Demon Gaze was recently released in English. Upon reading relatively positive reviews, and checking out some vids and pictures, I decided to give the game a shot. It’s extremely hit or miss but for me it’s enough to make me want to play the game all the way.
Demon Gaze is a dungeon-crawler RPG in which you control an amnesiac protagonist named Oz who is known as a “Demon Gazer”. He has the ability to seal off demons by using his eye magic… or somewhere along those lines. With the help of customizable characters, he sets off to explore various dungeons to seal off these demons, along with helping out the NPCs of the game with many quests and jobs. I’ll try to make a quick summary of the many aspects of the game.
Characters: Aside from the protagonist, the game offers you the ability to create characters from a selection. At the beginning of the game you are allowed up to 1 additional character to join you. As you collect gold, you can open up more slots (up to 5) thus creating more characters to form your party. There are 5 races, along with 7 classes. Each race has their own strengths and weaknesses, along with being certain classes only. Each class has different skills and abilities. it’s up to you to decide which character you want in your party.
As you progress through the game, you will eventually have the ability to summon demons to aid you in exploration and battles. Each demon has various skills and abilities to use but you cannot control them, they have their own AI. If you leave the demon out for too long, it will enter “Rage Mode” in which it transforms and can possibly hurt your party, so you have to be careful.
I do like the customization of characters as it can provide many different ways to play the game but ultimately, there’s only a few “sure-fire” parties to go along with if you want to play it properly. For example, if you don’t bring a Healer in your party, the game becomes about 2 or 3 times harder than usual,. relying only on items for recovery.
Dungeon-exploring: The main aspect of the game, you explore various dungeons to find and seal off demons. There are many obstacles and events to hinder your progress, or to give you an idea as to where to go next. Battles are pretty random. Sometimes you may only find a few enemies, while other battles you will find several groups at once. The rate of battles are also random. You may only encounter 1 battle per minute, other times you will be battling 2 or 3 times in a row with very little break. It does get pretty frustrating when that happens.
The main purpose of dungeon exploring is to find these demon circles scattered throughout the dungeons. Capturing these circles causes the demon (or major boss) of the dungeon to come out and attack you. The story progresses as you fight these demons, you eventually seal them off and use their powers as your own.
Also in this game are notes created by other players online. By using the Internet, you can send and receive notes to inform other players about various things and hints. It’s an extremely helpful feature and I know it has helped me ALOT during the early parts of the game. This feature is very much similar to the one used in Demon Souls and Dark Souls, both on the PS3.
My main problem with this game is that you do not know whether your party is ready to fight these demons or not, it is simply a matter of trial and error (so always save before these fights to be safe), and chances are you will be forced to grind until you are ready.
Music and Sound
I swear, half of the music in this game sounds like they’re made from Vocaloid. You even hear the “singing” in the background. It’s… very weird in my opinion and doesn’t fit into the game at well. It’s also pretty boring to listen to. As for sound effects, there’s nothing special about them.
What this game does offer in terms of character customization is voices. Each character you create can have a selection of voices for battling but they’re either mainly grunts, screams or very short one-liners. The main dialogue of the game are properly voiced however, and like most other NIS published titles, the game offers dual voice option if you don’t like the English dub. It’s not too bad in my opinion. Then again, I’m a pretty flexible person when it comes to English dubbing.
Graphics and Presentation
The game’s dialogue is presented in the traditional simulation style. 2D portraits of the talking characters with various expressions, along with bonus images. In battle, there are no character animations, just 2D portraits and sprites of the enemies and your party. Battle animations aren’t anything too fancy as well. Dungeons are simple looking, with an emphasis on darkness and anything “demonic or evil” with a little bit of extra detail here and there but the developers went into their way to try and make exploring the dungeons more authentic by adding in some special effects. For example, if you’re in a fire-related place the bottom half of the screen gets covered up in flames. If you’re in a misty area, the screen gets covered up in mist and makes little splashing noises when you walk on puddles of water.
There are over 60 character portraits to choose from when creating your characters, some with traditional anime style while others more “westernised” if I may say so, ranges from cute, small anime girls to burly, muscular men with huge weapons… and everything in between.
If you have played a dungeon-crawler RPG before and enjoy them, chances are you will enjoy this game. It’s a bit linear but offers various sidequests to keep you off track and extend the game length. It also holds a fair bit of customization as well so you may have multiple parties if you wish.
For those who have not played this type of game before, watch some videos or read some reviews to get a better idea. it’s not for every RPG lover out there but if you do decide to try it out… be patient. The beginning of the game is really slow and hard but once you get past that point, you’ll be offered a lot more and enjoy what the game has to offer.