Rating

B+

Specific Ratings

GraphicsA-
SoundB+
GameplayC+
Replay ValueA-
Learning CurveA+

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Easy-to-love characters
  • Simple controls
  • Adorable character design
  • Enemy design is creative and tends to be funny
  • LOTS of options
Cons
  • Not much thought needed for combat
  • The animation segments feel...off

Demon Gaze II (PlayStation 4)

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Summary

With odd characters, well written humor, and its fun dungeon crawling style, Demon Gaze II is a welcome addition to anyone's collection

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Description

Story
You are part of the Revolutionist Party, with your memories gone, but the gained power of the "Demon Gaze". You have to work with your team, turning demons to your side and trying to take down Magnastar, while also trying to regain your lost memories. You are Asteria's only hope!

Graphics
The graphics are represented in 2D and 3D. The dungeon crawling segments are presented in a first person 3D perspective, while the 2D portions are represented by traditional visual novel style anime visuals, with character portraits appearing and disappearing and dialogue being represented in text boxes at the bottom of the screen. The 2D parts of the game are used for exposition and doing prep work, like visiting shops or talking to members of the revolution.

I really enjoy the art style in this game. While places like the tavern, or people like your friends, have a lighthearted and soft tone, art-wise, enemies tend to have a darker or more sharp-edged design. This huge contrast quickly shows what is and isn't friendly to you, save for the demons, who are all adorable girls for the most part.

The biggest downfall of the graphics is the game's attempt at animation for the demons. They feel really off and amateurish and just didn't sit well with me. It almost looked like they were puppets being moved around to simulate movement with each limb moving on its own and just looking odd.

Sound
Admittedly at first, I felt the music made fights feel a little off since it felt a little more upbeat than battle music usually is. I slowly ended up warming up to it and loving it! If the game had an official soundtrack, I would feel confident recommending it to a fan of game music.

Game sounds are standard affair and fit well, with the clings and clangs of swords and other weapons doing their thing. I have no complaints; the weapons sounded good and felt right.

I do have to mention that I equipped a cape that changed the sounds of my footsteps to dog barks and I couldn't stop laughing for a while. Just a sign that the game is OK with being silly, and with letting you know that they were having a bit of fun too in development.

The only actual damage done to this game with sound is in the voice acting. A few times the actresses kind of blended in, which did keep the characters from feeling totally unique at times. Not all dialogue is even voice acted, which is sad because I enjoyed the voice work in the game, even with the few hiccups.

Gameplay
While the visual novel segments of the game work fine, this game does lean heavily on the dungeon crawler segments, which unfortunately are not very well designed, challenge-wise. There are a lot of options in the game, including equipment, items, gems, the gear upgrading mechanic, and being able to swap through partners and create your own demon group. However, while the game does have things like weaknesses, immunity to certain elements, and each demon only being able to use certain items, I was able to just press fast attack and win most of my battles with barely an issue.

I was bored through those segments but intensely interested once the story progressed. The well done storytelling saves this when compared to the meh gameplay segments in the dungeons.

Learning Curve
While I know NIS America is just the publisher, they have had a good track record so far, with the games they put out being easy to pick up and learn. I would actually say it is one of their biggest strengths.

Replay Value
I am quite far into the game and feel very satisfied, but to the completionist, there is so much to do that I would not be surprised if quite a few people play through the story once, then again just to collect everything.

Overall
Even with the gameplay and sound issues I mentioned, there is not any kind of way I can call this game trash. It won't be for everyone, but for those who enjoy the genre, you can do much worse.

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