By Jenae R / June 6th, 2023
|Title||Loop8: Summer of Gods|
|Developer||Marvelous, SIEG Games|
|Release Date||June 6th, 2023|
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Steam|
I was truly looking forward to trying out Loop8. I thought this was going to be a fun and relaxing summer adventure for me to get lost in. Prior to this, I had been glued to another game for most of May and I thought this would be a nice little break from that, a summer in 1983 Japan sounded like just what I needed to start off my own almost summer. Was Loop8: Summer of Gods what I hoped it would be? Keep reading, you’ll find out.
First of all, let me briefly explain what this game is about. So Nini, who used to live on a space station, has moved to Ashihara Nakatsu after the Kegai attacked the space station and he had nowhere else to go. Nini ends up living with a family relative in Ashihara and starts going to school there. Throughout Loop8, you’ll traverse back and forth across town, getting to know the various residents, raising the stats of potential party members by hanging out with them and doing one of a number of activities. Eventually a Kegai will slip through the town’s barrier and pick someone to possess. Once someone is possessed, you go to talk to them to essentially activate a boss and travel to an underworld version of Ashihara, called Yomotsu Hirasaka, to fight them and live to see another day. Should you ever fail, the game will automatically loop you back to the start of August. You can also manually loop back by talking to a specific character should you find yourself needing to before you’ve even attempted to fight the latest victim of the Kegai.
Now, was Loop8 what I hoped it would be? No, not at all. This game was a tedious mess and after just under 16 hours of playing it, I couldn’t do it anymore. Okay first of all, whoever the Kegai possesses is seemingly random every time; I think it might always be someone you didn’t bond with enough. But you would have to go through far too many loops to bond with everyone and figure out which possessed character gives you an easily beatable boss and/or one you have enough time to raise a decent enough party to defeat. I constantly got pitted against what I’m going to call a second tier boss, seeing as they required two magatama to fight.
You may be wondering, what are magatama? Well, whenever you go to Yomotsu Hirasaka to take care of the latest Kegai possessed individual, you have to collect these magatama around this Underworld version of town. The boss will be behind a sealed area of town and require a certain number of these magatama to get your chance to fight them. There are also some enemies around town you can fight on your way to the boss, but as far as I could tell, they did very little for raising anyone’s stats and were a huge waste of time. Now to get a magatama, you’re required to interact with these things floating around different areas of Yomotsu Hirasaka. Sometimes you might need a high enough appeal stat, other times you might need divine power, perhaps you have to give up some of your energy. It can be any number of things. So long as you have high enough stats for some of the collectable magatama, you’ll unlock what you need to unseal the path to the boss and go into battle.
Like I said earlier, the person possessed can seem relatively random each time and you may find yourself constantly thrown against a second tier boss you haven’t had nearly enough time to raise a strong enough party to fight. I found this constantly kept happening to me. And once you fail and find yourself looped back, the main character, Nini, will lose all skills and stats you spent hours working to raise. I did find if I kept raising the same characters, they seemed to keep some of their stats, but they also lost all of their skills. Not only that, but each time you loop back, to even get the option to add someone to your party and start working on them again, you have to talk to them a ridiculous amount of times and go through the exact same dialogue you’ve been through loop after loop after loop, yet again. Plus, even locating them in town can sometimes take ages. Many times characters won’t be on the map and you’ll have to find them yourself, or wait until their face does show up somewhere. And I can’t forget the fact that Nini moves in somewhat of a stylish anime way and it is not efficient for running around town quickly. There is quick travel, but you still have to walk across areas looking for characters, you won’t pop-up right next to them.
Speaking of the stylish sort of anime way you move around town, yes the game does look nice visually. It has this obvious anime style and Ashihara looks aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, you’ll be too busy dealing with Loop8’s incessant repetitiveness to pay attention to how anything looks. Also, the soundtrack isn’t anything fantastic either. It’s not bad or horribly obnoxious or anything like that, it simply doesn’t sound special.
I tried everything I could think of to somehow get to the end of this game, wherever that end is. I’m honestly not sure if you have to get to a point where every single person in town has been possessed at least once and succeeded without a loop back, or if you just have to get to the end of August: which would also require not looping back. Regardless, with the almost certain chance you’ll end up against a possessed Kegai you don’t have enough time to prepare for, without additional and luckier loops back, it’s frustratingly difficult. The only other thing I can think of to get to the end of this game is spending far too many hours figuring out who the hardest to beat possessed characters are and befriending all of them first, so that you have a decent enough available party well prepared for once you get to them as more difficult bosses later on. I simply didn’t have that kind of time when I had to get this review out. And frankly, I was not enjoying this game enough to ever bother with that, even if I had more time. And no, there aren’t any alternate difficulty options, so I couldn’t switch to some easier difficulty and speed through the game either.
As can be expected, if you’re still with me reading this review, no I cannot and do not recommend Loop8: Summer of Gods. It’s a shame because I really thought this would be a fun summer adventure and was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t. Not only that, but I know XSEED Games does some really nice physical editions. Maybe you want to pick it up if you collect XSEED’s physical releases. Still, I would suggest you wait on a good enough sale for that, because this game is not worth it. Although, if this game were to ever be made into an anime instead, one where all the repetitive nonsense is skipped over, I could see myself potentially enjoying it.
Review copy was provided by the publisher.
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