I finished Demon Gaze last night, and according to the in-game timer, it took me a hair over 42 hours. I started it back in mid-December, so I’ve obviously taken some breaks from play here and there. Some of that was because it was the game I was playing in an attempt to convince myself that I didn’t actually NEED to go to the emergency room and that I would be fine if I just toughed it out…
…yes, I’m stupid sometimes. I’m a guy and I’m allowed to be an idiot now and again. Anyway, it did make for an unfortunate association that took me a little while to get over.
As I expected, the fan-service level dropped pretty quickly after the first few hours – specifically, just after the first Big Plot Twist. There’s still a fair amount of skin on display, but nothing truly eyeroll-worthy.
I haven’t played any games with the same mechanics since Eye of the Beholder back in the late 1980s, so the genre has obviously evolved considerably. You still have the grid-based map, the first-person perspective, the ability to customize your party to the point of possibly not being able to finish the game, but amenities like auto-mapping, auto-move and the ability to retreat to a safe inn at any point make it a much less vicious game. There were, admittedly, a couple of really nasty bosses, and the final encounter of the game violates almost every rule of polite game design: a) there’s no save point before you get to it, b) there’s a massively long talky cutscene bit, and c) you have to fight two bosses back-to-back without being able to save between them.
Demon Gaze goes into my book as an overall good time. I liked the characters, I enjoyed the story, I found myself really sucked in to the loot-collecting aspect of it, and I can’t even kvetch too much about the grinding I occasionally had to do to beef up for later bosses.
Of course, there’s always ONE thing I’m going to gripe about, and that would be that the penultimate dungeon is huge, to the point where I’d estimate that I spent half of those 42 hours just getting through the one dungeon, and it really wasn’t a very interesting place to look at. I very nearly gave up on the game a couple of times while I was trying to get through it, and the only way I eventually managed to tough it out was to stop trying to power through and instead just play for 15 minutes at a time and make a little progress each time.
Next up… no clue really. Maybe I’ll start taking the 3DS to work instead of the Vita.