Even among videogames fans - who are hardly in a position to poke fun - the mention of Dungeons and Dragons conjures up an image of, well, nerds. It's not exactly a fair image; okay, so there are plenty of socially awkward and hygenically challenged virginal males who get a bit too excited about pen and paper role-playing, but there are plenty of perfectly nice, friendly, interesting people who enjoy the pastime as well.
At the end of the day, it's just a social pursuit like any other; drop in a bottle of whiskey alongside the 20-sided dice, and it's a fine recipe for an evening in. However, despite our compulsion to defend role-playing, we have to confess that there's something to the whole "nerd" allegation - something summed up almost perfectly by a quick glance at the most recent Dungeons and Dragons rule set.
Whether you're one of those people who sneer at orcs and goblins, and scoff at bearded men who roll dice, or whether you're actually one of those bearded men (or, indeed, women), it's impossible to deny the far-reaching influence of Dungeons and Dragons. Without Dungeons and Dragons we'd still be stuck playing Space Invaders. We wouldn't be playing Zelda, or Final Fantasy, or Dragon Quest, or maybe even Deus Ex. We may not even have been introduced to Doom. And we certainly wouldn't have been able to play any of the magnificent officially licensed D&D videogames, from SSI's gold box series all the way up to Bioware's richly detailed narrative epics. And now, hopefully, up to Dungeons and Dragons Tactics, a turn-based strategy title for the PSP, created by Kuju Entertainment.
The latest release schedule from Atari has concreted dates for three of its upcoming role-playing games.
Dungeons & Dragons is a brand synonymous with the PC, providing the role-playing genre with the inspiration for some of the finest games ever made. It's unashamedly "beardy" and reduces grown men to babbling wrecks spouting nonsense about dice rolls and saving throws. "Argh, you caught me flat-footed!"
Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics producer Lawrence Liberty believes the PSP could handle an MMO.
Kuju and Atari are bringing the world of Dungeons & Dragons to PSP this Christmas in an extensive RPG with wireless multiplayer modes on top.
Using the D&D 3.5 rule-set, Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics will tell the story of a human child caught between two dragons striving for godhood, where the player's choice of path will have a significant bearing on his or her alignment to good or evil.
You'll be able to control a party of six in all, drawing upon ten basic classes (Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Wizard), five prestige classes and two Psionic classes (Psion and Psychic Warrior), and there'll be plenty of scope for customisation as well as the option to store multiple custom characters and parties on your Memory Stick - as many as it can hold in fact.