Genmu no Tou to Tsurugi no Okite is a first-person dungeon game on the DS from Success, similar in concept to Etrian Odyssey, but with auto-mapping instead of making you do it yourself. It’s actually one of the most interesting-looking games I’ve found in a while. To start with, the art style is really neat. Developers often forget that these worlds are fake – they can use whatever colors they want, and don’t have to go for realism. That concept is fully realized here. Next, the music is really good, as you can hear here. There are arranged and “original” versions (hopefully selectable), and both of them are quite good. There’s also an “original” mode, which is the same game, just with black-and-white wireframes.
They’ve made an entire separate site just for that mode, with the same stuff the other site has, just in retro mode. There’s a button on the page you hit to switch, which is kind of brilliant. The reason I keep putting quotes around the word original, by the way, is because it doesn’t appear to be a remake of anything. It seems they just decided to make oldschool versions of everything. There’s also an adventure sheet to download for maps, and wallpaper that is very aware of what its audience will think is nice. They’re really hardcore about this, which is endearing. If you check the system section you can see plenty of movies of the game in action (once you’re in a section, click on the red tabs below). The battles, while static, have neat hit images and things. Check here at the bottom of the page for a promotional movie. Each dungeon has a different look and simple color scheme, and the retro mode actually moves faster. Check the dedicated PR site on Dengeki for more images.
There is a mini soundtrack CD, as well. The music was composed by Kenichi Arakawa, who hasn’t done much, but did a great job here. The game was just released on the 22nd, for 5,040 yen with tax. You can buy it at Play-Asia if it intrigues.
Of note: If you’re at all interested in the game, you can actually play a flash version of the game, which was created by Takagism, who made Crimson Room. Controls are arrow keys for movement, A to open things/action button, X to confirm things like attacks, B to cancel, and Y to toggle the map.
I’ll leave you with the excellent game introduction text from the site:
“What you see before you is, for all intents and purposes,