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Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of the Ancient Arts
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Hudson Entertainment
Developer: Hudson
Genre: Action RPG
Format: Cartridge
Release: US 02/12/08
Japan 11/15/07

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Choose from 3 different classes and 3 different races.
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The map screen and inventory system on display.
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Navigate to different areas as you progress.
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Interact with townspeople and get quests.
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Damian Thomas
First Look Preview
Damian Thomas

A long time ago, back in the days of the PC Engine, Hudson released a neat little titled called Dungeon Explorer. More or less a rip-off of Gauntlet, it nevertheless brought some innovative features such as the ability to backtrack to former locations, a password system/file cabinet feature to save your game, and a whole host of playable professions, each with its own shooting styles, speeds, attack levels, magic effects, etc. Recently, the game got a re-release on Nintendoís Virtual Console.

Now, Hudson is poised to release a new Dungeon Explorer game, entitled Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of the Ancient Arts. You play the savior of the kingdom of Westaria, out to save it from the evil Demon Lord, using the ancient fighting techniques of the land. While the backstory isnít particularly impressive, the game promises to provide quests for your character along his or her journey to defeat the aforementioned baddie.

The gameplay is all realtime action, with sword-swinging, magic casting, and maneuvering done in an 3/4 overhead view through dungeons, caves, and overworld environments. There seems to be a variety of terrain from the preview video, and things such as landscape seems to play an important role in some of the puzzles that populate the world. Warriors of the Ancient Arts promises deeply customizable character growth, providing 60 fighting techniques from 8 schools to learn. Players will be able to mix and match or specialize depending on his or her preference. There is also a managed inventory, weapons, armor, and items to deal with.

In addition to the single player mode, however, there also happens to be a multi-player mode, courtesy of the DSís Wi-Fi capabilities. Up to two other friends can join you in your adventure, to rid the world of evil, although if this installment of the franchise is anything like the original, players might find it a hassle to progress when one player is holding up the screen.

Graphically, the game is very pixilated up close, and compared with the PSP version of the game, it definitely shows a difference. The character models are recognizable for what they are for the most part, but there's no arguing that this won't be the prettiest game you play on the system.

Fans of the original Dungeon Explorer will probably want to check out Warriors of the Ancient Arts, as the game seems to carry on the tradition of its progenitor. It releases on February 12.


© 2008 Hudson Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

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