Dec, 22 2012

Yesterday we told you guys about 3 games new to Google Play from legendary game publisher Square Enix, one of which was a $20 game — yes, $20 — called Demon’s Score. The game’s pricing puts the title right up there with some of the most expensive the Play Store offers and many of you were wondering if the game was even any good (let alone worth twenty dollars). Well, I decided to give Demon’s Score a quick spin taking full advantage of the Play Store’s 15 minute return window. If you guys want to learn a little more about the game in addition to my initial thoughts, here is my 15 Minute Challenge for Demon’s Score by Square Enix.

Story

The game stars a young college student by the name of Serenity who’s looking for her dad in a haunted castle filled to the brim with musical themed monsters. Inside she runs into a teddy bear who helps her in her quest to find her father and unravel the secrets of the castle. In typical Japanese fashion, Serenity must utilize scantily clad outfits (obtained from conquered bosses) to give her new abilities and take on the worse creatures hell has to offer.

Gameplay

Each stage in Demon’s Score is broken up into two parts: Track 1 where players face off against smaller enemies, and Track 2 where players go toe-to-toe against the boss of that stage. Each boss has their own unique musical track — to the tune of a specific genre of music — and on the stage leading up to the boss (Track 1), the music also changes depending on the equipped demon/outfit. New music = new experience. The stages also have 3 difficulty settings — easy, normal, and hard — and if players beat a stage on all 3 settings, Square promises something special (less clothing perhaps?).

Gameplay in Demon’s Score is comprised of carefully timed to button presses and gestures, all to the tune of a various Japanese musical genres. Square describes the game as “off the hook, break beat action” which, in some weird way kinda helps, but you’d be better off picturing a mashup of Mega Man meets Devil May Cry, meets Elite Beat Agents. The flow of the game goes like this: beat a stage, face a boss, steal their powers, get a sexy new outfit, rinse and repeat.

Graphics

Visually, the game looks great. Console quality even. Powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine and optimized for the Nvidia Tegra 3, Square added a few nice special effects not present in other versions of the game, namely:

  • The Rim Lighting feature, which yields more dramatic actions and movements by bringing brilliant highlights to character outlines in backlit scenes.
  • Enhanced photorealism and three-dimensionality of characters with the Bloom feature, which produces a stunning diffusion of light in extremely bright conditions.
  • A depth of field created by focusing the camera on the character and blurring both background and foreground, lending even more realism to the game.
  • Twice the resolution of other versions of the game, resulting in higher-quality and sharper graphics across the board.

Serenity and her demonic outfits were the real star of the show, offering a wide variety of styles making sure that, no matter what your fetish, she’s got an outfit just for you. Enemies, bosses and the frequent times players are given a direct view of Serenity’s hindquarters (read: constantly) really showed off an amazing attention to detail and solid character design. There’s no question — Demon’s Score definitely has some high production value going for it. The problem with the graphics is that, while completely amazing looking, you don’t get enjoy them very much with huge onscreen beat cues and your hand constantly obstructing your view. First world problems, I guess.

Verdict

Okay, so I’ll admit it — the game is good. Real good. But is it $20 good? While it was nice of Square to include all the downloadable content from the iOS version for the Android release (a $32 value), typically, you’d still find a game similar to this on Xbox Live for between 800 – 1200 Microsoft points ($10 – $15). As much fun as I did have with Demon’s Score, I can’t say I was able to bring myself to plop down $20 for it. And I’m not usually too frugal when it comes to my gaming. Still, for those of you scoring Google Play giftcards this holiday (they’re sure to be a hit) and your Tegra 3 device is in need of some love, you may want to give Demon’s Score a shot. I’ll be waiting until my budding rap career finally takes off.

[Demon’s Score on Google Play]

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