From Idea Factory’s subsidiary, Compile Heart, comes a Japanese RPG called Death end Re;Quest. When we first got to see it in November at the Idea Factory International, Inc. press event in San Francisco, we were eager to see it play out more on our own screens. Finally, just a few months before spring, we got a copy and we were more than a little excited to jump right in. If you are a fan of JRPGs with turn based gameplay, mysterious plots, and dungeon crawling, hang tight for Death end re;Quest.
What to Expect
Death end re;Quest takes your traditional turn-based JRPG and puts a refreshing twist on the gameplay that we all know and love. Gameplay includes features like changing the game’s genre around to familiar genres like fighting or shooting, having your partner hack the game in battle to change the tides, and a knockback system that forces you to think a bit on your toes. Let’s not forget that you have to play in both the in-game world and the real world in order to figure out what is going on including why Shina Ninomiya went missing and cannot remember the last year. No one’s gameplay will be exactly the same as how the game progresses is all up to your own will as the player.
Just to let you know, you also have the option to play the game in English or Japanese audio with English subtitles!
Death end re;Quest Trailer
Enigma was a game developer on the verge of hitting it big in the gaming industry with its game, World’s Odyssey. Just as things are about to hit critical mass, the director Shina Ninomiya suddenly went missing following her vanishing in battle. Servers for World’s Odyssey were shut down and the game’s development ended. After a year since the game being shut down, the server was suddenly back up, however a calamity had taken place in the game world resulting in NPCs being infected.
At the beginning of the story, we witness Shina’s demise in battle in World’s Odyssey., which is told in gory narration as we watch her slow death. After this battle, Shina awakens in a cottage in a seemingly peaceful meadow where the memories of her character have been reset so that she thinks she’s about to set off on a journey to The Kingdom. However, stepping away from her peaceful meadow reveals to her a desert wasteland that is unfamiliar to her. Rook, a merchant, tells Shina that in the last year, the Entoma Scourge occurred causing havoc amongst the population. Those that survived turned toward faith, but then even odder things began to happen as people suddenly disappeared or mass amounts of people committed suicide simultaneously.
Shaken by this story, Shina attempts to just go along with what she remembers and proceeds to the kingdom where the king attempts to kill her. Arata Mizunashi manages to reach Shina and saves her. After the confusing events, Arata informs Shina that she’s actually been missing for a year. Now, the two of them must figure out what is happening as they transverse this foreign version of World’s Odyssey and fight against monsters called Martyrs.
One of the most interesting things we heard during the press event back in November had to be the fact that you would be able to switch between the in-game world and the real world in order to properly play the game and solve the mystery behind World’s Odyssey’s infection and Shina’s disappearance. You can actually choose to forgo this, but the story doesn’t stop in either world just because you prefer one, so your endings will change based on your choices. If you want to solve all of the mysteries, you’re going to have to find a balance between the two worlds.
Much of the game feels like an open world game (without actually being one) as you wander around trying to figure out where to go and what leads to the next point in your game. There are also side quests that you must complete along the way, which will keep you busy so that you don’t just power through the story, although these side quests can be quite simple in nature.
The game will inform you how much you’ve explored a particular area so that you know you can keep going, which adds a dungeon crawler feel as you wander these areas and fight Martyrs along the way. The game reminds us of games like Conception II or Persona where the monsters are merely present all along the backdrop of the game and then will attack you if you don’t attack them first. Whoever manages to attack first will result in a good or bad start to your battle, so you won’t want to be the type who gets ambushed if you want the battle to go in your favor.
In battle, there are a few notable features that will affect your overall gameplay and really change the way you’ll look at turn based battles. Sure, not everyone loves turn based battle systems, but in Death end re;Quest, the gameplay feels different than most games. For one, you have free reign of the battlefield, which allows you to move your character in whatever way you choose so that you have the full advantage. You also have the ability to perform 3 different (or the same) moves during a battle per each member in your party, which is called “Triact.” You can use this in your favor by enhancing your magic skills before attacking without wasting a turn, etc. If you pick the right combination of moves, you can even unlock new skills during battle using the Flash Drive System, which can change the tide of battle!
Speaking of Triact, certain moves will trigger the Knockback System during battle, which means after you finish attacking, you will knock the Martyrs back. You can use this to your advantage by strategically attacking them so they ricochet off of other Martyrs in battle, hit the invisible wall and get dealt damage, or get knocked into one of your party members who will then attack the Martyr automatically. Some characters can even attack multiple Martyrs at the same time and knock them all back resulting in a slight game of pinball!
Once you get a little further in the game, you will find the battlefield is infected by bugs that can corrupt Shina and other allies. You can utilize the Knockback System in order to knock enemies into the bugs and corrupt your enemies, which may or may not lead to a more favorable outcome to you depending on the effects of the bugs, or you can have your own characters corrupt themselves so you can active a Glitch. Glitch moves allow your characters to transform and gives them an extremely powerful move they can perform against strong enemies of your choosing. On top of that, if you clear out a certain percentage of the bugs on the battlefield, you can make Arata Code Jack to change the game’s code and alter the battle in your favor or you can change the genre of the game for one turn.
What does it mean to change the genre? Well, you can actually turn the battle mechanic into something different like an FPS game or fighting game if you’d like. The effect lasts one turn, but it changes the monotony of the battle system if you ever feel bored of it, which can happen as battles do get rather repetitive like any other game involving battle and grinding.
The character designs and the game’s graphics are really well done. The soundtrack can be quite serene, which contrasts the darker elements of the story, but other songs pair well with the events of the game’s story. The writing for narration is actually quite wonderful compared to many other games, which tend to be rather simplistic. This makes for great cutscenes outside of the the ordinary dialogue that plays out.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Death end re;Quest is a game we’ve been eagerly anticipating and we’d say we had a great time with the game. It does get rather monotonous at times as many dungeon crawlers and games with lots of farming can, but the battle system involves a bit of strategy and cleverness so it doesn’t completely become stale until you are OP’ed. On top of that, the story for Death end re;Quest is interesting playing off of similar plotlines we’ve seen in isekai anime like Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, and Overlord, but it doesn’t feel like a complete copy of either of those ideas or their correlating games. If you enjoy JRPGs and have been curious about Death end re;Quest, we’d say you should pick it up and give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Artful, sometimes gruesome, storytelling that does a great job narrating along with the cutscenes
Beautiful graphics and great character design
Knockback Systems adds a touch of cleverness to the battle mechanics
Game has an open world feel with the inclusion of side quests
The plot changes depending on your choices and how you choose to play out the story
The story can be a bit slow in the beginning
Battles can feel repetitive and mundane
If you forget to save before coming across an infected NPC, you could end up getting a Game Over with the wrong choice and have to start all over
Honey's Final Verdict:
We’ve had our fun with Death end re;Quest, but now that we’re done here, the cards are now in your hands. Will you purchase the game or watch playthroughs of it? Are you going to keep biding your time before you decide to pick it up? The choice is all yours, but hopefully we were able to give you a little insight into Death end re;Quest before you make your decision. If any of you do decide to play it and have a few words for us about your own opinions, be sure to let us know in the comments below! Thanks for joining us yet again here at Honey’s Anime. Bye bye!
California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!