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Demon Gaze Review

Demon Gaze is a follow up to Students of the Round, a game I have never heard of before and thankfully, have no real need to play to get enjoyment out of this new title from NIS. Presented as a classic first person dungeon crawler you begin the game awakening in a dungeon, with no idea why you are here or what you have done or for that matter who you are, but what you do know is that you are not alone, with the appearance of a demon trying to attack you resulting in an unexpected result as it turns out you possess the power of the Demon Gaze, a rare ability to capture and then utilise the powers of demons. Soon after these revelations you find that your prison turns out to be the basement of the Dragon Princess Inn, managed by a strange lady who extends her hospitality for the coins of the many mercenaries looking to make a quick buck from the dangerous but wealthy lands outside. Though you have no idea who or what you are, the other mercenaries look at you in awe after witnessing your powers first hand, so with rent bills mounting there is little you can do but start to take on quests and requests to whittle down the local demon population, venturing out and killing as many as well as capturing a few for your own devices.

Though the path is clear, running straight into your first real capture is ill-advised as you soon find yourself out of your depth and getting killed which results in a rather harsh and plain restart from your last save, losing all unsaved progress; the best way forward is for short and sporadic outings, with the exploration side of the game presented in first person view, you move tile to tile, avoiding hazards and occasionally coming across a random invisible enemy to fight. To keep track of your movements across these hostile lands the map will update with every step you make, noting areas of importance like item drops or locations of lesser demons, with the aim to take on a few of these to level up before you are finally ready to enter a Demon Circle, where you summon a powerful demon using special gems that you collect as you defeat lesser demons. These gems not only summon demons but also unlock treasures as and when you defeat them, with gems corresponding to all sorts of goodies like spears, swords, helms, armour and accessories. Once summoned the actual battle screen is a little basic for modern gamers but they still look pretty decent with some well created if a little static monsters to battle. With the action taking on a turn based approach it takes on the well-trod approach of selecting a move and then repeating after each turn, be it a regular attack, defence, one of the many skills that unlock with levelling up or in the case of your character alone, summoning your own demon to assist in the battle, though be wary of your Demon Gauge at the top of the screen as if it runs out the demon will go into a rage, attacking anything that gets in its way, including you.

With battles won and pockets lined with treasures it is easy to return to the Dragon Princess Inn where you get instant health and magic replenishment and also are able to purchase and sell items, strengthen your weapons at the Ether Mill and also alter your appearance and hire other team members to take on the road with you.

To add a little more adventure to the game, as you progress through the game and start to collect more demons, more of the world will become available to you as each demon have passive abilities that unlock certain areas to visit like walking over hazardous traps or locating hidden pathways meaning that you will often find yourself re-treading old routes to get the game to progress further and often opening whole new areas that you never knew existed.

Demon Gaze initially feels a little dated and old with its gameplay and visuals but the game is a classic dungeon crawler and whatever it carries out to do it does really well. Sure, it may be a game that has been played hundreds of times before, however the story and characters are interesting enough to keep you playing through. Demon Gaze will not be everyone’s cup of tea but for fans of the genre it is certainly worth a play through.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


+ Classic dungeon crawling.
+ An easy to use weapon upgrade system.
+ Loads of weapons and items to locate and use.


- The usual strangely sexualised characters.

Edited On 22 Apr, 2014

( 1 )
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
I need a Vita

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