I came across the first game on PSN Plus and really enjoyed it which was a pleasant surprise because I never knew about the game let alone buy the game.
It's been too long since I played the predecessor so can't quite remember how the story went but, I don't think this is a sequel although you do come across a few mild references. You play as a hero (or heroine!) who has amnesia as with JRPGs and suddenly you've gained the Demon Gaze ability to capture and control demons. After you return home to the Stella's Place you're now part of the Revolutionists Party to overthrow the nasty Magnastar who runs the city using people's souls.
Gameplay is still a first person dungeon crawler. You explore dungeons looking for Demon Circles and dominate them by defeating the monsters in them. Once you've dominated them all, you fight the boss and make them join your side.
It's not really like Pokemon even though you control demons. There aren't that many to party with and they're more like your regular party members. Every dungeon has their own characteristics and demon abilities can help such as revealing hidden passages. There's also still the fun gatcha system where instead of depending on random drops you control what drops by using gems whenever you find a demon circle. It's actually fun getting rare drops this way than completely by luck and is one of the reasons why I decided to play this second game.
So, what's new?
In the last game, you could decorate your own room with a piece of furniture for boosting stats but now you can rent your demon's a room too. You can also do some "maintenance" where you play a mini game touching different parts of their portrait. You can practice and a circle will tell you if you are getting closer to the "sweet spot". Once your likability's high enough, you can go on dates with them... That's your weird and wonderful JRPGs for you. As your relationship improves with each demon, you unlock new abilities.
The good news is it has both male and female demons so it isn't just a harem for male players. The dates are cute event scenes (and there are male demons to date for female players out there) but it would have been better if they had a really well illustrated event scene like most visual novels have.
Fights are really basic RPG style but then again, so are a lot of first person dungeon crawlers. You have your basic attack and a bunch of skills for MP based attacks or buffs. Now you can fuse yourself with a demon too if just commanding them isn't enough. Battles are kind of on the easy side on the second lowest level "warm". Boss fights just don't feel challenging enough to feel like boss fights. Most of the time you can just repeat the same actions to win.
In the previous game you simply had to hold the confirm button to speed through trash mob fights, they seem to have added an extra step into fights. After issuing commands it asks if you want to view the attack results normally or skip them. The old setup worked a lot better even though you can still hold the confirm button to speed through battles, it pauses during the new optional dialogue.
Presentation wise I think the character and demon designs were better in the predecessor. Too much loli designs for my liking and there's not much attention to detail - especially the demon designs which look really crudely finished. Maybe because the portraits are actually skewed to mimic some animation whereas in the previous game, they were just static portraits. That said, it's good to see games catering more towards the female audience although a lot of the writing is more male oriented.
On the hand, the synthetic vocals is still fun to listen to and the backgrounds are still great to look at. It's also great to see the big screen PS4 version isn't a lazy upscaled version of the PSV version like some other games that started off as PSV games. Visuals look clean and sharp on the big screen.
The Western version of the game has both English and the original Japanese audio. Even the Japanese text for those of you wondering.
Demon Gaze II is a fairly good follow-up to its first game but could lose that extra option you have to through in battle and, have better demon/character designs.
- Caters to both male and female players - can be a hero or heroine.
- Both male and female demon companions.
- Fun gatcha drop system's still here.
- Auto-route works great for returning to a spot after dumping off loot.
- Beautifully drawn backgrounds.
- Not just a lazy upscaled version of the PS Vita version.
- Japanese and English audio/text.
- Character and demon designs were better in the first game.
- Need a better equipment system to show who can use what, what's better.
- Really don't need the extra option when issuing commands in battles.
- Could use more event scene illustrations.