I will be the first to admit that I am not much of a fan when it comes to first-person dungeon crawling games, they just aren’t my thing. That’s what made it even more surprising when I sat down with Idea Factory to learn about their upcoming game, MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death on PlayStation Vita. It’s a title that was no where near my radar, but it’s got my attention now.
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death is from the same team that brought you Trillion: God of Destruction, but this is on the extreme opposite side in terms of type of game. For starters, the biggest thing, is that the game is trying to be more accessible for those like me who have a hard time of getting into dungeon crawlers. To do this, elements such as being able to run, automatically turning when you run into a wall, and less random encounters help to push the game along without feeling so much like a grind.
Turning the Clock Back
The story here is that the whole world has fallen into darkness and it’s up to the players and his group of girls to rewind time and bring light back into the world. Of course, to do this, players must fight through 4 different dungeons, conquer them and gain a key to rewind time. Your girls have been trained as mages and as such aren’t powerful enough to do it alone, so they all have guardians that help them. These guardians are actually robots, similar to Little Battlers kind of.
The interesting part of combat is that only four players can be out in combat at any given time. So with your four girls and their four guardians, you have to select each turn which one will be on the front line and which one will be sitting in the wings. Where this comes into play the most is for things like needing to heal, where you have to bring your girl to the front line to heal, then quickly send her back behind the robot to attack. Items also can only be used with the girl in the front row. It is a very interesting approach to dungeon combat.
E3 2016 - MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death Preview - Death Maze (Vita)
Customization plays a big part in the game as well. You have the ability to change the arms, body, and such on the robot to use different elemental attacks. Elements play a big part in this, as each dungeon has it’s own element, so it is key to pay attention to how you customize your guardian. Each dungeon has multiple floors, traps, and hidden rooms, so exploration has been given a huge boon. Heck, you can even explore outside areas of the dungeon.
Guardians are also able to be broken, so you have to visit the town to repair your robots. In town there is also a Machina guild to accept quests at and a Machina factory where you can craft new parts for your robot. Of course, you can also fondle the breasts of female NPCs, so there is always fun to be had in town.
Remember the Time
Further adding to the accessibility of the game is the ability to use a repeat button to repeat attacks and skipping past fight animations is allowed. There is also no real penalty to dying, other then having to track back to the spot in the dungeon you died at.
It really was interesting to see just how excited I got for a dungeon crawling game. MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death looks to have found that nice spot of dungeon crawling without feeling like such a crawl. The combat looked really fun and the robot customization adds a lot to do. Look for MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death on the PlayStation Vita Fall 2016.