Dungeon Defenders, Alice Retruns and very breif look at Frayed Knights

Another week and more games.

Dungeon Defenders: Another of the Tower defense 3rd person shooters. Much like last weeks Orcs Must Die you place towers/traps and defend against goblins/orcs/and all manner of Tolkien like baddies. I had been watching this one for almost a year and was quite eager to play it. This game gives you 4 different types of player, a mage, a warrior, a archer and a monk. I assumed I could play one and build them up and play the others for a different game experience. This was my first incorrect assumption, and also has tainted my enjoyment of the game. THIS IS NOT THE games fault but is my own for assuming. While playing the levels you will need to SWAP between characters (during or in between) rounds. Each character has different types of towers (traps). The mage is the powerhouse, his towers do big damage and are ranged, but can be knocked down fairly easy. The Warrior drops towers that only do melee damage so enemies can avoid them , but these towers take a beating. The Archer is a mixed bag of traps so to speak and the Monk is stranger yet, he heals and debuffs.. So a mixture of towers is required. Keep in mind each character can fight one on one with the enemies too, but I found the Warrior was quite simply the best.. He mowed um down and took a beating. Each wave has a setup time (it won’t start till you let it) and each level has waves. The entry ways the enemies come in are clearly labeled before each round and even include enemy types and amounts (almost overkill, I do like knowing the doors they can come through, but the exact amounts seemed to be almost to much info, but as almost all doors have equal amounts (in the early rounds) its not a huge deal). Setup of towers before rounds is easy, and yes you can set them up in battle (as well as heal them and upgrade them) but it’s quite slow in battle. There are also chests around the levels that have tower buying money and items to upgrade your character. These refresh every level; cash was not a problem for me. I did not like the swapping character part, but those wanting a DEEP gameplay style may enjoy this. I felt it slowed it down. The setup between rounds is already kinda repetitive. You need to open all chests between ( or during) rounds or you will miss out on the currency.. so not only do you have to do that between every round, you have to run back to your “protection” point to swap between characters. Made the setup stages seem slow to me. I believe this game is really geared for online play which this problem would eliminate.
Overall it’s fun, colorful and appears a bit deeper than most tower defense games, the online part is fun and where the game shines, the solo play is fun also, but is hampered by the character switch game style.

ALICE-The Madness returns: I was a fan of the first Alice game My American Mcgee, it was one of the earliest games to take the FPS to some weird locations and it worked well. He has changed up the twisted world of Alice in Wonderland enough to make you take note and made the FPS game seem somewhat new again. Sadly the new Alice game while colorful and twisted enough to hold my interest some is just far too dull nowadays. The gameplay is 3rd person with a KEY PRESS to go into first person which I disliked. The 3rd person shooting felt far to “lose” to me, I never felt like I was in control and almost felt like I was a step behind my enemies. Being several of them are shorter than Alice and one of the primary shooting guns is a PEPPER pot (fairly large pepper grinder) it’s easy to lose track of an enemy who is right beside you. It’s a First person game played in 3rd person and it just doesn’t work for me. There are jumping puzzles which do work well in 3rd person and would be hard in first person. The game uses a lock on feature for enemies (works well) but it slows Alice to a crawl and after enemies are dead it’s still on so you have to toggle it off with a jump or something (possibly my lack of understanding here and maybe it shuts off other ways). I’m not saying it’s a bad game yet, but the couple hours I did put in had far too many jump or die puzzles (thankfully the penalty is just continuing), I was frustrated with the shooting mechanic and my lack of feeling “aware” of my surroundings.. I always felt the game was hard as I just couldn’t get a grasp on where my enemies where without constant aim killing spinning. I plan on giving this one more time as there are some ideas in the game that are worth pursuing and seeing if they are used better. I like the game for style and look, but some game mechanics are putting me off. The uniqueness of the Alice in wonderland world are no longer as unique but I cant fault a game for being a repeat of itself (when I must admit I liked the first) and what I feel are cumbersome controls others will maybe enjoy.
SO overall again, I won’t recommend or not recommend, it’s worth a look depending on gaming budget and the type of games you enjoy. It IS A First/3rd person shooter with some twisted graphics.

Frayed knights: This one is hard for me as it’s an Indie game for a slightly higher than Indy price (opinion) but on recommendations from (AA) here which I respect I figured I would give it a try. My playtime on it has been far too short to judge it at all so take this with that in mind. The game actually reminds me a lot of an old PS2 rpg I enjoyed Baroque (I’m sure the author would disagree) the rooms are old school 3D with just enough clutter (chairs/desks/etc) to make them seem more then generic square rooms. The enemies actually move around (unlike most old school RPG’s where they were static sprites to bump into to start combat. This leads to (I’m assuming) sneak attacks later in the game if you do not fully explore and pay attention to moving monsters paths. My first glance at the monsters was so-so also, but with a little play they grew on me. To be honest the first monster encountered is a (how do you put it) snot monster? flowing liquid type thing.. So it’s not supposed to be all glitz. The Monks/priests after it are more impressive. But I noticed a specific style to the monsters, part cartoony, part Gumby, part old school.. SO far again I like it. Far too early to make any real judgments and I will post later more on it.