Poor graphics and no sound
Anannya Sens Review
Turn based fighting game which doesn't have any frills about it but is nonetheless enjoyable to play.
Warriors could have been such a great game. If the developers had spent a bit more time adding some of the essentials it would have won a higher award, but as it stands there is a sliver of a great game in what is essentially a bit frustrating.
The game is a turn based fighting game which plays exactly like the old D&D sessions that I *ahem* may have attended once or twice. Basically you have many classes of character such as Paladin, Guardian, Ninja, Mage, Gladiator, Archer, Stormcaller etc. These classes contain 5 characters in each with slightly different attributes (overall they approximate pretty similarly, if one is strong they're usually not quick and vice versa). and the different classes contain different abilities. The fighters just have strength on their side whereas others can cast magic, protect spells and heal as well. You have to pick 3 characters to control against another 3 characters.
Once you've picked, you get presented with a battle screen where you can see all the fighters. The characters are small cute versions with large heads and little bodies which kind of detracts a little from the combat nature of the game. Still, they are well drawn and each look suitably different enough for you to distinguish between the character types. The settings option allows you to change and save the skill level that you play on. There are 3 which are Rookie, Advanced or Expert. That's it. There is no sound option, language option or anything else for that matter. And what was really annoying was that there is no pause option, the right shoulder button makes you exit the game pretty much at any time. The combat screen contains the fighters, with your fighters on the left and the AI on the right. The fighters are in a vertical line with some cobbled stone background. When they attack they do move something, either arms or maybe a little lightning bolt / sleep spell here and there but while the animation is passable there really isn't much graphically on show here.
In fact, it's not just the graphics which are pretty thin on the ground, it's the sound as well because there isn't any sound at all. That's right, absolutely nothing. I thought these days of no sound were long gone and I was expecting a tune of some kind or at least sound effects during combat to add to the experience but zip. Nada. Bupkiss. I was really disappointed by this.
The controls are ok, you can view the attributes of the characters you select on the select screen before you add them to your team. During the game you have to use the key pad to control your character once it's your turn. When it's your turn for a character you'll get a little menu screen come up detailing what you can do. Usually 1 is for attack and 2 is for any special ability your character has like heal or guard. The option relates to the equivalent number on your keypad so press 1 to attack and you'll be given a choice of who to attack (3 opponents so press 1-3). Similarly press 2 to use your ability and then choose who to use it on. Again I have to point out that there is no pause feature which is a crying shame as during the game if it's not your turn you can't pause the game at all.
There is also no suspend or resume which is a real shocker. In fact the only good thing about this game is the fact that it is actually really fun to play. The battles you engage in are quite tactical and can often take many turns. With such a variety of characters and abilities, there is some depth to the game, do you go for all out force and pick 3 strong fighters to try and finish your enemies quickly? Or do you add a bit of magic in there with a mage? Howabout a Paladin so you can heal your party? The attributes of all the characters are described in the Strategy section which is basically the instructions. After that you have to start fighting and see.
During the game there is no save feature either so if you quit, you have to start again from scratch. The battles are quite long, even on rookie level, with some taking many many moves. The AI is pretty ruthless as well and doesn't often make a mistake. In fact, sometimes you can be tearing your hair out wondering how the AI blocked an attack from all 3 of your characters. Still, with a mix of character types in your party it becomes very strategic and I often found myself just using the healer to heal while the others concentrated on mowing down the opposition. So you can see that the basics of the game are enjoyable and a little addictive. It is a very faithful recreation of the way D&D fighting was played for real back in the days of old.
Completing rookie requires two wins, which I've now done and took a good 40 minutes of my time. I am now on Advanced but have settled on a decent party with a good mix of attack and defence and also developed a strategy which seems to work fairly well. As well as the addictive nature of the game, the more you play the better you get, there are secret teams in there as well which you unlock by getting to the fourth fight in either advanced or expert mode. Use the code given and get to the fourth stage again (somewhat easier with the secret team) and you unlock another secret team. There are 18 in total which really enhances the replay value.
The game is such a shame as it could have been really good. Better graphics, some actual sound, the ability to pause and save would have made this game very very addictive (maybe with some brief storyline or animation and repartee before and after a fight) but as it is, the addictiveness of the gameplay is the only thing it has going for it. So when playing be warned to block book a good half hour or so of your time which may cut into the D&D playing in your parent's basement with your other friends who get picked on at school.