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Default Dungeon Encounters - First Impressions

October 15th, 2021, 16:53
VG247 give their first impressions of Dungeons Encounters.

Dungeon Encounters is interesting, deep, and probably the most mechanically rich Square Enix game in years

What are the most important aspects of a role-playing game? Is it the characters, the story? The artistic vision of a believable yet fantastical world? Or is it the mechanics? Hiroyuki Ito definitely thinks it's the latter.

[…]

It's brilliant. My worry, though, is that the stripped-back nature of this game might put some off. Certainly I don't exactly get an air of confidence from Square Enix about the game - a skim of my inbox reveals a grand total of two press releases about it. In fairness, it was announced and released just two weeks apart - but I also got four Guardians of the Galaxy press alerts in the same period. VG247 received no offer of review code, even on release day. This made me worried it might be a bit crap - you know how publishers will sometimes hide games - but in fact, the hype machine is just dormant for what might be Square Enix's best game of the year, probably because it isn't loud and brash with sexy graphics and lavish cutscenes. That makes me a bit sad. This is the sort of game that, were it indie, an indie specialist publisher would make a huge deal of; they'd know it was something special.

What doesn't make me sad is the fact that after all these years, Square Enix's most talented designer still hasn't lost it. This is as low budget and as simple as games from a mega publisher such as this can come - but eight years after I last asked a Square Enix executive where exactly Ito was hiding, and after some fans were left disappointed that he wasn't on FF16, he's sent this out into the world: a sublime bit of game design that quite possibly could be adapted for a much bigger game in the future.

Dungeon Encounters is something special. I'm only halfway into the game (at least, based on the advertised number of floors), but it's already quietly one of my favourite games of 2021. Don't sleep on it just because it isn't flashy. It's out now on PS4, Switch, and PC.
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October 15th, 2021, 22:47
It's a proof of concept being sold as a $25 game. SE has zero shame.
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October 16th, 2021, 03:08
It's a fantastic game and this review is spot on. It doesn't have flashy graphics, but the game design and sheer fun is absolutely spot on. Has anyone who doesn't like this game actually played it or are they just turned off by what I think is a cool art style?

Dungeon Encounters really is something special. I've had more fun with it than any other 'crawler I can remember in a while. Anyone that has actually played it have an opinion other than myself or the positive reviews I've seen?
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October 16th, 2021, 03:59
Another first impression:

No bugs in this game. Not a single one that I could find. Compare this to, oh, let's say Cyberpunk or Pathfinder games released in the recent past.

Sometimes simplicity is beautiful and functional. Sometimes it's leaps and bounds more functional than complex systems.

There is a real beauty in minimalism but that would spark a whole other conversation on the merits of such and why it's considered such a design holy grail for many products, media, etc etc. Everything that isn't necessary is just padding, and padding is a waste of everyone's time.

Unless you're that one guy who likes padding and in that case I say sail on my friend.

I guess that begs the question, is a $60 complex mega-game riddled with bugs at release a superior product to a stripped-down minimalist dungeon crawler sold for less than half that amount? That totally depends on what you want from a game, but as of now I have both Wrath of the Righteous & Dungeon Encounters up right now; and I can tell you which one I'm playing and which one I'm currently having fun with as opposed to being frustrated by code bugs with; and that one is the "proof of concept" $25 Enix game called Dungeon Encounters.

A fun, intriguing game with an old-school art style and a new approach to crawling, top down… lilting guitar riffs… art that fits the mode and the age the game is trying to capture and a stellar combat system designed by some of the best CS designers in the industry.

I hope they have great pride and zero shame from doing this as I'd love to buy more games like this.
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October 16th, 2021, 07:27
Originally Posted by FurtiveNyctophile View Post
No bugs in this game. Not a single one that I could find. Compare this to, oh, let's say Cyberpunk or Pathfinder games released in the recent past.
I think it's safe to say that the less complex a game is the less bugs it's likely to have.
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October 16th, 2021, 11:17
Originally Posted by FurtiveNyctophile View Post
I guess that begs the question, is a $60 complex mega-game riddled with bugs at release a superior product to a stripped-down minimalist dungeon crawler sold for less than half that amount? That totally depends on what you want from a game, but as of now I have both Wrath of the Righteous & Dungeon Encounters up right now; and I can tell you which one I'm playing and which one I'm currently having fun with as opposed to being frustrated by code bugs with; and that one is the "proof of concept" $25 Enix game called Dungeon Encounters.
Either type of game has its merits, and there's room for both IMO. I can enjoy casual, simple games and when I have more time, it's nice to play something more involving and complex.

You shouldn't mind too much about the bugs, people have a tendency to exaggerate. Sometimes, someone encounters one and reports it, but if you see all the reports you get the feeling you'll encounter all of those bugs, which is usually not the case. At least the devs have the merit of pushing the bar further, we need teams like that.

Square Enix have the merit of exploring something new as well, and they have obviously put some thought in it, but many people judge quickly from just a few screenshots so it's inevitable to get negative comments about it.
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October 16th, 2021, 15:25
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
It's a proof of concept being sold as a $25 game. SE has zero shame.
I've seen this complaint and its from people expecting a JRPG like the newer Final Fantasy games with lots of story and cut scenes. Most people who like this game say it goes back to gaming roots and is more like Wizardry. So it depends on expectations. Personally I put this one my wishlist as its the type of game that appeals to me. I can understand that it doesn't appeal to a lot of people, and that its a very unusual SE games. I think in general SE prices are very high. Most of their new games are priced at double what this one is.
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October 16th, 2021, 19:42
Originally Posted by FurtiveNyctophile View Post
It's a fantastic game and this review is spot on. It doesn't have flashy graphics, but the game design and sheer fun is absolutely spot on.
Yeah, it seems like "fun" isn't actually enough for a lot people to enjoy a game.
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October 18th, 2021, 18:03
I think this might be a brilliant game and I have been playing CRPGs since the early 80s. It is positively effulgent.

This one mob, the treasure hunter, stole a massive amount of gold from me and I thought I didn't care because I was a pauper anyhow. After I fled from the encounter and chanced upon a shop, I saw that I was now in a massive amount of debt. It was time for the Squid Game.

The little character write-ups are well-written, too.

And why shouldn't the game have number sequence riddles? It's all about the numbers in the end.
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October 19th, 2021, 00:38
Originally Posted by BR_1971 View Post
I think this might be a brilliant game and I have been playing CRPGs since the early 80s. It is positively effulgent.

This one mob, the treasure hunter, stole a massive amount of gold from me and I thought I didn't care because I was a pauper anyhow. After I fled from the encounter and chanced upon a shop, I saw that I was now in a massive amount of debt. It was time for the Squid Game.

The little character write-ups are well-written, too.

And why shouldn't the game have number sequence riddles? It's all about the numbers in the end.
I am finding the wandering companions to be "stories" in and of themselves. Some of the companions you can pick up are REALLY unique, and some have… uh, really unique special attack and equipment options. There's a lot more depth here than people are giving the game credit for, but a lot of is isn't apparent until you've played for many hours.
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October 19th, 2021, 01:02
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Yeah, it seems like "fun" isn't actually enough for a lot people to enjoy a game.
Isn't the definition of what people find fun rather subjective? If someone finds this game fun that is great but it doesn't mean every one else has the same definition of fun.

Your statement implies that many people only play games if they are both fun and have some other factor as well … since just being fun isn't enough … yet that is based on the misconception that everyone would consider this game fun even though what people find fun in a game varies from person to person.

Note not commenting on whether I find the game fun or not or whether it is good or bad. That rather depends on what people consider to be fun in a game after all.
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