Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Brave Dungeon + Dark Witch Story:COMBAT: Final Impressions

So as far as progress of the game goes, I have beaten the main game in Brave Dungeon and played some of Dark Witch Story Combat. While I have not finished Combat, I think I've played enough to give good enough thoughts on the game.
I'm not sure where else to put it, so I'm just going to mention here that this is an Indies.

To put it shortly, I think it is worth the buy in the sense that you get two simple games for about a slightly expensive fast food meal price. If you really want story or want to know the characters more, you will have to buy the main games in the series.
Search Dark Witch Story.

Oh, and the screenshot here is Japanese, but it comes in English as well.
You can check my uploaded videos if you want to see sample gameplay, BTW. No screenshots outside of this article's cover image.

First is Brave Dungeon. To be honest, this is the main game in the bundle purchase. Heck, the first time you play it, it even suggests to you to play Brave Dungeon first.
This is an updated version of the 3DS one, with a couple of new characters. Of course, as such, if you are going to play it on the 3DS, you might as well buy the Switch version instead.

The game itself is a dungeon crawler, though the combat is turn-based, symbol encounters.
BTW, there is voice acting, but it is very minimal. Only JP voices though, even if you are using the English language.

You get a very bare backbone explanation of Al and the world setting... and that is all. You know those other available party members? No explanation, no dialogue. They are just ready to join your party from the beginning of the game.
BTW, I have not played the main series yet, so I don't know, but I think most if not all of the playable characters in this game are actually enemies/bosses in the main game...

Without a doubt, this is probably the most attractive part of the game... (Not like there is much of anything else though)
It 120% focuses on stress-free gameplay. Everything flows extremely fluently.
For instance, yes, the combat is symbol-based and turn-based, but it goes into battle in like, 1 second, and out similarly. The battle itself does not have accuracy, outside of status ailment and gambling moves, so you also don't have to worry about that.
Also, changing language? You just press a few buttons to go back to the main menu and can change the language with a single button press. You don't have to close the game or switch accounts. It's all inside the actual game.
And this goes for all parts of the UI. Smooth, quick transitions everywhere.

How long will this game last?
My first playthrough  lasted around 6 hours.
However, once you beat the game, you unlock a lot of stuff to do. If you are a completionist, this is probably where it gets good.

One thing you unlock is the ability to do a New Game+. You also can buy special features that are unlocked in New Game+, including the ability to transfer certain stuff like your Item-dex, stat boosts, higher difficulty level, and the ability to remove Al from your party. Unfortunately, some grinding is required to get enough to buy these things.

The next thing you unlock are achievements. From simple stuff like beating a boss without anyone dying to grinding ones like reaching a certain level to beating the game fast enough. Each achievement comes with developer comments and design illustrations.

Another is a Sound Room. Other than listening to the music in the game, it also comes with developer comments on each track.

Another are a few mini-games. Poker, Gacha, and some running/dodging thing. You can earn currency in Poker and the running game, and you can earn illustrations in Gacha (pay with currency).

Finally, you unlock an end-game dungeon. This dungeon changes its structure every time you go in, so you are not allowed to warp like the other dungeons. The boss and enemies are the same though.

So yeah, there is a lot to do after you beat the game once.

And then, the other game that comes with the purchase is Dark Witch Story: COMBAT.
This is a completely new game developed by the Indies company.
But yeah, there isn't really that much to say about it. It is a card game.

As you may expect, this isn't some TCG game, where you have complicated mechanisms or strategies (yeah yeah, Yugioh is about solitairing your opponent to death with broken cards that get shortly banned afterwards, but you get the idea).
You pick three cards and fight your opponent, who chooses three cards. Each card fights with each other, automatically. Each card has a Rock, Paper, or Scissors, and if one of the cards in the battle wins the Rock-Paper-Scissors marking, they have a chance of doing 3 times as much damage.

1. The order your opponent sends out their cards are random
2. The cards fight by themselves, with no user input
3. The bonus for stronger affinity (Rock-Paper-Scissors mark) only happens randomly, so it is possible to have a stronger affinity and still lose

Random, random, and random. While there is a level of strategy in the game, such as choosing cards to increase your chances of winning, and you later can use items to help increase your chances, it all comes down to luck.
And if you can't win, just level up your cards and try again. Yes, the cards level up and evolve, in an RPG manner.

As such, I do not really find it that great of an individual game, but you do get to see illustrations of the monsters you fight in Brave Dungeon, where the monsters are only dot-artwork. I guess you can say this is the reason why this game was bundled with Brave Dungeon and why the game suggests playing Brave Dungeon first. So after you beat Brave Dungeon, you can play this and go, "Oh cool, illustration of my favorite monsters!"
In that sense, this is a game for collecting illustrations. You can even invest "Love" resource on your favorite cards, making them slightly stronger.

As with Brave Dungeon, the UI itself is very stress-free. After beating a level in this game, you can play through it at double-speed, so grinding isn't as much of a pain. Even if you lose, you can immediately do a rematch. Smooth transitions as usual.

All in all
I think it was a fair purchase, and would suggest buying it. I mean, it is only around $9, so if you are waiting for a game to come out, try this to waste some time away. Cute anime girls FTW?

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