Few genres are as rewarding as a good old Metroidvania so here's the impressive Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-.
Record of Lodoss War is a long-running franchise of novels, manga, and games but to be honest, I'm not all that familiar with any of it. What made me want to play Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- is that it was created by the team who made Touhou Luna Nights which is one of my favourite Metroidvanias of all time and this game also borrows quite a few aspects from my favourite game ever, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I mean, you play as a High Elf named Deedlit who has flowing silver hair, leaves an afterimage wherever she runs, and she even has a quick back-dash move that'll be familiar to any Symphony of the Night fan. Heck, even her run animation is basically a carbon copy of Alucard's. With all of that being said, this is definitely its own unique experience so let's get to it. v1d30chumz 3-236-107-249
At its core, Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- is what you'd expect from a Metroidvania with a map that you fill out as you discover new rooms and fight a large selection of mythical monsters. Meanwhile, you can equip a main weapon as well as a bow that's used in both combat and to solve puzzles which are fun, especially when you have to aim carefully and bounce your arrows off walls. Another aspect that makes its gameplay unique is the Spirit Level system as you can swap between a red and blue element to exploit enemy weakness and as you're in one form, you'll earn points for the other. Whenever your current form is levelled up to the maximum level of 3, you'll automatically heal and your attacks will become much more powerful. So, the key to success is to keep both forms maxed out but if you accidentally get hit, your current form's level will decrease by one. It sounds complex but it really isn't. 😅
The core gameplay and additional bow and Spirit Level mechanics come together to make for one gratifying formula and when you throw in unique magic spells, you're left with a well-rounded experience. Plus, exploring the map to discover secrets is always rewarding because you never know what you'll find next and whether it's a cool new weapon like a chainsaw or boomerang or a power-up that increases your maximum HP; it's a fun treat to expand your abilities as a warrior. Uncovering the map isn't all that tricky either and I only had 1 secret that I had to look up. Specifically, you have to jump on a suspicious section of floor 50 times to unlock one of the rooms.
Another aspect of Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- that I enjoyed is its story that's told through short dialogue scenes. It isn't particularly epic or anything but it is mysterious in the sense that the game world itself is disorienting as Deedlit sometimes can't tell what the real world actually is and often assumes that she's dreaming. Perhaps she's in the Matrix? Whatever the case, I liked this premise a lot and it made exploration even more enjoyable, especially as you discover NPCs who range from friendly to nefarious and new environments. The locales aren't as varied or as detailed as Symphony of the Night's but they're cool nonetheless.
Although I mostly enjoyed Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-, its most disappointing aspect is that it's quite short. I completed the entire map within a couple of gaming sessions and once you finish the campaign, you only unlock a boss rush mode and the ability to toggle some modifiers for your next playthrough. I wish that you unlocked extra characters or some sort of other substantial modes because these extras are honestly not all that appealing to me. The only other downside is that combat is exceptionally easy to exploit. The boss fights in particular may be daunting at first but all of them can be easily mastered by simply tinkering with your spells and finding the right one that complements the boss's movement pattern. Once you do that, just spam the spell and you'll win. Oh, and you should stock up on Healing Potions and Magic Stones which is easy, especially after cheesing Woodchuck's gambling mini-game. 🎲
Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- is a great Metroidvania that any genre fan will love. The adventure may be over well before you'd like it to be but it's sure to satisfy from start to finish with its unique gameplay elements and memorable game world.
- + Rewarding Metroidvania campaign with plenty of cool secrets to discover
- + Unique and satisfying Spirit Level mechanic
- + Intriguing story set in a disorienting world
- - Fairly short with a rather small map
- - Combat is too easy to exploit
- - Could use more interesting extra modes