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What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?!: Dungeon Invasion
Company: NIS America

It's fairly obvious that NIS is releasing What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?! in an overt attempt to take the trophy of "Longest Game Title" away from reigning champion Atlus. Well... that or they're trying to give PSP owners one of the system's more original games.

What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?! defies most genre descriptions. It's part Dig Dug, part ecosystem sim, part dungeon crawler. You are a nameless evil force who is given task of creating and maintaining a self-sustaining dungeon that can also withstand the occasional hero who pops in to steal your Overlord.

You create a dungeon by destroying blocks with a pickaxe. Each swing depletes one point from your power level. As you carve out tunnels and cul-de-sacs, you'll eventually take out colored blocks. Destroying these unleashes green blobs, the first creature in what will eventually become an entire ecosystem living within your underground lair.

Every creature you spawn in your dungeon has its own behaviors, lifespan and spawn conditions. Green blobs leech energy from green blocks, allowing them to grown and populate. As blobs wander around mazes, they spread excess energy along walls, sometimes creating more powerful green blocks that spawn more powerful enemies. Dead blobs produce flowers, which eventually attract small flying bugs. Lizards eat bugs and eventually produce lizard eggs, which bugs then destroy. The chain eventually grows to include fairies, dragons and other mythical beasts.

Growing a stable eco-system takes some time to get down. It's tempting to make a beeline for big creatures, but you'll need to support the lower tiers of your food chain to keep the big guys around. I think I went through four or five different variations before I finally "got it," and then the game threw an armor-clad monkey wrench in my plans. Eventually you'll need to give up your dungeon planning and deal with an invader. When a hero comes knocking, you have no way to directly interact with him; you just need to hope for the best.

The introduction of heroes mucks up your dungeon-building strategy, but in a good way. You'll face all manner of fantasy-based heroes, including knights, priests and the occasional wizard. There's a particular strategy to dealing with each, so there are times where you'll need to let one part of your ecosystem overrun another. However, doing so will throw off the dungeon's balance. It's a cool system and easily one of the more interesting gameplay elements I've come across in the last few years.

Look for a full review of What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?! when it burrows onto the PSP this July.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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