Hoard (PC, PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Portable)

Developer(s) – Big Sandwich Games

Publisher(s) – Big Sandwich Games

A vast majority of indie games that Sony seem to have been releasing on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita have been RPGs, much to my personal delight. In my opinion, Hoard stands out as one of the best. It makes use of a very unique gameplay premise, and despite repetition, makes for an extremely enjoyable experience.

Graphics – 7/10

Like Transistor, Hoard makes use of an isometric top-down view, which in turn, gives the game the illusion of it being in greater detail than what it would look like up-close. I’ve seen the same technique used in many other games such as Diablo III, Champions of Norrath and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. I’ve always been a fan of this technique being used in gaming, and it’s handled very well in Hoard. It does lose some marks for it’s lack of uniqueness in conceptual design, however.

Gameplay – 8/10

Although this game lacks uniqueness in one aspect, it does make up for in terms of gameplay. The player takes control of a dragon, and must collect as much gold and capture as many princesses as possible before the timer runs out, and must collect more so than the CPU dragon in each stage of the game. There are several different game modes, including a survival mode, which gives the game an unprecedented amount of replay value; even the online multiplayer is handled particularly well in my opinion.

Controls – 10/10

Since isometric gameplay has been around for some time, I think there would have been serious issues with this game if the control scheme hadn’t have been handled properly . Fortunately, not only has it been handled properly, but the combat system also differs from many other games, and it actually makes Hoard stand out even more than perhaps players may assume at first glance.

Originality – 7/10

I think the reasons why this game stands out among most other indie RPGs released on PlayStation console of late are many; it has a great amount of replay value, making it last for hours upon hours on end, the combat system differs from most other RPGs I’ve ever played, and it’s also one of very few games whereby the player is put in control of a dragon ,which personally speaks to me, since they were my favourite mythological beasts growing up. I have enjoyed a few games to include dragons, such as the Spyro 2, and later Skyrim, but this title does very well to differentiate itself form even those two classics.

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Overall, Hoard is an extremely addictive and enjoyable game, and it is an exceptional catalyst for keeping PlayStation 3 consoles on shelves for at least a little while longer. It’s one of the very few games I’ll play multiplayer on, and several more game modes to keep players entertained for an extraordinarily amount of time.

Score

32/40

8/10 (Very Good)

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