Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by MAGES and published by PQube, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate, is a dungeon crawling action RPG based on the anime series that shares the same name (commonly known as DanMachi). Featuring art and visuals directly taken from the show that it is based on, this title is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam service. If you want to check this title out for yourself, links to the different versions of the game will be available at the bottom of the review.

Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank PQube for providing the copy of the game used for this piece. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.

So with the introduction out of the way, let’s jump into the review, Starting off with a brief summary of the plot. Please note, I will be calling this game DanMachi Infinite Combate throughout, this is because this shortened name is the most commonly known title for this franchise

Story – DanMachi takes place in the city of Orario, a city where the gods and goddesses of the world came down to in order to experience the hardships of humans. After limiting their powers, they offer mortals their blessings, giving them the power to fight monsters in a treacherous labyrinth known as the Dungeon. As each adventurer is given a blessing, they become part of the house of that deity, known as a Familia, offering guidance and services to adventurers as they battle monsters, increasing their power and ability level, similar to how traditional RPG games function.

The game follows the story threads featured in the anime series that it is based upon. DanMachi Infinite Combate follows the adventures of Bell Cranel, a young adventurer who is the sole member of the Hestia Familia. Alongside Bell’s story are the exploits of Aiz Wallenstein, a renowned swordswoman of the Loki Familia. Those familiar with the anime will know of the characters and plotlines, however this adaptation will highlight new events that expand on the existing storyline.

Gameplay – DanMachi features a mix of real time dungeon crawling combat, action RPG mechanics and visual novel aspects, creating an interesting and enjoyable experience. The game features two storylines that play out very differently, separated between the viewpoints of Bell Cranel and Aiz Wallenstein, with each character having their own chaptered narrative. Each chapter features a set of story quests that progress that specific branch of the story, alongside smaller quests that allow the player to farm resources that the player can use in the shops and other areas of the game.

Before jumping into a quest, the player has several options to choose from, including interaction options where you can engage with other characters in a variety of different ways. Aside from the character interactions, the player can access several menus, with quest menus, a market and various upgrade options. Before I get into the intricate elements of the menus and features of the game, I will be taking some time to talk about the way that the quests and dungeon exploration functions.

The dungeon itself is made up of numbered floors, containing monsters to fight, treasure to collect and branching paths to explore, all presented through a top-down view point, like similar games of the genre. The layout of floors will change depending on the quest that is being played, with some floors having the same designated number, but containing a different floor plan. When starting the quest, the player will be given an objective to complete, including the player needing to collect specific item drops, reaching a specific floor of the dungeon and eliminating a specific number of foes.

While exploring, battling monsters and collecting loot, resources are picked up from treasure bags and defeated enemies. These resources are;

  • Valis – the currency used to purchase items from the market, new equipment and much more. Valis can be collected from enemy drops or treasure bags, while also being given as quest rewards.
  • Skill Points – these points are earned by defeating the many foes that are encountered in the labyrinth. Use skill points to obtain power-ups and upgrades to improve player stats in the Familia menu under skill sheet.
  • Consumable items – these items recover lost health, magic points and provide others buffs and effects for the player. They are given as quest rewards and by collecting treasure in the dungeon.
  • Drop Items – these items are dropped by enemies upon being defeated. These items can be sold in the market for Valis or used to apply upgrades to the players gear.

Now with the details for resources covered, it’s time to move on to the other aspects of the dungeon and the way quests function.

The movement and combat inside the dungeon all plays out in real time, with the player having access to a quick combo attack, heavy power attack and magic/special abilities. There is also a partner system that allows the player to gain buffs, ability boosts and special support skills. The support partners and player abilities available will vary depending on the story progression and quest being played. This shows with Bell being alone and without magic at the start, whereas Aiz has access to magic, skills and support with her first chapter.

The combat itself works well in this game. However, the melee combat has slight inconsistencies. At the end of a combo or when using a heavy attack, the character Bell is unable to move for a moment when the animation ends, leaving the player open to attacks from all directions. This can be frustrating as a poorly timed attack may lead to death, giving an element of risk to any encounter with an enemy. The only way to compensate for this is effective use of the dodge roll mechanic, although it still has the potential to throw the player into danger.

The smart use of magic, skills and support members can get the player out tough spots. The spells use up MP which is shown below the health bar, the skills and support use their own special meter. The magic bar can be recovered by using items, whereas the individual bars for the special abilities are charged by dealing damage to enemies adding a level of strategy to dungeon combat. Even with the flaws of the melee combat, the magic and skill system can balance out some of the difficulties that players face, making the experience more enjoyable as a whole.

Succeeding at a quest will bag the player the rewards listed in the quest outline, with story quests showing improvements to the players overall stats. All story and side quests can only be completed once, although there are practice quests that can be played as much as the player wishes, but these quests don’t have rewards. The upside to practice quests is that they can be repeated to gain more resources and money for those who wish to grind in RPG games. While you will reap various rewards for completing quests, failure is an entirely different story.

During a quest, there are two ways to suffer a game over while in the dungeon, the first is being defeated by the enemies during combat and the second is running out of time in a quest. Upon defeat, the player will lose all collected items, money and skill points. There is a way to escape the dungeon without being defeated, but it comes at a price. If the player chooses to use the return function, they will be kicked out of the current quest, dropping all collected resources but a portion of skill points are saved.

The last part of the gameplay I want to talk about is the upgrade system, which is used to boost the players overall abilities and equipment. In the Familia menu, the player can use skill points to enhance player stats which include attack power, health and negative effect resistances. In the market the player can improve their equipment, using item drops from monsters to improve the overall quality of the gear, helping the player to gain a better advantage in the dungeon.

Along with improvements that can be made, weapons can be enhanced with attributes applied to them. The attributes include the four elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses against each other. Secondly, there is a light and dark attribute that can be applied to weaponry, these two attributes are weak to one and other. The elemental enhancements that can be added to weapons give players a reason to collect weapons, adding different power-ups to each depending on the situation.

Now with the gameplay covered to a point that doesn’t spoil anything, I will be moving onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the difficulty.

Difficulty – DanMachi Infinite Combate has a gradual difficulty curve, getting progressively tougher as the story continues. The monsters get more powerful and will increase in number with some quests, making some of the time limits tougher. The challenge of tough dungeons can be alleviated by grinding skill points and money, allowing the players to purchase better equipment and enhance their weapons/stats much faster.

Controls – the controls for this release are simple and easy to pick up, with the face/shoulder buttons controlling combat and skill functions, the thumbstick controlling character movement and the D-pad for consumable items. All inputs are smooth, with no lag or difficulty of use. The game handles well in both docked and undocked modes, with no change between the Joy-Cons and pro controller, giving a comfortable gameplay experience.

Presentation – the visual style for DanMachi Infinite Combate is aesthetically pleasing, with the charming environments, a cute chibi style for the 3D models and beautiful 2D art that is taken directly from the anime/manga. Unfortunately, while pleasing to the eye, the 3D graphics that are used are a little lackluster compared to other games in the same genre, although this may be due to the hardware limits of the Nintendo Switch system. During my playtime for this review, the performance was smooth and the frame rate was consistent throughout, this was present in both docked and handheld modes.

The soundtrack for this release is delightful, with bright, happy instrumentation in the menus, alongside more intense and excitable compositions while inside the dungeons. These two musical styles contrast well, and the music implemented throughout the story fits each section wonderfully. The voice over for this game is purely Japanese, with the voice cast from the show reprising their roles, adding to the quality of the overall production and a wonderful touch for fans of the series.

Final Thoughts – I had a delightful time playing DanMachi Infinite Combate, the gameplay was engaging and the story compelling. Having watched the anime, it was wonderful to see the events that went on between each episode, pulling me into the experience that much more. The upgrade and progression system is rewarding, with each quest giving a sense of satisfaction upon completion, both in and out of the story mode.

The overall quality of the game is high and I commend the development team at MAGES, who did an excellent job at bringing the world of DanMachi to the Nintendo Switch. However, I did find that there were some minor inconsistencies to the combat with Bell and the slightly dated 3D models. While I personally had no issue with the combat or quality of the graphics, they may be a deal breaker for some, as the risk can outweigh the reward in battle and the visuals may be unappealing to some players.

In the end, I give Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate a final score of 4/5. The story is crafted wonderfully, expanding the narrative of the anime with additional details that fill some of the gaps between key events. The gameplay has the right level of difficulty to it, with rewarding quests, challenging combat encounters and a variety of upgrades to fit any play style. If you want to check this game out for yourself, links to the different versions of the game will be below.

Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 version (HERE)

Link to Steam version (HERE)

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