It's been a while since I just bought a random dungeon RPG. Tokyo Clanpool demo on the 24th apparently - hopefully an improvement from the apparently deficient Mary Skelter. Anyway! This is the new game from Sawaki Takeyasu, the ex-Capcom designer behind El Shaddai. It's based in the current day but still has the angels and demons theme. This time around you play as Hayato Ibuki, a writer for an occult magazine, and quickly enough you get pushed in front of a train (and saved), receive the mysterious Gungaur weapon, become a "chosen one" and end up with an angel, Rua, following you around. Your editor, Sarutani, doesn't seem too impressed but you continue with work, investigating rumours about strange happenings.
Once the talking is done, you end up in a "layer" - a dungeon. If the engine isn't the same as what Experience use in games like Demon Gaze it's been designed to be very similar. Walking around is similar, only lacking the right stick controls and ability to post notes, but the mapping is strengthened with the ability to easily flick between the notes you see when you interact with obstacles. The framerate is dreadful on Vita; I was surprised after seeing Experience challenging for 60fps at times in their games to have this limp along with lengthy loading and 15fps update. Maybe they were trying to make it feel more like Soul Hackers? It's already got the pair of main characters leading a team of summoned creatures (summoned with a gun, no less - though in this case the computer function is separated out to a tablet operated by Rua, unlike the GUMP). There is a PS4 version which I'm sure would run a lot better.
Anyway, battles start and unlike Megaten, you capture enemies by killing them with an Astral Burst; an attack which combines attacks from Hayato and your three summons on an enemy and if it kills the enemy then you get them. There's a bar at the top of the screen which charges with normal attacks and defeated enemies and the closer to 100% it gets the stronger the burst you unleash, but if you let it overflow it empties and you can't use the burst next turn.
Captured enemies are released and levelled up using one of three kinds of Karma, gained from defeating the relevant type of enemy and by your dialogue choices in the story. Only Hayato and Rua gain experience on victory so you have the choice of how to raise your team.
Overall I'm enjoying it so far. It's a little slow paced (especially if you don't immediately turn the movement speed up to max) but a lot of the usual pain points you get in DRPGs are eased up and there is a real style to it. Lucifel, making a reappearance from El Shaddai, even reads out the piracy warning on loading, and there are a couple of references to the infamous trailer but not too many.
Edited by uiruki, 15 September 2017 - 08:13 PM.