MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death Review
Have you been itching to save the world? How would you like to do it with a massive robot who uses one of five elements? Well, you’ve come to the right place! The planet’s rotation has stopped and to get the world back to normal you’re going to have to take Estra, her faithful Guardian, and a few friend’s through a 25-30+ hour journey to resume order!
When you first dive into MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death you’ll feel that it’s a traditional turn-based JRPG that you may have played in the past, but a few twists develop this game into a much more strategic affair. One of the major mechanics is the use of elements. Using fire, wood, ice, earth, and you’ll be able to expose enemies weaknesses, but enemies can also be resistant to these elements, so you’ll need to adjust your strategy as you go. There are a few ways to change your strategy. As you progress in the game, you’ll unlock new Guardians, body parts, and gems that all have different elements or bonuses. Finding the right combination can get a bit tricky, but MeiQ doesn’t really penalize you for dying, so anything you do is low risk.
Once you figure out your elements and you’re ready to kick some butt, the fun begins. Eventually you’ll have a six party team; 3 Guardians and 3 heroes. You’ll primarily use your Guardians in battle, but the heroes have some awesome abilities to help you get through the fight. Each hero has a different set of skills such as group attacks and party buffs that increase attack, defense, etc, and heals. These abilities are limited, so you really have to think about when you want to use them, especially when you first start playing. As you level up, the limits will increase and you can use them more freely. You can replenish these abilities by visiting a spring, setting up a portable camp, or returning to the inn to rest. This isn’t a very complicated system and anyone who’s experienced in RPGs should pick it up fairly easily.
There are four main towers that you must conquer with a few additional ones that appear later in the game. You’ll find yourself trekking back and forth between them to complete main and side quests. Most of the side quests I completed just by playing the main story and grinding so you don’t have to pay too much attention to the requirements. I don’t feel like this is a bad thing, but it doesn’t really add much to the experience ether. In most dungeon crawlers when you walk along a path, the tile you step on is uncovered - MeiQ does some slightly different and a whole lot better. As you progress, you’ll see a few of the surrounding tiles lit up as well, which is nice because to uncover the entire map you don’t need to step on every single tile. The only issue with this is that at times you’ll think you’ve been somewhere, but you actually haven’t. I have to say that even though there were times I had to backtrack because I had missed something, I still prefer the way MeiQ uncovers their tiles than say Etrian Odyssey.
As you make your way through the four towers you’ll start to notice that the difficulty level, as well as experience can be all over the place - this is one major issue that I had with MeiQ. In one battle you may be able to kill a group of enemies that yield you less than 100 xp (which is significantly low) only to encounter another group of enemies that will give you thousands after defeat. The biggest discrepancy that I found was an area that had enemies that gave you 600 xp only to be followed by enemies that have 4xp. I’m not sure why there is such an imbalance between battles, but this made finding a good place to level extremely difficult.
Overall MeiQ: Labirynth of Death is a JRPG players RPG. For those who are experienced with turn-based battles, but I wouldn’t consider it an easily accessible game for new comers. One question that I know people have is if there is a new game and I’m happy to say that there is. The bottom line is if you’re looking for a solid JRPG for the PlayStation Vita then this is definitely worth the time and money, just be ready for some head-scratching balance issues.
Thank you so much to Idea Factory for providing the code.
3.75 out of 5 Stars