To start this review I would like to first touch on two things: dungeon crawlers are one of my favorite genres and for some reason my cat LOVES this game. Creat Studios is a master of many domains, since its inception it has released a horde of games, planted itself firmly in Sony’s digital marketplace, and tackled genres ranging from wave boarding to mahjong to everything in between. So when I heard they were branching out into dungeon crawlers I was both excited and apprehensive. On one hand as I have said dungeon crawlers have a special place in my cold black heart; on the other, I was worried how it would stand up to the likes of other PSN games in the marketplace that have already garnered my love and my money.
I am happy to say that me (and my cat) were pleasantly surprised. You would never know this was Creat’s first step into the genre; not only are the puzzles perplexing and fun, the combat is interesting, the level design shows marks of experienced developers, and the controls are fluid. I know it sounds like I am in love with this game and many of you might be thinking I should just marry it and just get a room (which don’t get me wrong I might) but as you will see it has flaws just like any other game.
The word cliché’ is thrown around a lot (heck even that phrase is cliché) but the story premise for Labyrinth Legends kicks it up a notch to super ultra hyper omega cliché. It’s the day of our hero’s wedding and joy is abound…..but wait something is not right (and no it isn’t just the fact he is about to step into the soul sucking evil that is marriage). Out of nowhere a cloud of generic “Hey I am obviously evil” smoke appears and kidnaps the bride. Instead of counting himself lucky and retiring to a gentleman’s club to make it rain, our hero proves he is lame and set off for a quest of love, to reclaim his lost bride.
With that we have our story set up, sure it isn’t going to win a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize for literature but hey this is a dungeon crawler and like a Playboy we didn’t get it for the articles. Once our hero sets off he is met with various ruins and baddies to overcome. If a dungeon can be crawled by Odin our hero will crawl it solving puzzles, slaying bosses, and getting all the sweet sweet items and loot his gruby digital hands can carry.
The game is full of surprising and often just straight bad ass moments; behind trap doors are ghosts and ghouls waiting to take you to secret treasures, moments where you have to shift focus to rescue your character and kickass boss fights where somehow your little sword can slay a huge rock-kraken. These interesting fights and secrets add a lot of fun and replayabilty to levels that otherwise one might just breeze through.
Then of course there is the art and the music. The style is very reminiscent to the Lego games, the characters have round heads, square bodies and single piece hands. This comes across fun and light hearted while allowing some of the bosses and enemies to look rather cool. The music is what I imagine would play in elevators if such a thing existed in the middle ages. It is medieval melodies meets light techno meets jazz, all in all it works rather well and gives the game a lazzi fare atmosphere that encourages exploration and implies no rush (note to developers: the game would be 100000% better if the soundtrack was done by Rush).