It’s been a while since I tried something new, and whilst dungeon crawlers like Ray Gigant have been around for a while, I’ve never really had a chance to play one, until now. Ray Gigant starts off with a pretty simple story, mankind is being destroyed by large monsters known as ‘Gigants’, and nobody can fight them except a few special people with powers known as the Yorigami.
This story is quite generic in the anime world, and is almost exactly the story of games like God Eater, so it’s nothing special, but it sets the tone for the game. Unlike most of those types of games, a lot of emphasis of this game is on the dialogue. Ray Gigant is very text-heavy, to the point that it took almost 30 minutes for me to get to the first part of the game that allowed me to play something, and that was the tutorial battle.
There are some dialogue choices dotted in here and there, which do seem to affect the way the dialogue goes, but don’t seem to have any effect on what happens later. So it’s almost as if they are there just to cover up the monotony of the story scenes.
You play as Ichiya who finds himself with the power of the Yorigami. Ray Gigant is at it’s heart a dungeon crawler. Once you get past the far too long introduction, the game itself is a series of turn-based RPG battles that re actually quite fun. The 3D dungeon-crawling element is probably a little different to what many people are used to nowadays for RPGs, in that you move in first person view, and you can only move one block at a time, and turn your character 90 degrees at a time. Enemies in this environment show up as a variety of different colour skulls that you can walk into and start an encounter.
Battles themselves are 2D turn-based affairs, the sprites for the characters have some movement to them and bounce up and down slightly. The animations for the attacks, as well as this movement are quite smooth and the effects in general look pretty cool. These battles do tend to be quite fun to play, and you’ll normally work your way through smaller enemies with a boss battle at the end.