DUSK DIVER 2 may not be a game on many people’s radar. I, for example, really knew nothing about this series, but after I saw the trailer for the game I found myself pretty intrigued about what it was all about.
Now, after many hours of gameplay with this latest title, let’s see what this action/RPG – developed bu Wanin International for PlayStation, PC and Nintendo Swich – is all about.
Dusk Diver 2 throws you into the streets of the Ximending district of Taipei, where you initially start the game off as Yuma. She appears to be a simple university student and part-time worker at the small convenience store called Tumaz Mart, but underneath this facade, she is an interdimensional chaos demon butt kicker.
Yuma, along with the manager of the store Leo, will be sent off on missions into the dimension only known as ‘Youshanding’ which they are able to enter via tears called ‘Dimensional Fissure’ but really, it’s just a tear in the air that only certain people can see.
There is plenty to do on the streets of Ximending, ranging from side quests which are a standard affair, to catching collectables such as artwork and healing potions. Food plays a big part and there are many food areas littered across the map which allow you to buff your characters once they’ve eaten and take effect when you go into battle, this is no different on the streets as you will come across many possessed characters which, once walked into, will start a new battle. So there is plenty to do when you are not on a mission.
The first area you enter is quite a trip as it is set up like a futuristic neon arcade parlour which takes inspiration from air hockey games and pinball, it’s really an awesome looking place and obviously teaches you the basics of the game. This brings me to the best part of the game, and perhaps most important: the combat.
Dusk Diver 2’s battle system will be familiar with Nier & Bayonetta fans out there, or just Platinum Games fans in general. While the fighting is not as complex with combinations as the previously mentioned games, it does share the same characteristics – such as when you place a well timed dodge, time will slow down and allow you to compose yourself and ready your next attack.
At the start of the game, you have Yuma and Leo who are interchangeable with a simple press of the D-Pad and have different fighting styles. You will have a simple light and heavy attack, accompanied by a special attack on your face buttons. A modifier of these attacks is changed up with a simple press of the R1 button which will give you an extra set of moves.
As you progress through the game you will add an extra two characters to your roster (I won’t spoil them) which then adds in an extra layer of strategy with not only their fighting styles, but you will be able to call upon any of your other companions to lend support and keep your combo going or to just assist and deal more damage.
This was quite intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a really fun fighting system which as I said, maybe familiar, but adds to it by not outright copying the proven formula. You’ll be building up your attack meter in no time and delivering huge amounts of damage to your foes.
Boss battles can be quite the challenge in Dusk Diver 2, constantly requiring you to plan how best to tackle them along with utilising all of your attack powers – so make sure to level up your weapons and skills at all times. Speaking of the level up system, when I started out I was putting all my skill points into a single character. Don’t do this as the experience points you accumulate are there to be shared amongst all of your teammates.
The game’s soundtrack is fun and catchy, always changing it up from battle and slows down when walking the streets or gathering at Tumaz Mart. This game’s voice overs are all in Japanese and give you the option to change to Chinese, so no English here. I feel this serves the game really well as I can’t imagine how this could sound better with an English voiceover; the audio paired with the great animation of the game make it a treat to spend time with.
I was really surprised with how much fun the combat in this game was and the story, while taking a minute to understand, is enough to carry you through your missions and easy to to find your next objective thanks for the great waypoint the Dusk Divers 2 provides. The train system isn’t as complicated as those accustomed to the Persona series as these said waypoints tell you which station you need to get off at.
Developers Wanin International have done a great job with this game even providing the menu with a ‘previously on’ section to let you know the events of the first game in the series.
If you’re looking for a fun combat experience and plenty of fan service, look no further.