Game – MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death
Developer – IDEA Factory / Compile Heart
Genre – Dungeon Crawler RPG
Played on the PS Vita
Code supplier by the developer
This game scares me. It scares me on a human level that the developers actually think this is a good game. The premise of MeiQ is indeed a fairly good one though.
The story is that the world has stopped, and to start it up again 5 Machina Mages have to get the blessings from 4 towers to then turn the planet key at the core to start it up again. These mages are in a race to be the first but inevitably team up. Each mage also has a guardian which can only be described as a personal mechanical titan with them to help them battle the foes they will find in their quest.
Things start off jaunty and quirky enough, but then the shortcomings of the game soon surfaced. Perhaps I should have been warned that the game wouldn’t be great by the fact the developers tried to hide the gameplay behind the copious amount of female cleavage on show at each and every moment. In fact the inhabitants of the game and the village they are in would put most modern day porn stars to shame! It’s so bad that the game has been banned in Australia for not meeting “moral standards.” Call me a prude but i think the Australian government is totally justified with this one.
The 5 girls in the game have got good and different characters traits that shine through, but each of them is too cliched, and all of them are marred with the most annoying and utterly pathetic narrative, that grates with unimaginative conversations beyond belief. Fair play to the real actors who voiced this game they had very little to work with.
However If i had £1 for every time one of the characters said “let’s do our best” in the first hour alone I swear I could have bought the game with it!
You soon get involved with your first taste of the combat, sigh, which could have saved the game, but doesn’t. Again on the face of it it has promise. Each character has a protective guardian and that is based on an element. Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Metal. Each individual element has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Ie Water is great against fire but weak against metal.
So you can customize your character and guardian in many ways, with different elements and also different weapons, magic, and items to be able to use.
The combat is turn based, and has pretty standard abilities, ie, attack, defend, use magic, etc. When you use your guardian they will protect the character you play. Also as the game develops more guardians and characters can join your party. So far so good right?
Well consider this, I managed to complete the entire first 2 hours and first chapter, with using nothing more than one basic attack all the way to the end. The reason I stuck with it was because although there is a wealth of different elements to play with, the entire first level I was simply stuck with “earth” elements for my guardian and could do nothing about it. When you finish the level you can buy more equipment to change things, but not knowing what you’re about to face leaves you unsure of the best way to go. In short the combat was devoid of any semblance of balance or thought, and was pretty basic and repetitive.
The actual dungeon crawling was tedious too. It’s fun to go through the dungeons in a first person view, but with nothing on the screen to see, you suddenly find you’ve stumbled across enemies you have to fight or traps you fall down with not seeing a thing on your screen. That’s because the dungeons themselves are utterly devoid of life or character.
I know this is a Vita game, but come on, the graphics here are so basic it’s almost basic PSP standard let alone the Vita. The Vita is an excellent system as the opening cinematic of the game shows ( which to me is the best thing about the game ) yet the graphics drop off HUGELY thereafter.
Not only is the artwork and graphics of the dungeon drab, boring and uninspiring, the mechs are the same too. It appears the budget of the graphics went solely into the art design of the characters, and in how much cleavage they can show. In fact the most technical part of the game is the fact that that if you swipe the vita screen over the characters cleavage they wobble with convincing physics!
As i said at the top, this game scares me. It scare me because it’s the type of game that will insult female gamers as it’s sexist, and puerile teenage drivel. It scares me because it feels like the game director has the mental age of 15 year old boy full of hormones and had a budget for this game that he then promptly blew 90% of it on instructing his team to make pretty girls with big wobbly boobs than a fun to play game. He then got his 13 year old mate to write an utterly boring dialogue.
Yes credit is to be given for the great character graphics, and I pitied the actors who had to voice this trash, but really, the nuts and bolts of a very good game are there, just poorly implemented and wrapped up in a distracting boobathon. The tit marathon presentation ultimately tries to distract you too much that this game is in fact pretty poor.