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If you're familiar with the game series Overlord, then you know what a fun action and adventure game this, with the prospect of leading a pack of your own minions. In the series, you play an awakened ruler, simply known as The Overlord, who must take back his kingdom with the power he used to have.
With Overlord: Dark Legend, the game moves from that of the Nintendo Wii (where previous versions had been for PC, XBOX, and Playstation) as an engaging and dark one-player adventure for mature Wii gamers who have been waiting for a fun and engaging RTS Wii title. The new storyline of this game series has wonderfully-written dialogue that includes hilarious one-liners, many delivered by Grimm's Tales characters that are a little darker than you remember, that will have you rolling in the dust.
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The storyline included is a completely new adventure than the one in with the Xbox 360, PC, or Playstation 3 versions. You start the game as 16-year old Gnarl, a young overlord just beginning to understand and control his evil powers under the guidance of Minion Master. After being left to take care of yourself you become involved in a series of adventures in Castle Gromgard that eventually lead to you traveling through the land of Greenvale killing every living in your path.
You'll need to pick up power-ups and solve simple environmental puzzles during your travels that open doors and lower bridges, fight boss battles that require you to eliminate your enemy is hilarious ways, like taking out a witch using fireworks, and control an army of minions using useful and satisfying controls.
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The Graphical Look
Overlord: Dark Legend's dark and stylish graphical presentation wasn't developed for kids, its hilariously brutal combat can shock the senses if you're not use to this kind of sensual fun. Gnarl's minion-choke move is particularly delightful to view as you pick up a minion of your choice and shake them until they stop living.
The environments included have wonderful color and a nice, clean look that makes it easy to find things on the screen, while the cartoon-like characters have nice details and textures that help to provide each of them with a unique visual look. Unfortunately, the graphics engine has problems with some of the detail and texture on the vegetation, which occasionally made them look blocky and unattractive as I progressed through the game.
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Sounds in the Game
The soundtrack is only average, but the energy of the songs does increase the pace of this game at times and help to immerse you in the adventure. The songs were mostly softer rock tunes that played during the quieter moments and hard-rock tunes that played when the energy and action was intense on the screen.
The voice acting was excellent, the delivery of the hilarious one-liners was spot on most of the time, and the actors put nice emotion and feeling into their lines. Listening to a slightly off-color Red Riding Hood and sinister Tooth Fairy conspiring with the Gingerbread Witch had me smiling and laughing every time.
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Overlord: Dark Legend's first hour of action does a really good job of introducing the player to the simple gameplay and resource-management system. In fact, they did such a good job of trying to help the player progress through the game; it actually decreases the playability. They developed this game to entertain a casual gamer, this doesn't mean it won't entertain a hardcore RTS gamer, it will, they just won't come back for more after they complete it the first time.
The four types of minions included in this game are brown, red, blue, and green. The brown minions are your basic foot soldier, red minions can throw fire, and blue minions can swim and heal, while green minions are good at sneaking around and surviving gas attacks. The game also introduces you to the four different types of minions separately to give you time to get use to the differences and unique abilities of the various types, and moving them around.
It's really easy to earn money to purchase everything available in the game, so this takes away from the challenge of having to actually earn the money, and makes beating the game much easier. In addition, you never run out of minions, so beating this game will be easy to accomplish for even a casual gamer.
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The controls included with Overlord: Dark Legend worked great for moving around in the environments and interacting using the Wii controls was easy and satisfying. The control schemes have been simplified for the Wii version and all the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls worked well to make this game extremely interactive as you play. You just point and click to move around the screen or shake the Wii Remote to pick up a minion by the neck and kill him. The controls were precise and worked well with all parts of the gameplay, from picking up power-ups to moving around while solving environmental puzzles.
The controls do become challenging to direct four different types of minions on the map at the same time using the D-pad on the Wii Remote, but the controls work so well that once you get the hang of it, it's really easy to execute.
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The game will entertain and introduce the casual Wii gamer to the RTS genre nicely, but even for the beginner it will become too easy after a few hours of game time. However, the developers have made an effort to slowly introduce the gameplay concepts in the beginning of the adventure, and this certainly makes it easier for beginners, but this part will bore an experienced gamer.
The Wii version of Overlord: Dark Legend is a game that all Wii gamers should definitely take a close look at and I recommend that all gamers give it a try at least once. It has a nice blend of engaging storyline, stylish graphical presentation, and easy to learn game play that was fun and extremely satisfying to play.
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Image content @ Overlord: Dark Legend