Lapis X Labyrinth Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Nippon Ichi Software

Published By: NIS America

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to NIS America for providing a review code.

I’m always happy when I get to join together with a new ragtag group of characters and go on an adventure. There’s something about a group of treasure hunting heroes that I just really enjoy. I’m a huge fan of games that are based on collecting tons of loot. It’s fun to collect stuff and always gives you something to do. The only problem with these types of games is that they can suffer from an overly repetitive nature. Lapis X Labyrinth does get repetitive, but there’s still a lot here to love that makes it worth checking out.

Story

We begin our adventure by choosing our main hero and our first party member to go alongside them. You get to choose between a variety of different classes that range from a hunter, to a necromancer and even a maid. Once you have made the choice of who your primary character and first side character will be you start off in a small village. The village has unfortunately fallen prey to the greatest force of destruction in the world, bankruptcy. Since the village has fallen bankrupt, shops have closed down and the village is not as prosperous as it once was. It’s up to your group of adventures to take on quests and defeat hordes of monsters so that you can bring the village back to its former glory. There may also be a little treasure in it for you group of treasure hungry warriors ;).

Gameplay

Lapix X Labyrinth is a 2D Action Rpg platformer. Every level starts out the same, you go to the lady that runs the guild, accept a quest, and then go down to the lift that brings you to the labyrinth. Labyrinth’s always play out very similar. Your goal is to find the portal/entrance that’ll bring you to the next floor. Eventually you get to the final floor where you fight a boss or bosses and then you leave with your bags of loot. Every floor of the labyrinth has a time limit on it, which resets when you reach the next floor. I would avoid running this timer out, or else… (I won’t spoil what happens, but, it’s scary).

Before you go down into the dungeon you have to set up your team of adventurers you want to take with you. There are 8 available classes of characters, but you can only take 4 of them with you. You can swap out characters easily enough since you’re able to have more than 4 characters (the others just sit alone wishing they had been picked to go on an adventure). There’s no leveling up characters here, instead characters reset to level 1 at the beginning of every dungeon and level up as they’re in there. Although, you can make your characters stronger by equipping them, and training their stats back in the village.

Navigating the labyrinth’s can be a challenge of its own. There’s tons of blocks scattered all about the labyrinth you have to destroy in order to open up paths. The blocks aren’t the only thing you will find either. There are portals that will transport you all around the dungeon and whether it brings you to treasure and riches or a horde of enemies they’re always fun to use. These labyrinth’s aren’t very safe either, because besides the monsters that inhabit them, there are also traps that can chip away at your health if you come close to one. The most important aspect about every labyrinth is the huge amount of treasure you’ll find within them, so you have to make sure you keep your eyes peeled for every treasure chests.

Don’t worry if you miss a few treasure chests during your adventures, because defeating monsters will help net you tons of loot. Monsters appear in hordes and sometimes when they appear the blocks around you will become unbreakable and you’ll have to defeat the entire horde to continue. Enemies will attack, you with physical and ranged attacks, but it’s hard to know what you’re getting hit by, because the battles are absolutely crazy. There’s usually 10-20 enemies on the screen at a given time and every attack and effect animations are brimming with color. It may sound worrisome that these battles are so crazy, because it’s usually pretty hard to play a game when you can’t see anything that’s going on. Well, actually Lapis X Labyrinth’s battle system fits perfectly with the game, and that’s, because most of the time you just mash buttons.

There’s two things you’re going to notice right away about Lapis X Labyrinth’s combat system. First your team is stacked on top of one another and that is how they fight. Yes you heard me they’re stacked up on one another and fight as if they’re a small moving tower. You can swap characters to choose which one is on the bottom and that will be the character that does the attacking. There’s a regular attack button, but you also have the ability to use special attacks that are different for each class. The other characters can be called out to do their own ally attack and help you in combat, while whatever character you’re using is doing the fighting. Then you even have a group attack that once your special meter is filled your team can all unleash a group attack together. Eventually during combat a Fever Meter will build and you’ll go into Fever Mode. During Fever Mode you’re entire team is invincible and you can obtain bonuses from destroying blocks and enemies. Enemies and blocks will drop Fever Gems which when you get enough of causes you to spin a slot machine and gain temporary boost. I thought Fever Mode was a really interesting addition, but it could get a little too over the top.

If a group member loses all of their Hp they will faint and won’t come back until after the labyrinth. Should all of your characters faint you will be left with one character and that is the treasure chest that sits on top of your human tower. It’s possible to revive a character with this chest by charging it. However, if it gets hit once, then it dies and you have to restart the whole labyrinth. It’s an interesting last ditch attempt to continue, although I found it rarely helped.

The second aspect of the combat system you will notice is the combat is all about letting loose on the Joy-Cons buttons. There’s not much strategy when it comes to the combat and I usually found myself being the most effective when I was slamming the buttons to use my abilities and watching the enemies explode around me. That’s fine, because it all looks really nice, but what Lapis X Labyrinth lacks is the feeling of improvement. With a lack of any real strategy or combo system to the game I never really felt like I was improving. My characters were improving, from better equipment and training, but I didn’t feel like I was becoming more skilled. I still had a ton of fun with Lapis X Labyrinth, but I can’t help feel like this lack of feeling of improvement does hurt the overall gameplay.

When you do finish a labyrinth and get to head back to the village, there’s tons of stuff you can do. The first thing you’re going to want to do is look through all the loot you found. The insane amount of loot is something that I think will really divide players on Lapis X Labyrinth. The sheer amount of loot you get is not only overwhelming, but it’s insane. After a few hours most of the items you find end up being throwaways. Eventually it starts to take some time to go through all your loot and find the good stuff. There’s also another issue with the loot you can equip, because every item has a number value depending how good it is. There’s a cap on what your groups total number value of loot equipped can be. This number can be increased by exchanging items at the trader, but I feel like it shouldn’t have been capped to start with. Luckily for me I love finding tons of items and I didn’t mind sorting through all of it. However, I could see many players turn away from the game, because of it’s incessant amount of loot.

Besides managing loot you also have shops you can visit in the village. There’s the trader who lets you exchange items for a permanent boost for your party. You can also go to a blacksmith to boost the abilities that are imbued into your weapons. If you like to keep track of your adventures and what you have found you can also view all the types of loot you have found, and the enemies you have seen.

Presentation

The visual design used to craft Lapis X Labyrinth is very fitting. Every environment is filled with blends of colors that make them really pop out. The chibi character designs are cute and endearing, which made me love each one, even without much character development. Enemies looked great and felt like they came right out of a story book ( I got some Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland vibes). The sound design was great and the effects really went well with the combat. Overall, I really enjoyed Lapis X Labyrinth’s presentation.

Technical Issues

I can happily say I didn’t experience any significant technical issues, during my playthrough of Lapis X Labyrinth. The resolution made the game look great, and frame rate almost always stayed stable.

Summary

Lapis X Labyrinth was really enjoyable to play, when I wanted some colorful and crazy action. Visually Lapis X Labyrinth is very appealing, and it all blends together well with its story. You can tell that this title’s played best in short bursts, because after awhile it can get really tedious. Those who are looking for a more strategic Rpg will also have a tough time with the game’s frantic combat system with little depth. Nippon Ichi really put some hard work into Lapis X Labyrinth and while it’s not perfect, it’s definitely worth taking a look at for most Rpg fans.

7/10

Pros

  • Cute Story
  • Crazy, Frantic, and Fun Gameplay
  • If You Like Collecting Loot You’re Going to Have Lots of Fun
  • Tons of Stuff to Do
  • Nice Environments
  • Nice Chibi and Storybook Character/Enemy Design

Cons

  • Combat Lacks Depth and Any Need for Strategy
  • The Amount of Loot Can Become Overwhelming
  • Some Labyrinth Designs Are Frustrating
  • Longer Play Sessions Can Become Tedious

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