High-Octane JRPG Goodness

When it comes to trying something new, Nippon-Ichi-Software is never far behind to take the reins of finding a formula that works with the core of what the company excels in. Lapis X Labyrinth is a good example of that. Lapis X Labyrinth is a fast-paced sidescrolling JRPG rogue-like looter. It’s hard to put a genre on it as it is so many things.

You start in a town and as adventurers, you are tasked with venturing into the labyrinth. There is no real plot to the game and there is no real character to your adventurers either although they do have a charm. Before starting out you choose your classes which determine your characters look, you can change a few of their aesthetics but it isn’t a lot to go by, its mostly the chibi style of the characters in the game and the short whimsical dialogue that does the job. As you progress through the game you will unlock more of the hometown, which is set on a 2D field with all buildings on either higher or lower ground, once you know where they are it’s not at all difficult to get to them especially with the super jump mechanics added to your characters.

The labyrinths are a maze which has you traversing in all directions but are not simply a case of rushing through, you have ample opportunity to explore. You can play as four characters who are stacked on top of each other like a totem pole, you can switch out the main attacker quickly and all have their own attacks and specials which are quite easy to get the hang of. There are enemies, traps, blocks to smash and teleports which all make up each of the labyrinths. Most of the time will be spent beating enemies and collecting loot, on occasion you will be in a room full of enemies and must defeat them to progress further. You may be thinking that if this is the same progression throughout the game I will be pretty burned out by the end. Lapis X Labyrinth has some neat tricks to negate this, beating more enemies means more loot and each beating shows coins flying across the screen, once the Fever meter which fills as you beat enemies becomes full you go into Fever mode which increases everything tenfold. Once full the screen turns into a J-Pop Nightclub, the catchiest song plays and the background comes alive with fireworks, the screen flashes with gems and the coins as you beat down your enemies, this is the best time to destroy as much as you can, even certain big blocks that you couldn’t destroy before now flash bright just asking for you to break them. Fever Mode is basically the game telling you to get as much done and it works because this mode is where you will always want to be as the game that you thought would be a burn out becomes a let me do this again.

The later parts of Lapis X Labyrinth are where the game did slow down as the difficulty did rank up and enemies became more soul destroying and with some cheap instant death traps thrown in made it a real chore to go through some of the same stages again. Grinding in the game is something you can do and rather than individual levels your party has its own level, this allows you to take on those tougher challenges. You can choose to play through a previously completed Labyrinth anytime you like.

Lapis X Labyrinth does the Job of looking great and the bright visuals really stand out, the Music is fantastic and really compliments the game-play. The constant grunts and shrieks from characters attacking are the only gripe I have found sound wise but overall Lapis X Labyrinth is well presented.

In terms of replay-ability, Lapis X Labyrinth has not a lot as the initial game takes around 15 to 20 hours to complete based on player experience and the end game is lacking and sadly there is no local co-op or multiplayer.

A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by NIS America