I wanted to write a review as this game is under reviewed and it is hard to understand what you are getting into with it. I wanted to help people decide if this is the game for them (and it really could be your next gem!)
This is a dungeon "blobber"/dungeon crawler-type game, very much in the vein of Wizardry, but even though it is a JRPG, it is really a different evolutionary path than most other JRPGs.
Essentially, this is a camping/hiking simulator, but instead of being outdoors, all of your hiking is a massive 100 level deep dungeon. You will plan, you will consult maps and your guide book. You will delight as your log book fills in with more and more facts and info that help you make fewer mistakes in the future.
-Supremely high exploration focus. You get a robust set of mix-and-match party-wide abilities and your options expand through exploring the dungeon. You find specific skills in the dungeon
-Supremely high level of abstraction. Your brain shades in the narrative even more than in a Saga-style game. You'll never "see" the dungeon. There isn't even descriptions of environments or narrative justification of the events.
-Very low emphasis on luck or really any randomization. More emphasis on problem solving situations and decision making.
-Emphasis on simple easy to understand rules with many permutations and options.
-Characters essentially have 2 "abilities" which are equipment/weapons. Some armor gives a passive (like a chance to evade). Combat is much like a game like Fire Emblem in that all the math is very obvious and simple to calculate in your head. e.g. Your weapon does exactly 300 damage and the enemies HP is 301, so you know it will take exactly two hits to eliminate. Weapons either do magic or physical damage (in fixed or random amounts and either to one or all enemies). Magic and physical defense is basically a separate HP pool that is depleted first before true HP can be damaged.
-Character basically grow in how fancy their equipment can be and total HP, but there are still a ton of decisions to make and ways to differentiate your party. But sadly, it kinda means new characters are really only about what equipment they have or their level.
Game is overly grindy. 99 Levels plus battles that you can’t possibly win when you first hit. Can’t run even with skill, forced to start all over. Basically forced hardcore. 99 levels is already grindy, why oh why add more things to force more grinding?
Dungeon Encounters is a pared-back RPG focused purely on battles and exploration. By gaining knowledge and experience, the player needs to learn how to overcome traps and enemies, resulting in a satisfying experience. Although the game kind of loses momentum in the second half, it’s still well worth a look.
Dungeon Encounters is a masterstroke of game design, character and narrative – it’s storytelling in the way only games can be. It teaches how scale is felt in a game, and it teaches, through their absence, the roles of rich visuals and verbose storytelling. Next time we play an RPG with baroque graphics and forests of text, we will understand a little more deeply where a game’s atmosphere really comes from.
The Japanese role-playing game stripped back to its bare essentials and yet rather than an exercise in nostalgic pandering this is one of the most compelling and sharply designed dungeon crawlers of recent years.
Dungeon Encounters is a very difficult game to fault for its premise. It has very specific goals and it achieves them, much to the chagrin of the player and it achieves its goals thoroughly. This is definitely not something for the average Square Enix fan and caters more towards gamers who enjoy the likes of The Dark Spire or very old dungeon crawlers. Expect to have to rely on imagining the adventure and the battles, because of how nothing is ever realised in text or visuals. This is a hard title to recommend to general audiences, but for those who are truly hardcore RPG maniacs, Dungeon Encounters might be worth exploring.
This is the most boring and uninteresting game I've ever played!
I have no words to describe how dull and empty this game is.
It's a sheer disappointment that people who made FF series + FFT, DQ Series, Mana series, Nier series, PE series, Vagrant Story and many other good games, now make this nonsense.
SummaryA new dungeon exploration RPG where you must strategize to survive. An otherworldly labyrinth has suddenly appeared on the outskirts of a quiet town. Make clever use of your abilities to chart the depths, overcome obstacles and defeat your foes in thrilling battles. From some of the key development team behind the legendary FINAL FANTASY...