Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dillon's Rolling Western: First impressions

Well, back to a regular schedule.
Dillon's Rolling Western is a 3DS eShop game that combines elements of action/adventure with real-time tower defense. As the armadillo ranger Dillon, your job is to roll around smashing into rock monsters. Also, what happens in the artwork to the left never happens in the actual game. Now, any and all A/A games require a comparison to the series that defines that genre, The Legend of Zelda. It definitely reminds me of Zelda in the world mode in more ways that one. Considering how much I liked Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone on the PS2, that's a pretty good sign thus far. I've only played the first town right now, so I'm not sure if it does more stuff than just fight rock monsters, called Grocks. Anyways, back to comparing it to Zelda. The one I'm most reminded of is Majora's Mask, partially because of the level design, and partially because Dillon curls up in a ball and rolls around the town. Yeah, the very same mechanic that Goron Link uses to move around faster and take down enemies. You even use it to kill Grocks. It's pretty good. The game gives you time to run around collecting minerals and fruit. Then you can cash in those minerals to get money to build up the towers for tower-defense. It's minorly repetitive, in a very Majora's Mask-y kind of way. You see, even if you beat one of the towns, you still need to go back and get more stars so you can move on. I have a feeling this will become problematic in the future.
Anyways, so far I like this game. It's certainly a decent game, but I haven't even gotten into the controls yet. You use the joystick to aim in the overworld, and pull down on the touchscreen to roll. That's fine in theory, but since that mechanic was copied from Majora's Mask, which was on the N64, they could have easily use button presses for it. Now, remember how I said "In the overworld you use the joystick to aim?" Well when you go into a mine or a battle encounter you use the touchscreen to aim. This is a completely pointless control change which serves absolutely no purpose, especially when the overworld control-scheme is what the player gets used to at first. It doesn't stop there, the touchscreen is used to select dialogue choices as well. That's just fine, but they did it so strangely. You touch the screen to activate a selection, and the joystick to actually select them. You read that right, instead of putting the choices on the touchscreen, they're on the top screen and you use the touchscreen like a button...... That just makes the touchscreen control ever more pointless! I like the touchscreen as a concept, but if it functions as little more than an awkwardly placed button, just map its functions to the buttons, okay? There ARE six of them, eight if you use the circle-pad pro. I'd say I like this game, but not enough to recommend it at a price of more than, say, a dollar. Apparently a sequel is scheduled for April of next year. Cool, let's hope they've fixed the problems with this one by then.