[NDS Review] From The Abyss

Dungeon Crawler Hack & Slash RPG games are starting to become a
regular genre on the Nintendo DS, so does Aksys Games’ set itself apart
with From The Abyss? Unfortunately the game doesn’t do much to stand
out amongst its peers, but it is still a fun time for J-RPG fans. From
The Abyss takes place in Rubenhaut where the kingdom has been overrun
by monsters flowing through the Abyss Gate. You choose your hero from
four possible choices, two male and two female, and then answer a short
series of questions to give your character a sense of background. You
arrive in Rubenhaut and meet with the queen, whom enlists your help to
rid the land of monsters, and thus your journey to free the kingdom

This is your standard hack & slash J-RPG, and plays
out a lot like the classic SNES title, Secret Of Mana. For new gamers
to the genre, it is an easy game to pick up and play in the beginning
areas and stages. As you proceed further into the game, the difficulty
level increases and level grinding is a must. You use the A button to
attack your enemies, and the X, Y, and B buttons are reserved for
skills you acquire in game. You begin the game with the Soul Capture
skill with which you use to steal more skills from enemies you
encounter throughout the game. As you level up in the game, you will
allocate Status Points to various stats, so your character grows as you
see fit. The touch screen is utilized for selecting items and skills,
as well as viewing your map of each stage, and viewing/allocating

The story of From The Abyss is a very basic story, and
has no real character development. When not traversing stages in the
Abyss Gate, you don’t actually walk around Rubenhaut, but are using a
menu system to Save, buy items and talk to characters. This is where
Abyss lacks the most, as the characters you interact with tend to be
annoying and never generate any connection within the game. The
localization feels dumbed down and often just seems to be trying way
too hard to create each character’s personality.

The graphics
vary depending on what you are doing within the game. While going
through town and meeting characters, it is nothing more than drawings
of each character, changing expressions as you converse with them. The
drawings themselves are basic anime inspired drawings, and lack any
depth or detail to really grab your attention. On the other hand,
during stages and combat, the design and look is right out of the SNES
era of J-RPGs. This is in no way a bad thing, and it looks and moves
very fluid and smoothly. It replicates the style of the 16 Bit Mana
games to perfection, and will please any fans from that period of
gaming. The soundtrack to the game is nothing outside of your typical
J-RPG fare, but it does manage to do a good job setting the tone for
each dungeon.

While the gameplay can be very monotonous with
constant level grinding and the fact you lose everything you’ve gained
within a stage should you die, this is still a solid Dungeon Crawler
Hack & Slash. Whether you are a fan of the genre, or of the classic
SNES action RPGs, From The Abyss will provide you with a fun and
enjoyable experience on your DS.

Rating: 7.0/10

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