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Planet Crashers 3DS preview – Planet hop through the galaxy in this funky dungeon crawler

You may have heard of the iOS versions of the adventure RPG, but now Planet Crashers is making its way to the Nintendo 3DS. Hopping from planet to planet, players must complete turn-based battle quests, eventually crossing the galaxy in order to stop an unknown evil.

As a recently graduated space cadet from Planet Crashers Academy you must take on their first official mission. It turns out that an unknown evil has risen from a dark stretch out in the galaxy, and plans on blocking out the sun (lucky you!). It’s up to you to travel across space in order to stop this abominable force from creating a dark, freezing, sunless galaxy.

Starting off on a planet called Lushie Greenie, you can create and customize your character from head to toe. When we first stepped out into the world, we immediately noticed how rounded the planet was – running around it was actually a bit dizzying and might take some time to get used to. It reminded us a lot of Animal Crossing City Folk only on a smaller scale.

From there you can head into town to see if there are any open quests for you to take on. Each quest you finish will not only earn you experience points, but also weapons, skills, items and gold.  Accepting a quest will also automatically take you to a dungeon, where you’ll face an enemy in a turn-based battle. Appearing on the bottom screen, the battle menu has familiar RPG options like skills, items, escape and swap.  You start off with only the basic “Strike” skill, but as you progress you'll have the option to equip additional skills and weapons before heading into battle.  

Dungeons in Planet Crashers take place in separate areas. Unlike the spherical parts outside of them, which are considered more like free roaming safe zones where you can talk to NPCs who can give you game info help or quests, these are flat. Fights are all preset with no randomized enemies popping up at you, as well as turn based. Weapons and items can also be found in dungeons as well as throughout your travels (or can be given to you as rewards for completing quests).  

As we traveled from planet to planet via designated giant spiral warping areas, we discovered that the 6 different worlds are all unique.  Planets we saw included Haunted Reach, a spooky planet with graveyards and haunted houses, and Hustle Town, a lush grass covered planet with faire-like tents and flowers resembling cherry blossoms everywhere.

Above: We’re interested in seeing more of this planet called Sweet Cheese

With its overall toony style, simple and intuitive gameplay, and numerous ways to customize your hero in nutty ways, Planet Crashers looks like it might deliver a fun approach to adventure RPGs when it releases Q1 2012. 

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