Summon Your Ideal Demon Waifu
How does the idea of catching demons that look like cute anime girls sound to you? If that sounds awesome – which it objectively is – you might want to put Demon Gaze II on your radar. NISA gave us the opportunity to try an early build of the title, and it did not disappoint. Even as someone who never played the original, I quickly found myself enjoying my time with the game and all it’s steampunk goodness.
Let’s start with making your self-insert anime protagonist. Character creation is important because you will choose what type of leader your character is, affecting your starting skills. These skills cannot be changed later. In character creation, you also get delightful anime avatars to represent your character (which can be changed later as I’ve been told.) It is not the most in-depth character creation, but it is good for what it is and the art style does make all the avatars look great.
Demon Gaze II starts with a hefty amount of exposition, but not so much that I was bored. Just enough that a new player like me could could the gist of what was going on without the worry of information overload. Essentially, the game is set in Asteria, an autonomous city-state. Despite the peace and prosperity the city seems to hold, all is not as it seems. Your character wakes up in a steampunk dungeon – complete with pipes, cogwheels, and stone bricks. You are greeted by a citizen of Asteria who has come to the dungeon with the promise of a job. Your character has completely lost their memory, and can’t recall why they are there in the first place. Regardless of circumstances, you and this random individual go through the dungeon to find this “job,” and hopefully return your memory. I won’t spoil anything from this point on, but I will say that the intro is fast paced. Characters are introduced at a pace that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but fast enough that you aren’t listening to their entire backstory. Also, the dialogue decisions are witty and do have a good payoff due to the game’s good English voice acting.
The heart of this title is dungeon crawling and fighting, and from what I’ve played they really put a focus on reducing the frustration and monotony common in the genre. You explore dungeons from a first-person perspective in which you move through tiles on the map. As you progress through the dungeon, you discover more of the layout, and sometimes loot, so exploration is required if you want the best rewards. However, there are dangers when exploring, dead ends, traps, and enemies are all in your way. And, speaking of those enemies…
When you enter combat, you choose your party’s actions, then your opponent goes next. It is fairly typical for a JRPG, but what is appreciated are the little things that help reduce the time spent during these events. When in combat, you can choose to see every action that takes place between your party and the enemies, or you can choose to skip all that and just immediately go to the next phase. This is especially useful when fighting trash mobs that probably don’t require as much attention as a tougher enemy, allowing you to reduce how much time you are in combat when grinding.
Another aspect that separates the game from other RPGs and dungeon crawlers is the demons. When you defeat a demon in combat, you are able to summon the demon for future combat encounters. Demons are naturally very strong characters and have very powerful abilities that can change the tide of battle. The demons, however, can’t be used all the time, and rely on a finite resource to be used in combat. This adds an element of strategy in how you use demon summons in-game.
Demon Gaze II looks good, and from what I got to play is mechanically solid. There’s something very charming about the steampunk aesthetic combined with cute, anime-esque characters. The demons also add an extra mechanical flair, as well as satiating my love for cute anime people. Despite my short playthrough, I can’t wait to see more of the game and more demon waifus.