I loved this game, just be prepared for the fact that it is quite text heavy but the story is intricate, twisted and brilliant. Really enjoyed the gameplay and I’ve just bought the second one as I want to see where the story goes - if you’re thinking about trying it, do it!
With it's disquieting atmosphere and horror-fueled setting, Death end re;Quest is one of Compile Heart's most intriguing titles to date. However, much like other entries under the Galapagos RPG brand, it occasionally feels like the core gameplay plays second fiddle to everything else.
Death end re;Quest is not a terrible game, but it certainly doesn’t do much to stand out from a crowded and trope friendly glut of JRPG titles. The battle mode plays like a game of pool and has a lot of interesting features, but the writing is tired, the characters are overly sexualized and mentally deficient as always, and the game is set in a bland world with little detail or points of interest. Death end re;Quest is another game for fans of long dialogues leading nowhere.
I want to give this game an 8 but I really can’t. Its a typical JRPG with multiple twists, but even those twists got stale. I really like the idea of switching genres from the usual turn based action, but it kinda fell off from what I thought it would be when I read the description for the game. Battles got kinda quick and boring after like a few chapters in considering I got multiple skills that could one shot enemies. It becomes a flow at some point with easy xp and just a temporary stop to the exploration that got really repetitive. Then, the skill gain system gets extremely tedious at some point, especially with achievements considering that finding combinations of skills to preform the flash drive with gets nigh impossible later in game. Then you have the dungeons, they end up becoming a “find the key to open a door” trope that I don’t like. They can end up being in corners you ran past multiple times but didn’t see it because they blended in so well that even perfect vision can’t spot it. Then you have times where you can’t open a door or get past a barricade until an event (technically a VN section or boss battle) is completed or you switch to reality to solve something in the real world, which you almost never realize until you have to pause for a break. All in all, this game would’ve probably been so much better as a Visual Novel instead.
Now with the criticisms out of the way, lets get to the praise that earned this 7 in the first place. I never heard of a JRPG that allowed you to make it something else entirely in battle. Then the flash drive system is possibly one of the unique ways I’ve ever seen you could get a skill. The switch between reality and the game function is a great way to tell different perspectives. The soundtrack makes me wonder why people haven’t compared it to NieR Automata and Persona 5. The story makes me wonder why I stream this game because I have to cliffhang so much when the game has me captivated. The death end system can seem repetitive, but not only is it useful for getting items exclusive to that, it makes almost every choice seem so dreadful that you really have anxiety when you can’t save at a choice. The characters are great and when you learn the truth behind multiple characters (whether they are good, evil or aren’t what you thought) it can leave your mouth wide open. PLOT TWISTS ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE PLOT TWISTS! Did I mention the soundtrack? Caligula Syndrome hits different. The death ends can actually disturb you, and thats a good thing. The voice acting, both English and Japanese are absolutely great, but I love how the characters feel so alive in the English dub. All in all, not only is this game one of the best JRPGs I’ve ever played, I was questioning reality by the time I got off, and I haven’t even beaten the game yet.
A unique take on the "stuck in a video game" genre, and it pulls it off better than similar games I've played.
You start out as a programmer who receives a strange email from the director **** you worked on, who has been missing for a year. You quickly find out that this person is stuck in that game, even though it was canceled during development. From there, you switch perspectives between the programmer in the real world and the director in the video game, trying to find out why this is all happening and to get the director out of the game.
Dumb character actions and plot holes are common in these types of games, but this one is an exception. The characters are smart and make good decisions based on the information they have. Several questionable things come up while you progress through the story, such as programming working more like magic than actual programming, and many conveniently timed and placed clues that lead you to your next objective. Though by the end of the game, most all of this is explained and makes sense (although the explanations are a bit weak).
Something that seems out of place in the game are the occasional gore/graphic death scenes, which are mostly text based. You experience them rarely and they're normally the result of one of the many bad endings, so you just reload from a point when your characters were in a more optimistic mood. Because of this, the characters don't have to deal with the consequences of these horrific scenes, so they seem disconnected from the main story.
The game has multiple final endings that are easy to unlock. No weird farming or grinding needed, like in earlier Idea Factory games (such as Omega Quintet). Basically, you get an ending for each female character, that either triggers randomly or based on which character hit the final boss last. I didn't test this since I just watched all of the endings on Youtube after I got one. Most of them are well-written and somewhat vague, but one in particular, for the main character, reaches levels of happiness, friendship, and dimensional-twisting nonsense, that it basically ruined what little dark tone the game had. Don't expect a lot of mature themes and deep thought here. The game is not nearly as profound as I wish it was.
Combat is okay. It's a variation of the typical Neptunia/Idea Factory position-based combat system. Changes are that you can position yourself anywhere on the battlefield during your turn and many attacks knock enemies around pool-style (doing damage when they hit other things). It was somewhat challenging at first, but quickly became easy after the characters learned resurrection spells and I figured out that certain skills do massive damage to certain enemies. Combat has no major issues, though it's not not very strategic, challenging, or interesting.
Character power growth isn't great. Your equipment upgrade path is very limited and doesn't matter much as long as you equip the strongest thing you've happen to find. Not once did I need to buy equipment from a shop. The equipment found in the next dungeon would be stronger than it anyway. Each character has a different skill set, and you unlock skills by stringing together your existing skills in different ways (you can use three skills per turn). Through simple trial-and-error, you can easily unlock most skills early-game. Though the high-powered skills went mostly unused, as more economical skills would do almost as much damage, but with far less mana cost. But of course, after you learn a certain summon, mana is no longer an issue as you can easily replenish it all whenever you want by using that summon.
I wasn't expecting much, but was glad that the game turned out good. The story is by far the best and most interesting part of the game. Thankfully, it is well-done, even though early-on, it seems like its going to be a childish plot-hole filled mess. I'll definitely play the sequel to see if they were able to improve on this formula.
No. No, this isn't a good game.
Here's the problem with the game - it doesn't know what it wants to be. I'd peg it as 90% visual novel and 10% RPG. That's NOT a good mix. The bulk of the time you're advancing static images and text along (visual novel), then all of a sudden you get into a one-off fight that isn't very fun. Long stretches of non-action.
The voice acting is good as is the art, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.
SummaryJump between reality & in-game modes, as players will need to investigate in the real world to solve the mysterious inner-workings of the World Odyssey. Your decision can change the game's ending. In this turn-based command battle system, you can roam freely & duke it out with fearsome monsters. During battle, players can change the game...