Reader Review: Demon Gaze (Vita)

DEMON_BOXMy good friend Leroy loves dungeon crawling RPGs, and since he has a Vita and I don’t, here’s his take on Demon Gaze for PS Vita.  Check it out!

Demon Gaze is a first person dungeon RPG for PlayStation Vita, developed by Experience Inc. and published by NIS America.

I love dungeon RPGs, I always have. They tend to emphasize the more gamey aspects of RPGs, which I’m all about. Over the years, they have slowly become a little more modernized, with friendlier mapping systems and more focus on characters and stories. Despite that, they are still clearly aimed at people that enjoy leveling up, looking for treasures, managing skill tress and getting excited when a boss has a good chance of destroying the player.

Demon Gaze puts you in the role of a gazer, a special somebody that has the ability to tame demons and utilize their powers. After being rescued by a retired gazer, you end up at an inn in a land overrun by monsters and tasked with capturing more demons. The story goes from here as you learn about the characters that live at the inn and of the land.

Of course, the real meat of the game is diving into dungeons and fighting monsters, and Demon Gaze delivers on this. Each dungeon has you finding and capturing a series of points on the map called magic circles, which will force the boss demon to appear once completed. Magic circles are a central part of the game, it’s not only how you progress in dungeons, but it’s also how you earn equipment and money. After most battles you will earn gems, which are placed on the magic circle points that summons a group of monsters. After defeating the summoned monsters, the gems turn into equipment (sword gems drop random swords, armor gems drop random armor, etc.). You can place three gems per circle, including modifier gems which generate stronger monsters and yield better rewards.

Another one of the main aspects of the game is how central the inn is. It’s where story elements unfold. Every time you return from a dungeon, you have to pay your rent. And you have to buy additional rooms in order to recruit new characters. The inn also contains shops, a bulletin board for quests and a machine that breaks down unwanted equipment that can later be used to enhance wanted equipment. You can buy furniture for your characters’ rooms to give them stat bonuses.

Defeated bosses can be used in battle and each boss has their own set of abilities, such as showing hidden doors or enhancing your party’s attack, defense or other stats. But using them too much in battle will make them turn on you. So it’s an interesting back and forth on how much you want to rely on their help.

Graphics are decent; we’ve come a long way from dull, unchanging brick walls, but even still, the dungeons in these games are never graphical showcases. Demon gaze does feature good, high resolution character art, although nothing is animated. The music in the game is a little strange, most tracks have vocal effects, but it doesn’t really sound good and it doesn’t really mesh well with the style of the game. It’s not bad, but it just feels out of place.

One of the only complaints I have is on the difficulty balance. Most of your standard battles require little more than mashing the X buttons until victory is achieved, but then the boss of that same area will take you out in two rounds, regardless of your strategy. Early on, one of the major problems is the sheer random and unpredictable manner in what equipment you get. This evens out later on when there’s less of an immediate need for good equipment and once you get the ether machine which allows you convert useless equipment into bonuses for other equipment. But it’s frustrating early on knowing you’re simply lacking some armor points and you can’t really go into the shop and buy something new (you CAN, it’s just not feasible early on when money is tight and you’re trying to buy new rooms).

Otherwise, it’s a good dungeon romp and fans of the genre will appreciate it. It doesn’t really stand out and excel in the genre, but it’s completely playable and enjoyable.


Kid Factor:

Demon Gaze is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol.  The biggest problem here is the high level of sexuality in the game. Most of the character portraits you can assign to your characters are barely dressed (both female and male) and a lot of the character flavor cut-scenes go into teasing and titillating territory. There is occasional harsh language. All enemy characters are still portraits, so there’s no visible violence outside of a few dramatic moments in the story.  –Leroy Capasso

2 Responses to “Reader Review: Demon Gaze (Vita)”

  1. Vita games are so coool 🙂

  2. anime style game, hmm looks interesting, time to get off the bubble shooter online flash game and try something new )

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