App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
At first I was disappointed. Dark Avenger looks like a pretty cool dungeon-crawling hack-and-slash RPG, but it’s broken up into these tiny little stages and there’s virtually no story outside of a guy going around killing what looks to be undead. Then I noticed the option to replay levels in a Time Attack mode and it all clicked; this isn’t a conventional hack-and-slash RPG, it’s more like somebody stuffed the genre into an arcade cabinet. And despite a few minor complaints I’d say they did a darned good job of it.
As I’ve mentioned the world of Dark Avenger is riddled with the undead. Or so it would seem, anyway. The rather aggressive protagonist’s motivations aren’t made entirely clear but that’s okay because there’s killin’ to be done! Like most other iOS action RPGs the interface uses a simple virtual stick/giant attack button surrounded by ability icons control scheme. Players slice their way through each relatively brief level in an attempt to open up the next and gather loot and gold along the way. Later levels, in turn, provide better loot and more gold but can be a lot tougher.
The going is a little slow at first but once the player’s character levels up a bit and gains a few more skills Dark Avenger really starts to come into its own. Yes, it’s another Diablo-like on iOS, but the emphasis on smaller levels and replayability is surprisingly clever and works quite well. Especially the Infinity Tower that pits players against increasingly tough waves of enemies for lots of gold and medals (or something like that) that can be used to buy better gear.
The way Dark Avenger is broken up and the rather small levels might be off-putting to some but I still think they fit the mobile platform well. However I’m not too crazy about the rather stiff combat system. Using the same exact three-hit combo over and over again feels repetitive, this same combo ends with a knockback that forces the player to chase after their targets, and skills can’t be triggered during an attack so it’s impossible to cancel out a combo with a special attack. I’ve eaten way too many flaming golem fists simply because I couldn’t trigger my character’s dash move during a combo.
It may not sport the most responsive combat system in the world but Dark Avenger still manages to be fun thanks to its arcade-like nature. There’s lots of loot to earn and possibly upgrade, and plenty of skills to unlock and train. Plus the Infinity Tower is practically a game unto itself.