[Vita Double Review] Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy


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Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is the latest dungeon crawler from NIS America and has been made by the same team that brought us Demon Gaze last year. Read this double review from EdEN and I (Ceidz) about our impressions this new release.

Are you ready to dive into the Abyss?

With the city under the constant threat of Variants—genetically engineered monsters—and the emergence of portals leading to the Abyss, the government has established the Code Physics Agency to investigate these mysterious phenomena. It is your mission as a part of the Xth Squad to evade traps, face down powerful monsters, and investigate the mystery behind the Abyss.

From the studio that made Demon Gaze comes Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy, a sci-fi dungeon crawler RPG set in a near future Tokyo. Jam-packed with fully customizable party members, weapons, and more, recruit the members needed to build your perfect squad and carry out important missions – but will your squad be strong enough to unravel the mystery of the Abyss before it consumes Tokyo?

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy Trailer

This is a double review for the Vita version of Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy by Ceidz and EdEN. This review presents what they both had to say.

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a new dungeon crawler RPG from NIS America for the Vita. In this game, your first task will be to design your own team with fully customizable characters (which can be randomly created if you want to play quicker). I liked the feeling of creating my own team, but because of that I got the feeling that while the story’s main focus was always on my squad, it was not directly linked to any one of them since they were not characters “set in stone” so to speak.

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About the actual gameplay, you’ll essentially have to solve some the mystery strange things happening in Tokyo, and you’ll have to hunt a ton of Variants (monsters) through the dungeons that become available as you progress. The pace of the game felt a bit slow and easy at first, but it quickly became harder to navigate through the dungeons because of the strong enemies and the fact that levels are filled with traps. Before moving on to another subject, take note that a LOT of the walls or doors are hidden and needs to be searched with the X button. You’ll sometimes get a hint about this if you have an Academic in your group, so be sure to include one or you’ll end up going around in circles!

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About the navigation, I found that the controls were kind of awkward in my first few hours of gameplay: pressing up moves you in front one square (as expected). Pressing left or right changes the direction you’re looking, but doesn’t actually advances you. Pressing back changes your direction with an 180° turn but doesn’t let the group advance either. If you actually want to move left or right, this is done with the shoulder buttons. You can change some of the control inputs in the options menu, so be sure to check that out to see if you can find what feels right for you.

Finally, you can normally only save outside of the dungeons, but you can get your hands on some Power Recorders that allow you to save in a dungeon. This increases the game’s difficulty considerably since running out of Power Recorders means that every fight matters even more as one false move can spell doom for your party. I definitely would have liked it more if you could save anywhere, especially since the game is on a portable console.

As you’re well aware by now, I love dungeon crawlers like Operation Abyss, so I was ready to review this one as soon as I got my copy for the game. As Ceidz has mentioned, you’re allowed to create your party right from the start, but I decided to go with the regular party provided by the game since that’s the character art I got used to from reporting on the game.

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The story is fun because even though you’re playing as what is supposed to be an elite unit in charge of protecting everyone from the deadly Variants that have been killing people all over the place, your party members are still students who must do good in their classes, and they can’t just run out of the classroom the moment they’re notified of an emergency. They must, therefore, be careful as to not blow their cover while trying to secure the help of some of the teachers who ARE aware of who they really are and of what they can do. This makes for a fun dynamic for the storyline since most of the NPC see you as a student, nothing more and nothing less.

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When you’re out exploring the dungeons the game throws at you, you should always carry around enough healing items to keep you as close to full health as possible, because if you’re not careful and you end up activating, say, a poison trap or a shock trap, your team will suffer the consequences because death is just around the corner if a condition isn’t treated right away. Oh, and be sure to use the crafting system in Operation Abyss to create new and stronger items from those available in your inventory so that you can heal faster or have items that can cure every single condition in one go.

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An interesting element of the game is that no matter how much experience you get, you won’t be able to level up until you’re back at headquarters and pay to get some rest (either to recover MP, HP or both). It seems as if resting will “lock” the experience you’ve gained, which sorta makes sense, but I’m used to leveling up as I play, and being saved by a full recovery from leveling up when deep in a dungeon is something that is extremely useful when you’re in the zone.

Final Thoughts

Operation Abyss is a hardcore dungeon crawler designed for those of you who love the genre. The story is fun and solid, the graphics are good and the battles will keep you busy as you try to find the right combination between melee and long range attackers, as well as by maximizing your party’s potential thanks to the various skills they can learn and improve. The crafting system is a bit on the complicated side, and there’s a ton of menus you need to go through for doing stuff that should be easy, but overall, this is a solid dungeon crawler.

Review

ProsCons
Fun story.
Good graphics.
Complex gameplay mechanics for things that should stay easy
Rating
70%

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Cost: $39.99

PSN Game Size: 1.1GB

You can purchase Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy from the PSN store

Disclaimer

This review is based on Vita copies of Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy provided by NIS America.


Written by: Ceidz - Owner / Website Manager / Contributing Editor


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