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Old 01-21-2003, 10:21 AM   #30
Icarus4578
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Gauntlet's illegitimate son...?

Dungeon Explorer - TurboGrafx 16 - Rating 5
The first thought that entered my mind when I first laid my eyes upon Dungeon Explorer was Gauntlet. That's because both games play and look very similar to each other, and Hudson Soft was clearly influenced by the design of Gauntlet.
DE is a top-down dungeon crawler game that is more action than adventure. You begin by selecting which kind of character you'd like to play as: fighter, thief, dwarf, etc. just like Gauntlet, each with his/her specific means of attack (swords, knives, axes, etc. all are projectiles) and each character has their own unique starting stats. You build up stats by finding the appropriate items (i.e. the shoes increase agility). The only way to level-up is to get the ORA stones that the bosses leave behind when you defeat them, and leveling-up is the only means of increasing your max HP -- there's no MP meter. You can collect potions that you can use anytime to double your defenses temporarily, and skulls which do the same to your attacks. Oh, and it's also 1-5 players at once, though I suggest you max out at two or three because this game will slow down to a crawl and that's not gonna be much fun.
Basically you get briefed by the king to return all the ORA stones and it's off you go on a killing spree. You head south from the castle and you're right at the first dungeon. And from there the game pretty much goes from dungeon to brief visit in the town (there's only one town really, aside from a few houses scattered around here and there), back to a dungeon, etc. The game isn't long either, but what it does it does well enough. Each dungeon has its own design which isn't ever anything too impressive, its own enemies and boss (sometimes more than 1), and each has its own piece of music. Some pieces of music are well-done, or at the very least interesting. The TurboGrafx sound is crystal clear and is superior in many ways to the Genesis, though the TG16 is actually an 8-bit system with a 16-bit graphics processor.
There's a password system so you can always resume from where you left off, but on the downside all your powers (aside from level and HP) go back down if you use one.
There's a hidden character you can play as by imputting a specific password given to you at one point in the game, though it's nothing to get too excited about. There's also a trick you do with a password that will let you start not only beyond full-power -- you can even walk through walls, on roofs, water, or pretty much anything (except for some gates, which you can simply walk around) and that means you can go straight to the final boss right from the start! Coolness!
Hudson Soft released a sequel for the PC Engine CD (also plays on TurboDuo, at least on mine) which pretty much looks and plays the same, albeit with cinemas and CD-quality audio.
In the end, DE plays, looks and sounds decent. So I guess that's what this game is: decent. Not bad, but not excellent. Decent.

Here's every code ~ http://www.gamewinners.com/TG/DungeonExplorer.htm and this just happens to be a very useful site as well so check it out. ;)

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-22-2004 at 09:04 AM.
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