Released: April 22. 2014
When I first saw the gameplay for Demon Gaze, I wasturned off instantly. It looked like a mash between an old-school, dungeon-crawling game and a Shin Megami Tensei game, not anything I fancy. The only thing that peaked my interest into trying it was the art style. So after borrowing the game for a few hours I was hooked, and let me tell you, I am not one for playing JRPGs. This, in fact, is my very first JRPG review.
The story in this game is pretty standard. You start off like in a good ol’ Elder Scrolls game; waking up in dark gloomy cell as a prisoner and you have to find an exit. After upon reaching the exit, you face a demon. Upon defeating the demon, you realize that you have the power to steal the soul of the demon and keep it with you by turning it into a key. You find out later that a person saved you, and her name is Lancelorna. They never really explain in detail how you came to be in the basement, but I have read a lot of comic books to know when just to go with the flow and don’t ask questions. Lancelorna then takes you around the Inn and actually pays the money to actually get you a personal room. She then takes you to meet the manager of the Inn. Her name is Fran and she will become a fan favorite fairly quickly. You meet a few other eccentric residents in the Inn and they all play a role in your adventure. Luckily for you, there is an item and weapon merchant living under the same roof. After meeting everyone, you are told of an evil power growing from an old castle and the way to stop this power from growing is to defeat and seal away demons with your gazer power. This evil power is known only as Sol, an ancient demon that is trying return to the world. All of the demons are named after planets and they are all located in separate areas of the game that you have to travel to. I don’t want to spoil the game because there are some pretty decent twists and turns, some of them had me shocked while leaving me with my mouth wide open. After you see credits roll at the end of the game, you will find that there is a post-game. This post-game is more than just a game+ mode, there are two new demons to defeat and some new gear to collect and upgrade.
The gameplay is pretty standard but they add so many tiny elements in this game that it makes for a good experience. For starters the player is just not given free NPCs to play with. The game makes you buy rooms for new party members. The cool thing about this approach is that you create your own party members from their class and race to their looks and voice. Not only do you have to buy your party member’s rooms, you also have to shell out the cash when you return to the Inn from anywhere. I mean anywhere! You could accidently leave the Inn and forgot to buy potions and want to return before you start your adventure, but “BAM” you got to pay rent for everybody with you. It is a unique idea that you don’t see in many games now a days and it never hurt my game play experience. This game also adds layers to the combat, literally. You create the formations on how your party fights; Such as having two people on the front lines to take all the close physical damage and the rest staying in the back trying not to take any damage and trying to support the team. You can mess with this all you want and even just have one guy in the front and having 4 healers if you wanted to, just realize that this might take you forever to complete this game if you consider doing that. There are a lot of skills to learn and it is kind of a slow process to level up, so don’t think you are going to be Hercules any time soon. The game also keeps you in check by creating super hard bosses to fight. The difficulty spikes in this game are a little ridiculous. You could be mowing through waves of creatures and enemies and then you just hit a wall. What do you have to do? You get to level grind! There is a lot of level grinding in this game, nothing like the Disgaea series, but after each boss it feels like a race to level up for the next one, which is not a bad thing.
Not only do you level up, but you can also level up your weapons, armor and items. This system is pretty cool because you can take points from one weapon, called Ether, and transfer it to another same type weapon. This causes the weapon to level up and can only increases to a certain level. This works with armor in a sense that Ether increases the armor value. Another thing that can be leveled up is your Demon Keys. These keys represent the Demons that you have defeated and captured throughout your adventure and this increases their health and also their Demon Point level. These Demon Points help your Demons stay out longer in combat and gives your character more abilities to use, but leveling up isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. You also need to look for amazing weapons!
Within dungeons, players have to find demon circles to take control of them. Once you find and control all of the circles you will face the boss of the area. The amounts of demon circles that are needed to be controlled in an area are different. It can range from 6 circles to a whopping 15! This takes a lot of time to achieve if you are also trying to search every corner of the map. Traversing through a dungeon is super easy to do in this game with a bunch of helpful user friendly controls. Some of the most helpful tools are turning 180 by a press of the button or creating an auto travel feature so you don’t have to personally walk the whole way. Some things in games we take for granted, and Demon Gaze is one of those titles that have super polished controls.
The art in this game is beautiful. The art in this game attracted me to it originally, and made me keep playing to the end. The dungeons themselves are kind of bland and could look better. The areas look completely different but the walls had the same textures in the same area. This didn’t harm my immersion in the game and I think it looks good for a dungeon crawling Vita game. The enemies and demons all look super good and I am surprised that this is not a show yet. The characters are well designed and the characters are well thought out.
I enjoyed this soundtrack. It is a lot of fun to listen to, but the same track is played for every boss and just regular battles. I wish there was more tracks in the game, but they are still fun to listen to for the 40ish hours I put into the game.
I really enjoyed playing this game! I have never beaten a JRPG ever and this one hit the right spot for me. The art is fun to watch and some of the conversations you have with some of the residents are exceptionally entertaining to read. This game is really challenging and a bit relentless at times, but if you save all the time, this game is not too hard. This game is a good purchase for $40 and it will give you around 40 hours of play easily. Demon Gaze deserves your gaze of curiosity!