Another day. Another Vita orphan game to play.
Japanese game markets are changing. Finally accepting that the titanic force of PC gaming isn’t going anywhere not only am I finding I review more PC games but also more PS4 games; the market is also learning that the PS Vita is dying like an unloved nan in a care home.
So that brings up to Demon Gaze 2, another transition from Vita to PS4. It is not a good one. A Vita game slugged onto the PS4 with no care in the world for quality, not saved by its mediocre story and barely held together by its rather OK fighting system. It should probably have stayed on the Vita, if so I could have not reviewed it.
You take the role of an amnesiac warrior kidnapped by resistance fighters and experimented on heavily. This experimentation grants you the power of a Demon Gazer, therefore allowing you to capture demons and use their abilities. Your goal, apart from recruiting various outcasts to join your rabble to overthrow the big bad guy. A fairly structured premise, however it falls apart as it tries to juggle comedy, drama, and fan service. It succeeds on none of these with the comedy coming out the strongest, painting you as the least invested protagonist ever. The drama tries to push hard towards the end but the story will not leave you thinking at the end of the game.
You’ll find that the game is a continuous mix of strange styles. High fantasy armour and robes next to leather jackets and school uniforms. Characters Prometh and Cassel standing proud next to Gary. It does not feel like the game has a consistent style in any way. This fits somewhat with the story but seems jarring at times. Voice acting and the game music is horrible though and I’m glad that now this game is over I don’t have to keep listening to it.
The main gameplay itself is a dungeon crawler through-and-through. You explore environments in first-person, avoiding traps and engaging in combat. Combat is bread-and-butter. You have melee characters and magic characters and plenty of equipment to customise each characters with. Fights are mostly exploiting the enemy weakness and not doing so makes they feel quite sluggish.
Once you have secured the five demon zones in a dungeon you’ll be fighting the boss demon. Beat them and you get them as a new character. Sadly they will start at level 1 but once you grind them up you can use their special demon form in battle to buff them for a few turns. There is a mode to date these demons because of course there is; you poke their bodies to find sensitive bits and eventually you can date them.
Apart from being relatively basic the only other issue is the poor quality of the console port. It looks stretched, much like playing a Vita game streamed to your TV. The retooling was skin deep at most, and as a console experience this is at best unpolished.
Demon Gaze 2 is probably a nice time on the Vita. On the PS4 it is very much not so. It is the video game equivalent of eating junk food when you’re not hungry. If I run out of other games I will play it again. But for now I’m putting it down and picking another orphan of the PS Vita exodus.