Tag Archives: Dungeon Explorer

Haven Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

There are some games out there that inspire greatness, that exude the promise of greatness and that are just naturally amazing. However, Touhou Genso Wanderer is not one of these games.

I love the character designs and artwork, the voice acting and the animation for the game is simply amazing. Like holy hell the animation for the cut-scenes is on par with some of the greatest games I have ever seen for anime-styled games.

However, it’s the actual gameplay that has been disappointing. You get a world of build up and then when you get to actually playing the game it is a simple dungeon explorer title with nothing special or amazing about it. No attention to detail, repetitive music and ultimately bland to look at it. It has a strong feeling like the assets were ripped from RPG maker software, titled in and coded for a Play Station 4 game.

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a title that could have been great but gave up half-way through. Although I am not sure on why, it could be budget constraints; it could be poor direction, or even simply poor design.

The controls for the game were pretty confusing as well and the screen re-size function on the Play Station 4 didn’t help much in its visuals as well. The game just simply kept overriding the default options I had placed in.  So I could never see the full status bar of my character.

I know I am being very critical about the game, but honestly that is what I am here for to be critical about games. The game sucks, put simply and people can complain and argue that with me to their blue in the face. I don’t like how they didn’t get the stage design more detail, I don’t like the repetitive music on a infinite loop, I don’t like how they mashed the controls together and barely gave any type of tutorial to go along with it.

I’d like to say it’s one of the worst games I have ever played, but there’s quite a few in the running for that.  The best part of the game is simply its branding. The beautiful and colorful characters, the animation, even the voice acting are pretty nice. It’s just everything else about the title that’s bad.

If you want in this article appears several images from the game to explain what I mean in regards to its poor level design and why I dislike it.    

If I had to say some positive things about it, I’d say that the level transition goes quickly and loads up well. But that is because they are doing a tiled asset approach and don’t have a lot of things to load.

Actual combat remains somewhat of a bore and the plot used to let you battle actual humans in the game is a simple plot convenience that lets them recycle assets to help keep the file size low for this game.

I’d say don’t buy it, but if you like sloppy work for a cheaply made game that most people could put together on the RPG maker forum with basic coding and simple assets than. By all means this game is the game for you! Although if the fan base reads this article, which they probably will at some point, my opinion probably doesn’t matter to you so enjoy the game anyways.

-Daniel Clatworthy

For the record if anyone also wanted to know, I’m not the only person who feel’s this way, a lot of people on Metacritic say the same thing.

Haven Review: Etrian Odyssey II

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this reviewlogo   

Etrian Odyssey II is not to be confused with Etrian Mystery Dungeon, because for a good while I thought it was a sequel to that title. I was wrong. Now something to note is that it’s made by Atlus, and as with their other Etrian titles they’re very good at recycling images! Etrian Mystery Dungeon, Etrian Odyssey and even Etrian Odyssey II all have recycled textures, 3D models and character images, to the point where it doesn’t really feel fresh visually; I feel it has grown stale in that respect. I really wish they’d create more new content, aside from the occasional character.2827128-eo2u_story+4

Now a thing I did like about the game is that at the start you not only select your game mode (easy, normal and hard), but you can also choose to use preset story characters or your own custom party. I chose the latter because I love being the hero of my own story and I also love being able to do things I can’t in real life. So what I’m saying is that I love to imagine myself in fantasy roles.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The game starts out horrifically slow to the point where I laid on the couch almost drooling from boredom. But after you get to Level 10 through hours of grinding, you can actually progress at a steady pace and things get easier. The story even becomes interesting. There a few unique characters that help to augment the plot; my favorite so far being from the Beowolf guild.

Before I continue, let me say a bit about the guilds in the game. Unlike Etrian Mystery Dungeon, the people in your guild do not level up as you play; they all remain stagnant at Level 1. If you want to level them up, you must either help them one at a time or grind all over again. I find this incredibly obnoxious, tedious and a total bore.2827126-eo2u_story+2

The game’s combat mechanics use a standard role-playing, turn based system…much like the previous Etrian Odyssey title (but not like Etrian Mystery Dungeon). Also, if you unlock the mystery dungeon title then the dungeon is no longer a mystery at all. In fact it’s not even randomly generated; you can explore the entire dungeon. Honestly this is where the intelligence meter takes a plunge.

You as the player are forming a guild in town with your members; whomever you want really, and from there you’re going to explore the labyrinth to try and discover its secrets regarding Yggdrasil (the tree of life). From the very start of the game you cannot finish quests until you learn how to properly make maps of your current dungeon floor. Yet this dungeon is right outside the town, and people have been going there for centuries to slay monsters (and cook their meat). But at the same time they’ve never ventured far enough into the dungeon to make a map of it? This is odd because they’re stated as saying that they know how many floors there are!

So I’m getting really mixed messages regarding the mapping of the dungeon floors. Have they been to Yggdrasil, haven’t they been to Yggdrasil? Did anyone at Atlus think someone like me wouldn’t notice a horribly written plot point such as this?

2827129-eo2u_story+5

The only saving grace for me is the voice actors; they’ve done a wonderful job and are truly talented. That, and I’m starting to get emotionally invested in my personal character. But other than that, I’m sorry to say…the game is bad. It’s nice to look at, but they’re recycling assets from every “Etrian” title. The same holds true with combat system.

The story is full of plot holes, and making the map for the areas you visit is the dumbest thing ever; well that, and how can a forest have five floors with actual guard-like towers connecting them? Someone please explain this to me. You can also clearly see the sun shining from above through Floor 1 of the forest…and also Floors 2, 3, 4 and 5. Yet the stairs lead up, as though to a next floor!650_1200

It’s these inconsistencies that make the game an unforgivable sin. It feels like they made the title and threw it out there just as a quick cash grab. “Hey, people liked our title; let’s toss our assets together and call it a sequel!”

I know I’ll probably offend people, but if you buy the game and play the game you’ll realize I’m not wrong.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Etrian

Haven Review: Etrian Mystery Dungeon

First up is our disclaimer.  We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.    maxresdefault Now, I am not a fan of dungeon explorer games; Dark Cloud kinda ruined it for me when I was a child. However Etrian Mystery Dungeon has made the genre okay for me.

The game starts out with you arriving in town, where you’re at first tasked with simple missions such as slaying a giant monster or rescuing someone. But as in Dark Cloud you have a hunger meter which comes into play as you traverse the dungeon, which makes it a lot harder to move around.medicfemale_resultat53c3u

But unlike other dungeon explorer games, there are various workarounds for this issue and simply by changing party members your hunger meter resets; you don’t need to eat again for a while. Normally I would say this is a programming flaw, but it isn’t. The game intends for you to switch your party around to stay fresh while you’re exploring various maps and fighting off monsters.

When you do encounter monsters, combat is much like playing a game of chess. Each person in your party takes turns moving around or selecting which action they want to perform, and during boss fights you control all aspects of the entire party.img_prince_main-character03

Although the game is incredibly forgiving for a dungeon explorer, if you are defeated you will drop all the equipment your characters were carrying. This can be a bit tedious if you’ve already spent hours making some really amazing equipment, as I have.

As you explore, you earn en, which is a Japanese pronunciation of its national currency: the yen. With en you can upgrade the entire town you’re living in. Because the townspeople don’t know how to properly manage money, they need an outsider to pay for all the town’s upgrades (which will in turn get you more jobs and more money). This winds up being kinda redundant for me. Town growth is also stopped, depending on the dungeon you leave off at, which makes it even more tedious to grow the village. However if you are short on money, the developers got you covered. Runemaster-3There are a few DLC missions which are completely free and repeatable, which can boost your level or boost the amount of money you get. This makes grinding a bit easier and speeds progression, as well. Like I said earlier, the game is very forgiving and it’s easy for new comers who want to try and get into the dungeon explorer game genre.

Is the game worth the investment? I think so. I’ve had a great time playing through the dungeons and taking it at my own pace, which truth be told is pretty slow. But the game can be played at a much faster pace for those who like to beat the clock.

If you want a copy of Etrian Mystery Dungeon, it’s available for Nintendo 3DS right now!

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Dungeon