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Eragon

Score: 94%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Stormfront Studios
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action/ Arcade/ Fighting

Graphics & Sound:

Graphically, Stormfront Studiosí Eragon leads a charge showing the aging Xbox hardware still has some pump left in it. While some of the characters arenít necessarily overly interesting (still nice looking, however), the environments are flawless. Whether youíre fighting on land, rivers, or in the air, Eragon takes a page straight from the gorgeous Lord of the Rings game that the developer also made.

As far as audio goes, the sound fx are great, and so is any voicework performed in the game. However, this game review canít go on without mentioning the amazing soundtrack that plays. If this is any indication of what to expect in the movie of the same name, the music alone may be worth the price of admission.


Gameplay:

As mentioned above, the movie license for Eragon went to the same studio behind the excellent Lord of the Rings tie-in, and it shows. Not only do the environments look grand, as does the music sound, but Stormfront has done it again in terms of gameplay.

As a young man, you play as Eragon, who is destined to become a great and legendary dragon rider. Along the way, many evil henchmen will try to get into your way. But with the combined forces of Eragon and his accomplices, Brom, Murtagh, and the dragon Saphira, youíll have no problem whooping up on enemies with an array of combos for both close combat and long-range attacks.

Using the combo system may take a bit of getting used to, but there are so many that you can almost button-mash your way out of tight situations and still be alright. However, certain combos tend to work well on certain types of enemies, so remembering what you did may save a lot of time and effort spent on killing them.

One thing about the gameplay that I wish were a little bit different is the very linear path you must take. A little freedom can go a long way, but Eragon doesnít offer that up in any way other than the rare choice of paths that ultimately only break you away from the path for a moment. But the good news is that, even as repetitive as it is, the gameplay is quite fun and addictive. You can easily lose yourself for hours, which can be great, but also could be bad. Itís not to say that youíre going to cruise right through Eragon, but the game is relatively short minus all of the restarts.

What makes up for the short hours of pure gameplay is the gameplay itself. You can, of course, play Eragon all by yourself. But the inclusion of a quick-swap style to the 2-player co-op allows anyone to jump into your game at any given time to battle the forces of evil together. Oh, and since this is a game about a dragon rider, you may also realize that you can control Saphira on a few of the levels, as well as use magic to solve puzzles and destroy baddies.


Difficulty:

Ultimately, Eragon isnít an extremely hard game to play. In fact, the button-mashing nature of the game may make it easier for some casual gamers to play as well. This isnít to say that thereís no reason to learn combos, however, because the right melee attack or magic attack on the right enemy may mean the difference between life and death for our hero. There were a few times when I actually could not figure out what to do next, but once found, realized that the puzzle was right in front of my nose the whole time.

Game Mechanics:

Controlling Eragon is as natural as can be with a sword-wielding controller. The buttons are set up perfectly for quick combos, and are fairly easily learned. With each new trick, youíll already have used the previously learned combos a million times, so the slow nature of learning new tricks is actually rewarding in some ways.

While I havenít seen the movie yet, I can speak highly of the video game version of Eragon. If it wasnít such a short game, and the end boss battle being a bit weak, I would have no choice but to recommend the game to movie fans or any gamer looking for a bit of action. However, the game does have a short play time, so keep that in mind when you play. In fact, it may be worth picking up at your local video store for a few days. Eragon is a great game and was a great enjoyment to play.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Microsoft Xbox 360 FIFA Soccer 07 Windows Warhammer 40K: Mark of Chaos

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated