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Review: Indie game Dark Quest

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

*Note: This turned out to be more of a review, but I highly recommend at least a trial with this one.

When you have extra Microsoft points, I highly suggest you spend them on unusual items. Well, they’re not unusual, but different. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Indie games.

Many run for 80 points (which equals one dollar), so why not take advantage of it?

Chaosoft’s Dark Quest took me by surprise. And I’m not bashing their intriguing title; I’m just saying they put a lot of effort into this game with such a low-budget agenda.

The story is pretty basic: You play an evil knight named Galvis, whose goal is to conquer the world, seek revenge, and defeat God. In doing so, he must open four seals in a sacred realm that awards such ultimate power.

Sounds cheesy, but if you look past the controversial and lame script, you’ll notice it’s somewhat original. You’re the bad guy; you don’t have a good heart but you do have the satisfaction of portraying a selfish bastard. You’re not here to save the world or rescue a princess from evil clutches.  

But I’ve said it on many occasions: gameplay is what matters.

And that’s what Dark Quest brings forth. It’s your typical action role-playing game. Though general, you have the ability to obtain new magic, spells, weapons, and stats to up your ante. And yes, dungeons and bosses are all there for you to explore in an open world. The world isn’t the biggest I’ve seen, but it’s far more decorative in certain areas. For such limited software (and only for a buck), this adventure packs a vibrant voyage on foot across unique climates.

The graphics are cute, too. If you grew up venturing 16-bit RPGs, you’ll feel right at home. Sprites, thought bubbles – you name it, they have it. Enemies are much the same, and many only change their color scheme as you progress further. But honestly, who cares? You still have giant bosses to battle, and some take strategic tactics in order to be overthrown.

The only problem is the game’s general combat makes it very easy to build up your character. Re-spawning enemies (when leaving a portion of the screen) can gain you tons of experience, but much like Super Mario RPG on the Super Nintendo, you’re capable of choosing your enhancements and power-ups.

Another nifty feature is the items which you scout for. There’s a volcano area you won’t be able to enter until you acquire the Fire Cloak item, and you can’t enter the Ice Cavern to the north until you snatch the Fire Sword. That is what makes exploring so fun.

I literally couldn’t put this game down. The story didn’t grab me, but its world did. I wanted to see where everything was, and what the next dungeon could offer.

Kudos to the makers of this game. I’ve never been too keen on beginning a huge library of indie games, but this has changed my mind. Simple factors draw addiction (like older games) and this is what makes it entertaining. It won’t tower over (or outshine) current RPGs on consoles, but there’s much respect that Chaosoft has earned from me. There's a sequel in the works, too.

Trust me, if you enjoy Zelda, you’ll get a kick out of Dark Quest. Its basic, goofy story is surpassed with enjoyable scouting and astonishing landscapes.  


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