Review: Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal (PSV/PSTV)

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Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
Title: Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal
Format: Game Card / PlayStation Network Download (1.9 GB)
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: ATLUS U.S.A., INC.
Developer: Aquaplus
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), €? (EU), £29.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal is exclusive to PlayStation Vita.
The PlayStation Vita download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal is, as the name suggests, a dungeon crawling role-playing game set in the first-person perspective. I rarely play games like this and thought it would be nice to broaden my scope. It would seem I chose a game that almost went beyond the M rating, but after ATLUS and Aquaplus worked closely with the ESRB they determined that four images needed altering. The fans of the game will be happy to hear those images were edited by the original artists themselves.

Gameplay:
In the first few minutes of Dungeon Travelers 2 I was introduced to the first members of the suppression team and the mechanics of battling, not that I was any good at it, since I got the two women killed and had to restart from the beginning. I stupidly didn’t save to had to go through all the text screens again, thankfully I found that pressing the Right Shoulder button allows a quick skip and avoided having to continually press X to move to each sentence.

Pressing Square when roaming a dungeon brings up the all important menu which allows you to save, use items, change formation, equip weapons and anything else you could think of. Other buttons have their uses but I won’t bother reaming them off as the game does a nice job of slowly introducing everything to you.

Experimentation is also a great way of finding out what things do and I urge you to do just that, after a quick save of course. Your suppression team will often remark on something you did and let you know if it was beneficial or a waste.

The third wall is quickly broken in this game as characters often speak of the developers doing something, or on occasion referencing other games in a comical way. Innuendos and jokes are plentiful throughout the game but also make way for a nice story where you become quite invested in the characters and their unique characteristics.

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You stumble upon a diverse line-up of friend and foe on your slow crawl through the large dungeons where you’ll have to be ready for any encounter, trap or pitfall. You only uncover a square on the map when your team moves onto it and the compulsive obsession I have meant I had to reveal every part of the map, even if I knew there was a trap.

Most obstacles weren’t too detrimental to the team while others caused us to fall to the floor below and trawl all the way back through the monster infested corridors. With every encounter being random, apart from the bosses it can sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re outmatched with the current enemies lurking in the shadows.

… monsters in the guise of scantily clad women and fruit …
During your adventure you’ll have to carefully decide where to put each member of the team and in what formation as well as select the right weapons for each character based on their place in the formation. A small dagger equipped to someone on the back row will not be that effective for example.

You must also decide what to take with you during each trip and even be aware of each person’s mood which can alter their effectiveness at performing certain attacks, defending and avoiding during battle. You can eventually change their class which brings a new set of skills to the foray. This can be agonizing as there are a few different choices for each character and they all look appealing.

Grinding became a habit, along with saving every few minutes. I found each new dungeon and its inhabitants I encountered to offer only a small challenge at first but it quickly became fairly easy. The bosses however usually killed the team off with ease and demanded some grinding and skill to overcome.

The enemies are mostly a strange combination of monsters in the guise of scantily clad women and fruit, yes you read that correctly, fruit. Half peeled apples, oranges, and even bananas encompass some of the things you’ll be fighting against. Why you may ask, I do not know.

I sadly only managed to play Dungeon Travelers 2 for just shy of forty hours and seeing as the estimate for completion is eighty long hours I had to give in and write this review. Will I continue after this has been posted? Definitely.

… these characters are adults …
Visuals:
Dungeon Travelers 2 has a very provocative anime art style that many will find titillating and risqué. As you can see from the images in this review they leave little to the imagination and combined with the suggestive text often make for a piquant cutscene.

Each location has a unique look but lacks variety within. Without the map you would easily become lost and many will focus on that part of the screen the entire time, ignoring the repetitive looking dungeons you’re exploring. It seems that the travelers and inhabitants of these monotonous dungeons are the real focal point.

It’s made clear very early on in the story that these characters are adults, even if some of them might not look it, they are, the game told me so. Regardless of age, some of these female characters do not look mature enough to be wearing such skimpy clothing. Especially considering that they’re trudging through dark and dank corridors all day long. They must be freezing.

I have always found it absurd that we as a population have been slowly beguiled into perceiving violence and murder as acceptable forms of media content, but yet any form of nudity and anything of a sexual nature borders on the taboo and obscene. – Chazz H.

For those of you out there that want to observe the cutscene images of these scantily clad women and monsters with their torn clothing and surprised expressions but the annoying text window is getting in the way, a simple press the Circle button hides every obstruction from view.

… definitely worth playing …
Audio:
I couldn’t understand a word of what was being said but it didn’t stop me from turning up the Japanese audio and enjoying the plentiful voice acting as I read along with the English text. Each voice seemed to fit well with their on-screen character and most were quite distinctive allowing me to pick up on their personality and subtle inflections and intonations.

I was initially disappointed that Dungeon Travelers 2 lacked any alternative English voice acting but after a few minutes I was perfectly happy without it. Music and sound effects feel a little dated but are of a good quality and pleasant enough to listen to throughout this long adventure. If you check out the large and detailed instruction manual on the Vita game screen you can see a nice description of each main character and who they were voiced by.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
For my first foray into this intriguing genre, Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal was very accommodating and gentle. It didn’t bombard me with tutorials, but instead simply gave me enough to start off and then either let me discover things or drip-fed explanations encased in humorous conversations throughout the game.

This isn’t the best game on the Vita but is definitely worth playing. I strongly suggest trying the demo and giving this game a chance as it’s enjoyable, long and a little bit naughty.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

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