Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc Experience Inc.
Publisher: acttil, llc.
Release Date: May 03, 2016
Available Platforms: Playstation Vita
Reviewed Platforms: Playstation Vita
Sometime in the near future, a new PlayStation Vita game is about to drop into players hands. That said, the near future also a perilous time in the world of Ray Gigant as huge menacing creatures have attacked and only a few people have the power to stop them, one in particular. With him comes great power, but will they all be able to stop the Gigants from killing everything?
The PS Vita is no stranger to role playing games, especially dungeon crawlers. Those that are familiar with the likes of Demon Gaze and others in the genre are going to feel right at home. While story elements in some of these titles can feel downright barren, in Ray Gigant, there is plenty of dialog moments, almost visual novel style of dialog. It’s a lot heavy handed at times and had me wanting to get back to the core gameplay elements sooner rather than later, but I appreciated the emphasis on it.
Combat is the key element here and what players will be spending most of their time with. Exploration and combat all take place in first person, granted the characters are shown via third person before the battles take place, with some great looking idle animations as well. The attacks of the three characters use AP points up, the more players use, the less they have for the next round. It becomes a game of knowing when less is more and saving those AP points for potential use. This is just one of the unique elements about the game though.
Combat is turn based and changes between three characters as normal, but there are other systems at play. A slash beat mode grows as battles rage on and when the player initiates it, a music based rhythm game kicks into effect. The more notes players input correctly with the various attack buttons, the better the transformation attack does. It was a bit weird at first, but ultimately I grew to love this aspect of battle even if it only rears its head every once in a while during combat and depending on the players choice. The leveling system is unique also as weapons, armor, and abilities are all earned via the evolve tree. It’s a different set up then most role playing titles but one I grew to enjoy. Exploration is also a bit different as the fighting is not random and specifically placed areas have those enemies. Once they are all dead, players can freely explore the environment or process, yet there is a way to revive all enemies for those that like grinding out their characters. Another small but interesting note is the three way battles. During Gigant fights, characters will be at three advantage points separate from each other. It really gives the player a feeling of just how big these creatures are.
Ray Gigant has an interesting story featuring three different character viewpoints and a lot of elements quite unique to its genre. Heavy visual novel like story beats, interesting first person combat mechanics/exploration, and a battle music rhythm element. It combines all these into an experience that is mostly fun and refreshing with an interesting level up system. While the game doesn’t really feel all that challenging though, that will be a pro or con depending on the player as usually this genre of dungeon crawling like experiences weighs in on the harder side. Otherwise, this is one Vita title that players should definitely keep their eyes out on.
Retails for: $49.99, Recommended Purchase Price: $39.99
A pre-release PlayStation Vita code was provided for review purposes