By Steve Baltimore / February 21st, 2023
|Title||Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society|
|Release Date||February 14, 2023|
|Platform||PC, Switch, PlayStation 4|5|
I’m always up for a good dungeon crawler, so I decided to take a look at Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society from NIS America. This one is made by the same team that brought us Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, and looked to have that same level of quality. I was pretty excited to start crawling the dungeon to see what kinda tricks this one had up its sleeves, and most importantly, find out if it was any good.
The story here follows a young woman named Eureka as she travels to a mysterious mansion for her new job. All she knows about this job is that it involves finding things, and with her dowsing she is very good at this. She has no idea what she will be find here are artifacts known as curios, and that these are housed in a man-eating wardrobe. The count of this manor wants them for some unknown reason and is willing to pay top dollar for someone who can retrieve them. The resident witch there, Madame Martha, will aid Eureka on this quest. She teaches her how to summon a spirit that will guide her puppet warriors into the depths of the world hidden in the wardrobe in order to acquire these treasures. However, there is much more going on here than meets the eye and this adventure will take many twists and turns before it’s all said and done.
I’m not 100% done with the story as of the writing of this review, and without going into spoiler territory let’s just say I got a credit roll. It wasn’t an end I wanted, and there is a lot more of this to go, but at well over 60 hours in I thought I’d seen enough of it to give you folks a competent review. The story here hooks you from the start and keeps you engaged as you discover more and more of what the dungeons have to offer. I honestly cannot wait to see how this all turns out.
While dungeon crawlers aren’t known for their over the top graphics, Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society looks great. The dungeon textures are all very high quality, and character portraits are done in that classic NIS style – which is pretty much a given, since the artwork as done by Takehito Harada, who works on the Disgaea series. I was very happy to see that there were several different options for each character class in both male and female versions. Even though they only slightly differ from each other, when you throw in the mix of colors, voices and other traits they give you to customize your party members with, it really does make each of them feel unique. The dungeons themselves all have different looks as well, and the fanatic enemy models really make each one feel very different. The PC version I reviewed has both HD and 4K textures for you to choose from, so if you have a lower powered device like my not-so-great laptop, this will still run perfectly fine on it.
The music here is top notch. I love all the dungeon themes found here. Each one is very catchy and there is plenty of variety here as well. Some of them have a very mysterious sound, some are very upbeat and others have much more whimsical melody. The battle theme is great, and the boss themes really get you pumped up for some action. The English voice acting is pretty good, and I loved the Japanese cast here as well. You will hear a lot of both of them when your puppets are shouting out their various lines during battle, and you can turn these off as well if you want a more classic dungeon crawl.
The gameplay here is what you would expect from any DRPG. You will crawl the dungeon in a first person perspective fighting turn based battles as you go. This may sound very simple, but the game gives you many different skills in order to explore each of the vastly different areas of the labyrinth. Some of these will show you hidden rooms, allow you to break down walls, show you hidden objects and much more. Other skills you learn will simply aid you in surviving this hell. These include things like stopping you from falling in a pit, stopping enemies in their tracks and allowing to you hide from them as well. Many of these skills will unlock as you progress, but others you will have to spend the mana you acquire on to unlock. Some of these skills are not free and will cost you some of your precious Reinforce Points. In the end, with the dungeon variety and vast amount of skills they give you, crawling these floors never get boring. They mix this up even further when you start the second half of the game with randomly generated floors.
As I mentioned above, the combat here is turn based. However, there is so much depth to it that covering it all in a review would be impossible, so let’s go over the basics. First you will need to create your puppet soldiers. This requires a soul and some puppet parts. Later on you will get better souls that will aid in their stat growth to make more powerful party members, but in the first section of the game you mostly only see the basic ones. As you would expect, each character class has strengths and weaknesses, has different skills, can use different weapons and more. These characters can be further customized by their Nature. Depending on the choices you make here they will be able to use different weapons and this can drastically change their stats. Other options include things that change their growth rate, some cosmetic options and you can choose one additional skill as well.
Once your characters are created, you will put them into Pacts. Think of these as different formations. Some Pacts will allow you to have up three attackers and some support characters as well. Each one is very different and will give the characters in them various buffs depending on their placement. You can have up to five Pacts of soldiers exploring at one time, but keep in mind some of these have a starting Reinforce cost. You always start out with 100 Reinforce Points, so using them for Pacts will cut down the amount you have for exploration or to use during combat for various buffs. This cost will decrease as the Pacts level up, but it’s something to consider when starting out with new ones.
I have to say Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society is one of the best DRPGs I’ve played in a long time. The exploration is great with lots of variety, the artwork is fantastic and combat has tons of depth as well. The story is very interesting, and I’m very interested to see how the second half of this plays out. In the end you’re getting an amazing game with over 100 hours of gameplay for $49.99, and the game is well worth that. If you’re fan of DRPGs or RPGs in general you don’t want to miss out on this. I’ve played a lot games in this genre in my many years of gaming, this one of the best!
Review copy provided by the publisher.
drpgDungeon CrawlerLabyrinth of Galleria: The Moon SocietyNippon Ichi SoftwareNISNIS AmericaNISARPG