Demon Gaze is a role-playing game for the Vita from Japanese developer Experience, makers of the Generation XTH franchise. It is a story-driven first-person dungeon crawler, and takes place in the same universe as Students of the Round, but thousands of years later.
Originally released in Japan on January 24, 2013, it has been licensed for North American release by NIS America.
The game is a traditional first-person dungeon crawler in which the player explores a series of grid-based dungeons with a party of customizable characters, much like the Wizardry and Etrian Odyssey franchises. Battles are turn based are initiated by random encounter or static locations called as 'demon circles' where the player can summon enemies to fight.
The goal of each dungeons is to capture a set number of demon circles; once all of the circles are captured a boss demon is summoned and can be defeated to clear the dungeon. Each boss demon that is defeated can then be summoned to support the player in battle at the cost of a resource called 'demon gauge'; if the players demon gauge is reduced to zero while a demon is summoned the demon will attack the player, meaning it must be closely monitored.
The hub/town of the game is the Dragon Princess Inn, a multistory building where all of the friendly NPCs, including shop owners and quest givers live. Resource management is an important aspect of the game as every time the player returns to the Inn they are charged 'rent', an amount in gold which increases on each return trip.
In addition to standard equipment options that can be found or bought throughout the game, artifacts are a special class of equipment that can only be won at demon circles. These items provide access to class skills when equipped on a character; as such, they are a flexible customization option, allowing for a variety of specialized roles and multiclassed characters.
As an example, the Counter artifact grants the Fighter's Counter skill, which grants a chance to counterattack, giving a tanky Paladin some additional passive damage output. Giving the Cure Set artifact to a Wizard teaches them a variety of curative spells, possibly alleviating the need for a dedicated healer. While the character classes themselves have a linear progression, this customization yields powerful options for advanced players without overwhelming those newer to the genre. Each character can equip up to five artifacts.
The player can create and recruit party members in the inn, choosing their race and class.
- Human: Humans have decent stats all around, and can be of any class.
- Elf: Elves start with good intelligence and evade stats.
- Dwarf: Dwarves start with good strength and vitality.
- Migumyi: Migumyi start with good mysticism and agility.
- Nei: Nei start with good agility and evade.
- Demon Gazer: The class of the protagonist, this allows for the binding of demons and the summoning of them in battle.
- Fighter: Strong front line damage dealers.
- Paladin: Heavily armored warriors who excel at taking damage, the tank class of Demon Gaze.
- Samurai: lightly armored front line fighters who are adept at AoE attacks and evading blows.
- Wizard: Casters with a variety of elemental attacks.
- Healer: lightly armored casters with a variety of healing and buff magics.
- Ranger: long ranged fighters who use bows.
- Assassin: swift rogues who use poison and stealth to defeat foes.
Naoaki Jinbo composed and arranged the soundtrack, with the game's director, Motoya Ataka, providing lyrics on the final boss and finale themes. The vocals throughout the soundtrack are provided by the Vocaloid IA.
The game proved an unexpected success upon its release in Japan. Being in a niche genre and made by a less known developer, it was only expected to sell around 10,000 copies. However it quickly sold out its first shipment, and continued moving copies for the next few weeks, ending up at over 80,000 combined digital and retail sales.
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