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Platform

GameBoy Advance

 

Genre

Role-Playing

 

Publisher

Infogrames

 

Developer

Pronto Games

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- If you like D&D old-school (really old-school) gaming, this is the game for you
- Deep magic and spellcasting system
- Cool D&D storyline

 

 

- Confusing isometric-view combat
- Ugly graphics
- Wonít appeal to most of todayís gamers

 

 

Review: Super Mario Advance (GBA)

Review: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (GC)

Review: Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (GBA)

 

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D&D: Eye of the Beholder

Score: 5.9 / 10

 

eye of the beholder gba review         eye of the beholder gba review

 

In the early days of PC gaming, the world of the pen-and-paper classic Dungeons & Dragons made its way off the paper and onto the computer monitor. Back then, D&D fans didnít care what a game such as D&D: Eye of the Beholder looked like, as long as they got the opportunity to bring their D&D world to life on the PC. And admittedly, for the computer technology of the time, the graphics werenít too bad. Also, the detail and complexity that went into the turn-based role-playing gameplay of D&D realm-based PC games was right out of their pen-and-paper games that they were used to. Because of that, these PC games enjoyed a successful run.

But that was then, and strategy games are all grown up now, taking advantage of todayís PC, home console, and handheld system power to not only provide a richer

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- GameBoy Advance Game Reviews

- Role-Playing Game Reviews

- Games Published by Infogrames

sensual experience but also in most cases, even a better RPG gameplay adventure. Slow-moving, time-consuming turn-based strategy games still have their fans, but thereís also plenty of gameplayers that prefer quick-decisioned, on-the-fly real-time strategy gameplay instead, which you wonít find in Eye of the Beholder for the Game Boy Advance.

Fundamentally, Eye of the Beholder doesnít have any major flaws.

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But the game suffers because it hasnít aged very well, being unable to measure up to the standards of todayís games, especially in its looks. Graphically, the game is butt-ugly, especially when you are traveling in the jaggy-infested dungeons. If youíve ever played the original Doom or better yet, Wolfenstein 3-D, the graphics are along those lines, only slightly worse. I know this is a ported game, but at least the developers could have cleaned up the dungeon visuals a bit. The cut-scene are actually not too bad, but the characters in the fight encounters look like nothing more than a bunch of stick figures. This is one generally bad-looking game.

The game thrusts you into the D&D world of the City of Splendors, Waterdeep. Gameplay can be broken down as follows: Create a dungeon-exploring party, take them into the recesses of Waterdeep, and battle the various creatures and inhabitants in turn-based strategy using magic spells and weapons to either defeat them and move on or get defeated and die an ignominious death.

 

eye of the beholder gba review         eye of the beholder gba review

 

You will need to study the game manual pretty heartily to get a grip on all the complexities of the spellcasting, hit point, and characterís attribute information the game requires you to play. Even learning the basics of how to move, attack, and cast spells in combat mode takes plenty of studying. If you like reading tons of game manual information before even playing a game, then Eye of the Beholder is right up your creature-infested alley.

One good feature that the game includes is the ability to create your own custom-designed character. Again, if you can deal with a meticulous learning curve before you even start playing and deliberate, drawn-out turn-based gameplay, thereís nothing fundamentally wrong with how Eye of the Beholder plays, although its isometric perspective during combat is somewhat bothersome. Just donít expect any resemblance to the frenzied action of a real-time strategy game to pop up here.

Eye of the Beholder is a good port of an old game. But unfortunately, the GBA game in question just doesnít have what it takes to attract a newer-generation gamer, or for that matter retain the interest of an older-generation gamer who might have actually played the game when it first appeared on PCs. I honestly donít think there are many gamers that would be looking for this type of game out there, especially on the GBA.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(March 16, 2003)

 

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