[Beyond PlayStation] Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada Review
Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada is a quirky adventure you have to try. Find out why in our Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada review!
For Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada, the team over at Onion Games, led by Yoshiro Kimura who before starting Onion Games worked on No More Heroes, it’s sequel No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, and Little King’s Story, have decided to give us a quirky and charming dungeon-crawler RPG/sim-thing on Nintendo Switch. Onion Games previously released Black Bird for Nintendo hybrid console, a 2D shoot ‘em up with a dark premise and theme, so this new game is definitely something that offers a completely new experience.
You play as Yamada-kun, a 36-year-old programmer who works at big game publisher Empire Games Inc. Right at the start of the game, he lest you know that his job pretty much sucks, as it is slowly but surely eating up its soul – hence why he has no drive to go to work. His goal in life is to create his own games at home in his spare time, away from the AAA corporate environment. You, as the player, will get to help him right away by tapping on him so that he gains the EXP needed to get started with his dream project. The game will certainly give you an old-school vibe, reminding you of one franchise in particular: Dragon Quest. This is thanks to the game’s art style, menu setup, the enemies you will face, and more.
Once he completes his first objective – creating the in-game avatar that represents his hero-self, he will gain a most certainly valuable 30 EXP, which will take him straight into level 2 territory. Thanks to your support, Yamada-kun will gain the abilities required to implement the hero in his new game, and it is then that he goes into turbo-coding mode, not only implementing the hero, but also creating a dungeon, as well as the first enemy in the game, which he quickly adds to his new adventure. This, as expected, grants him another 30 EXP, which allows him to level up to gain the skill needed to implement the aforementioned dungeon and monster, as well as a debug mode to test things out.
After this set of interactions, you will be taken into the second type of game within a game: the dungeon crawling! You will get to explore single-screen dungeons, and the game will teach you the basics right away. You can draw a single line to guide the hero Yamada by either drawing it with the left analog stick or by using the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen when playing in Portable or Tabletop mode. This line needs to go around each of the dungeons, taking Yamada from the start to the marked exit. Simple, right?
Well, here’s where things get a bit more complicated. You need to make sure that the line you draw goes over every single tile in the screen, or else when you’re going to regret it when you hit the exit! Every tile in the dungeon that you don’t visit will deal damage to Yamada, which means that if you’re not careful he will quickly end up dead! On top of this, you need to make sure to also go through the tiles where enemies are located, so that you can battle them in an automatic turn-based fight, dealing damage as your character defends against its attack.
You also need to act fast, because each dungeon will have a time limit, and when time runs out, you will start to take damage. When victorious, you will gain not only EXP for hero Yamada (so that it can level up and improve its stats), but also gold coins and other treasure. You should aim at completing each dungeon by drawing a perfect path that takes you over every single tile on the screen, as this will bestow upon thee a bonus for your efforts, presented as a bunch of shiny gold coins. Speaking of treasure, some of the dungeons will also have gold coins just lying around on some of the tiles, ready for you to collect, as well as treasure chests of varying rarity that will reward you with items for you to use on your adventure.
Before you make a move in a dungeon, you might want to go into check mode, which is activated either by pressing the Y button or by tapping on top of an enemy or object, to check it. This is how you can learn more about the name of a monster, its hit points, attack, defense, and speed stats, as well as about other things on the screen. Tapping on the exit will let you know that is the way out. Tap on a treasure chest, and you will learn it can hold items that can prove to be valuable for your quest. Tap on a healing spring, and you will learn it can heal some of your hit points, which is great news since you will certainly lose some hit points when battling the many monsters in the dungeon.
Something I need to mention is that while Yamada proper levels up in, well, for lack of a better term, the real world, the hero Yamada you take on an adventure through each of the dungeons will be stripped of its improvements when a dungeon is beaten, thusly starting back as a level 1 hero when you take on a new dungeon. Because of this, you need to make good use of the items you collect, as well as of the skills you unlock as you play. Without spoiling things too much, you will, for instance, get a bottle of medicine within the first set of dungeons, and it is here that you learn that items can be used multiple times, as long as the cooldown period (displayed as the number of turns that need to pass), is over.
Things get even more interesting when Maria moves next door to apartment 503. Yamada-kun immediately falls in love with her and he is, of course, inspired after their encounter to implement a new character into the game: the Princess! It was love at first sight, even if the girl is considerably younger than Yamada-kun. His plan is rather simple: if hero Yamada manages to save Princess Maria in the game he’s creating, then perhaps the Maria in real life will fall in love with him, just as he has fallen for her! It won’t be easy, since Chairman Hidemaru Ayanokoji, the owner of the company that owns Empire Games Inc. pays Yamada-kun a visit, firing him during their first interaction, and taking over the game during his second visit.
Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada is a must-have game on Nintendo Switch that offers a quirky story and set up that opens the door to some fun gameplay mechanics in this roguelite dungeon crawling experience. Can you win Maria’s hearth as hero Yamada to boost the Princess’ love meter in real life? As long as you equip the right items, armor, and weapons, use the materials you find and the gold coins you collect to upgrade your equipment, evolve your maxed-out items, and try to equip full sets of armor to gain bonuses, you will have a solid shot at completing each of the new dungeons thrown at you!
This Dandy Dungeon: Legend of Brave Yamada review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Onion Games.