Ray Gigant (PS Vita/PC) – First Impressions

Role Playing Games offer a lot, being quite different. But there are specific variants in the genre; dungeon crawlers, action titles with RPG elements and traditional RPG’s as well. When a variant is used so often, it’s hard for it to stick out. Bandai-Namco’s Ray Gigant is an example of a game that sticks close to the basic foundations of the genre but doing enough different things mechanically and visually to stand out.

After spending two hours with the title, I would like to talk about my time with this dungeon role playing adventure for the PS Vita and PC platform. Hope you enjoy!


The Story

Taking place in a future where dangerous monsters are roaming about, people have been working hard in trying to fully remove the gigants. What makes things more interesting is that characters has the power to use Yorigami, powerful beings that have a mind of their own. My time with the game so far has me playing the first chapter, which focuses on the character of Ichiya Amakaze.

I really enjoy his character, as he just doesn’t know how to deal with the overall situation. He was in the middle of a major disaster and has a great power, but afraid to use it. His stand-offish nature and generally sarcastic personality made me root for him; he is just trying to deal with a bad hand dealt to him. Amakaze didn’t want his power but he has to live with it. Being forced in his current situation to fight the gigants and try to help save the world is great due to how character-driven much of the story is in the first few hours.

You play as other characters outside your main party, with focus being shifted to them in the games other two chapters. Story is interesting and really ‘works’. Through having a tight focus on character motivations and actions, it feels like a personal narrative, something I appreciated greatly.

The side characters and party members are also great fun, with character dialog choices helping make things even more interesting. The dynamic Amakaze has with his party and people around him is strong and varied, resulting in conversations that never feel boring or forced.

From my early hours with the game, I honestly really enjoyed story and hope the rest of the game continues to offer a strong narrative.


Gameplay

This is your basic dungeon crawler through and through, well it appears to be at first. You have a map that’s easy to access, the ability to form short-cuts after you make a lot of progress in a dungeon and you have enough freedom when exploring dungeons to rewarding.

Combat is where the game shines greatly though, as it’s a turned based RPG. Unlike most dungeon crawlers, your character is in third person. You have a interesting risk-reward system in place for your actions; everyone functions off a special ‘Active Points’ mechanic. This determines how many moves you have at your disposal. You could for example, have one party member strike five times and have the other two just guard, eating up a lot of active points. This could kill all the foes at once, but you lose a lot of AP for any upcoming battles.

You can earn more AP points by winning fights, but when you run out, you cannot attack or do anything for a short while. With the game having a unique health system (where your Yorigami eats up damage until it cannot take it anymore), keeping your AP points in mind when making actions is critical for successful combat.

The game takes great advantage of this early on, where it points out Blue and Red Enemy Icons on the map. Fighting the Blue ones uses less AP but Red ones use double the AP for every move. I love this risk-reward system and it kept me on my toes exploring the early dungeon in the game. Combat is overall quite strong but you have upgrade trees to consider too.

Each character has a special tree that can be completed if you use special gems and resources you gather from combat and exploration. Who you use the most resources on and how much do you save for a later are key decisions I can see effecting later-game leveling. It offers added depth and I liked how much freedom the game provides using the resources you can gather.

Gameplay and design in general here is great so far, with it having depth and challenge.


Presentation

I love how Ray Gigant looks and sounds. While some elements of the game can be lacking (character portraits zooming in and out of the screen is distracting in story scenes and enemy animations can be poor), many elements stood out to me. The art of the game is fantastic, using amazing animation for each party member when selecting actions in combat. It gives it added immersion and makes battles more engaging for me. Character designs are good, having a lot of detail and little things that make them feel unique.

Music is where I was quite impressed with Ray Gigant. It mixes so many musical genres but all of them sound fantastic. The battle themes early in the game are full of funky jazz and hard rock that made me tap my toes as I slashed my way through foes. Other music tracks add atmosphere to the game world, allowing you to get connected to the game world.

Despite some minor issues, the game’s presentation is quite impressive overall and is one of the Vita’s better looking dungeon crawlers.


While this is not a full review, I really enjoyed my time with Ray Gigant so far. Through it’s engaging story, strong characters and enjoyable combat systems, I want to see more. This is a polished and fun dungeon crawler that I feel many could enjoy. I’m honestly not sure when a full review of this is going live, but I will be writing a full review on this title in the future on 3WIREL. So stay tuned!


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