Eragon Review

Eragon the video game for the Nintendo DS is based on the feature film and New York Times bestselling book of the same name. I have not read the book and at the moment I am writing this review the movie has yet to be released. I can say that I knew of the book about a boy and his dragon and it's youthful author Christopher Paolini. Much beyond that I was pretty much in the dark about it. What I do know is that more often than not games based on fantasy movies, or movies in general, lack the excitement of the source material. Is that the case here? Let's see...

If you own a modern gaming system then there is probably a Eragon game available for it. The portable versions are understandably different than their console and PC cousins, and the DS version is quite different than its GBA sibling. Having played the Xbox, GBA, and DS versions of the game I must say that while none of them are very good games the DS was the more interesting of the bunch.

If you are not familiar with the book or have seen the movie then you will be a little lost when the game starts off, at least I was. There isn't much in the way of an introduction, just a series of somewhat confusing cutscenes and then the game starts. Basically the story is that an evil person has decided to wipe out all of the dragons and dragon riders in the land figuring that the world would be much easier to control that way. Luckily, or naturally, one of the dragon eggs survives and is found by an innocent country boy named Eragon, who thinks the blue egg is a rare jewel or something. Imagine his surprise when a baby dragon comes popping out! Eragon and his new Dragon, which he names Saphira after her eyes I believe, hit it off very well and become best buddies while trying to save the world. Along the way they have a great adventure, meet strange new people, see odd new lands, and blow up the dreaded Death Star. Well, most of that they do anyway...

Eragon on the DS is an action-RPG and uses the dual screen setup well. The top screen is were most of the visual action happens while the lower touch screen is used for inventory and casting spells. As you roam around the 3D world, yep the graphics are 3D, you'll notice a lot of pop-ups and characters fading in and out in the distance. One nice part is that most battles only happen if you want them to; I'm not a big fan of random battles. You can see the bad guys usually before they can see you and if you want you can usually avoid them. But there really isn't too much of a need to avoid most of them and a lot of the time you can kill the bad guys without putting yourself in any danger. This is thanks to your bow at the beginning and magic later on. You can just lock on a bad guy from the distance and fire away. They'll know they have been hit but won't care enough to run away or attack you. And for the close encounters you have, most of those can be dealt with by quickly hitting the X button for a strong, but slow, attack or the Y button for a quick but not as powerful attack. There are combos but they are basically just hitting the same button a bunch of times; no complicated series.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · Game Boy Advance 
  •  · PC 
  •  · PlayStation 2 
  •  · PSP 
  •  · Xbox 
  •  · Xbox 360