A brand-new first-person dungeon RPG on Nintendo 3DS.
It has been said that what the Nintendo 3DS needs most is not a port or sequel, but a new IP. Konami and tri-Ace, developer of the Star Ocean series, are answering the call with Labyrinth no Kanata (Beyond the Labyrinth). Here are my first impressions of the game at TGS 2011.
The demo started in the relics of a stone tower, which seem to be the entrance to the labyrinth. The background looks great, especially in 3D.
â€śIf we climb up this tower, apparently we can get out of here,â€ť says a mysterious girl in front of you. This silver-haired girl guides a controlled party of four. The girl is essential for this adventure; by pressing the Y button, you have her do what you need to proceed, such as eliminating a barrier in front of you. She is fully voiced and an icon of this first-person game, where you cannot see any of the other four.
Controlwise, I could not walk around as I wanted since it took a long time to get used to controlling the camera with the shoulder buttons (for horizontal panning) and X and B (for vertical panning). The button layout did not allow me to control the camera as precisely as I wanted. I hope this game will support the Circle-Pad extension for camera control, as analog input would greatly help.
The battles are turn-based, apparently with no action elements. You decide the target of a characterâ€™s attack and then see the â€ścharge levelâ€ť of the attack in his/her turn. Except for the girl, who also joins battles, every character (including enemies) has one of three attributes in a three-way standoff relationship. Depending of the attribute combination of the attacker and the target, damage may be doubled or halved. In my short test-play mode, I could not guess how this system would deepen gameplay.
It is yet to be determined if Beyond the Labyrinth will be released outside of Japan.