Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?
Before starting this review in earnest, I must admit to being exposed to a lot of negative comments about this game from a variety of sources prior to playing it.
From the topic of how the game was censored, its excessive reliance on fan service and overall lackluster gameplay, I went into this expecting a disaster.
For those that would point out that it’s best to stay away from other people’s opinions on a game before reviewing it, I would say that I agree wholeheartedly.
However, such a notion is better suited to a world of fantasy, as it’s nigh impossible to control what I end up reading at times, especially if it’s about a title I didn’t plan on covering from the get-go.
With that out of the way, after spending some time braving the dungeons of DT2, I’m happy to report that the game is actually not terrible.
Platforms: Vita Exclusive
Voice Acting: JPN only
Demo Availability: Yes! On PSN
Played: 20~ hours
To address the giant, naked, anime… elephant in the room, the censorship that had some people in an outrage is minimal with only a few CGs seeing any alterations amongst dozens.
While I’m almost always against censorship in creative media, it’s very much a non-factor here and doesn’t really harm the overall experience in any significant way.
Besides, the fan service itself is still present and account for all those who enjoy such things.
The overall gameplay of Dungeon Travelers 2 follows the tropes of a typical first-person dungeon crawler.
There’s a hub area where the player buys and sells items while picking up new quests. Then, they make their way to the various dungeons where they explore a dungeon full of monsters, traps and a big boss encounter at the end.
At this point, it’s a very “been there, done that” kind of thing, having played other similar titles like Etrian Odyssey, SMT, Demon Gaze and many more.
I’m not officially burned out on the genre just yet but I might be getting there soon enough.
While DT2 is a competent dungeon crawler, the overall combat engine felt dated and sluggish. There wasn’t an option to enable “auto-battle” or adjust the difficulty to quickly progress through monotonous random encounters, which was sorely missed, especially since it has become a standard functionality in the genre.
There were also many moments of frustration where I constantly missed my attacks on enemies due to bad luck, which made the battles drag out even longer than they needed to be.
The dungeons themselves also felt uninspired and light on mechanics, and quickly became a chore to explore.
Luckily, the character customization was deep, and offered a broad selection of passive and active skills to improve. When I hit certain milestones in level, I was also able to choose a specialization that opened up even more skills I could invest my points into.
I think I must’ve spent a few hours continuously resetting my points at level 15 just to test out all the skills to see which would suit my needs best.
There’s also a great deal of voice acting present in DT2 and while it’s only in Japanese, it’s well done and a welcome addition, given how sparse VA tends to be on Vita games.
When I went into Dungeon Travelers 2, I was expecting another Criminal Girls, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as torturous.
While the fan service is a bit heavy handed and some of the gameplay elements feel a bit dated, at its core DT2 is a competent, albeit unremarkable first-person dungeon crawler.
Fun Tidbit – The title tagline is a reference to a popular anime/manga series. It seemed relevant because picking up girls in dungeons is something you do quite often in this game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.