Action RPGs tend to get repetitive, especially when you try to grind for levels and loot, and few games try embrace the grindy experience by adding some unique concept or mechanic to make it less tedious in grinding. These games can be fun if added with some weird twists, and upcoming action RPG Lapis x Labyrinth could be that game that you might fancy for its cutesy yet bizarre concept. You form a team of 4 members where you take up missions, you can choose from 8 different job classes that plays differently from one another.
Instead of the usual party that will be aiding you throughout your adventure, your members will be stacking on top of your head, which of course is not a good idea for serious adventurers. You can only control one character at a time but it allows you to swap to different characters on the fly, this opens to different attack combinations from your party. Lapis x Labyrinth is all about completing quests in the Labyrinth, as you go deeper, you will be greeted with more difficult monsters to slay but in exchange for better loot. Now speaking of loot, Lapis has a ton of them that encourages you to do repeated runs, the Treasure Rank allows you to earn better loot if you perform well in every quest. You need to build up points by defeating monsters and opening treasures, so the higher your points, the better your chance on getting high quality gear. To help you out in earning more points, the game has a nifty game feature called Fever mode that gives you benefits when racking up scores after doing a mayhem on monster, it also gives out random buffs whenever you earn 100 points where a slot will start rolling, and not to mention it will give you invincibility until Fever mode ends.
In my playthrough, I managed to clear the first two batches of quests with the use of a Hunter, Maid, Necromancer and Bishop, with the Hunter as my main character. It has a well-balanced move set that will be a good starting character. Character assist attack is only limited to just one and it only applies to the first character that is stacked on your head. I usually place the Maid as my 2nd in line to give out attacking boosting buffs when I use the assist attack, but I then switch to a Shielder as my second member for the temporary invincibility effect to help rack up points in building up your Treasure Rank. With several dungeon runs, I managed to get some decent gear that let me survive quests that have stronger monsters, and right now I’m still experimenting on different classes to play for more difficult quests.
After playing for several hours, the grinding experience is still there, but with how Lapis works on its gameplay, it doesn’t get tiring after doing repeated quests. Mixing your party lineup can provide a new experience as each class has its own move set and mixing with assist attacks from your party member, it can produce devastating blows. Plus, playing this on a Nintendo Switch can be a good 10-minute game break when you need to do a quick dungeon run or while riding on a train until you reach your destination.
NIS America will be launching Lapis x Labyrinth for the PlayStation 4 and Switch on May 28. You can check out our review at the end of May as well.