Anyone into the old D&D style dungeon crawlers where you make 90 degrees turns should like this - If you don't mind the cutesy "moe" Anime graphics.
In Demon Gaze, Flan runs a manor for adventurers which acts as your base for resting up, arranging party members, purchasing items and getting new quests.
Your main goal as "Demon Gazer" Oz, is to hunt down troublesome demons in various parts of the world and seal off the great evil that is about to awaken. To do this, you find portals and close them by defeating the demons. The demon you're after may or may not be inside so by closing enough of them, you corner the demon and then use your Demon Gaze power to subdue them to become your partner.
Summoning demons is a bit like Pokemon who give your party members passive buffs and also have their own skills to aid the battle. A bit more variety for battles. They're not almighty because while they are summoned they use up the Demon Gauge and when this is depleted, they rage and can turn on your party.
You start off with just a single party member fully customisable with graphics, voices, class etc and then have to save up enough money to buy a room and hire another. You even have to pay rent every time you return to the manor which is a bit odd but adds a interesting goal all the same. You can decorate your rooms with ornaments too, not just your gear for stat boosts.
To make the level grind less laborious, they've made navigation quite speedy by letting you specify any point in the map you've visited so that you can auto-navigate there instead of working your way there like a robot which is great. At least, until you hit the dungeons full of traps that is. Making use of the correct demon to discover secrets is part of the exploration and avoiding hazardous spaces.
A fairly novel feature is leaving memos for other players to find but you can't type whatever you want - just pick from a list of words but even they can be pretty cheeky.
Now the best part I like is how the drops are handled. The gear selection in the manor shop is really small so the only way to get better gear is really from drops and for veteran RPG players, we all know how hard rare drops can take and how tedious farming can be.
In the case of DG, you use gear associated gems at portals, if you wanted swords to drop then you use sword gems. It can be really fun to see what you end up getting - a powerful unique item your party can use or, something you can just sell towards your adventuring funds.
You'll pretty much be spending most of your time going back and forth between dungeons farming with gems. Difficulty is fairly level throughout the entire game while bosses give just the right amount of challenge without the need to level grind.
Well, until you reach the final bosses which becomes pretty frustrating.
Visually, the backgrounds look sharp and highly detailed on the PSV screen. Character designs are cute but also done the small and busty "moe" style with plenty of sensual scenarios going on but, that's pretty normal for Anime and JRPGs.
Perhaps what's most annoying is the vocal BGM with the high pitched, synthesized-like voice. Instrumental would have been less annoying.
There isn't much of a story going on than your usual fantasy great evil awakens plot but the script is fun to read.
I'm not a big fan of dungeon crawlers but Dungeon Gaze has a cute presentation and handles drops in such as way it was enjoyable to play through.
Time Played: 30 hours
- Fun, controlled drop system.
- Cute, detailed graphics.
- Little level grinding.
- Can speed up battles by holding triangle and use auto-routing.
- Demons add some extra variety to the dungeon crawling and boss fights.
- Quite a few crashes with v1.03 patch.
- Huge difficulty spike towards the end of game.
- Vocal BGM.