+Character designs fit the JRPG Quite well
+Character development is unique, fun, and at times comical
+The class system makes the games customizability quite enjoyable as new party members are obtained
-Dungeons tend to be long, drawn out, and lucrative
-Combat can be tedious and difficult for people whom are not used to the JRPG genre
Where do you go when you want some good JRPGs? The Sony PlayStation Vita thanks to companies like Atlus whom bring across some of the most entertaining games. Today that has not changed, tomorrow that will not change and in the upcoming years from now I’m certain that will not change. As the newest entry from Aquaplus and Atlus; Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal is the first among many of the games I’ve played to date that has entered the Adults Only gaming scene. The odd part about that? I’ve noticed retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy, and even Hastings (for you mid-westerners) have been extremely cautious with their supply of the title. Why? Like that unforgettable game Manhunt 2, the game had to edit out certain features to ensure the game could instead get a Mature rating. The question here? How badly did it affect the game at all? Truthfully not, which leads us to our review!
When starting up the game there are a few things that you’ll very quickly notice: Sexually suggestive art and the fact the game is a dungeon crawler of its own among the likes of titles such as Etrian Odyssey and even the most recently reviewed Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy. Unlike these two titles, however, Dungeon Travelers 2 is very simple in story, which can leave you scratching your head since it focuses on the main protagonist Fried, whom is new to the Royal Library, and his comrades as they take out monsters so they can be sealed and studied on an academic level. Much like the previous two titles? The story is simple as well as your role; the downside? Exploring the dungeons is where the story opens up and becomes dull, but the part that captures replayability and your attention? The want to clear out dungeons, play each class, and even find out just how powerful each of the characters can become with higher levels, better gear, abilities, and even spells.
Much like other 3D dungeon crawlers such as the previous two mentioned, then you’ll understand how the game plays and the mechanics behind it. This includes dungeons that are are displayed through on-screen 3D visuals, but unfortunately will not get much of a overlook due to the fact players will spend a majority of the time staring down corridors that look pretty well copy and pasted and offer little variation in detail depending on the zone. Because of this? The map does become important due to the inability to differentiate since each of the corridors look almost the same no matter the zone you are in. While this can seem alarming it does not take away from the challenge the game has to offer since the game itself can be quite difficulty to complete due to the rising difficulty with each dungeon explored.
So what exactly offers the difficulty to each of the dungeons? Well the enemies of course, and this is where Dungeon Travelers 2 seems to turn on a spotlight and illuminate itself the best. With a very straight forward combat system, players will understand the menus if they’ve played turn-based RPGs before. Since the menus seem pretty much the same as any other, players will find themselves pulling the strings for the party as Fried. In this role as the “leader”, Fried will tell each character if they should attack normally, use an ability (presented with a small bar and numbers in order to judge just how many skill points these attacks would use. Even as a fan of the JRPG genre, Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Order & The Monster Seal finds itself not so unique when it comes to innovation, but what it does offer? A fun time when trying to go through each dungeon, fighting extremely difficulty enemies, and even testing out each of the games classes since there are five readily available for you to use.
Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal – PlayStation Vita | Vita TV [Reviewed]
Publisher: ATLUS U.S.A.
Price: 39.99 USD
Released: Now Available
As someone who has played more JRPGs than I’d have dreamed of, I decided it was time to whip out several of the classes and learn them to their best, which leaves me with having played with a Paladin (upgraded fighter character), Priestess, and even an archer in order for me to find the best suited team for my play style, which ended up having the Paladin in the front row while the other two took to combat from a distance. Something that was rather useful in my 115 hours of gameplay (yea, you read that right, 115 hours played). Unfortunately? It would’ve been nice to have seen some twist to the classes compared to a straight line in what they would become at higher levels, but it offered an enjoyable experience none-the-less.
When looking away from a few technical flaws such as a very dumbed down campaign, the game does have a controversial approach to it due to the artwork. This is due to the rather provocative artwork the game is known for. When it comes to the mutant females that players will encounter, players will find themselves fighting against cutely drawn girls, which are almost always tied up in a sexual position. As a person who has played games loaded with fan service, this game does find itself deducing itself to a face-palm worthy title when it comes to this since bosses are the ones that take on the biggest hit. Here players will find themselves looking at a character that seems to appear as a youthful teen that has been changed in a way to look like a mutant monster, and well – for some? This will be troubling and will turn them away if they aren’t one that is keen on some undeniably cringe-worthy fan service moments.
While these small differences the game can be looked at from different perspectives. One of them being the fact the game has next to no puzzles, unless you count having to backtrack to older dungeons to open up other zones. However, for those that want a game that is challenging, difficult, and at times quite humerous? Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal is quite the must-have for the PlayStation if players can get back from the sexualization of the enemy female characters. With that aside? This game is an enjoyable challenge that will mark itself as a must-have on those PlayStation Vita collectible shelves.
Our review is based upon the release of the version that was given to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over onTwitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.