Of course, the latter does have one thing Fate doesn’t: co-op play both on the one Xbox and over Xbox Live. The game is definitely more fun with another player, and kudos to Wanako for having the sense to include the ability to screen online games by player level and by quests already completed, then letting you use progress made in co-op games to further your progress offline,l and visa-versa. However, drop-in, drop-out co-op would have been even better, given the casual audience, as would being able to play with more than one comrade. With four players, more expansive dungeons, customisable characters and a faster pace, Arkadian Warriors might have been a riot – the casual Diablo that just about everyone has been waiting for. As it is, it’s an entertaining distraction, but not the sort of thing to drag you away from Halo 3 or PGR4.
And overall I’m left feeling that Arkadian Warriors is a missed opportunity. Given the price it still offers decent value for money for a few hours of simplistic fun, but it could have been so much more. There is a market for a basic, accessible action RPG on Live Arcade, and there is definitely a market for one with multiplayer features that people could play together on Xbox Live. If one emerged, I know quite a few ex-Diablo and Dungeon Siege fans who would be only too happy to pick it up – particularly if the price were right. If you only have a 360 and you’re desperate for a dungeon crawl, then Arkadian Warriors will just about the job. If you have even a basic PC, however, then you’ll already have better options open to you. Arkadian Warriors is only a half-decent dungeon crawl and – even at less than £7 – half-decent just ain’t good enough.
There’s nothing wrong with a dungeon crawl, but there is something wrong with one as simplistic and repetitive as this. The low price and co-op play are enticing, but this is definitely one to enjoy in small amounts.