What’s important, then, is whether Arkadian Warriors delivers the same sort of addictive gameplay we expect from a decent dungeon crawler. Well, it is very simple – and that’s both a strength and a weakness. You can pick up and start hacking and slashing very quickly, and it is quite good fun in short doses. However, after an hour or two has gone by you’ll work out that the only real skill is in a) remembering to use the health potions b) picking the right weapon to assault the right monster and c) knowing when to use the transform power for maximum effect. There are no tricky puzzles to work out, and the only reason to engage your brain in-dungeon is to work out where you are and where you are going amidst some very generic scenery indeed.
The three playable characters each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The warrior is a tough melee fighter but has no ranged attacks, The archer has ranged attacks, but is vulnerable up close. The Sorceress has more powerful magical attacks, and can handle herself to some degree both at range and in melee. However, once you get used to these characteristics you won’t find that the gameplay changes much from quest to quest, and the quests themselves aren’t that exciting. Do you still love ‘kill and collect’ quests or ‘slay the evil boss’ missions? Then Arkadian Warriors is perfect for you. If, however, you crave any sort of variety, then you’re going to find it a slog after a while. I’ve yet to find a dungeon with a really memorable theme or any sort of dramatic scenery, and while the monsters generally get bigger or more numerous or more threatening, there’s not quite the development there you might have wished for.
Yes, there is still something strangely addictive about the whole business of levelling up, buying new armour and new weapons then getting back down there to batter roaming beasts, but you’ve almost certainly played other games that do it so much better. And while there are some nice ideas – like the sword that transforms foes into manically fleeing chickens with every blow – Fate had quite a few more. In fact, looking back at my review of the aforementioned, I’m struck by how many cool ideas it implemented in comparison to Arkadian Warriors. From fishing to item upgrades to your ever-present, every-useful companion, the dog, Fate seemed to have an inventiveness that Arkadian Warriors entirely lacks.
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