Lapis x Labyrinth – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Platformer, Dungeon Crawler
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Switch, PS4
Tested on: Switch

Lapis x Labyrinth – Review

Site Score
8.1
Good: Graphics, Simple gameplay, Gear system
Bad: Repetitive for some
User Score
9.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)

NIS America is known for publishing rather quirky JRPG games, which often are very original in terms of story and excessive gameplay mechanics. The games often sport a simple graphical style, that is somewhat dated, but they still tend to please their target audience with their many different releases. Lapis x Labyrinth is the latest title from NIS America, and it is actually quite different from their other releases. Lapis x Labyrinth is a 2D dungeon crawler with very unique party and gear mechanics. While we initially thought this would be a bite-sized title, we were quite surprised with the interesting mechanics and the overall length of the title.

Story

In terms of story content or progression, Lapis x Labyrinth will not offer you that much. You’ll be thrown into a small village as a random adventurer, who decides to help the inhabitants of the small village, in order to help them get back on their feet. You clearing the dungeons all around the village allows them to flourish and expand their operations. There is no real story content outside of the occasional short dialogue telling you something about the following dungeon levels.

Graphics

Lapis x Labyrinth is a very colorful mess, as the enemies all have wacky and vibrant colors, and when you play in Fever mode, things will turn into a beautiful chaotic frenzy. You’ll be treated to chibi and basic character models for the party members and the monsters all have unique appearances as well. Each of the different areas has their set of enemies, which aren’t that expansive, but still varied enough to make things interesting enough. Some rooms of the dungeons are rehashed over and over, meaning you’ll see a lot of the same textures and clutter. Nonetheless, seeing the game is very fast paced with a time limit, you won’t be able to enjoy the sceneries anyway.

Sound

Many of NIS America’s games often have superb sound design with a lot of voiced dialogues and this is where Lapis x Labyrinth somewhat disappoints. The game does have flashy sound effects, grunts and shouts, and a few repeating music tracks, but due to the lack of a decent story there is hardly any voice acting to be found. It’s always nice to sink your teeth into a game that has a lot of voiced dialogue as it truly helps with the immersion, but LxL falls a bit flat in this department. Nonetheless, the background music is upbeat, albeit very repetitive.

Gameplay

Lapis x Labyrinth is a mix between a 2D platformer, a dungeon crawler and a RPG with very interesting gear mechanics. You’ll plow through different dungeons with a lot of platforming and hack and slash combat with a party of maximum four adventurers. Of these adventurers you can only have one member active at any given time, but the others can provide support with special attacks. The inactive members are stacked upon the active member, making the party look like a cute totem. From start to finish you’ll be plowing through dungeons, gathering gear and money, in order to upgrade your party.

The combat is actually very straightforward. You can use regular attacks, special moves, combination attacks and so on, which will be common practice throughout the game. At the end of each level you’ll get guild experience, which raises your guild level, which in turn allows you to level up during each dungeon, in order to become more powerful if you decide to take a detour and kill more monsters, rather than aim for the goal immediately. Each floor in a dungeon has a five minute timer, so it’s not always that useful to get sidetracked too far. If the timer runs out, you get tossed out of the dungeon with only a limited amount of rewards. The game isn’t too punishing, but you’ll notice that it has a rather high pace in terms of exploring, traversing the different floors and combat.

The further you progress, the more options you’ll get to pimp your party. You’ll be able to increase their equipment ‘cap’, which means you can only equip a specific amount of items with a level restriction, making sure your party doesn’t get too strong too fast. You’ll have a limit for your party, which can be upgraded. You can also enhance items and you can upgrade your basic stats, meaning there’s a lot of options for you to create a really strong and interesting party. When playing, you’ll notice that each class has its advantages and disadvantages.

Conclusion

Lapis x Labyrinth is a very quirky and amusing game. While the premise of the game feels and looks very simple, the expansive gear and leveling system makes you sink your teeth in the game and before you know it several hours have passed. The game is a colorful and interesting experience that lets you play with a variety of different characters, and while you can finish the game with your initial party choice of four adventurers, the game invites you to try out different builds and party combinations. If you’re looking for a fun game to either play in short bursts or long sessions, then this title is certainly worth looking into.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Lapis x Labyrinth - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.