Thursday, June 06, 2013

THE 'DENPA' MEN 2 don't need no stinkin' overworld (and a few other thoughts on this tough-as-nails 3DS eShop RPG)

Don't get me wrong, I like that the designers at Genius Sonority decided to beef up THE "DENPA" MEN 2: Beyond the Waves by giving it an overworld for gamers to explore.

That said, the more I time I spend exploring that overworld, the more I realize that--for me, at least--it wasn't really needed.

Although I've only spent about five hours with the game so far, that's been enough for me to realize that I rather liked--and possibly preferred--the streamlined nature of the first game, subtitled They Came By Wave.

In part, that's because the Beyond the Waves' overworld, at least at this early juncture, can be a bit baffling for players in terms of figuring out where to go next. (Some of the blame here has to be laid at the feet of the game's writers, it has to be said, as they tend to imbue non-player characters with the vaguest of clues.)

Another reason this title's overworld isn't all it's initially cracked up to be: unlike some other RPGs, it isn't all that fun to explore. That isn't because it's boring or nondescript, mind you; instead, it's because your party of merry "Denpa" men (and women) are brutally attacked every few steps--or so it seems.

As such, if you're anything like me, you'll usually find yourself rushing as quickly as possible from one point on the map to another.

Given all of the above, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising to hear me say I wouldn't have minded at all if the folks at Genius Sonority nixed the overworld idea in favor of simply expanding on the "hub world plus multiple islands" concept of the original.

Does this mean I'm currently feeling a little disappointed with THE "DENPA" MEN 2? Not really. In fact, I'm pretty darn happy with the majority of it at the moment.

The aspects that are making me the happiest at the moment: the new body colors (yellow, purple and pink, as well as gold and silver) and the additional clothing and equipment that can be used to alter the looks and even abilities of your "Denpa" crew.

Oh, and the option that allows players to jump, basically at will (although there are exceptions), between any previously visited locale--mighty handy for avoiding at least some of those pesky random battles, of course.

What do I think of the fishing and gardening elements that were added to this sequel? Nothing so far--mainly because I've barely made use of them. Already, though, I can sense that neither aspect will be as captivating as, say, their counterparts that appear in the Animal Crossing series.

So, that's what I think of THE "DENPA" MEN 2: Beyond the Waves thus far. Are any of you also playing it? If so, what do you think of it?

See also: 'Ten questions with the makers of THE 'DENPA' MEN 2: Beyond the Waves'


Simon Lethbridge said...

Never heard of this but it looks awesome! :)

Justin Difazzio said...

I added $20 to my eShop account, bought both Zelda Oracle games, and then was, like, $.30 short of having enough for Denpa Men. So...I haven't bought it yet. said...

For shame, Simon! I talked about the first one A LOT last year. Seriously, though, I'll bet you'd like it, as it's pretty darn old school in many ways. Now you just need to get yourself a 3DS :)

Matt S said...

For me, that overworld made Denpa Men 2. I enjoyed the original game, but I didn't love it, because I felt it lacked the narrative cohesion and context that I like in my RPGs. For the sequel, the overworld ties everything up nicely, and gave me the impression that the game was more rounded for it. said...

Well, I can't fault you for that, Matt! And, really, I don't completely hate the overworld or anything--I guess I just don't think it was a needed or important as I thought it would be before I played the game.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

After reading this I've decide that I will check out "They Came By Wave" 1st whenever I get around to buying Denpa Men. I enjoyed the Pokemon games Genius Sonority made that I've played (Colosseum, XD Gale of Darkness, and Battle Revolution). Pokemon Colosseum was actually the game that got me into Pokemon and turn based games so I'll definitely check out Denpa Men. I also enjoyed the demo for it. said...

I think that may be a good idea, Sam. After all, the first game is cheaper now, and also a *bit* easier. (Don't take that the wrong way, though--both games are TOUGH.) Also, you should know that I'm seemingly in the minority when it comes to preferring the first game to the second. Hopefully you'll still enjoy the first as much as I did, though...