Ungra Walker アングラウォーカー

Ungra Walker is a rogue-like dungeon crawler from game studio Success and was released in 2002 for the Sony Playstation. To the best of my knowledge it was Japan-only and never saw a translation nor a release overseas. The title seems a bit odd, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bastardization of “Underground Walker,” as in someone who walks under ground, which is actually pretty fitting for a dungeon crawler like this.
The game starts you off picking a name, a gender and a class. You are able to play as a warrior, a thief, a wizard or a priest. You can change the color of your characters outfit as well, but it’s completely arbitrary. From there you get sent to the “town”, which is little more than a collection of menus against anime-style artwork. The real draw of this game, or rather the only draw of this game, comes from the randomly generated dungeon.
Ungra Walker is a rogue-like, which means it’s like the game Rogue, an ancient RPG that was released so long ago that Beverly Hills Cop was still in theatres. People are still playing Rogue though, and it single-handedly gave birth to an entire genre, the rogue-like. While Ungra Walker isn’t a direct descendant of rogue, it shares enough of the same traits to be called a rogue-like. And fans of traditional roguelikes out there will probably be a quite disappointed how simple the game is, and how it retains more of its JRPG roots.
The game looks like a cross between Diablo and Final Fantasy. I know that sounds fucking awesome, and while the game is pretty good, it’s also nothing amazing. The game proper is rendered in 3D, and while it’s not bad either, it is that grainy, choppy kind of 3D that the playstation was known for. It’s an assault on the retinas at first, but the player quickly gets used to it. Each level of the dungeon is made up of inter-connecting rooms filled with monsters and treasure chests, and its your job to race through them until you find the room which has the stairs leading down to the next level.
Like most action RPGs, combat takes place in real time within the level itself. It’s not turn based either. Most characters are capable of making a combo attack, which is achieved by pressing the attack button at just the right time while attacking. There is no indication when exactly you need to press the button, so it a subtle mix of luck and skill getting it to work. Having said that, I could only manage to bust out a combo once in a blue moon. There is a problem with the combo as well. If you hammer the attack button, the character will attack very quickly with a flurry of low-damage attacks, but the enemy doesn’t have time to fight back. When you attempt to pull of a combo, it gives the enemy a chance to counter, meaning that you take damage and the combo is broken anyway.
Like any RPG worth its salt, your character has an HP bar and an MP bar, but there is also a timer. At first I thought there was ungra walker gameplaysome kind of time limit in which you had to complete each level, but it actually represents hunger, i.e. when the timer runs out you start taking damage due to starvation. There are food items that can be found which fill you up and replenish your hunger/time bar, but they are surprisingly few and far between. It’s probably best to pick up some rations at the store before heading down into the dungeon.
The town itself is little more than a glorified store-and-save-point, but there are some mini games available. If you get some game tickets you can play slot machines as the item shop. And after a little while a card game opens up. Its an interesting game which uses a regular deck of cards, though it plays more like magic the gathering than poker or bridge.
Under walker isn’t bad, but it gets repetitive pretty quickly. The various player classes and mini games should keep you entertained for a while, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself giving up on the game earlier than you normally would. The game is also in Japanese, but even a beginner should have the linguistic ability to play the game without much trouble.

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