Dungeonoid 2 Awakening (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening combines the ball and paddle block breaking gameplay of titles like Breakout and Arkanoid, and mixes in RPG quest elements.  It kind of reminds me of a little known game on the SEGA Genesis called Devilish, which was also ported to the DS many years later.  I never played the original Dungeonoid so I don’t know what’s changes or improved in the sequel, but the new game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

There is a story here, but for this kind of game, I don’t think it’s worth going into for this review.  Just typical fantasy stuff.  When you start, you can choose one of four characters: priest, sorcerer, paladin, and amazon.  Each has their own attributes, like speed and strength, but I really couldn’t tell a difference between them other than their special attacks.  When you play you just control a paddle anyway.  Use the control stick to move the paddle left and right on the bottom of the screen, and hold the X button to make it go faster.  When a meter is full, you can use a slash attack with the square button which makes your ball’s attack wider for a bit.  And when you have enough mana, you can perform a screen clearing special attack, which is different for each character.

There are six stages in total, with typical fantasy environments like fields, graveyards, castles, etc.  You’ll scroll vertically and horizontally, and may stop from time to time to fight enemies or break a formation of blocks to move on.  Enemies may fire projectiles that can shorten your paddle or slow it down temporarily when hit.  Just like in Arkanoid, you can break certain blocks and have power-ups fall down, but many of these are also power-downs, so you have to watch out.  You can also visit a shop and buy items with coins you collect.  These items are in a reserve menu and you can activate them with the D-pad.  These include potions that’ll increase your health or power.  If you miss the ball at the bottom of the screen, you’ll lose a heart.  Lose all hearts and it’s Game Over, but you can use coins twice in a level to continue.  To beat a level, you have to defeat a boss at the end.  Hidden in each level are gems and other goodies you can collect and view in an inventory screen.

There’s a lot of neat ideas in this game, but I had a lot of problems with it, too.  The stages are really long and more of a test of endurance than anything.  Sometimes the graphics can block the view of your ball, which isn’t good for this type of game.  Your slash attack feels really delayed and it’s hard to tell when you can and can’t use those special attacks.  It feels like most of the things you get are power-downs, and I know I’m not very good at these types of games, but this one is very difficult, too!  Only seasoned Breakout and Arkanoid players would enjoy this.

Kid Factor:

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You hit pixelly monsters with a ball and they explode when defeated and that’s it.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!