Eragon is an action role playing game for the Sony Playstation 2, the Xbox 360, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo DS. The game is based off the novel and movie series.

Developer: Stormfront
Publisher: Vivendi Games
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Platforms: PS2, Xbox 360, Xbox, PC, DS
JustRPG Score: 55%
+Appeals to fans of the novel series.
-Lack luster combat system.
-Poor camera angles.
-Poor visuals.


Eragon Overview

Eragon is a third person action role playing game based on the novel and movie series. The game was released in 2006 for the Sony Playstaion 2, the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox, PC, and the Nintendo DS. The game starts with the main character finding a jewel which turns out to be a dragon egg. This catches the attention of the dragon lord and Eragon, the main character, must fight to destroy him. Overall the game was pretty poor, having bad visuals, bad camera angels, and very linear game play.

Eragon Screenshots

Eragon Featured Video

Full Review

Eragon Review

By, Jason Ferguson

.hack Part 1 Infection (Dot Hack) begins with a bang. Something disastrous happens to your character‘s real world friend, while innocently playing a 20 million-subscriber base, wildly popular online RPG game (MMORPG), The World. To unravel the mystery of your friend’s misfortune, you become an online, ingame rogue hacker, exploring every corner of The World, even some virus-infected ones.
The hero is armed with the special skills of Data Drain and Gate Hack, and some colorful, talented fellow adventurers to fill the two other available party slots. Different adventurers must accompany you depending on the plot‘s development. You have some control over the others in your party, including upgrading them through trades or gifts. You can play only a single class, Twin Blade. Other characters are from different classes, with varied strengths and weaknesses, from a mage type (Wavemaster) to a bully (Heavy Axeman).
Gameplay takes place in three principal areas – towns, fields, and dungeons. Towns house The World’s servers. There, the player can save the game, buy magic scrolls and useful and unique items, store items, buy equipment, and talk and trade with lots of other players in character online. One town has an unusual ranch to check out, a patent homage to an enduring feature of just about every Final Fantasy.
The town’s Chaos Gate provides instant teleportation to a particular wide-open Field, containing monster encounter hotspots, a mystical spring, treasure, and lots of mysterious food. You enter three distinct keywords, some known at the game‘s onset, and others learned through play. Whatever keywords are entered, the difficulty level of the destination is helpfully revealed. This prevents a low-level party from being massacred. Once the keywords are entered, you travel through the Chaos Gate. (You can enter specific keywords learned to continue the plot, do side quests, or do unlimited exploring. Or, you can instruct the Gate to enter random keywords, and take your chances. There‘s also an option to enter any keywords you wish from a word list.) Every Field houses a single Dungeon. The dungeons, where you spend much of the game fighting for your life, are not overly large in size, and always range between three and five average levels.
Many have compared Dot Hack to Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II (PSO) on the Gamecube. Let us gently discredit this. We feel Dot Hack has far better graphics than PSO. The Fields and Dungeons contain many colorful, over stylized backdrops and settings, including weather effects. Dot Hack’s monsters resemble the beautifully-drawn monsters of the later Final Fantasy’s. Dot Hack’s world is gigantic with a seeming infinite number of locations to explore. PSO’s world is relatively small, and plot is threadbare, with meaningless, though fun, side quests, which instill no enthusiasm in the player. Dot Hack’s plot is deep and complex, with each subplot advancing the story just a little bit further. (Remember though, the end of this game in no way comes close to wrapping up the story, to be completed in the three games to be released later this year.) One visual treat, however, was lifted directly from PSO – the cascading rings that accompany the teleportation of characters to and from different areas.
Dot Hack’s combat engine can best be described as modified real-time. Much like the action-RPG, Kingdom Hearts, button mashing can be effective to beat monsters. Monster combat icons appear as large yellow twirling landmarks. As you approach, the landmark dissolves, monsters come at you big-time, and, undoubtedly, players will feel a healthy adrenaline rush. Some of Dot Hack’s many monsters do not stand around waiting to be pummeled, rather some you need to catch. Dot Hack lets you turn combat almost into a turn-based affair. The player needs only to hit Triangle in the middle of battle to pause the game instantly. From there the player can give orders to the others in the party, anything from healing someone, reviving another, casting a spell, designating a target monster. Without jeopardizing your party from the hailstorm of monster blows, combat becomes a calmer, more strategic, experience. This will help the many action-challenged. Camera angles play a big role in successful combat. You must be facing a monster to do any damage. As in many games, manipulating opposing environmental elements, like fire vs. water, is a key to successful monster combat.
Dot Hack’s cyberspace setting provides a wealth of Wow-inducing outbursts. The Data Drain option in combat is a great example. When a monster’s approaches zero, the player can Data Drain to reduce a horrendous, gigantic steel robot, for example, into a sniveling, puny monster, easily defeated with a single blow. Data Drain always results in a nifty, rare item or essential Virus Cores so you can Gate Hack areas of The World now closed, but needing investigation. One bad side effect – if you defeat, a Data Drained monster, but a single experience point is earned. One REALLY bad side effect – if you Data Drain too often without giving the skill a rest, you may overload and explode. Game Over. In the case of Boss monsters, Data Drain works the same, but what remains is no sniveling puny monster, but a full-blooded slightly less tough monster. All of this makes for interesting and captivating combat, a large part of the game.
Fresh Features
Dot Hack is replete with new and interesting features that kept us riveted.
To start, the entire background and story of a real world gamer becoming a rascal hacker, penetrating deep into a virus-infected online game, is quite novel. Combine this with Dot Hack’s emulating the look and feel of an online game universe. (Message traffic on the web shows many gamers mistakenly believe Dot Hack is a real online MMORPG, along with monthly fees! No real Internet connection is required.)
Just like in the real word, Dot Hack replicates your excitement level when “New” appears before a popular forum or on your email screen. Some of the game involves receiving emails as the plot develops, as well as new, crucial information surfacing on The World’s Board. (Look out for emails challenging you to a strange game of Tag.) The online game world looks very familiar with a bunch of characters wandering around the game’s towns, with the ubiquitous balloon icons talking typical “trash” to each other, even criticizing “newbies“.
Combat grippingly called for surprisingly strategic decision-making to succeed, not related to the usual attack or defend choices. Do you go for experience and upgrade your character or try for some special equipment or a Virus Core, vital to Gate Hacking? The innovative control of other party members became second nature to us after some practice. The game rewards a player taking chances, like entering a Field or Dungeon rated 5 levels above the player’s current level. On the other hand, the game scoffed at players entering areas much lower rated the their current level, by awarding negligible experience points for victory.
Dot Hack takes progress reports to a new level, by slowly unlocking books that contain much in the way of statistics and information. There’s even a monster compendium with tips for defeating them.
Some might complain about the minimal “Save Game” ability, but we thrived on it. You explore a very hostile cyberspace environment without the facility to save. Only in a server-hosting town is saving possible at the local Recorder. We may be a solitary voice in the Wilderness, but we like this throwback to the good old RPG days. Those of you old enough to remember the Wizardry series, may recall those fingernail-biting multi-combat treks back to the Castle just to save the game. In case you’re really stuck deep in a dungeon, a common item will teleport you to the outdoor field, from where you can simply gate back to town from the command menu.
Many pieces of equipment come with distinctive powerful attack, healing, and status skills, essential to combat dominance. The player must tradeoff whether to equip something that will raise defense or offense or something less vigorous that lets you use a powerful skill. Trading is the most successful way to upgrade equipment.
In a first, Dot Hack comes with a 45 minute anime video. This gives some great background on what’s going on in The World, as well as provide clues for completing the game. In a nice twist, voiceovers for game speech can be set for Japanese or English presentation. Listening to the authentic Japanese voices really keeps you glued to the game.
Though some may scoff at what follows as meaningless, we liked the game’s unlocking of some nifty new “toys” to like, some only available when the game is cleared. You can unlock many different background music play lists. Tired of creepy tunes, just switch to something more upbeat, or futuristic. Just like real world gamers, who constantly change their desktop wallpaper, new and different wallpapers are unlocked along the way. Some are concept art of characters, while others are full blown anime renditions of the characters. This makes for great fun, and seems to pump additional energy into the game. As you progress over a dozen special cut scenes or movies will become viewable after defeating the game.
Though Dot Hack’s extras and new wrinkles enhance the RPG game experience, much of the gameplay will ring true to those who enjoy RPG‘s. Expect plenty of exploration in a huge 3D world, frequent monster combat, tons of treasure to earn and discover, upgrading your character’s weapons and armor, and needing to level before tackling pivotal story dungeons. The status screens for the characters and all equipment are well laid out and easy to grasp.
Time for Completion
Game length in hours always concerns many purchasers. A short RPG normally takes a lot of flack, and many online are asking about Dot Hack‘s time for completion. (Some have questioned whether Bandai should have released a single 80 hour game for $50, rather than four 20-hour games for $200 for a single story. This matter is beyond the scope of this review, but our high opinion of this game as a standalone is obvious.) Our experience, playing the plot without doing side quests or extra exploration, is in the 12 to 15-hour range. Players side-questing and extensively exploring, aside from the main plot, can expect to spend 25 hours to complete the game. You can even continue to advance your character, after game completion, to get a jump start on Part 2 due in May. In the next game, your character can be imported from Part 1.
Furthermore, imagine trying to explore every nook and cranny of the fields and dungeons accessible by a large number of 3-word combinations. Doing that would put the game in the 50-hour range, if not more. However, at a certain point, new items dry up, and a single experience point is earned for any defeated monster, no matter how tough.
While, as is evident above, there is much to recommend in Dot Hack, certain concerns to varying degrees deserve mention.
From the “Why oh why did they leave this out?“ File. Pregame game board traffic and information about the Japanese version released months ago had many salivating for replaying the game in “parody” mode. This mode apparently converted all Dot Hack’s game world characters into satirical comedians. Sorry to say, this highly-anticipated feature is missing from the version released here.
The game requires massive amounts of button pressing. Every item or treasure uncovered from combat victories or exploration (opening chests, searching expired adventure remains, collecting food for Grunty’s, as examples) must be confirmed with a button press. When there could be 50-100 such occurrences in a single dungeon or field, over the course of the game, finger cramps seem inevitable. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance also required lots of bashing for buried treasure and chests, but the items literally flew into your inventory, a much better way to handle this.
The manual is woefully terse and lacking in some crucial information and guidance. While the ingame tutorials fill in many of the gaps, one extremely important gameplay feature is missing from both the manual and tutorials – instructions on control your characters directly during combat.
Final Word
We got a kick out of Dot Hack. The feeling of “just one more dungeon” dominated our lives for the 3 days to completion. The engaging environment held our attention without much effort. The strategic nature of combat, plus the convoluted plot kept us going for hours on end. The constant unlocking of both frivolous and important gameplay features created a “what’s next” anticipation. Now, if I could only read Japanese better, Dot Hack Part 2 is already out in Japan!
Final Grade: B
As a fan of the Eragon novel, I was really excited about both the Eragon movie and game. After seeing the movie I was disappointed, and after playing the game, I’m even more disappointed.


Eragon follows the adventures of a young boy named Eragon. After coming across a dragon egg, Eragon discovers that he is a dragon rider. With his newfound power, Eragon seeks to save the empire from the evil Emperor that is destroying it. Fans familiar with the book or the movie will have a fairly good idea of what’s going on in the Eragon game. Unfortunately, the story jumps around so much that it’s ridiculous. It never really explains at all what’s going on, and leaves a lot of the best parts out. I don’t want to give away too many details for those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie. If you haven’t, then I suggest you read the book. On the positive side, the game’s story is so mediocre that it won’t really spoil the book for you at all.


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The basic gameplay in Eragon is similar to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, also developed by Stormfront Studios. You’ll hack and slash your way through hordes of enemies and use combos to make everything a bit easier. You’re also equipped with a handy bow and arrow and powerful magic spells. Along your journey, you’ll always be accompanied by a second character, who can be controlled by a friend in co-op.


Combat is pretty straightforward: you can block and evade, use strong and weak attack, do combos, use a bow, and use magic. Heavy attacks are strong and slow, and performed with the B button. A quick attack is weaker and faster, and performed with A. By pressing different combos of those two buttons, you can perform powerful combo moves. While many of the combos seem worthless, they do have some pretty cool animations. Eragon’s magic will come in useful during battles, and can even be used to solve many puzzles.


At key points in the game, Eragon can summon Saphira to aide him in battle. You can’t really control her or anything, but she will slaughter enemies for you or clear a path when you need it. While I did appreciate the fact that the game included Saphira in the gameplay, it seemed mostly pointless because she did little more than fly in momentarily during specific points of the game. Occasionally, you’ll be able to ride atop Saphira, which I found much more enjoyable than the rest of the game. In this mode, the second player can control Saphira and her attacks, and the first player controls Eragon’s magic. In these levels you will have to defend buildings, destroy enemies, and dodge obstacles.


You can use magic in many points of the game. For the most part, magic is largely used to solve puzzles. However, you can also use it to battle enemies. There are four main magic spells in Eragon. First off is Eragon’s telekinetic ability, which allows him to move objects. Second are his magic arrows, which channel a devastating magic blast through your arrows. Third is your fire attack, which ignites enemies in flames. Last is your shield magic, which will prevent damage to you. Your magic abilities are limited by your magic gauge, which refills fairly quickly, but also is depleted easily when you constantly cast spells.


You also have a bow and arrow, which can be charged up for a stronger attack. As a said earlier, you can even channel magic through your bow for a very powerful blow. The bow is a bit silly and takes no real skill to fire or aim. I probably killed more enemies with the bow than anything else because a charged attack will kill all but the strongest enemies in a single hit. Still, filling your enemies with arrows is amusing.

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Eragon and his allies are equipped with the ability to do a fury attack, which restores their HP and temporarily increases their attack. You can go into fury mode whenever your fury meter is full. You refill your fury meter by killing enemies, so stay active and kill lots of baddies.


As you get deeper into the game, Eragon and Saphira will increase in strength. For example, after completing a specific level, Eragon will gain a more powerful sword or gain Dragon Rider Armor for increased defense. You never really learn any abilities and there’s no customization at all to your characters. Instead you simply grow progressively stronger as you complete the game. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that, if you decide to replay previous levels, your newfound weapons and magic abilities cannot be used. A deeper system would have been greatly appreciated.


A fair amount of the game involves stealth, which is flawed because the enemies are so stupid that you don’t really have to use stealth at all. As long as you don’t walk right in front of them, you’re fine. And even if you DO walk right in front of them, there’s no real penalty for being seen aside from having to kill a few bad guys before you proceed.


Overall, gameplay in Eragon is quite varied, which helps keep things at least somewhat exciting. You’ll ride atop Saphira, battle enemies while using combos, solve puzzles with magic, and use “stealth” to evade enemies. While the quality of each of these ranges from okay to awful, it’s still nice to have a bit of variety.


The AI in Eragon is pretty much awful. The enemies are stupid enough that they won’t see you unless you pretty much walk up to them and tap them on the shoulder. Even your AI allies are morons. There were at least a few times I had to connect a second controller just so I could move my allies out of the way. They were constantly getting stuck on objects or blocking my path. The co-op option is a great choice. Not only is it always more fun to play with a friend, but that way your allies won’t be total idiots. Your AI counterpart is best used as a distraction.


Levels in Eragon are extremely linear and the game allows for very little exploration. The only items you will ever need to search for are the hidden eggs that unlock extra content. Otherwise, there are no special weapons to seek out or hidden treasures. You’ll occasionally come across orbs that replenish your health or fill your Fury meter, but that’s the extent of the items in Eragon. The only reason to go back through is if you really want to find the hidden eggs, or you want to get the extra gamer points by completing the game on normal and difficult modes. Each level is also extremely restrictive with hordes of invisible walls trapping your character inside a small path. Unfortunately, it also seems like the game walks you through the experience a bit too much. Gamers are never really given the opportunity to think for themselves or use any sort of strategy because the game always tells you exactly what to do.


During each level, you’ll come across checkpoints that will save your progress. While this is a nice feature that helps you from having to replay a lot of the more difficult areas of the game, it can also become annoying. The game really doesn’t give you much opportunity to explore, and once you hit a check point, there is often no turning back. Missed one of the hidden eggs? Too bad, you just hit a check point and now can’t turn around and go back. As I already mentioned, levels are linear and don’t allow for much exploration. The fact that checkpoints often hinder your ability to backtrack or follow alternate routes only further decreases opportunity to explore.


The game’s character animations are good, and the characters are well designed. Each character is a good resemblance to their film counterpart, so if you like the look of the movie, you’ll like the look of the game. However, the enemy designs are very repetitive and you’ll end up fighting just a handful of different enemies throughout the entire adventure. The environments are decent looking, but they’re so closed off that you can’t really get a look at anything. Probably most annoying of all is the atrocious camera. It can’t be controlled at all, which will cause many problems during the game. You’ll often miss a treasure chest or secret path due to the unfriendliness of the camera, or struggle to see where an enemy is shooting you from. Cinematics in the game are ugly, with silly-looking characters and often uninteresting events. Don’t expect to see any clips straight from the movie. While the graphics in Eragon aren’t awful, they aren’t good either, and certainly don’t live up to the capabilities of the Xbox 360. I’d definitely suggest going with the Xbox or PS2 version of the game if you really want to play it. As far as the sound goes, Eragon is okay. The music is fairly subtle, but fits the fantasy theme of the game. The voice acting is solid, but hindered by very poor dialogue. Most of what you will hear during your journey are standard grunts and groans from enemies and clashing of swords. Not exactly a feast for the ears.


For the hardcore Xbox 360 gamers, it’s worth noting that the achievements for the game are all relatively lame. If you’re playing it on another system, then that probably doesn’t really concern you. I’d also like to note that the console versions of the game are all identical, so aside from some slight differences with graphics or load times, this review can pretty much go for any of the other versions. The GBA version, however, is totally different and provides a solid RPG experience.


Eragon isn’t an awful game, but it’s not worth your hard-earned cash, either. It’s a decent rental to play over a weekend with a friend, but otherwise you’d probably be better off avoiding this one. If you’re dying to play a game like this, then EA’s Lord of the Rings games are very similar and far superior. And if you’re a die hard Eragon fan, then go with the GBA version instead and you’ll be a lot happier.


Final Grade: 55%


Eragon Screenshots


Eragon Videos

Eragon Trailer

Guides / Links

Eragon Guides / Links

Eragon Wikipedia Entry