeon Hunter Alliance is an enjoyable game, it’s hard to look past the price and the fact that you can get the same experience on a different platform for significantly less money.
There are some differences between the Vita game and the other versions, but they mostly exist in the control scheme. The Vita version successfully bridges the gap between the PSN title and the iOS title. It has the graphics and gameplay of the PSN title, while integrating the touch controls from the iOS title. The touch integration is limited to secondary tasks, like inventory management and bringing up your map. Despite its simplicity, it works well and is a vast improvement over the PSN version of the title.
Unfortunately, there are other Vita control integrations that do not work as well as the touch mechanics. This game utilizes the accelerometer and the rear touch pad, but both features do not work all that well. The accelerometer is used when your player gets stunned by an enemy. Once stunned, you are prompted to shake the Vita to regain your senses. When you are in the heat of battle, shaking the Vita limits your vision of the battlefield and leads to you taking more damage or getting stunned again. The rear touch pad is mapped to your fairy companion, and you use this fairy to find hidden treasure or attack enemies. The problem here is that the rear touch pad is awkward to manipulate while fighting. The time spent trying to line up the fairy is needed to attack or defend against your enemies.
Though there are some inherent flaws in the transition from the PSN to the Vita, Dungeon Hunter Alliance is a solid dungeon crawler. If you are in the market for a decent RPG, then this game would be a decent place to find a scratch to the itch. However, due to the large difference in price between this version and other similar versions, it is hard to recommend this title on this platform. The best way to approach this game is get it on the PSN and play it with your friends; you are sure to have a blast.
[xrr rating=6/10, max_stars=10]
This review is based on a review copy of the Playstation Vita version of Dungeon Hunter Alliance provided by Ubisoft