Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a dungeon crawler from Experience Inc. and published by NIS America. Experience Inc. are known for Demon Gaze, which was another dungeon crawler released for the PS Vita. Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a new series that focuses on a place called “Code Physics Agency” where players are tasked with various missions scattered throughout the world.
The game follows the traditional design of a dungeon crawler by giving the players a first person view of the dungeons while story and other interactions are carried out in a visual novel manner. The character are given an anime style portrait during these sequences.
The gameplay in Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is fairly basic. In combat, you have the choice of attack, defending, using items or using the special skills. The combat in the game is pretty similar to Demon Gaze. There is also a team meter that gets filled when you attack or take damage. This meter opens a second set of abilities for the characters, either allowing you cast a protective sheild or buffs. The level of the meter increases with use of these abilities, making it much harder to utilize it the next time around.
You can have a team of up to 6 people in your squad. Each party member has its own class and depending on the class, it also defines their role in the battle. Crafting is also a part of the game allowing you to create new items instead of purchasing them from shops. It is a bit cumbersome though as it lacks any proper explanation.
Money is an important part of the game that also allows you to boost and level up your characters, as well as purchase new gears. This can help in situations where you want to change your party members but don’t want to get stuck with low level characters, since your main party will be the only one who gets experience points. Money can be used in situations like these to level up these weak characters and level the party overall.
NIS America has done a good job with the localization. The game has its own charm and comedy that can be nonsensical at times but still hilarious based on the situation. This could be considered nitpicking but I did have a tough time trying to grasp some of the technical terms because they didn’t any much sense, although I won’t really blame it on the localization. The game has just a weird science fiction story going on that can get over the head at times.
In term of graphics, the game really disappoints. The dungeon crawling is usually filled with plain looking backgrounds that look to be straight out of an old game instead of a modern one. The developers could have worked a bit on it. There isn’t really much to talk about here when it comes to graphics, as the game is fairly basic with it. The art style does deserve a mention here as it often looks great over the plain rendered dull 3D environments.
A big issue with how the story is presented is that it can also potentially result in situations where the player has no clear idea of what to do to progress ahead. The game can give you a hint towards your target but with no actual direction to reach it. This can become frustrating later in the game when it is not clear where to go in order to progress the story. All in all, the developers could have opted for a better explanation or a much more efficient mission design in order to resolve it.
People who are new to the genre might have a hard time understanding the mechanics of Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy since the game takes a while to full lay them out. Those who have played similar games, especially Demon Gaze, might have a much easier time since the game builds on it and offers a lot more. The game definitely lacks some proper tutorials and could have benefited from the inclusion of them.
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy Review (PSV)
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a solid dungeon crawler that manages to stand apart from others. It's main issue is that it is just not as fun as some of the recently released dungeon crawlers like Demon Gaze and Etrian Odyssey. It can get a bit too repetitive and since the combat lacks proper depth, it gets tiring after a while. It is still not that bad and is worth a try if you are looking forward to having a good time with a dungeon crawler. It is also a perfect fit for the Vita since it is enjoyable in short bursts of gameplay.