Demon Gaze II - PS4 Review

Free the People from Magnastar’s Grip and Light Up the Asteria Revolution!

  • System: Playstation 4
  • Developer: Kadokawa Games, Experience Inc.
  • Publisher: Kadokawa Games, NIS America
  • Release Date: 11/14/2017
  • Price:$49.99
  • Rating: T for Teens
  • Genre: RPG
  • Players: 1
  • Official Website: http://nisamerica.com/games/demongaze2/

Who it Caters to

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Asteria is a beautiful city, surrounded by crystal clear water, located in the Rondel region. The town enjoys peace and prosperity. But, lately, people have started to vanish and rumors of demons hiding throughout the city have begun to surface. Enter Signa (your character). He and his group of friends, known as the Revolutionist Party, have begun to take action against the current ruler of this area, Sirus Magnastar. It's believed that his corrupt dealings and mysterious power are behind everything. The tyrant must be stopped if Asteria's future hopes to be returned back to the hands of its citizens.

Demon Gaze II marks Kadokawa Games' second DRPG entry of the Demon Gaze series. The first game was released back in January of 2013 and was a fan favorite. This time, Demon Gaze II comes out with an improved RPG system that allows you to battle alongside your demon allies like never before! Light up the Asteria Revolution!

Demon Gaze II - Opening Movie Trailer

What to Expect

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This game is enjoyable if you're into (or would like to try out) Dungeon RPG's. The game heavily relies on you exploring dungeons in order to find quest items, rescue characters, and leveling up your characters in order to trigger dialogues and cutscenes that progress the story. The RPG elements keep the game interesting because you are constantly buying/upgrading your weapons and armor, leveling up your characters to unlock new skills, and even going out on dates in order to acquire powerful abilities from your demons. Once you think you've gotten a good feel for the various game mechanics and puzzles, Demon Gaze adds something new to keep the game fresh. You'll want to keep playing the game just to see how powerful you can make your group of demons.

Demon Gaze II - Character Trailer


Story

Signa wakes up inside of a castle with no memories of where he is or who he is. Struggling to find his bearings, he runs into Cassel, a man claiming to know him and willing to help him find his way out before the castle guards capture them both. They encounter a demon and are almost tossed into a blazing furnace before they narrowly make their way out and return to Stella's Place, the tavern that doubles as the Revolutionist Party's secret headquarters. This is the beginning of Signa rediscovering who he is, the new power that lies within him, and what his role is in this fight against Magnastar.

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The story of an amnesiac character waking up with a mysterious power is not so original. However, the execution is surprisingly refreshing. The player quickly realizes that this world is much darker than it seems. Within five minutes of playing this game, you bare witness to a demon, with the appearance of a little girl, throw a farmer into a burning furnace so that his soul can be used as an energy source to keep control of the town's people. Several characters' backstories are revealed and it helps clarify why they take certain heinous actions such as assassination attempts and widespread murder.

Don't let the "moe" style art fool you. This story has a more serious and mature undertone than the art design and presentation lets on.

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Gameplay

The design and artwork here are great if you're a fan of anime or manga style designs in your games. All of the main and supporting characters have interesting features and personalities, so they all feel unique. The voice acting is also pleasantly enjoyable. Some games tend to have annoying voice-overs, but Demon Gaze II managed to pull off some sincere and heartfelt performances.

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Enemy compositions vary enough that it doesn't feel as if you're demolishing the same mobs with slightly changing color palettes over and over again. The one thing that the art in this games heavily lacks is any kind of animation (aside from the opening trailer). It's practically non-existent. However, if you have played any other games from the DRPG genre, then this isn't a surprising fact. It's fairly common to basically have 2D cutouts that are moved around the screen to imply movement and interaction. But, if you're someone who is trying out this genre for the first time then this is something you should be aware of going into Demon Gaze II.

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The meat of the game is the dungeon crawling and battles. So, let's talk a bit about that. Dungeon exploration can have polarizing effects. For one, it can be fun and engaging if you're looking to test your strength and strategies against enemy troops and the eventual boss battle at the end of the level. On the other hand, it can feel like a chore and something that is meant to be endured rather than enjoyed. Each area's music, enemy mechanics, dungeon design and puzzles (what few there are), as well as weapon discovery, can be captivating for only so long.

Eventually, it comes down to the mindset you have coming into this game. If you're viewing this game as a time sink that allows you to collect various items and weapons, increase your party's stats and abilities, as well as master various transformation mechanics with your demons, then you'll have a great time with Demon Gaze. But, you'll struggle with this title if you're hoping to explore open areas or desire to see over the top clashes with demons and beasts. You won't find them here.

The varying difficulties (which you can change at any point in the game) and side quests are an extension of the thoughts up above. You'll enjoy cranking up the difficulty and striving for 100% completion of this game if that's the kind of experience you're seeking. Otherwise, you can skip over those aspects completely.

The Demon Gaze ability allows you to control some very powerful demons once you've defeated them in battle. The demons you recruit generally fall into some stereotypical RPG archetypes such as healer, attacker, mage, etc. There isn't really full customizability for them or for your main character. However, you are able to somewhat choose the abilities you'll learn by deciding which demons to level up and uses on a consistent basis. Also, I mentioned it up above that you can go on dates with your demons. This happens after you've "Maintenance" your demon by running a pulsating light over their body and discovering which parts of them enjoy being looked over. It's kind of "pervy", but it actually grants you access to some powerful abilities later on in the game.

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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Demon Gaze II is as enjoyable as you make it out to be. The simplicity and strict structure of the title force you to play an active role as the protagonist. For the reasons stated above, this game has been surprisingly enjoyable in its storytelling and in dungeon progression. However, the game relies on the player using their imagination and engaging with the characters whenever possible.

For instance, lack of animation forces the player to visualize how battles, interactions, and transformations would take place. You're also introduced to different enemy types. It's important because some attacks and weapons are useless versus certain enemies. It's left up to you who you'll use on your team, the weapons you'll use, and the formations you'll apply when fighting demons/beasts/gods/undead etc. As far as supporting characters, you can choose dialogue that reflects your thoughts when talking to others, or you can always choose the 1st dialogue option and not care what they're saying to you. Your enjoyment is directly related to how much of your energy and imagination you're willing to expand on this game.

Honey's Pros:

  • Simple Game Mechanics
  • Convincing Voice-Overs
  • Surprisingly Mature Story
  • Interesting Character Designs

Honey's Cons:

  • Lack of animation and cutscenes
  • Demon “Maintenance” felt awkward
  • Lackluster Dungeons

Honey's Final Verdict:

A lot of Demon Gaze II's strengths can also be seen as flaws. It really is a polarizing game. The game's story, design, and execution are simple and straightforward. You'll either love what the game allows you to do, or you'll feel restricted and bored.

If you're unfamiliar with this genre (like many people are) then this title is highly recommended for you. It gently brings you into a DRPG world and provides a simple structure for you to quickly grasp and decide for yourself if this is genre is for you. If you are hesitant to try this game out then at least watch a streamer play through it or find VOD's on youtube of playthroughs. It's a good representation of DRPG's as a whole.

Javier Garcia

Writer

Author: Javier Garcia

Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!

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