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Do you have an odd sense of Deja Vu?

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    Akiba’s Beat

    Rating: 1.5 – Bad

    Do you have an odd sense of Deja Vu?

    The music and art are beautiful. You have a variety of songs that you can activate during battle by charging a gauge, giving you benefits depending on the song. Each dungeon has music appropriate for the dungeon’s theme, giving you a better sense of immersion. The variety of music really allows the player to decide the mood as they fight harder enemies. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to access the music. On top of that, even that music can become stale when played too often and that seems to be the theme of the game.

    The art is clean and the scenery is well thought out, really making you feel like you are in an actual location and not some random fantasy world. Each dungeon has a theme and the art of each dungeon is made for that dungeon, with even small details accounted for. Your first few visits to each dungeon will be enjoyable if only for the artistic value of how each dungeon is different down to even the artstyle with what appears to be hand drawn art in some areas and more mechanical designs in others.

    Unfortunately, despite the beautiful music and art, the beauty is quickly unraveled as the clock hits midnight and the captivating spell is broken again and again.

    Have you ever played a game and wondered when it would end? Akiba’s Beat really goes for that and then amps it up to the highest level. With sluggish controls and slow movement, players will have a chance to enjoy the tedium of repeating the same thing such that everything will look the same by the end.

    Battles are mostly just waiting around until you recharge more attack options. Blocking is near useless due to the delay and the many attacks that ignore block. It isn’t until you are almost done with the game that you finally are able to attack more seamlessly, and that is still only with certain characters.

    Wait, did we say almost done? Sorry, now that you are approaching the end, we have Flashback Episodes. A mandatory Flashback here, a long sequence of Flashbacks there. Never mind, let us just have you redo every dungeon and go through the story a second time. Meanwhile, we have characters who run so slowly that it is tempting to see if we can moonwalk to make them run faster on top of long, winding dungeons that must be explored over and over again. Come play with us, forever, and ever, and ever…

    Just in case you weren’t tired of repetition, the quests are even more repetition as you must complete a quest for a dungeon to unlock the next quest for that dungeon. That means instead of grabbing 5 to 9 quests at once and doing them all in a dungeon, you have to grab one quest, enter the dungeon, find the enemy, kill enough of that enemy to finish the quest, run back to the quest giver, turn it in, and then pick up the next one. Then you repeat that cycle 9 times per dungeon.

    Even your favorite dungeon gets tiring after having to re-enter it over 10 times for the story, but this game wants you to do it more than that, even going as far as wanting you to go through the entire dungeon several times.

    Good luck if you play on anything but Easy mode past the first few enemies. The enemies become bulkier and bulkier as you progress and Imagine Mode effectively doubles the health on top of making you do about a fourth of the damage, if that. It is like slow and painful suffering as you attempt to whittle away 100000 or more health 1 to 9 damage at a time with a wait between attack sets. And if the enemy runs, you can enjoy missing the enemy for an even longer wait time. Now repeat that dungeon 10 times and fight that battle each time.

    Now repeat that for almost every dungeon. After all that is done, you can enjoy your finished and completed game after hours and hours of backtracking. Only to find that the game wants you to go through yet another Flashback Episode.

    But just in case you don’t hate the game yet, the game is more than happy to throw a wrench into your feelings as the story decides to take whatever good feelings you might have left and stomp on it with obvious twists and a story that revolves around repetition to the point that the characters seem to want to constantly revisit the same areas.

    The story is rather messy with villains appearing suddenly with no sensible reason for the sudden appearance. Much of the story revolves around the same issue being repeated, the main characters doing the same thing over and over until suddenly villains appear. The story then spirals into an even greater mess as the story begins to throw twist after twist at you as if doing so just for the sake of having plot twists. Even then, the story seems to want to focus on the recurring motif and continues to be as repetitive as possible-even going as far as to re-use twists.

    In the end, the game ends up being a few hours of gameplay then multiple times that of repetition. There isn’t even a need for a New Game+ Mode. The game feels like a constant string of New Game+ that become more tedious with each cycle to the point that about halfway through the game, it feels like you spent the last 30 hours repeating the first three. Without skipping fights, each dungeon can take over an hour depending on difficulty mode and preparation. As such, it is best to play the game a dungeon at a time to prevent the game from becoming more tedious than any other chore.

    Only at the last portion of the game are the many issues even remedied, but it is already far too little too late, especially comparing to games that do the same things this game tries to do and does it all better.

    Story: 5/10
    Gameplay: 2/10
    Graphics: 9/10
    Music: 8/10
    Game Content: 2/10

    Overall: 3.5/10

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