Demon Gaze is an enjoyable and enormously addictive title that strikes a good balance between endearing JRPG-style narrative and compelling dungeon-crawling exploration, let down only slightly by somewhat repetitive combat.
Demon Gaze is tough as nails, sometimes dishearteningly so, but its overall charm and excellent sense of polish make it impossible to stay away from for long. A truly excellent example of challenging dungeon crawling.
Demon Gaze doesn’t spend time courting you with good looks or a novel concept. This is a budget game that often feels cheaply made, but the fiendishly challenging dungeon crawler uses its simple, satisfying combat and progression system to keep you hooked for dozens of memorable hours. It’s difficult to put down without exploring just one more dungeon or completing just one more quest, and thankfully, there are plenty of unique enemies, character builds, and pieces of equipment to see. Demon Gaze shouldn’t be as entertaining as it is, but its addicting nature and substantial length make it an ideal RPG for the Vita.
Really, the thrill of the crawl is this game's only reward. For me, that's more than enough as the dungeon crawling play fits the bill exactly as a Vita game. But if you're new to this genre, there are many better places to start.
Demon Gaze is not a game for those looking for fast, easy rewards; you need a great deal of patience to find success, and sometimes it feels like the game's narrative is actively working against your desire to progress to new places. But when you are narrowly clutching victory from the jaws of defeat, laying waste to a challenging foe through party synergy and clever planning, or finding an incredibly rare piece of loot that completely changes how you use a party member, you feel like your efforts have yielded delicious fruit.
God is a Geek
This is certainly a game for the role-player who fancies something a little different. While the presentation leaves a lot to be desired, there are plenty of elements that make Demon Gaze a good jumping-off point for the first person dungeon crawler. If you can stand the typically Japanese sexism, you might just enjoy this challenging, if repetitive, adventure.
Those who enjoy older RPGs like the Wizardry and Might and Magic series should enjoy Demon Gaze. Those who are used to getting instant gratification and being able to level up their characters with the snap of the fingers will be disappointed. If you can get past the shortcomings of the story, high difficulty level, and scantily dressed women, then this game is a gem. Otherwise you may want to look at some RPGs to occupy your time with the Vita.
Demon Gaze is colorful, brash, and spunky, but it's little more than a wonky journey through dungeon after forgettable dungeon. If it's a grind you're looking for, you can do far better than the mediocrity of becoming a Demon Gazer.