Monday, 19 December 2011

Clash of the Dungeon Crawlers - Quarter-Finals

They're back and more opinionated than ever!!!

OK so now I might be starting to regret that I agreed to let the cats do this. I mean they've locked themselves in the front lounge now for over a day with my bloody games, and only allowed their personal servants in to tend to their needs. Plus they allowed the Ministry's official photographer in to record their deliberations. If I'm honest I'm worried poppy will have turned all the boxes into one giant cat bed and Tybalt will have chewed all the game components to bits. This really wasn't a good idea, anyway here's Macavity...

Hello there meh hughman worshipers! Tiz I Macavity greatest Kat in teh world amd ruler of teh Ministry of Kats. I has been given teh responsibility of introducing teh article... because I is teh ver cleverest kat of teh lot. So teh blog is now going to be so much betterer than normal when tis written by teh master. He is gud, but he is no kat to be fair to him. Prepare fur teh bestest articles you has ever seen, they is teh awesome! here is teh first draw:

Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt Vs Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace
Claustrophobia Vs Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft
Descent: Journeys in the Dark Vs Super Dungeon Explore
Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising Vs Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon

amd nowe ontu teh deliburraysheons:

Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt Vs Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace

Macavity takes charge of the reviewing process.

Macavity: Hmmm, unlucky that teh D & D game drew teh Dwarfs Kings Hold game.
Dinah: True, but I think if either would wont to win teh contest they is have to face each other sooner or later.
Macavity: Hmmm, gud point, but it seems a shame. We will lose ether a kat eared Dark Elf or lots of Elves.
Tybalt: There are plenty of other pointy kat eared stoof in teh other games though.
Poppy: Drizzt also has a ver big kat to, so it's got to be teh winner. Right?
Dinah: Poppy raises a great point. Drizzt does have a kat.
Tybalt: We likes kats too, we are kats!!!
Macavity: Yers, amd I believe that Drizzt is teh better Dunjeon Craller, butte I hates to point out that Green Menarse to has teh kittehs in it.
Poppy: O buggers it! Teh ginger kat is right.
Dinah: Yers, quite. We do knows that teh master thinks Drizzt is teh bestest D & D game though.
Poppy: Amd teh box is purrphell!!!
Tybalt: Yers, purrphell is teh better kat colourr, we can says it easier!
Macavity: So we is agreed that Drizzt is teh winner?
Poppy, Dinah and Tybalt: YERS!!!

Winner: Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt

To add my own, admittedly less illuminating commentary to that of my distinguished guests, I think I have to agree with their choice. Although I have to say that perhaps not for the same reasons. There is no question that one of the things that I leveled at the previous Dungeon & Dragons games was that they sort of lacked a narrative or indeed a 'soul', Legend of Drizzt did much to rectify this situation for me. It also introduced more characters to play with than the other games, new stance mechanics, and also some swish looking floor tiles that had a tad more character than the other two games. So if one D&D game was to go forward to represent them in the semi-finals it seems only fitting that it should be the best of them, and make no mistake the Legend of Drizzt is definitely the best of them. Sadly for Green Menace although it is a damn fine game, and is indeed set in a dungeon, it's not a pure dungeon crawler. It comes highly recommended, I suppose it was a very tough first round draw to be honest with you.

Claustrophobia Vs Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft

Dinah takes a more personal approach to testing the products

Macvity: Tis a a bad draw, fur both games. Either could have gone on to teh final in some respects.
Tybalt: Oh tis a hard one fur sure, but to say they could be finalists? Please!
Poppy: But surely it has to be Castle Ravenloft? It has teh vampires with teh pointy ears.
Dinah: Yers, ver gud point Poppy. Pointy ears are ver gud. Yers.
Macavity: Yers, evan though te hughmans think their ears look gud, kat ears are teh bestest amd ver cute.
Tybalt: Stoopid bloody hughmans. I hates them... except when they are feeding meh.
Macavity: But we can not just says that Clawstrafobia is no gud though, can we?
Dinah: No we can't. Tis ver gud game, amd can be played by only two hughmans, but sadly no moar than two hughmans...
Macavity: Yers, fur sure that is a bonus and a negative. Tis a gud game though, and tis a dark game atmosphere set in teh Hell D'ohrado universe.
Tybalt: You know I is loving teh evil theme in Clawstrafobia, amd now you mention it teh Clawstraphobia miniatures looks a bit like munsta kittehs and a big munsta kitteh...
Poppy: ooooh yers munsta kittehs are ver gud, much better than vampires
Tybalt: Yers that was meh point exactly, amd teh Clawstraphobia miniatures are painted so they make fur better chewings!
Dinah: Oh God there he goes with teh chewings again! 
Poppy: Amd tis teh betta game! Sorry but tis true, Ravenloft is too boring.
Macavity: To true so is we saying Clawstrophobia now then?
Poppy, DInah and Tybalt: YERS!!!

Winner: Claustrophobia

Again to try and elucidate on the musings of my feline friends, this must have been a close call. Claustrophobia can consider itself very lucky to have got through this round. Had it faced say the Legend of Drizzt I'm sure the cats would have rightly turfed it out. As good a game as it is, and it is a very good game, it is not a pure Dungeon Crawler. It's a damn fine game as my review of it showed, the game has bags of character and depth, although its more of a skirmish game in a dungeon. The components are very well made, and although the paint jobs on the pre-painted miniatures are a little bit 'flat' they aren't bad. However, if I can talk a little bit about Ravenloft it can consider itself quite unlucky really. It is a pure dungeon crawler and probably evokes the purer dungeon crawl experience, but as the first Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System game released it's not as polished as its recent stablemate Drizzt... and I better stop there as Macavity is tapping his wrist watch!

Descent: Journeys in the Dark Vs Super Dungeon Explore

Displeased Dinah is Displeased!!! 'Ver luky drewer'

Macavity: So tis teh daddy dunjeon craller against teh fun chibi dunjeon romp. 
Poppy: Teh master wont be happy that they have drawn each other. No he wont!
Dinah: Yers quite. But is down to teh luck of teh drew. We have to pick one to make it to teh semi-finals.
Tybalt: Descent then, right? Teh box was stoofed full of stuff.
Dinah: No, no Tybs. Super Dunjeon Explore fur teh miniatures!!!
Macavity: I hate to agree with Tybalt that Descent is teh obvious choice surely?
Poppy: Super Dunjeon Explore!!! It has chibi miniatursres!
Dinah: Yers, ver gud point Poppy. Chibi was inventualated by kats in Japan.
Macavity: Yers, even though teh hughmans there claim it was them that inventualated it.
Tybalt: Stupid bloody hughmans. I hates them... except when they are feeding meh.
Macavity: But we can not just says that Descent is no gud, can we?
Dinah: No we can't. Tis ver average game, and can be played by lots of teh hughmans, but sadly no hughmans have teh time to plays it.
Macavity: Hmm you makes ver gud point!
Dinah: Yers it taks moar time to plays amd tis boring after a while.
Macavity: Yers, fur sure that is a bonus and a negative. Bonus as it means hughmans are distracted longer amd negative because then they is less likely to remember to feeds us!
Tybalt: You know I is loving teh evil theme in Descent, I would makes teh bestest Overcat ever! But teh big headed chibi miniatures in Super Dunjeon Exsplore make fur ver gud chewings...
Dinah: Amd again with teh chewings! 
Poppy: Amd tis prettier game, teh girls will likes it, not jus teh boys.
Macavity: Too true so is we is saying Super Dunjeon Explore then?
Poppy, DInah and Tybalt: YERS!!!

Winner: Super Dungeon Explore

I agree that in terms of maybe plonking a game down on a table and having a blast this might not be as straight forward as it might first seems. True Descent is actually a beast of a game, and many people believe it is the best example of a Dungeon Crawler there is. I think you could certainly make a strong argument for that being the case, even if I personally don't enjoy it. However, Super Dungeon Explore isn't without its own charms. For a start off it doesn't require everyone to have PA's to arrange a game like Descent does sometimes, as getting everyone's diaries sorted can be a pain. True Super Dungeon Explores games can get repetitive, but they don't take as long. The miniatures though are undeniably a better quality in Super Dungeon Explore, but the card components don't come up to scratch when compared to Fantasy Flight Games magnum opus. In terms of picking a 'pure' Dungeon Crawler though I think it's certainly fair to suggest that Descent ticks more 'boxes' than Super Dungeon Explore does. Both are lucky to have come up against each other really as it means that one of them will get a stab at the semi-finals. But, here I sort of disagree with the cats, I'd have picked Descent for its variety of game and depth of play, I found Super Dungeon Explore fun at first, but it got a little bit tired too quickly. I'm also inclined to say that if you have the friends for it then Descent is the better all round experience, but this is the cats' article...

Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising Vs Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon

Macavity and Dinah take charge of the situation

Macavity: Amd to teh last quarter-final.
Poppy: This has to be easy, right? We approve of Dead Rising, we gave it teh seal amd everything. Righ?
Dinah: Yers, amd teh master doesn't like Wrath of Arseholdellen ver much.
Tybalt: I is sure tis got to be Dead Rising, Wrath of Arseholdellen is not a ver gud game, is teh worst of teh D & D games. Right Macca?
Macavity: Maybe...
Poppy: Maybe? Maybe what? Maybe you is going insane Macca.
Macavity: But...
Dinah: No buts, Macavity.
Tybalt: Oh you's in trouble's now, she is used your full name *snigger*
Dinah: Wrath of Arseholdellen was poor, Master said so. Tis ver bad game.
Macavity:... hmmm... it is a dunjeon craller tho?... hmm... but Dead Rising is teh better game...
Dinah: Maybe Arseholdellen is teh truer dunjeon craller, but really, you picks it over Dead Rising? Are you insane as Poppy says?
Macavity: Yers fair point... M'kay is Dead Rising that is teh better game. We agrees it?
Poppy, Dinah and Tybalt: YERS!!!

Winner: Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising

After a hard days work the cats were knackered!

Again, actually not an easy decision, despite what the cats say. The Dwarf Kings Hold games are not what I would term a 'pure' dungeon crawling experience. The same is true of Claustophobia, and it's that fact in the end that did for Green Menace over its respective competitor. However, to have not put Dead Rising through against the bland, soulless number crunch fest that in the Wrath of Ashardalon would have been a travesty in my opinion. Besides we have the best of the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System Games through to the semi-finals in the shape of The Legen of Drizzt. SO it seems only right that given the fun I've had with the Dwarf Kings Hold games that one of the two made it through to the next round. Plus on the whole I agree with what the cats have put through to the semi-finals, although evidently not for the same reasons. So the semi-finalists are:

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt
  • Claustrophobia
  • Super Dungeon Explore
  • Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising

The draw for the next round will be in the next article tomorrow. Peace out! 


  1. Tough competition in the first round.

    Drizzt might be the early frontrunner, due to the pointy ears AND Drizzt having a cat.
    It's not like the kittehs are biased or anything....

    Good thing Macavity is running the show. Tybalt has a bad attitude.

  2. I applaud all the hard work and translation work, my head couldn't get around cat speak though... yuck. Brain malfunction and need to realign English ... is this what dyslexia feels like ... vomit...

    Loved it, good job!

  3. So far so good the mogs are spot on.

  4. @SynSinn, honestly I am really surprised that my method of getting the cats to choose the games didn't turn up more shocks. I certainly expected a few shocks. I have a sneaky suspicion that you might be onto something with Drizzt. They certainly seemed to like it in the lab tests, although genuinely I had the remove the Gears of War box from the room as Poppy kept choosing it over the various boxes she was supposed to choose. And Tybs too seemed fascinated by it! lol.

    @Suneokun, as somebody who is Dyslexic... yes it's a bit like this except quite frankly this makes more sense because if you read the words phonetically you can get a sense of what is being said. As a dyslexic sometimes words just make no sense to me at all.

    @Pancake, again yes I'm very surprised. I was expecting some really weird decisions and shocks. But honestly so far so good actually!

  5. @Front, totally get you, English is a shocking language, as a fluent Japanese speaker (where letters have one pronounciation and everything phonetic) i totally get it.