By Steve Baltimore / August 23rd, 2022
|Title||Dusk Diver 2|
|Publisher||Idea Factory International|
|Release Date||August 30th, 2022|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, PC (Steam)|
It’s been a while since I got my hands on a good 3D Beat-em-Up, so when a chance to review Dusk Diver 2 came along I jumped on it. I played most of the previous release, and had a great time with its great cast of characters. I was expecting the gameplay to be even better this time around, and the graphics looked like they had gotten a bit of a touch up as well. At any rate, let’s dive in and see how this crazy adventure turned out.
The story here takes place a few years after the first game. Yumo is now in college and working a part time job at Tumaz Mart for the boss. However, while she is trying to live a normal life there is still the matter of fending off Chaos Beasts to keep the world safe. The team thought they had contained all these beasts safely outside of the human realm, but this security is destroyed when they begin to appear in the human realm once again. Yumo and her friends are now investigating how this happened, and this will lead to another battle of epic proportions!
Overall I thought the story here was pretty good. The character interactions are great, and the sidequests add a lot more flavor to the story overall. The story is pretty cliché and plays out just how you expect it to, but I felt it threw enough curves in there to keep you entertained for the 15 hours it lasts. If you have played the first game you will get some of the early references right off the bat, but if you haven’t you might feel a bit lost when you start this one out. There is a log that gives you an overview of the first game if you want to catch up quickly, and after the story picks up here the game is pretty much self contained anyway.
The gameplay in Dusk Diver 2 doesn’t do anything especially new or innovative, but that doesn’t mean its not a solid experience. Players will take control of Yuno and her friends and battle tons of baddies in hand-to-hand combat. This is done just like many other games before it with light and heavy attacks. There are a range of special moves for each character that will consume the SP gauge, which replenishes over time or as you use items. There is also a Burst Gauge that when full, allows characters to enter Burst Mode which increases their SP recovery and Attack power. You also will gain access to an ultra powerful Burst Ultimate in this mode if you can do enough damage before your meter is depleted. This gauge is increased by performing a break move on an enemy. These are pretty easy to pull off: just slam your foes into a wall or simply break their gauge. Doing this while in Burst Mode will allow it to go on longer since it refills your depleting meter.
While the combat here is pretty fun, there are other things that go into it as well. You can level up your characters as you gain EXP from battles or sidequests. Eating food had many advantages as well, such as giving you handy buffs and a ton of EXP for eating things the first time around. Early on you will be given a collection quest for May’s Gourmet Card, and I highly suggest you run around the city doing this. It’s one of the quickest ways to level up your characters, making life a lot easier for you in combat. Other sidequests will give you helpful items such as equipment and even some clothing items to change the look of your characters. I did feel that doing some of these things was kind of tedious, but none of it really overstayed its welcome. I really enjoyed doing most of the sidequests, and putting all the photos from the in-game gallery around the city, made it fun to run around and collect them to see what unlocked next.
Graphically, Dusk Diver 2 looks great. The character models have a good amount of detail and I liked that there were other costumes to unlock for different looks. The enemies look great as well, especially the boss monsters, which are huge and very nicely designed. The environments look nice as well, though I feel like some of these could’ve used a bit more style to separate them from each other. The game ran at a very smooth framerate with very few dips. None of these affected gameplay in any way when they rarely happened. The game has a pretty great soundtrack as well. There are many great upbeat tunes to get your blood pumping for combat, and some great vocal tracks that really heighten the mood. The Japanese voice cast does a great job giving these characters a lot of personality. There is also a Mandarin dub for those who would prefer it.
Overall, I feel like Dusk Diver 2 is a solid title. There is plenty of great fighting action, the story is entertaining and the game looks great. The only real complaint I have with this one is even if you’re leveled and upgraded properly, some enemies feel like damage sponges. This makes some random encounters drag out a bit too long for my tastes. If you’re a fan of 3D Beat-em-Ups with some good world exploration and fun characters, this one is well worth the $49.99 price tag.
Game was provided by the publisher for review.
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