Dungeon Encounters expands imagination, NEO: The World Ends with You impossible to describe to non-players [Now Gaming]

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-10-17 16:05 (JST)
Translated by. Aki Oshima

Now Gaming is a weekly digest that provides a quick overview of what our writers had played recently. Here we have the translated version of last week’s Japanese edition of Now Gaming.

What the…?

by. Keiichi Yokoyama

Yugo Puzzle is a new puzzle game by Japanese-based indie developer Qrostar, best known for Jelly no Puzzle, a simple sliding block puzzle game. The rules are straightforward: you move the jelly blocks left and right so the same colors connect; once the jellies of the same color are all merged, you unlock and move onto the next level.

Because it’s such a simple concept, you’d think you can kind of envisage what the final form of the puzzle would look like. Except it is surprisingly tricky to work out the specific steps necessary to complete the puzzles, most of the time. Exceedingly, I found myself going, “Ah, don’t get it.” There was no point staring at the screen, and I ended up using trial and error, eliminating “what didn’t work” instead. Then, at some point, a strike of inspiration would come when I’m fiddling around, and I’d manage to clear the stage.

Just like Qrostar’s previous releases, the game is straightforward to understand and simple to play, but the steps involved in arriving at the solutions can be a challenge, at least until inspiration hits. This is the sort of game that requires your brain to be firing on all cylinders. It feels like instead of me playing this game, I’m the one being played by the game.

Time sink zombie shooter

by. Tetsuya Yoshimoto

I’ve been playing Back 4 Blood this week and having a blast fighting enemy swarms. As with Left 4 Dead, I particularly enjoy that sense of accomplishment you get from figuring out the best method of attack for each Special Infected in the co-op mode. For Back 4 Blood, the developers implemented individual character skills and a card system that features ability buffs. The card system allows players to assemble a deck that gives your characters bonuses such as close combat, shooting, and support-centric perks so you can customize a build that would best complement the rest of your team. This feature makes the game seriously addictive.

The AI Director can control the difficulty of your run and there’s the newly introduced Corruption cards. Varying the Ridden’s numbers and positions as well as environmental changes, based on the players’ stats and situation. It makes every playthrough even in the same stage a new experience each time, which vastly expands the game’s replayability. With these new features, I’ve been enjoying Back 4 Blood in a different way to Left 4 Dead. It has been a while since I’ve become so engrossed in a game that I’d lost track of time.

Let’s shoot for 99th floor below-ground

by. Aki Nogishi

I’ve been playing Dungeon Encounters, a minimalistic dungeon crawler RPG helmed by Hiroyuki Ito of Square Enix, known widely as the creator of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system in the Final Fantasy series. I’ve been curious about the game ever since I saw the trailer, and the actual gameplay indeed fulfilled my impression and expectations. The introduction of the story is brief, so it’s clear the game puts its mechanic front and center. The combat is challenging enough that the smallest mistake can be fatal, though you can keep diving deeper almost battle-free by utilizing a wide array of abilities.

What was most memorable to me in this game was the ‘missing persons’ scattered throughout the dungeon. NPCs hidden all across the dungeon whom you may search out with your special abilities. You can see their statuses before locating them, and it’s quite disturbing actually to see them labeled “incapacitated” or “petrified” on the list. It makes me wonder how long they’ve been there, like that. This game makes my imaginations run amok.

The weight of love

by. Ayuo Kawase

I’ve finally completed NEO: The World Ends with You. The game is structured in a way that’s easy to play at the start, but then loses momentum halfway through before reaching a satisfactory conclusion. It is a love letter for the fans who adored its predecessor. You can definitely play this without having played the previous title, but I do recommend starting with the first game, The World Ends with You, so you may fully experience the weight of the love.

Having said that, it is frustrating that I can’t talk about the game in depth, since it is like a box full of toy surprises, with lots of gimmicky discoveries. There’s nothing that I can say about it that won’t in some way reveal spoilers. So I’ll leave you with “it’s amazing and awesome.” I actually had a hard time picking screenshots because of this. This is truly a great game and I really want to talk to you all about it. It’s torture that I can’t allow myself to elaborate more. I suspect it must have been a difficult sell, even for the publisher.

If you’ve played the previous title, you should definitely give this game a go. Not only for the enjoyment of the game itself, but I would like you to bask in the love the developers clearly have for the fans.