Demon Gaze 2 (Review)

Demon Gaze II takes place several years after the original, and while some characters from the first entry return, the story of the game is largely separate.

The story begins with the player trapped in a cell after being captured on a mission. After a sequence of events, you learn that you are part of a rebel group tasked with freeing Asteria City from the clutches of Sirius Magnastar — a demon gazer who has used his powers to brainwash nearly all of the city’s inhabitants. Fortunately, you were also made a demon gazer during your time in captivity, so it falls on you to stop Magnastar’s ambitions.

If there is one thing that Demon Gazer II has going for it is it’s streamlined design. Everything is clear cut and simple, and this fact is made immediately clear with the game’s story. We don’t have to wait to get clued in on what’s going on. Players are immediately told who the enemy is, what he’s doing and what’s needed to stop him — no guesswork required.

This streamlined design is present in gameplay as well, starting with character creation — or rather, the lack thereof. In previous titles, it wasn’t uncommon for players to stay at the character creation for extended periods agonizing over their characters’ classes and stats. This won’t happen in Demon Gaze II because it’s gone in almost all its entirety.
Instead, the only thing you customize which has any impact on gameplay is your character’s alignment. You can choose between Good, Neutral and Evil which will change the abilities you get as you progress through the game. In general, Lawful provides defensive abilities, Chaotic provides offensive abilities and Neutral provides a mix of the two with an added dash of utility.
However, don’t expect alignment to have any meaningful impact on aspects such as the story’s narrative or events like in, say, Shin Megami Tensei. I picked Neutral for my character’s alignment and chose mostly friendly responses in my dialogue, but never noticed anything suggesting that those choices meant anything.
Seeing that the choices I made not have any legitimate impact on events was disappointing because the game is rife with dialogue, particularly at the rebellion’s base of operations: Stella’s Place.
Stella’s Place is where all the action occurs when you aren’t out in the field; and while it looks like any ordinary inn on the surface, everything needed to fuel a proper rebellion is hidden in the basement. There are facilities such as an item/weapon shop, an enchanter, and even a broadcast studio where the Manager, Muse, and her sister, Prim, spread their anti-Magnastar propaganda via radio.
And while everyone else does their work at the inn, your job is to battle against Magnastar’s forces directly. To accomplish this, you need to head to one of the areas (known as Restricted Zones) that are under his control and defeat the demon in charge there.
If you’ve played the original, then Demon Gaze II’s structure in regards to exploration will feel very familiar; and this time around, there is an improved Auto-Move command which allows for easier travel by bypassing certain enemies, obstacles and traps automatically.

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