Death end re;Quest 2 is an action role playing game developed and published by Compile Heart and Idea Factory! Most people might recognize Idea Factory International for publishing the well-known Neptunia franchise, which has grown a fan base over the last years. Being a sequel to Death end re;Quest, I really expected improvements on most of the aspects of the game! Some elements have been really well made such as the story, soundtrack and a few other things. Other than that, there are a couple of things from the first game that should have stayed in the sequel as well.
One thing worth mentioning is that the sequel takes place in the same universe as Death end re;Quest, so you can expect to see some familiar faces and events from the previous title being brought up. Since I have played the previous title, I can say that you still can pick up this one without understanding the story from the first one. That being said, let us tackle the story! You will follow and take the role of Mai Toyama, a teenager who has gone through a tragic past. After the divorce of her parents, her mother and father decided that her sister Sanae would move away with their mum, meanwhile Mai would stay with her dad. Mai being separated from her precious sister broke her, especially when the only way to reach her is messaging through her phone. But things got worse over time since Mai’s father started to shut her in more and more, which led to her father handing over a laptop which allowed her to keep track of what was happening in the outside world. Things didn’t go better after that since Mai’s sister, Sanae stopped messaging her for unknown reasons. A year has passed by and her father has grown more abusive towards her. After the incident with her father, Mai wanted to look for her sister and figured out that she had been to a place known as Wordsworth. It is an isolated, mysterious little town, and that is where the game will take place!
As soon as you arrived in Wordsworth, you will be introduced to some new characters that will be a part of the cast you will encounter pretty often. One such person is Headmistress Midra, she is in charge of the girls-only dormitory in which you will live from now on. That specific dorm is made for girls who had a traumatic past, and the idea is for the girls to spend time with one another in order to heal each other’s wounds. As you start to settle down in Wordsworth, you will notice that something seems off. According to the staff of the girl’s dormitory, there really isn’t anything in the records of Sanae. That statement left Mai concerned and even more worried about where she could be. After the long journey, Mai was really exhausted and decided to hit the bed. The next day she was introduced to her roommate, Rottie. Throughout the story you will see how they will tackle the challenges that await them as they will try to figure out the mystery behind Wordsworth and its strong religion towards El Strain.
If you have played other titles developed by Compile Heart and Idea Factory, you might have an idea what to expect. The game is presented in a visual novel style while the combat has a more turn-based approach. The game is pretty much split into different sections! There is a part in which you will be able to see the first and second floor of the girl’s dormitory and a map of Wordsworth and its surroundings. It is there you will be able to look for sub-events that will give you some more meat on the bone. You will be able to learn about the students who live in the dormitory and get some interesting dialogues with them. The roleplay element comes in once the clock struck midnight! It is then things are getting more interesting since it takes a darker turn. Wordsworth is transformed into a nightmarish area where monsters will wander around and some are stronger than others! There will be more explanations towards the different types of monsters once you have made progress throughout the story and I think Death end re;Quest 2 has done an excellent job in doing so.
The exploration somewhat feels like a Metroidvania in a sense that you will always start at the same spot and slowly unlock the areas around you by making progress or finding key items. Sometimes the objective becomes unclear since you don’t know which direction you are supposed to go to! Sometimes, there will be dialogues popping up to the left as you explore the dungeons, which will tell you what direction to head towards! To put it simply, I really wish there was an easier way to see the right way to go. But the satisfaction of discovering a new area still remains the same!
So, now let us cover the slightly more fun part of the gameplay! In order to engage in combat, you will have to approach the enemy. From now on there will be three possible outcomes once you enter the combat! You will either get a Good or Bad Encounter depending on how the approach went. You will receive the upper hand by attacking a monster! But be careful, your foes can do the same to you by ambushing you from behind. You might wonder how the upper hand actually benefits you? To begin with, you will be able to attack first and thus plan your approach with all your party members. If you really are unlucky with a combat encounter, it might just lead to your death since some monsters actually pack quite a punch.
To turn the fight in your favour, you will also be able to pick up bugs around the field! The bugs are circles that will be in various colours that you will be able to pick up by running over them. Most of the bugs are harmless and just require you to use them in a smart manner. Judging by the difficulty of the first playthrough, I hardly see any need for bugs unless you are facing a boss. It also depends on the fact that your health and skill points get restored fully when you level up. It makes grinding quite easy since you will only have to use your SP abilities in order to wipe out the enemies. You will also be able to see your Glitch percentage where your health and skill points are displayed. The Glitch Mode will be automatically activated as long as you have 80% or more! It is in that mode, you will be able to pack the heavy punches along with a deadly attack unique to the character. If you’re able to whack a monster or two away, you will be able to land another blow if a character gets in contact with them while they are moving. If you have done a great job calculating, you might be able to make the enemy fly by a bug which will deal damage.
The graphics of Death end re;Quest 2 is pretty much the same as in the first one. The character models do look a bit stale, just like in most of the games made by Compile Heart, but other than that the visual novel scenes truly delivered. I find it hard to top such a good art style! If I play an anime game, then I would pretty much expect to see something on a similar level to what the developers can pull off on this one. When it comes to the sound effects and soundtrack, I think they did somewhat well. What really bothered me was the repetitive dialogues whenever you would walk up to a save point or pick up a bug during combat. The soundtrack is pretty solid and really suits the atmosphere of the game perfectly. I like the change from the happy to the darker tunes when it becomes midnight.
What I really think they could have better is the difficulty! In my opinion, there really isn’t enough grinding anywhere throughout the game. The first time you will struggle is when you face your first boss and even then it is easy. I believe this title truly shines in the higher levels when things get more difficult. If I ever finish Death end re;Quest 2, I would consider coming back if things got harder. But if you expect this title to be something that you would spend hours grinding, then you are wrong. Enemy encounters are fun nonetheless, I just wish I was being more pushed into them.
Let us wrap it up, shall we? In the end, I really enjoyed Death end re;Quest 2 quite a bit. What I really enjoyed the most is the character development since I found the cast to be quite interesting to follow. The gameplay is nice and really rewards you for good positioning in combat. What really makes this title shine is the decision making, you will have to do in order to progress throughout the story. Some decisions have a more brutal outcome than others. That is after all what this franchise is known for! If you are a fan of the Neptunia franchise with a darker twist, then this might be something for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Death end re;Quest 2 Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
Pretty much a solid title with flaws. Annoying dialogues and unclear objectives were most of the things that bothered me in this one. On the other hand, a good story with character development and strong combat can be expected!