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Demon Gaze II
Score: 92%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Experience Inc.
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:
A few years back I reviewed an awesome dungeon crawler called Demon Gaze. It had a great mixture of fighting, storyline, humor, and even intrigue. Finally we have a sequel, Demon Gaze II. First things first, you’ll notice pretty quickly from the intro that your characters are typical JRPG looking characters. There are a lot of very large-breasted women and some pretty men. You can choose what your main character looks like and there are 15 looks you can choose from and 30 voices. Strangely enough, half of the looks are female, but there are only 3 voices that remotely sound female. That makes sense in a way though, because your character is supposed to be male. They refer to him as he throughout the game. Unless you want to feel like you’re confused, I recommend a male main character. You’ll have plenty of women to deal with when you start collecting demons anyway!

Your home base is a tavern that functions as a hotel of sorts. For some reason, the music there reminds me of a hotel lobby. When you’re out in the "restricted zones," the music will pick up a bit, which fits the situation. You can choose for your characters to speak out loud in English or Japanese with subtitles in either English or Japanese. In both languages, the voicework is well done. I also have yet to see any grammatical or spelling errors, which is nice. The enemies you are fighting against will also make little noises in battle, fitting of their species.

After a brief dialogue to give you a bit of an idea of what is going on in Demon Gaze II, you’ll get to create your character. The first part of creating your character: choosing your alignment. You can choose to be good, neutral, or evil. Good will be more defensive, neutral will be balanced, and evil will be more offensive and you cannot change this later in the game. After creating a character, you’ll wake up in some strange place and have no clue where you are. You’ll pretty quickly figure out that you are a member of the Revolutionist party. Somehow while you were in that place, you acquired the Demon Gaze and with it, you can absorb demon souls after defeating them. This can come in real handy, but you will need to learn how to use it.

You’ll meet Muse and Prim, sisters who work at Stella’s Place. You’ve apparently known them since childhood, but can’t remember a thing. Toma is a servant at Stella’s Place. Stella’s Place is a tavern downstairs, but it’s also headquarters for the revolution; you live there as well. Cassel Glondike (the guy who rescued you) is in charge of the weapon shop in the underground area of Stella’s. Prometh also lives at Stella’s. She supposed to be the mortician, but she seems more proud of being the broadcast writer. Prometh is definitely a character, and I really like her! If you die, you’ll have to pay her to bring you back to life. You can also store items in Prometh’s room. I would also recommend visiting her often to extract ether from items and using it to power up other items. Eventually you’ll meet Lezerem Rantile, whether or not you want to. If you played the first Demon Gaze, you will probably remember him. He’s so obnoxious, but his Maintenance Room is useful. With it, you can increase your likability with the demons. I mean, who doesn’t want to go on a date with a demon to make them like you more?

Basically, you hunt zones and take the souls of the demons in charge after you beat them. You can then get those demons to fight beside you. Each time you defeat a demon, you’ll also be able to increase your sphere of listeners. You can’t successfully revolt without the backing of the people, so it’s important to make sure the people hear the revolution broadcasts. Eventually, hopefully, you will be able to overthrow the evil ruler Lord Magnastar, or maybe even figure out what’s really going on!

Demon Gaze II provides you with multiple difficulty levels: Lukewarm, Warm, Hot, Burned, and Incinerated. The game defaults you to Warm, but you can change it at any time in Prometh’s room. At first, I thought Warm was a bit difficult, but that’s only because I ran into a huge pack and died. Other than that time, I have found Warm to be a bit on the easy side. I can defeat the bosses of the areas in less than five rounds, so far. If you really want a challenge, bump it all the way up to Incinerated. Let me know if you survive!

Party formation is important to use everyone most effectively. Make sure that you have each demon that you take with you on a row (and equipped with the proper weapon for that distance) that they are able to battle effectively from. Also, you will need to Demonize your demons to get the most out of their power in battle. You can only Demonize if your Star Gauge has power. You can fill the Star Gauge by fighting in battle. The more you increase your listeners, the more the Star Gauge max will increase.

Furniture actually has a purpose. You can use it to boost your stats. You can only have one item per room though, so choose wisely. Once your demons can have their own rooms, you can put items to boost their stats as well. Just remember that it will only boost the stats of the person in the room that you placed the item. They don’t stack across your party.

Game Mechanics:
Demon Gaze II is a turn-based dungeon crawler RPG. As such, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the controls. Everything is menu-driven. Simply go to the option that you want and select it. In battle, (Triangle) is a quick way to repeat the previous actions. You can also use it to do a "quick" battle, which skips showing you how much damage each member did to each monster. If they’re easy kills, it’s great to use this to make the game go quicker.

When you see a circle with a big gem inside it, you can use a gem and lure monsters here. If you beat them, you will control the circle. You will need to gain control of all the circles in an area to get the boss demon of that area to appear. You can save in your room, in the entryway, and at save stones in the dungeons. You have a map that will be filled in as you go. Once it is filled in, you can use auto-move to move you to any area you’ve already visited. Auto-move will avoid enemies that are showing on the map, but you may still run into random ones. Make sure to kick walls as well with (X). You’ll never know what you might find, like secret passages or even treasure.

So far, I have really enjoyed Demon Gaze II. It has a very intriguing story and complex characters. They did a wonderful job of balancing just the right amount of fighting with the appropriate level of story so that you never get tired of either. If you’re looking for that dungeon to crawl, check out Demon Gaze II today!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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