The Labyrinth series has had a bit of a tumultuous journey recently, with the Western release of Omega Labyrinth Z being cancelled last year by Sony. D3 Publisher must have come to some kind of understanding with Sony though as the next title in the series, Omega Labyrinth Life, has been given the go ahead for a digital release in the West.
So you might be wondering what all the fuss has been about and what a cute and colorful dungeon crawling series could have possibly done to earn Sony’s ban hammer in the first place. The answer to that is of course fan service. There are a number of mini-games where you need to interact with the female characters and their buxom bosoms and this obviously has Sony clutching at its pearls.
Some compromises have had to be made, for starters the Omega part of the title has been dropped, the logo has been changed, and more steam has been added to the spa scenes. The biggest changes though have been to the mini-games, many of these have either had features stripped back or been removed entirely.
The Nintendo Switch version of the game has been released uncut but D3 Publisher has tried to make the reduced PS4 version slightly more palatable by offering it at a lower price tag. The story, characters and main bulk of the gameplay is still the same, so let’s take a look at what’s left and see if it’s still worthy of your time.
Breast Friends Forever
Hinata Akatsuki is the first ever transfer student to the prestigious Belles Fleurs Academy. The school is filled with plenty of top class students ranging from wannabe pop idols to wealthy heiresses. Unfortunately for you, not everyone is happy with you being there and things don’t get much better when the Grand Garden, a source of great pride for the school, wilts soon after your arrival. With suspicions resting heavily on you, you’ll need to go out and explore the newly appearing Holy Caves and try to find a way to get those droopy flowers to stand up tall.
The story unfolds with plenty of cheerful enthusiasm from its cast but their spirited excitement is not enough to make it feel particularly memorable. It all just seems a bit generic with characters that you know will become your best friends if you plod through the predictable story for long enough.
But let’s have a look at what you’ll be spending the bulk of your time doing: investigating the Holy Caves. The actual dungeon crawling aspects feel very similar to games like Chocobo’s Dungeon. Every time you move across the grid-based dungeons or perform an action your enemies will as well. This means that you’ll need to be tactical about how you explore and make sure you don’t get surrounded by enemies.
There are some fairly unique features to this dungeon crawler, the most peculiar of which is every time you defeat a monster you’ll gain a mysterious energy called omega power. This powerful force will accumulate in our heroines’ bodies—in their breasts to be more precise. If you gain enough then their cup size will increase which also has the effect of powering up your stats.
Every time you leave and re-enter the dungeon your characters will be back at level one (and their boobs back to their natural size). You won’t be completely back at square one though as you can take whatever items and equipment you’ve previously found with you. This means that you’ll be able to quickly decimate monsters on the early floors.
If anything the main story dungeons are a little too easy and I rarely felt the need to spend too much time optimizing my equipment. This is especially true once you’ve learnt a few skills for your characters, and I spent much of the game feeling a little too overpowered. For those of you that like a bit of a challenge then there are various special dungeons to try to conquer. These have stronger monsters as well as special restrictions such as not being able to take any equipment or items in with you. It’s these dungeons that were the most fun to complete as you actually have to take your time and think before rushing in.
Doing What We Do Breast
This is a game which doesn’t take itself too seriously and tries to add its own silly, sexy spin to things. When you’re wandering through the dungeons you won’t just come across the usual kind of traps that poison or confuse you. Instead you’ll also get things that cause your characters skirt to flip up or land on a tub of lube that’ll send you sliding uncontrollably into a nearby wall.
Occasionally you’ll come across objects that are unappraised, and in order to find out what they are you’ll need to go take part in the Size Up process. The game explains that by rubbing these items with omega power you’ll be able to reveal what they are. You have omega power stored in your breasts, so you’ll need to grind it in between the heroine’s boobs. While the game still describes this process to you, it is one of the mini-games that hasn’t made the cut on the PS4, instead the screen just flashes white and the item is instantly revealed.
When you’re not trawling through the many dungeons you can take time out to wander around the school grounds. There are a number of different things to occupy your time such as growing flowers or customizing the look of all the objects in the garden. There are plenty of different kinds of seeds to be found throughout the garden and dungeons and these can be planted and eventually harvested. You’ll be able to gather fruits and bouquets which can be used to add various effects to your weapons and armor, and also collect nectar which can be exchanged to learn new skills.
Learning new skills is another mini-game which has unfortunately been cut from this version of the game. You can still see much of the saucy artwork but you can’t interact with it, it feels a bit pointless to just be shown the same images over and over but not able to interact or do anything. I quickly found myself skipping through these parts of the game.
Looking after the garden ended up feeling like a bit of a repetitive slog, and this was even after gaining access to a billboard that allows you to maintain all flowerbeds from one place. Having to select each flowerbed individually, plant seeds, and then water them is just dull. It didn’t help that I rarely felt the need to try to gather more nectar or flower components as the majority of the dungeons are easy enough without maximizing your skills or equipment with the bounties from the garden.
Labyrinth Life PS4 Review - Not the Breast Dungeon Crawler
It’s a shame that Labyrinth Life didn’t choose to go the route of Criminal Girls 2, where it released with mini-games in tact but had artwork that was redrawn by the original Japanese team to be a bit less smutty. Releasing the game without many of the naughty mini-games means that you see it for what it truly is; an uninspiring dungeon crawler that, apart from the challenge dungeons, is a bit of a dull slog to play through.
Labyrinth Life review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.