DICING KNIGHT / Platine Dispositif / Wonderswan
Dicing Knight is a very interesting dungeon crawl that plays more like good ol' Zelda 3. Certainly a tantalizing possibility, no? Well, it was made by an amateur programming team as part of a contest, and as such it isn't quite as tight and polished as the Nintendo classic. There are, however, plenty of things to like here.
So you play as some sword-toting witch who is assaulting random dungeons for some reason or another. Aside from the Zelda-style gameplay, the game is also atypical of the usual roguelike in that you go through a series of three-level dungeons that stay fixed once they are generated, and you also get to keep your experience when you die. You also can reclaim all of your items by returning to the spot where you died, and you also re-enter the dungeon on the level that you previously left it.
Sound way too easy? No, it really isn't. All the common enemies are a handful, and respawn after you've ventured only a few screens (or if you exit and re-enter a level). Each dungeon is also capped by a boss fight that is a major challenge.
Two other things, unfortunately, both contribute to the difficulty and cause me to not give the game a top rating. One is that it was designed by a team who usually does "bullet hell" shooter games, and both the inexperience with adventure-type games and the emphasis on "billions of projectiles Evarywhere" carry over into this game. This gets particularly bad during boss battles, which are all like the worst shooting game battles, where you have to dodge some hard and repetitive pattern of attacks over and over just to sneak in and get a couple of hits when the boss lowers its defense for a second or two. The other problem is the slidey play control and insubstantiality of the main character and enemies when hit, both of which are more typical of shooters than Zelda-type games. I just don't feel that gameplay style works all that well here.
Despite all that, still one of the most interesting games for the Wonderswan.
* MobyGames information page
* Gameplay Video