EDGE Review

Developer: Zane Games Publisher: Zane Games
Release Date: October 28, 2005 Also On: None

EDGE (Extreme Dungeon Game Environment)…it is a year late. It has been hyped as the best Palm RPG ever. A lot of expectations have built up. Is EDGE able to fulfill them? First, let us take a look at my list of negative things. Getting used to the controls takes a few minutes of time. The story takes “only” about 20 hours to complete, and the character moves a little unnaturally and sometimes the game is a tiny little bit unresponsive. Sorry to disappoint you but I could not come up with a longer list.

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Since this is not quite enough text I will spend the rest of my review telling you how amazing this game is. You start the game on the character making screen. You can choose between a dwarven, elven or human character, between man or woman and between the four different classes: warrior, mage, thief and priest. All these choices actually make a difference, some affecting gameplay, others affecting the story. Unlike some other RPG’s, all classes in EDGE are actually fun to play but play different enough to make it worth replaying the game with each of them.

You can further customize your character with the usual stat points, for example making him/her good in str and dex while not caring about int too much. Do not worry though, there is some useful information displayed telling you what the different things actually do. The last thing you can choose is the face of your character which is not really important in the game but lets you identify the save game of that character.

After you have completed the character creation by naming your character, you are thrown into the world of EDGE, wander around a little and – are killed by the first spider. Yes, the beginning is pretty tough and sometimes you should rather run away than risk too much. Still this should not be a problem, not even for beginners, since you can save at every point in the game. Just remember to save often.

In the first town you will find a tavern to rest, the typical merchants to buy potions and equipment and a place to level up. To level up you have to collect experience points like in every other RPG. However, when you have enough of them you do not simply advance a level all by yourself. Instead, you have to train in a specific place, for example the church for priests. You do not have to spend hours and hours fighting random enemies just to get a level up. Instead you simply cannot get further than level 5 in the first town. This makes sure that the game remains a constant challenge.

Talking about fighting, EDGE is an action RPG meaning fights take place in real-time on the normal map. Attacking the enemy is done automatically but you do have a number of strategic options so that the fighting never gets boring. You can run away, attack with range weapons and spells and if you are encountering multiple enemies it is wise to keep changing your position so that only one of them can attack you at a time.

You do not just kill random enemies, of course. You are on a quest. EDGE features a well written main story as well as a number of sidequests. The story, while nothing extremely special for an RPG, is actually worth being called a story and features some nice twists and turns. It is not all action; there are some pretty nice riddles included, too, and often it is wise to actually read all that information people can give you. As already mentioned above, the story takes about 20 hours to complete, but since it is a little different for every character and not repetitive, it is worth replaying a few times. I usually do not replay games when I have finished them but this is one of the few where I did.

I have not talked about the best thing, yet, that really sets this game apart from others: the atmosphere. The graphics are isometric and pretty realistic with some great attention to detail. You can see every item lying around, which type of weapon your character uses, and every person as well as every monster is beautifully animated. The levels are designed with love; trees and buildings look amazing. A very important part of the atmosphere is the sound. The sound effects are fitting but what especially stands out is the music. The great soundtrack combined with the fact that you die easily if you do not pay attention keeps the tension pretty high. On the Zodiac, rumble effects add to the experience.

EDGE can be controlled with the touchscreen as well as the Zodiac’s joystick; it depends on your personal taste which option you will prefer. Also, every hard button is freely configurable so you can play exactly how you want. The game also includes a version of the editor that was used to make most of the original quest. It is not quite completed, yet, but features a very simple interface so there is hope that a number of add-on quests will be released.

EDGE completely lives up to expectations. It is one of the very best action RPG’s released on handhelds. The intense atmosphere and the great story, combined with very good and diverse gameplay, make it one of the few PDA games that are on a level with the best games on DS and PSP, easily making it the best RPG for Palm OS devices to date. It is simply a must-have title for everyone.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 9.5
Final: 9.6
Written by Ortwin Review Guide

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