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The PS Vita is one of Sony’s biggest “what ifs”. What if Sony had given the handheld more support? More marketing? More exclusives? Who knows, but the forgotten handheld is dead and only God knows if Sony will create another handheld. The Vita was perfect for so many weird and obscure games. In 2014, developer Kadokawa Games teamed up with publisher NIS America to release Demon Gaze, a dungeon crawler filled with cute girls but a tough challenge. In the first Vita game I’ve ever played I’m tackling this Demon Gaze review.
Demon Gaze Plot:
This Demon Gaze review starts out with plot, and it’s a fun word to use here as there are different meanings for it. Sure, I’m going to share the story of Demon Gaze but many of the girls in this story are curvy and show plenty of skin, or act in naughty manners. You’re Oz, a demon gazer who has a rare gift of the demon eye. With this demon eye, Oz can seal away demons into another dimension and keep the land safe from them.
The plot revolves around yourself and your mysterious past. It turns out that you are a demon and a powerful one at that! Lorna was a demon gazer who had the power to seal demons away. Oz and Lorna battled a while back and she was able to seal Oz’s demon power away giving him amnesia and reducing his power. Instead of killing you, Lorna and Fran decide to use you to hunt the other demons and seal them away with your eye. Lorna was critically wounded in her battle against you so she is on the mend and isn’t able to go demon hunting. She acts as your guide and trains you to fight demons.
Lulu is a mercenary that stays at the inn, she despises you and it turns out she is a demon too. Her goal is to unleash the ultimate Demon God called “Sol”. She keeps her identity hidden from others. One night she accidentally sets you off and turns you back into a demon. Unable to control your actions you kill Lorna before falling back into your amnesia state.
The keeper of the Inn is Fran, and she is a bit of a mystery herself. It’s revealed that she is descended from the Dragon King and has strange dragon features from time to time. As the game progresses, Fran begins to fall in love with Oz and if completed, the ending will have Fran and Oz in a relationship living together.
One character worth mentioning in my Demon Gaze review is Kukure who is flaming gay. I couldn’t help but laugh during scenes with him as he is every stereotype of gay men. He’s a hairdresser at the inn and way over the top. His writing was hilarious and I’m glad they created him the way they did. Another character who is as weird as it gets is Prometh. She hangs out in the basement and loves the dead. She sleeps in a coffin and wanders around in her sleep nearly nude. When someone dies she will help revive them with a cost.
In the final battle against Lulu and Sol, Oz defeats them but is critically injured. Prometh is able to revive Oz but his demon essence and immortality are gone. Oz decides to stay at the Inn and help run it with Fran as they live “happily ever after”.
Demon Gaze Gameplay:
Demon Gaze is full of customization for your character and class. You’ll be able to select from tons of skins and aesthetics on choosing your character but don’t worry, if you end up not liking how you or your partners look you can later change them at the hub world. During my Demon Gaze review, I made sure to choose the most slutty and skin-showing girls for my team. There are different races and classes to choose from, each with its own perks.
Races include humans, dwarfs, elves, ney, and migmys. From these races, you may pick a class of character. Classes include assassins, demon gazers, fighters, healers, paladins, rangers, samurai, and wizards. Most of these classes are self-explanatory. Demon Gaze despite its cutesy aesthetics is extremely tactical. You’ll need to have an optimized party that is evenly distributed with classes, and weapons, and you’ll need to put them into a proper formation. Some classes can’t attack from the back so those characters will need to be in front. It can become frustrating when the demons you face switch the places of your partners around. This was a big reason why I kept losing in some demon boss fights.
During my Demon Gaze review, I had a routine of heavy grinding between new dungeons. This worked for a while and was able to defeat demons through sheer force but eventually, my lack of proper optimization held me back and I couldn’t defeat one of the demon bosses near the end of the game. Between grinding I would rest up at the inn. Fran, the Inn Keeper would charge you money for staying there but rewards you for paying rent on time if you do it for a few weeks in a row. She’ll give you a little gift. I never was late with rent so I’m not sure what she’d do if you were missing money but she was quite angry with the other renters from time to time so I wouldn’t want to find out.
One of the best elements of gameplay was the automapping of the dungeons. Dungeons during my Demon Gaze review were huge. Once you map the dungeon out, it became much easier as you could switch to auto movement. You can pick a location in the dungeon and set a course and watch as your character made their way to that spot. It didn’t stop battles from occurring but it was much easier to navigate.
Dungeons are filled with monsters that have both random encounters and required encounters. Some are marked with symbols on the map giving you time to prepare while others are a surprise. During each dungeon, you’ll have to clear out a few symbols that may contain the boss demon. If you run into the boss demon they will battle you or talk with you before leaving to go to another boss symbol. Once you corner them they will be required to fight you. When you defeat these high-profile demons they will join your team and you can summon them into fights for major advantages. Each demon has different perks like boosting your defense, attack, or magic. Knowing what demon to use against other demons is critical in making huge fights easier.
When you aren’t slaughtering demons or exploring dungeons in a first-person view, you’ll be staying at the Inn. The characters are all voiced and I thought the acting was pretty solid. Speaking of audio, the music in Demon Gaze is quite good. The opening menu music will put you in a trance-like state with its harmonized singing. There are a few missions and sidequests to pick up here and it’s a good way to level up. You’ll have the ability to talk to other characters and sometimes depending on the choices you make and the quests you do you’ll come across some steamy scenes. I didn’t personally see any nudity but it’s as close as you can get in some situations. The girls will be positioned in very seductive manners with their underwear barely clinging onto their skin. One particularly hot situation, no pun intended was when Fran was overheated and you needed to take care of her in bed.
Demon Gaze follows the basic RPG elements in fights. You can summon demons to help you during a battle but you can’t control what they do. Sometimes they might attack your enemy or heal you, it’s just up to what they want to do but they won’t ever attack you. You’ll select the actions of each of your party members from items, attacking, defending, running away, or magic. The battle graphics are nothing special as your enemy will just appear in front of you in a first-person view. At least the girls and enemies look good!
I purchased Vita after a friend messaged me about selling his. It was a wonderful deal and I jumped at the chance to own a piece in Sony’s history. Another friend messaged me and asked if she could send a package of Vita games. I happily accepted her gift and in just a few days I had two Vita games in my collection. Demon Gaze looked very interesting from the cute girls to the dungeon crawling mechanics. I played it for about three weeks straight before getting my butt kicked by one of the bosses. It was such a tough game when I didn’t properly optimize my equipment and skills. I wasn’t able to fully beat the game but I got pretty far.
Demon Gaze Review Score:
Demon Gaze is an excellent game for lovers of dungeon crawlers. It will have you grinding throughout various atmospheres each with its own fierce enemies. Gamers who are new to dungeon crawlers like I was will enjoy the character dialogue and cute girls but be warned this isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll have to master the combat and skills much better than I did if you have any hopes of beating the game. A solid experience overall.
Demon Gaze scores a 7.6 out of 10.
What would you write in your Demon Gaze review? What are some other hidden gem games on the PS Vita that I should play? Who was your favorite boss in Demon Gaze? What about your favorite girl? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Demon Gaze, I’d love to read them.