As the topic says, this game is one addicting game. After playing for God knows how long on this game I can give a better lil review here. This game is soo incredible that it has robbed me away from Animal Crossing, now I"m just afraid to go back to Animal crossing and see who moved and how many weeds have stacked up >.<. Well enough of that, on to what makes this game so great.
What is Puzzle Quest? Well, its mostly Bejeweled that has some RPG elements into it. Bejeweled you say? But that is soo old and kinda dull for being out so long. Well that is true but it is the RPG elements that adds some new life to this genre.
Just like typical RPG's there is a story line to go with the game and when you first start off you get to choose the type of character you get to play as. There are 4 classes. The Warrior, Knight, Druid, and Wizard. After choosing them you can of course choose your own Avatar picture. Not many selection but they all look good. The game also has a pretty large overworld map for you to travel and explore, though of course you'll have to unlock the newer parts of the map to explore it. Then there is the battle field....this is the portion where you'll most likely be screaming and wanting to throw your device (PSP or DS, its out on both) across the room. Thats how I felt, even in the beginner levels the opponents are hard. Why?! Because the combat is played through Bejeweld like level though much harder. This is because you are no longer playing alone like in Bejewel. In Puzzle Quest they remove the Gems for mana, gold, exp and skulls. There are 4 types of mana gems you'll be matching to increase your mana reserve. The more mana you have, the more powerful spells you'll be able to cast. There is red for fire, green for earth, blue for water and yellow for Air. Then there are gold coins, some purple stars for experience points, skulls for damage points and sometimes you'll see Red skulls that has increased damage points. Of course you'll have to match 3 or more to get the effects. If you get 4 or 5 matches, you get a free turn which is really great. You'll have to be very careful how you get the matches. If you go for any 3 of a kind and don't look at the overall board, you just might give the opponent an opening for a combo and they can be ruthless with them. You'll find yourself dying quite a bit if you rush in but don't worry, even in death you'll keep all you have and won't lose any or gold. You can try and fight the same fight again.
After you win the fight, you'll get some gold, experience and might get an item. The gold you can use to go to towns and buy some items for yourself, either some armor, weapon, head ware and misc. item.You can only have one item of each equipped. You can also go to taverns and spend some gold on listening to the rumors surrounding the region.
Now with the experience points you'll be using this, of course, to level up your character. After you level up you'll be given skill points to give to your abilities. They have 7 abilities for each character. They are Air Mastery, Earth Mastery, Fire Mastery, Water Mastery, Battle, Cunning, and Morale. The more elements mastery you have the more mana you'lll be able to get from the mana gems. The higher your battle, the more damage you can deal to the opponent when you get skulls collected. The higher your cunning, the better chance you are to be able to go first when the fight starts. With Morale, the more morale you have, the more gold/exp points you get when collecting the gems/exp stars. Each time you level up you are only given 4 points to give to each of these abilities. Now it is the character class you have chosen that will affect how many skill points will be needed to level up one level for each of these abilities. Lets say you are a wizard, it will only take one point for you to get an extra point for fire and air mastery while it will take 3 points for you to level up your battle ability. The same is reversed if your a warrior, it will only take one skill point to level up your Battle level while it will take 3 points to level up fire or air level.
Ok so now we have the usual level up, world map, towns, shopping and different way of fighting. What else can we do in this game? Oh boy, is there a LOT of things you can do. You can build a citadel, you can capture enemies, you can capture a mount, you can craft items from Runes, you can also have companions join your team and you can also siege other cities which will help with your gold income.
At the heart of customization, you'll need to build your citadel to open up other possibilities. You'll need to make a dungeon to capture enemies. Why do you want to capture enemies? Because they will be able to teach you new spells for you to use, though at double the mana cost of the original user. In order to learn spells though, you'll have to build a mage tower for you to research the spells. Then you need to build a stable to capture mounts for you to ride on and they can add one spell for you to cast during a battle. Your character can only bring 6 spells at a time while riding a mount will add one more that your mount uses.
First on how to capture. In order to capture an enemy, you will have to fight it 3 times, on the 4th it will give you an option to capture, or fight. When you capture, you won't be fighting the enemy. Instead it will have a lil mini bejeweled puzzle mode where you have to clear out all the gems in order to capture the enemy. After you capture the enemy then you can learn its spells if you have the mage tower.
In order to learn new spells you will have to fulfill its requirement to learn the spell. This time the normal battle field will have an addition, scrolls. To get scrolls to appear, you have to have 4 or 5 matches. 4 matches get you one scroll, while 5 gets you two. Then you will have to have 3 or more scrolls collected.Some only require 3 scrolls while others require 10 or more, besides meeting the requirement for how much scrolls needs to be collected, you also have a requirement for mana that needs to be collected. It will say how many of fire, earth, water and air thats needs to be collected as well. Once you get all the requirements met, you learn the spell, but if there are no more moves to be made, you lose. It won't refill like it does during normal battle mode.
To capture a mount, its pretty much same thing as capturing an enemy though if you have a stable, you can train its level to be higher. This is done with a lil mini timed game. When I first when to try my wolf it said I had 15 seconds to defeat a level 6 opponent. I thought there was no way I could do it, but from playing, I find it gives you 15 seconds for each move that you can make. The higher your mount level is, the less time you will have to make decisions.
If you have the forging studio, you can also make your own items with runes. When you get the studio, then you'll be able to search areas for runes. Each rune will be guarded by a Runekeeper and they will get mana quickly, some times 3x the normal rate. When they have their mana reserves filled up, they will give you one heck of a life cut when they attack you. After you defeated the runekeeper you can go back to your citadel, and forge new items. You will do this by matching up 4 or 5 gems to make an anvil appear. Then you need to collect 3 or more anvils to make the item. Once you collected enough anvils you will have a new item in your inventory.
Last thing you can do, and perhaps the hardest from what I've seen, is to siege a city. This is like fighting any normal enemy except they have a huge amount of HP and when they attack, they attack hard. I believe I've seen one attack take 30HP and if they get a decent combo, I lost 75HP, only 10 HP left on my measly lil mage >.<. After you defeated the city you won't have to go back all the way to your citadel to get to the options to learn new spells, forge items, etc. The siege city will let you access it, or so I've been told.
Will the game keep you busy? Oh yeahhh. There are a ton of quest I've seen, some are simple, take a message from one point to another, while other require you to do multiple things to complete, like go help this one character out with fightings, then take the prisoner over to be brought to justice. There are some quest that you have to make a choice on what to do. For example there is this king that wants you to get his daughter and take her to a barbarian tribe to be wedded to have an alliance in the region. Once you meet up with the daughter she tells you she doesn't want to be wedded to him and lets you decided do you want to follow the king and take her to be wedded or to let her go free. It is your actoins that help decide if you get players to your team. These are companions and you can have 8 at one time. They mostly help out with what they can do for you. One companion for example is good fighter among the undead so when the fight starts off, he'll automatically take 10HP off the creature. (Sadly though the PSP has a glitch where your companions don't work >.<)
Now for the grahpics, the PSP does look better, the crisp anime artwork looks good though the DS isn't as beautiful and is pretty cramped.It won't matter too much though as I've heard once their lost into the game, they don't care too much about it, though all agree, DS or PSP, the music is amazing. I agree, the music are epic, some gives me a faint reminder of Lord of the Rings and some tunes I can hear playing like in Ultima Online.
Still worried you might not like it?? Well try out the demo, it was this that made me run out and get the last copy at best buy for this game.
Here is the PC Demo of Puzzle Quest
. Overall, one of the best games to come out this year.
(Now for a break...my finger aches >.<)