Dungeon Encounters: Sq. Enix’s Latest RPG is a Celebration of Previous-College Lively Time Battles

Dungeon Encounters: Square Enix’s Newest RPG is a Celebration of Old-School Active Time Battles

Dungeon Encounters is directed by Hiroyuki Ito, concerned within the creation of titles together with Closing Fantasy IV, V, XII, and Ways. I began sweating just a little bit as I started enjoying as a result of not solely is he well-known for his work designing battle techniques, however I used to be instructed that it was initially about its techniques, so naturally, I ready myself to must take so much on board. A few of you may additionally have an interest to know that Cattle Name, recognized for the Steel Max collection and The Legend of Legacy, dealt with its improvement.

Not a recreation with lush visuals and results or a deep, engrossing story, however a turn-based, numbers-focused, bare-bones RPG of types. IGN Japan had the chance to attempt it out earlier than launch, so listed here are our preliminary impressions.

Dungeon Encounters Screenshots

This dungeon crawler RPG entails forming a celebration of as much as 4 characters and delving into the depths of a board-game-style sq. grid map. Although the dungeon is split into squares, you are in a position to give attention to exploring and preventing your means throughout maps with out having to fret about techniques like stamina or starvation. As you progress down flooring, the maps get larger and the enemies get harder.

Stepping on one of many numbered squares discovered alongside a map triggers both a battle or an occasion. Consider these numbers as replacements for enemy symbols or treasure chests, with black numbers representing battles and white numbers resulting in occasions. Virtually like a sinister model of snakes and ladders.

Despite the board game-like layout, these aren't linear dungeons, with maps containing many branching paths.

Regardless of the board game-like structure, these aren’t linear dungeons, with maps containing many branching paths.

The sport’s easy battle system options bars that fill in accordance with every allied and enemy character’s velocity. As soon as a bar is full, that character turns into in a position to act. A few of chances are you’ll know this as an lively battle system, part of Closing Fantasy starting with FFIV. Although attribute-based weaknesses and useful resource administration for highly effective offensive or therapeutic strategies and spells are generally present in RPG battle techniques, this recreation makes use of neither attributes nor MP and never even objects! What you can see, although, are easy but deep slugfests.

What makes the battles on this recreation stand out are the three values that each enemies and allies have: bodily protection (a defend that absorbs bodily injury), magical protection (a defend that absorbs magical injury), and HP (which in fact means defeat for allies or enemies if it reaches zero).

Bodily and magical protection stats are comparatively in style in RPGs, however in Dungeon Encounters they act as shields that take injury instead of HP. In different phrases, taking bodily injury from swords and bows will first cut back your bodily protection, and your HP solely begins taking injury as soon as that protection reaches 0. The identical applies for magical injury, so you may must first whittle away an enemy’s magical protection if you wish to defeat them with magical injury. What’s extra, extra injury most often does not carry over. Even when an enemy is right down to 1 bodily protection and 1 HP, you may have to assault twice to defeat them even with a 200-damage bodily assault.

Every character solely has two kinds of assaults at most, additional complicating your choices in battle. Bodily and magical assaults have completely different ranges of effectiveness towards completely different enemies, requiring you to offer some consideration to how your get together’s assaults are balanced. Additionally, whereas MP might not exist on this recreation, multi-target assaults and tricky-to-use random injury assaults pressure you to make every easy selection with nice care.

Throughout my time enjoying, I appeared to get moderately good outcomes with a celebration of characters who every had one bodily assault and one magical assault, however it felt like a reasonably primary technique that anybody would provide you with, and one I doubt would hold being as efficient as you progress via the sport. Making you assume and switching issues up is the truth that not all enemies might be approached in the identical means: flying enemies can solely be broken with ranged bodily assaults like bows and weapons or with magical assaults, enemies with petrifying assaults can fully disable your get together members. Because of this I started to get the sensation that the number of nasty and fierce enemy assaults would solely develop. One assault particularly absolutely drained the motion gauge of all its targets, trapping me in a loop when its consumer appeared alongside different enemies. You will undoubtedly have to pay shut consideration to the order during which you’re taking down your foes to keep away from sticky conditions.

One other vital level to notice is that whereas your bodily and magical defensive shields are reset after every battle, your HP stays the identical. Not solely that, however only a few methods exist to revive your HP, making it vital to effectively navigate every battle whereas taking as little injury as doable.

An example of a map puzzle.

An instance of a map puzzle.

Simply as essential to Dungeon Encounters as its battles is its exploration. As famous earlier, gamers progress down maps of squares, a few of which include numbers. Although black numbers symbolize enemy encounters, white numbers set off occasions that profit the participant. These could be a huge variety of issues: retailers the place you should purchase and promote gear; probabilities to get better HP, standing illnesses, defeated allies and extra; data on particular enemies; treasure that gives new objects; new learnable skills; and puzzles to resolve.

Talents are a significant a part of this recreation, starting from HP restoration and protection towards particular standing illnesses to people who assist in exploration like an expanded map show. Utilizing these requires Capacity Factors, however these are gained as you journey throughout the map, organically encouraging exploration.

Puzzles might present the coordinates of an merchandise after a string of questions are answered, whereas others ask you to infer the situation of a hidden merchandise primarily based on the form of a map, including some additional pleasure to what may in any other case threat turning into uninteresting exploration.

I solely had a chance to play the start of this recreation, the primary 19 of 99 flooring to be precise. Even so, I discovered myself in conditions the place one fallacious selection in battle or one crippling standing ailment put my complete get together at hazard of falling. As a result of this recreation makes use of an auto-save function, you may even begin to sweat whenever you fail to flee a number of occasions in a row. It was onerous to inform from my expertise simply how far the sport’s battles may go when it comes to difficult the participant with out feeling unfair, however I did go away with the sensation of desirous to beat the sport and see all of what Dungeon Encounters has to supply.

With its heavy design give attention to techniques and numbers particularly reasonably than wealthy worldbuilding and visuals, Dungeon Encounters is maybe not the kind of recreation that may discover a vast viewers. However in case you are the kind of participant drawn to battling it out in easy but deep methods, it is best to undoubtedly give this one a attempt.

Dungeon Encounters is scheduled to launch on PS4 and Swap on October 14, 2021, and on PC (Steam) on October 15.

Yoshiki Chiba is an editor at IGN Japan.

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