Adventures to Go!
Adventures to Go is a good game to play when you've got a bit of time to kill or when you need a brief break from a more demanding title
- Simple and engaging mechanics, fun combat, very well designed for portable play
- Dull in anything longer than brief bursts, little to do beyond dungeon crawling, made-on-the-cheap visuals
While it won't win any awards for its ground-breaking innovation, you can still have quite a bit of fun with Adventures to Go's travel-sized dungeon-crawling and tongue-in-cheek story telling.
Adventures to Go's story lets you know that this won't be an emotional epic from the start: The kingdom's economy sucks, so intrepid warrior/entrepreneur Finn decides to utilise the services of a dungeon-creating outlet called Adventures to Go to slay monsters and search for items to aid the townsfolk. However, Adventures to Go is actually stealing the beasties and treasure straight from the Demon World, and Hell's Finest are none too pleased...
AtG presents the player with the ability to explore randomly generated dungeonscapes based on certain specifications (setting, type of monsters, abundance of treasure, etc.). You can create a certain type of dungeon more likely to yield a quest item you need, or just make something you want to scour for loot. As you complete more story objectives, more options will open up for all of your dungeon-romping needs.
The developers at Global A seemed to realise that this game was being made for a portable console that people would use for commutes and waits at the doctor's office, and designed elements of AtG expressly around that principle. The dungeons are hardly long -- even the lengthiest labyrinths you can create probably won't take you more than 15 or 20 minutes to pillage. Combat is brisk and enjoyable, combining the grid-based action and planning of a strategy RPG with traditional turn-based combat, and it's all focused around a comical story that doesn't force you to follow a twisting tale or watch lengthy dialogue sequences to understand it. When you take at all together, AtG turns into a great way to kill time without worry that you'll be interrupted during a tense battle or emotional cutscene. Even if you do have to put the PSP to sleep during story or combat, you can re-assess your situation easily later on. It's an ideal RPG for bite-sized, on-the-go gaming.
However, this format does have drawbacks, as AtG's repetitive nature starts to wear thin if you play it over lengthy sessions. In small bursts, it's quite fun; in multi-hour marathons, it's a drag. There's also little in the way or story or character development beyond some occasional banter among the party members and shopkeepers you meet. Unrelated (though still disappointing) are the cut corners in the graphics department. Global A was also the developer behind the (equally obscure) DS RPG My World, My Way, and they actually re-use numerous enemy and environment models from it. It comes off as cheap and lame.
I liked Adventures to Go, though its flaws are hard to ignore. It's a good game to play when you've got a bit of time to kill or when you need a brief break from a more demanding title. AtG doesn't demand extensive commitment to have fun, but it also won't provide much for players looking for a meatier role-playing epic.
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