We’ve had a critical shortage of anime games popping up on Steam lately, and by that I mean we’ve seen another one show up every week or so. It’s understandable if you’ve been a little inundated with them and don’t know what to check out. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered, since I play every single one of these things! The latest of the bunch is the Steam port of Bandai Namco’s RPG/visual novel Ray Gigant.
Ray Gigant is all about the titular giant world-destroying monsters and the people who love them…well, love to kill them, anyway. We’ve got three heroes here – Ichiya, Kyle and Nil – each of whom possesses a connection to creatures called Yorigami that give them the power to defeat Gigants and save the world. If you’ve ever watched an anime you’ve got a pretty good idea of how this one goes; it actually ends up feeling a lot like Neon Genesis Evangelion, so fans of that one are in good hands here.
Gameplay-wise, this is basically a dungeon crawler/visual novel hybrid, with more emphasis placed on the latter. That’s because the dungeon-crawling aspects of the game are almost comically easy. Dungeons are fairly linear and while grinding is possible it’s never forced on you, so the game almost goes out of its way to hand victory to you so long as you aren’t a complete newbie to the genre. Even those shouldn’t have too many problems, since your health fully recovers after any given battle. Combat itself uses an action point system revolving around choosing the most economical moves to finish battles quickly, so if you’re playing the game right, you should be done with most fights in a snap; bosses are a little more involved, but you’ll still be vastly overpowered for most of them.
What’s left, then, is the game’s presentation. As mentioned, this is more of a visual novel than a dungeon crawler, so it’s clear that a lot of time was spent on the game’s writing and localization. It’s fairly well done by shonen anime standards, as one would expect in 2016; it’s also paired with some high-quality art. Battle scenes in particular have a unique style reminiscent of something like the PS3’s Time and Eternity, where characters and monsters look hand-drawn against rendered backgrounds; this is brought down a bit by an overall lack of animation, but what’s there is nice. The game’s monster designs also tend to be pretty excellent, so you’ll be looking forward to seeing what you’re put up against next.
Ray Gigant is one of those games that mandates that you know what you’re getting into going in. If you’re looking for a hardcore dungeon crawler along the lines of Etrian Odyssey or Wizardry, chances are you’ll find yourself disappointed. Visual novel fans are likely to get more out of this one, and it’s an easy recommendation for anyone looking for some hot-blooded yelling and drawn out combat scenes.