silver_dewsky's Dungeon Defenders (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Do you have what it takes to defend your Dungeon?

Dungeon Defenders combines elements from RPG and Tower-Defense games to craft a unique experience that is simple to play, but can be very deep and rewarding. Whether you're going solo to defend the Etheria crystals, playing with friends over Xbox Live or enjoying some 4-player split-screen action, Dungeon Defenders provides an engaging experience and really raises the bar for the Tower Defense genre.

Dungeon Defenders features vibrant colors and awesome Tower Defense Gameplay
Dungeon Defenders features vibrant colors and awesome Tower Defense Gameplay

At it's core, Dungeon Defenders task you with fending off waves of enemies while creating defensive structures to hold back the enemy, but the game becomes much more than that. Before combat begins, you're given a chance to prepare which is known as the Build Phase. During this time, you can set up traps, barriers, and other mechanics to aid in defending the Etheria crystals, and once this has been done, activate the crystal to begin the wave.

Now it's time for the Combat Phase. Even before this starts, you're able to get a tally of the number of enemies that will appear from each section, giving you a quick idea of where you should defend.

After you're ready to defend the Crystal, the real action begins. As you progress through each level, the waves of enemies increasingly become more difficult, but you also receive more mana, allowing you to repair and upgrade defenses faster to combat the increasing foes.

The Mage is one of four selectable characters
The Mage is one of four selectable characters

You'll have the ability to fight your foes with four classes that offer up some different gameplay. The Squire knight allows you to take your enemies head-on, while being able to defensively protect the others, the mage who is able to attack at a distance and support the team, the powerful monk who is nice combination of the mage and squire, and the archer huntress whose arrows really help in diminishing the enemy numbers.

It could be a little daunting defending the Crystal on your own, which makes Dungeon Defenders a great co-op experience. Up to four players can engage the enemy via online or split screen, and really shows that this game is made to be played with others. Each class of character can use various abilities to help their friends, and you really get more benefits of the game in co-op. Sharing is caring, and Dungeon Defenders allows you to trade or gift items with others, so you're all prepared to face the various creatures in the game.

While campaign mode was the main draw for me, there are also survival and challenge modes that offer up more loot with exclusive items. With four difficulties to choose from, anyone can enjoy any of the modes with their optimal difficulty level.

Dungeon Defenders takes all the great elements of other games that have Tower Defense-like gameplay, but improves on the base features of most of them. The recent released title Orcs must Die! is fun to play, but is strictly a solo only affair. Dungeon Defenders is the total Tower Defense package, and has plenty to keep you playing hours on end.

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