Review: MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death (PSVITA)

4MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death for the Playstation Vita is one of the latest titles from Idea Factory and, I have to say, I really had an adventure playing this JRPG. MeiQ is a JRPG with Mech Customization, a story of Machina Mages, and many dungeons full of creatures that randomly attack you.

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Story

MeiQ is set in a world that has fallen under an eternal night. Five Machina Mages now have to make their way through the four tower mazes and undergo various rituals, form contracts with various Guardians to restart the world, and bring an end to  eternal night. You play as Estra, one of the five chosen Machina Mages who specializes in Earth-element Machina Magic, along with the other four mages: Flare, who specializes in Fire-element Machina Magic; Connie, who specializes in Wood-element Machina Magic; Maki, who specializes in Metal-element Machina Magic; and Setia, who specializes in Water-element Machina Magic.

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Each character was unique and had distinct personalities that brought the story together. For example: the friendly rivalry with Flare and her smart alec remarks, each encounter with the Guardians, and how sometimes characters got in the way. There were times where you can tell the encounters with Connie were just filler and this sometimes got pretty annoying. For the length of the story, though, it isn’t a really long story and ends once you’re leveled up to a curtain point, however, the story is quite memorable and players will enjoy the journey. Players will enjoy making their way through each chapter, interacting with different character, and seeing what they have to do to make it though each tower to get to the very end.

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Gameplay

When I started playing MeiQ, I did not know what I was getting into except that this was a new title from NIS America, and that it was a dungeon crawler. Little did I know the game was a little more than that.

When players first jump into this title they will notice the first person perspective, which is fun, but also has it flaws. While exploring the towers you will find yourself not really looking at the main view of direction that is presented, but instead looking at the overview map on the side of your screen. This is mainly because it is one of the only ways you can navigate through the towers without bumping into walls or heading in the wrong direction.

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As for the battle system, players will notice they will have a party of mages and Guardians that are both recruited while progressing through the story. Guardians are one of the main aspects of the battle system. While in battle, you will notice your Guardians have certain move sets. Each move set is developed when you customize your Guardian using the equipment parts and crystals found through the maps.

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This is where the game shines because you will find yourself customizing and enhancing the Guardians move sets and appearance to take on your foes. Each crystal and part has specific elements that will help you counter your opponents element.  When entering the first few battles, players will notice their character is over powered and can take anything out in one hit, but this does not last long. Afterwards, battles get tougher and introduces players to how the mechanics of the game actually work. However, you will eventually have to grind to level up to take on new Guardians and enemies. This makes the game start to feel tedious when all you want to do is see what happens next in the story.

Verdict

MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death holds its ground as a unique title with its battle system, story, characters, and even boss battles.  However, the game felt too short, not all characters were memorable, and eventually the game became tedious after a certain point. I would recommend this game as something to play for a quick fix, but after beating the game, the replay value isn’t there.

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