You try to set a good example. You try to teach them right from wrong.
But the first time you set foot outside your castle on some contrived crusade or other the kids unleash an ancient evil in the basement and bring you to your knees.
That's more or less the premise behind Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave, which takes pains to justify the tired RPG sequel trope of resetting your character’s level with a fun opening cinematic.
Once more for the cheap seats
You may have been exposed to Dungeon Defenders’s Unreal Engine-powered mix of action-RPG and tower defence by now, but just in case you’re coming towards the Xperia Play version unspoiled we’ll go through the basics for you.
You take control of a turret-deploying hero selected from one of four character templates - Fighter, Archer, Monk, or Mage. You have to hold the line against successive waves of ne’er-do-wells.
This is accomplished either with the aforementioned towers or by risking life and limb and wading into the fray. You generally need to do both at the same time.
They call them Eternia Crystals for a reason
The imaginatively titled Second Wave contains all the First Wave levels, but comes with two significant differences, the most important being support for the Xperia Play’s physical buttons.
The game’s love affair with myriad overlapping menus hasn’t changed, nor the truly ridiculous number and size of the buttons you need to tap at in order to get things done.
Since the interface generally posed a larger threat to your enjoyment than any enemy in the previous game, just the fact that you can use actual honest-to-goodness buttons should be a selling point.
The implementation, however, is basic to put it kindly, only binding a few touchscreen taps to keys.
Every menu you open using the buttons you need to close using the touchscreen, and the D-pad may as well not exist outside combat.
Player vs absent player
By far the biggest disappointment is the other vaunted feature: the Arena game mode.
Player vs Player multiplayer is always an 'if you build it they will come' proposition, and this time 'they' are nowhere to be seen.
If our four days of fruitless attempts at PvP are any indication, this state of affairs will persist throughout the two-month Xperia Play exclusivity period.
Physical controls certainly add to the experience, but when stacked against the half-hearted implementation outside combat and the empty PVP arena, Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave's price should keep out all but the earliest Xperia Play adopters.
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