Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society Summons First-Person Dungeon Crawling and Deep Customization

Published: October 17, 2022 9:10 AM /

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Labyrinth of Galleria's bright character design.

Fans of Nippon Ichi may remember a certain dungeon crawler released a few years back called Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk. It was unique for its first-person exploration which turned into 2D sprites and turn-based battles during encounters. Not only that but it appealed to fans of the Disgaea series for having a similar character design aesthetic and focused on a class system that players would use to control doll-like characters. These dolls could perform a variety of attacks and spells typical of a fantasy setting.

It’s no surprise that Nippon Ichi has returned to that concept with the upcoming release of Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society. Billed as a spiritual successor to Labyrinth of Refrain, Labyrinth of Galleria boasts new improvements to that original formula. That is, you’ll be dungeon crawling once again using puppet soldiers to take down enemies along the way. Whilst it’s been out in Japan for a couple of years now, NIS America has seen fit to launch it overseas starting February 14 of next year. That’s specifically February 14 for North America, February 17 in Europe, and February 24 in Australia/New Zealand across Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. The latter two platforms are specifically being added for the overseas release.

During NIS America’s Fall press event, we were able to catch a glimpse at some English in-development footage. While we couldn’t play the game ourselves, the video provided during the event and accompanying explanations gave us a good idea of the concept and philosophy behind Labyrinth of Galleria’s gameplay.

Into the Deep Dungeon

Labyrinth of Galleria features a first-person camera.
Battles take place in first-person mode too.

Like Labyrinth of Refrain, the main method of exploration in Labyrinth of Galleria is presented in a first-person view. That means you won’t be able to see your player characters directly because you’ll see the dungeon maps as if you were looking through your own eyes. This works out because largely, you’re exploring a labyrinth – it’s a dungeon after all, and there are only so many things you can look at while waiting for enemy encounters. That’s not to say the map is garish or anything; from what was shown the visuals are colorful and the 3D backgrounds are stylized to compliment the anime art style of the characters and character units. Of course, there’s also a mini map in the order should you need a little help staying oriented in your travels.

The idea behind your characters is that you’re a wandering spirit awaiting your next command. With the help of your puppets, you’re tasked to enter this deep underground labyrinth, fighting monsters all the way through to unearth and obtain the Curious d’art that lies in wait. Labyrinth of Galleria is said to allow you up to a team of 40 different fighters which can be fully customized using an element called pacts which then participate in turn-based battles. The goal is to mix and match these units to make the best of each encounter, with all your in-use units appearing at the bottom of the user interface during your time in the dungeon. It might seem overwhelming at first but that amount of freedom in customization is certainly welcome.

There's A Story Here Too

Labyrinth of Galleria event scene.
Event scenes use 2D models in a visual novel style.

Aside from the exploration and dungeon battle elements, Labyrinth of Galleria makes use of the typical Nippon Ichi style of dialogue and event scenes. That is, these scenes take place on a 2D plane with 2D character art facing each other while they converse. It’s simple but effective and the voice acting is there so it’s not as withdrawn as reading some visual novels even though that’s sort of the style they’re going for. Again, the designs are colorful and for those into the Disgaea series, will feel right at home.

With over 50 hours of gameplay being promised by the developer, Labyrinth of Galleria sounds like a hefty outing for those looking to scratch that dungeon and turn-based RPG itch. Certainly, the amount of customization alone sounds appealing along with the colorful characters and story potential. With loads of gameplay and customization, it's shaping up as a good time for old fans and newcomers alike.

TechRaptor was invited to see Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society at the Virtual Press Tour hosted by NIS America.

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