Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal Review
For the last few weeks I have been playing Dungeon Traveler’s 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal. My time with the First Person dungeon crawler was spent sweating through tough battles, leveling and re-leveling my characters, dying, and then quickly regretting the fact that I wasn’t saving often enough. When I first started the game, I figured I would be able to move through story, rapidly press X during the the battles and experience some fan service, however this was not the case. Dungeon Travelers 2 isn’t a game that you can just grind while you watch Netflix. Each encounter can quickly turn deadly forcing you back to your last save.
During the story you play as Fried, a member of the Royal Library, who is putting together a “suppression team.” Fried is very serious about his mission and even though his team is filled with beautiful women, he doesn’t let this distract him. Fried’s team is dedicated to clearing the monsters out of the different dungeons in hopes in restoring peace to the Kingdom of Romulea.
At the beginning of your adventure you’ll start with a small team, but it will eventually grow to five playable members. You and your crew will head to many different dungeons with individual themes such as a forest, cave, catacombs, village, and more. As you progress, the dungeons will begin to introduce different elements that will increase the difficulty of your task. You may find yourself walking into anti-magic zones, where as you may have guessed, make it to where you can’t use magic, dark zones which don’t let you look at your map, warps that take you to another part of the dungeon, and traps that can poison, freeze, and inflict your party with all sorts of debuffs. There are also fake walls that you can only walk through if you have a flashlight or an active light spell. Pair these with epic battles and you will find yourself constantly face to face with death. The best advice I can give to make sure you stay alive is to always have an emergency exit which will teleport you back to the beginning of the dungeon. Also, make your map your best friend. It’s better to head back to town to be refreshed than to die and reload a save.
One of the aspects that I really enjoyed in Dungeon Travelers 2 was the random occurrences that happen in the dungeons. Sometimes you’ll come across shops, food vendors, and blacksmiths that can enchant your items. This can help give you that extra boost to keep going, which will prevent you from having to return to town. It’s advisable to always buy one thing from the food vendors to help restore your party's HP, TP (the Dungeon Travelers equivalent to mana) and motivation, which will increase the frequency of group attacks. These group attacks can really help the speed of your battles and allow you to progress a lot quicker.
One negative aspect that you are sure to run into while saving the world is that your bag only has 30 storage spots which can fill up quickly. You can throw some items away to free up space, but discarding items is always tough because you never know what you’ll need later. Luckily, back at your guild you can store up to 999 different items. It is highly recommended that you use this storage for items that you can’t use in the field because any drop from an enemy when you have full bags is gone forever.
As you progress through the game you start to pick up more party members with specialized classes. They will start off as one of the main classes, Fighter, Magic User, Maid, Spieler, and Scout. Once you reach level 15, you can choose to branch into 2-3 subclasses, and then again at level 30 where you can choose between 3-4 advanced subclasses. This customization of characters is incredibly deep and gives users the chance to really tailor their style of play. I personally like to play with a much more physical damage approach, but other people may enjoy more magic based gaming. A quick tip would be as soon as you hit level 15, get ready to switch your class, and head out to the field to see how your character’s new skills are in action. Once you experience their skills, head back to the Royal Library and reset your character to another class just to see which one feels better. This will prevent you from leveling a character that isn’t as effective as you may like. Dungeon Travelers 2 gives you the opportunity to respec your character’s skills, but you can only reset your level to 1, 15, and 30. Leveling to 20+ with a character you end up not liking and having to reset to level 15 will set you back some precious progression time. I ran into this when I hit level 30. I was absolutely demolished by a boss. I decided to reset my characters and focus on leveling specific skills instead of spreading out my skill points into multiple categories. Having the option to customize your characters and resetting their skill points is a welcome feature because you never feel stuck. There is always the option to make adjustments that will improve your squad.
Some of the classes may seem fairly straightforward, but there are a couple unique ones that really set Dungeon Travelers 2 apart from other JRPGs. If you’re a seasoned veteran in the genre then you’re probably used to having a fighter for your main source of physical damage, a Magic User for healing and magic spells, and another source of support damage. This is the case, but when you add two new classes, the game gets really interesting.
The Spieler and the corresponding intermediate and advanced classes rely on random chances that will affect the battle. When you cast one of the random spells you may damage your enemies, heal yourself, or buff your partners. The Spieler’s normal weapon attacks are on par with the other secondary damage classes, but having the random spells make the class both different and a lot of fun. I’d recommend playing around with the Spieler to see what feels best for you. I tried out the Doll Master class, which gives you dolls that attack enemies or heal allies randomly. I like the idea, but I felt like I wasn’t benefiting as much as I’d like. I switched to the Trickster and felt much more in control of what was happening, even if it was random.
The Maid and her subsequent classes are easily my favorite in the entire game. Her abilities to recover HP and TP, as well as boost Experience make her essential to any team. While the HP, TP, and EXP spells were the ones I felt were most important for my party, she also has defense, speed, critical rate and other support spells that will help you along get through what can be a pretty difficult game. The best part about her skills is that they don’t require TP. The fact that you can restore someone’s TP without using TP, gives this character a huge edge. Once you get into the more advanced classes you can start singing songs that will restore HP and TP every time it’s someone’s turn. This huge boost will sometimes make it feel like you are in complete control of the battle and in Dungeon Travelers 2, that is a feeling you want.
There are a lot of aspects that go into the battles. Each character’s speed, weapon speed, chant speed, and enmity ( which is how often a character is likely to be attacked) are all variables that you want to consider before heading to a dungeon and it can really turn into a numbers game.
You definitely don’t want your healer to have a high enmity, or higher enmity than your fighter classes. You also want everyone to have the highest speed possible so they can attack often, but you want your chant speed down so spells don’t take too long to cast. This may be confusing without actually playing the game, but the tutorials will give you long explanations that you should really pay attention to.
As you naturally progress you’ll find better items. Every point counts, but then you’ll start to get pieces that have resistances and bonuses on them. These are great, but eventually you’ll be faced with replacing one of those bonuses with a piece of armor that has no bonus, but higher defense and you’ll really sit there and wonder what to do. You could always keep both in your bag to try out, but that goes against your bag storage and it turns into a much bigger concern. Maximizing your attributes by making slight sacrifices will happen and you’ll only hope that you made the right decision.
Once you get the hang of the battles, things will get easier. This is not to be taken for granted. There is always a chance that your healer or fighter will be obliterated with an instakill attack and you’ll have to tough it out without them. Even with four remaining members, if my healer or fighter went down it was a struggle to get through the fight. Dungeon Travelers 2 really makes a point to make every member feel just as important as the other. The moral of the story is take care of your party members and they’ll take care of you.
Overall, Dungeon Travelers 2 will give you between 60-80 hours of gameplay. You will find yourself shocked by the deep customization in both the characters and equipment options. There is plenty to do, but patience is required. There will be times where you are sitting in a dungeon wondering where to go next, but once you figure it out you’ll feel an incredible rewarding sensation. I highly recommend this game to anyone who is looking for a challenge and isn’t afraid to stare death in the face.
4.5 out 5
Thanks to Atlus for supplying a code for review.