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Classic Dungeon preview + new scans

By Heath | February 24, 2010 at 9:43 am

Nippon Ichi’s Classic Dungeon appropriately draws comparisons to From Software’s 3D Dot Game Heroes, as both are new games inentionally sporting an old (or “classic”) style — and they’re even going to share a bit of overlaping content.

But the visuals aren’t the only “classic” throwback in Classic Dungeon; its gameplay also draws undeniable influence from early dungeon-crawlers (or modern day Mysterious Dungeon titles). The main difference is that Classic Dungeon is made for the new generation’s gamer, which is my PR guy way of saying “it’s way easier.” The harsh death penalties of Nethack and Shiren the Wanderer are toned down in Classic Dungeon, and other elements of the Roguelike subgenre have been eased up as well. That’s not to say it’s devoid of challenge, though, as pesky traps still manifest.


Part of the easing up in difficulty comes in the game preserving one’s level and equipment in the event of KO. The chcracter is warped out, but still has the items and EXP that had been gained up to the point of defeat. Some purists have complained about other games that have used this feature, so potential players: you have been warned. The above is not to say the game is devoid of challenge, though.
Combat in Classic Dungeon is more action-based than that of most dungeon crawls. That is to say, one could hold still and carefully consider his next move(s) before, because enemies would move one space for every space the character moved. Not so in Classic Dungeon; bad guys roam freely in real time, and will give chase as soon as the party is detected, like an action RPG.

Other departures, perhaps rendering the game’s title ironic, begin to show up as one goes along. For example, for as long as this writer can remember, being able to jump in a 2D dungeon crawler (and 90% of RPGs in general) was unheard of, but in Classic Dungeon, the player can hop at will — and even should be jumping at certain times, such as avoiding a trap. As well, for some arbitrary reason, HP can be dealt with in decimal points. Seriously, one can swing a sword and watch the hit connect for 11.44 HP. It’s essentially the same as a 4-digit system, but handled differently, which is interesting. Funny how we blink at decimal points but wouldn’t think anything of a comma, even though to us as players, it’s all the same deal.

Classic Dungeon gains some notability with a deep characterization system and oodles of equipment, as well as that unspoken Nippon Ichi charm. Perhaps the title is in part Nippon Ichi referencing itslef and remembering its own “good old days” while it reminds gamers of theirs (I mean hey, the Disgaea cast can be created as playable characters in the game).

Classic Dungeon is out now in Japan and not yet officially announced for release in other territories.

Topics: Classic Dungeon, Nippon Ichi, Previews