Dungeon crawlers and I have had a strange relationship. If you’ve seen previous reviews of mine, I have a special fondness for a game called Mazes of Fate that released on the Game Boy Color. It just gave you so much freedom to explore beyond just moving around in the dungeons. While Dungeon Travelers 2 does have random battles (I like when I can see the enemies on screen), it also has a fairly detailed story. Unfortunately that story, and the rest of the game, is blanketed with scantily clad girls. It’s a huge Japanese thing, and a part of me enjoys it to no end, but the rest of me is just growing tired of this sort of “adult gameplay”. Maybe it took me thirty-something years to grow up, or maybe it’s games like this that are just gratuitous for the sake of gratuity. That said, for those of you who have not grown tired of this sort of thing, I am here to say that, according to Atlus, only a few images were edited in the US version. For you purists, the Japanese voices are intact and standard. For those of you that are practically wetting yourselves, wondering if the game is any good, or worth $40, go treat yourself.
Dungeon Travelers 2 is a well-balanced dungeon crawler with a set party who are all more than capable. For review purposes, we were given a small guide to help us muscle through faster. I won’t go into detail, but they suggested that you take certain class evolution paths. They suggested that I make my fighter a paladin when possible, but I chose to go the berserker path. I did follow their suggestion for my mage and my maid, but the rest, I just went free form with. The point of this little diatribe? Well, I never felt like I was in dire need of a dedicated defender. I think that’s because I went with a glass cannon style party that focused on doing as much damage as possible as fast as possible rather than trying to muscle through. That said, there may be some merit in using the paladin build because Alisia’s HP and defense is so high that I rarely ever got to use her really good berserker moves which require her to have lost most of her HP. The few times that I did, it was either a total party kill or Alisia would get 3 turns in a row due to her increased speed and we would take the victory soon after that. Either way you roll it, Alisia seems to be the main focal point in your party. For me, she was the damage dealer, for someone who makes her the tank…she’s the tank…and you’ll need her because no matter what else you do, the rest of your party is squishy. She’s also the most straight-forward class in the game. The others have more options and it’s fun figuring out what you want to do with them. That leads me to the next portion. You can choose to reset your level back to the last time you changed classes or all the way back to first if you really messed up. This can prove to be extremely useful in figuring out what you intend to do, but beware; it’s an extremely slow grind, so if you do so, make a backup save if you’re not already doing that every few levels or so.
So, back to my relationship with dungeon crawlers. To be blunt, I hate them. I’d like to elaborate on that a bit. You see, for the most part, they offer nothing but the grind and sometimes the ability to choose your stats. They often forgo the story altogether, or it’s so base that they might as well have. In Dungeon Travelers 2, the story is pretty basic, as many others are, but like Etrain Odyssey’s newer entries, the characters are well-developed; in more ways than one. The thing I really like is how the characters discuss their new moves that you have them learn after you use them the first time. It’s a slow, continual tutorial and it’s in bite-sized chunks. The other side of that spectrum has something that seems to be all too common in JRPGs; an extremely long, unnecessary introduction sequence. I don’t mind a long introduction if it’s well written and feeds the player all the information they need to catch them up without overwhelming them. Dungeon Travelers does the latter and I’m not about to forgive it for that. The characters (all female except the main character who never fights) all seem to be the most retarded women on the planet who are easily impressed by anything Fried (main character) says. If you can get past that, the characters start to open up and become interesting. My favorite part was when I changed classes with Alisia, her outfit became…err…less. Berserkers apparently don’t need clothes, but Fried noticed and asked Alisia what the fuck she’s wearing. She seems completely oblivious to his line of questioning, saying that she’s just wearing armor, like always. Fried is up in arms trying to figure out how she can go into battle like that. It is just one example of how the humor is presented in the game. Through these little humorous events, you really get to know the characters and their quirks.
It’s difficult for me to rate how the dungeons are laid out, but I did get a little bit confused at a time or two. I found that the background and maze details ended up being ignored most of the time while I would look at the map overlay instead of the backgrounds. I would love if there were more going on in the stages to keep my interest, but they’re simply pretty backdrops, like most other dungeon crawlers of late. I always manage to wander directly into traps and right to the boss door. Thank the heavens that they give you a warning before you enter the boss doors or I would be dead in ten minutes of the adventure.
As stated earlier, the game is very enjoyable and the story kept me moving forward. If you’re a fan of dungeon crawlers and/or anime fan service and/or having a harem of women doing your dirty work for you, this game is unequivocally for you. There is a plethora of shit to do and side missions to accept, so you will absolutely get your money’s worth.