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Demon Gaze
Scheduled release date: April 22, 2014
Number Of Players:

The Vita can always use a few more unique action/RPGs, especially if they’re exclusive. On the horizon is a collaborative effort between Kadokawa and Experience Games; it’s called Demon Gaze, and it’s a dungeon-crawling action/RPG designed specifically for fans of Japanese anime culture. If you’re familiar with the games NIS America brings to this region, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Become a “Demon Gazer,” explore the mysterious world of Misred, and hunt down valuable artifacts…yep, sounds like a JRPG to me!

Players will assume the role of Oz, who awakens in a cursed land. It’s a cliché that the protagonist has some form of memory loss, but we’re hoping the writers can churn out an intriguing script. Oz decides to forge a living in this new, dangerous world, filled with foes and treasure. He meets some friends along the way but due to his amnesia, he’s understandably suspicious of those who wish to help him. It’s all the more confusing because he realizes he has new abilities that make him a Demon Gazer. How did he get these singular skills? How do they relate to his murky past?

These are all things you must discover in your quest. For assistance, you’ll receive a bevy of customizable party members; you can select their names, races, classes and genders. You can check ‘em out over at Operation Rainfall: The five races are Human, Migumyi (little people with great healing abilities), Elf, Ney (cat-like creatures), and the battle-hardened Dwarf. Classes include Fighter, Paladin, Samurai, Ranger, Assassin, Wizard and Healer. When you combine the unique traits of the races and classes, you get an extremely complex, in-depth system that promotes choice and strategy. I love the idea of a Wizard Elf and a Human Ranger, for instance.

The combinations are enough to make any RPG fan start to drool, but there’s more. Some may find it offensive but others will argue that it’s simply part of Japanese culture: You can give any of your characters a bath. Why? Oh, to make them cleaner, I suppose. Being able to create secondary characters from five races and seven character classes is enough, but you gotta have that little extra spark, right? Anyway, the world is filled with intrigue and as you build relationships with NPCs, you will unlock more of the surrounding mysteries. Dungeons crawling with nasty demons await, so take your perfectly assembled team, smash the opposition, and get those valuable artifacts.

NIS America has also announced a little cross-pollination marketing for the game. If you’re one of the first to snag Demon Gaze when it launches on the Vita on April 22, you will receive some familiar downloadable characters. They come from the long-running and very popular Disgaea series: Etna, Flonne, Sicily, Asagi and Prinny. All five will be free for the first month, so hop to it! Personally, I like the idea of creating my entire team from scratch but then again, I’ve never been the hugest fan of Disgaea. Oh, I like the games just fine but as I don’t have ten million hours to spare, it’s impossible for me to complete them.

As for Demon Gaze, I’m all sorts of hopeful.

3/7/2014   Ben Dutka