Platform: PlayStation VITA, Developer: Experience Inc., Publisher: NIS America
Disclaimer: The code for this VITA game was obtained for free, from a source that had obtained if for free from the developer.
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a curious beast. From the creators of Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss is a dungeon crawling RPG in a Modern-ish Tokyo Sci-Fi setting that blends hardcore party building and exploring with an interesting Story that has you battling all kinds of weird and wonderful monsters.
It starts with a bang, you are found unconscious surrounded by bloodied and butchered bodies in a horrible dingy sewer. A mysterious man and a young woman save you from a giant crocodile monster that attacks and takes you to their HQ where you form a team and investigate these monsters known as “Variants”. To someone who doesn't play DRPG's or JRPG's regularly this is all very confusing, with lots of the world’s terms thrown at you within the first 30 minutes and it does become a little overwhelming.
Thankfully this is all remedied once you start ploughing through the games roughly 35 hours’ worth of dungeons. These dungeons are navigated in first person and they are teeming with secrets and monsters that keep each feeling unique, challenging and difficult. These sections are a little tricky to control for someone new to the genre but once you get into the grove of moving with the left stick and back tracking using the map and touch screen, it will quickly become a natural feeling.
The battle system is very easy to understand but also completely satisfying to master which is something that is absolutely necessary for a game of this type, especially so for a handheld device. Enemies are set out in your standard front and back row layouts that prompt you to use your party's strengths and weaknesses to overcome these foes quickly and efficiently, which again makes the game perfect for beginners as well as JRPG experts.
Overall the game is good. It doesn't do anything more or less than other games in the genre but does do a good job of avoiding too much “Fan Service” whilst staying to true to the setting and sentiments of the developers vision.
Final Verdict: Operation Abyss does a good job of giving you the reigns and letting you experiment with a huge array of customisation, the story can be a little contrived and the setting is certainly nothing special but the amount of content certainly justifies the price you pay. If you like other Dungeon Crawling RPG's this is something more than worth your time.
By Dave "EofGizmo" Bellringer