Equal parts Survival, Dungeon Crawler, RPG, Anime
Reviewed in the United States on 10 April 2019
I'll start by saying this game is wonderful, it has far exceeded my expectations, I've written a few reviews, which is something I usually only do when I have a very positive experience. I received this game yesterday and figured I'd play about an hour then get some stuff done around the house, *nine hours later* I went to bed thinking about this world, it's characters and systems. In the small amount of time I've logged in this game, it's easily within my top 10 games ever, maybe even top 5.
Story: The story is great, I hate spoilers so I'll just give you all a vague idea of the goings on, its crazy stuff that often focuses in on the eight protagonists lives while they seek answers in an insane world. Its well told and so far in my little time I've already been surprised a few times, it is rather mature so be prepared for some adult conversations and humor.
Graphic: This game has a very interesting design aesthetic, it often has hub elements that are reminiscent of arcade games, with a lush world and detailed environments. The character design is pretty much what you would expect from this developer, similar to Danganronpa or Zero escape games.
Sound: The BGM is solid and often tows the line between creepy and quiet with ambient nature sounds thrown in, the VO is top notch and in English, but for the the folks that enjoy Japanese VO that too is an option. Combat sounds are crunchy and satisfying especially when you break off parts of your enemies.
Game-play: There is a lot of content to cover but I'll try to keep it concise, this game is a 1st person RPG dungeon crawler, with survival elements. Very similar to a game called Legend of Grimrock in its movement and play-style. You form a party of 4 out of your eight pro-tags and explore on a grid of squares. You fight enemies in real-time by approaching and attacking with basic, charge or combo attacks, there is no magic but that is the only realistic thing about this game, it is important to learn an enemies attack pattern as the game can be a reasonable challenge on the recommended difficulty (you can adjust the difficulty in game but higher risk comes with better rewards). There are a handful of survival elements in place, such as hunting, crafting, base building, scavenging, managing stress and eating to maintain proper stamina, you also have to remember to use the bathroom. Managing these systems never seem too intrusive and feel more like a clever balancing act than a nuisance. There are many other systems in place that make the feedback loop satisfying in every way.
Bottom line if you were interested in this game even a little bit, its much better and more addictive than I can explain. It would take a lot of time and patience to get to everything, but you don't have to take my word for it.
*Update: There are complaints about censorship, which I also don’t support, but understand the narrative before you judge the entire game on that, Spike Chunsoft did not want to censor this game after-all they distribute the uncensored Japanese version, but parts of the game were censored in order for a smooth western release, and what was censored were a few scenes that depict sexual situations with child characters, which honestly does not ruin the game for me, but don’t have misplaced anger with developers or publishers, they really just do what they can to release their art to as many folks as they can
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