Back in the day, I used to go into games blind and only looked at the cover art and screen shots on the back of the games. This is similar to what I did with Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society. I saw the cover/key art and looked it up, finding out it’s an RPG that is similar to the Disgaea series, even down to the art style. As I searched the game and found out it was developed by Nippon Ichi Software,Inc. and published by NIS America Inc., it’s definitely up my alley as an RPG fan – especially since it’s been years since I last played a dungeon crawler.
From the creators of Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk comes a new chapter in the dungeon-exploring adventure filled with charm and mystery! Summoned by the magnificent Madame Marta, you are but a wandering spirit awaiting your next command. With the help of Eureka, Madame Marta’s assistant, and an army of soul-infused puppets, you are tasked with delving into the depths of a mysterious underground labyrinth teeming with enchanted monsters to unearth the Curios d’art that lie within!
Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society offers dungeon-crawling adventures with new quality of life improvements and 50 hours of exploration alongside a cast of fully customizable companions to do your bidding. Use a variety of pacts and puppet soldiers to customize a team of up to 40 fighters to dive into the darkness and discover the secrets with the Labyrinth of Galleria…if you dare!
The controls are simple. You move around in the underground with the D-pad, R1 brings up the skills menu where you can choose what skills to use in the overworld, like breaking through walls, if it’s possible, you can jump by pressing the A button when the option is available (and you gain access to it), when you’re facing a direction you can press R2 and L2 to move over right or left while facing in the same direction. Pressing the Y button brings up the menu where you can edit the formation of your underground labyrinth team of puppet soldiers, make them take up frontlines (or vanguard formation) or backlines for the fight. You can also check the characters’ statuses and change their equipped armor, check and use items, and quick save by suspending the game.
When you first start the game, you’ll get a bit of story until you are in the underground labyrinth for the first time getting the first bit of the tutorial – like how to battle enemies, how to defend, how to attack and also what happens when you come across an enemy and lose to it. However, you are given trial puppet soldiers, which are a full team of five, but after the fight, you can choose what three puppet soldiers to make for your team. They’ll be at level 1 though, so you’ll have to grind them to high levels. That’s exactly what I did, I spent hours grinding the team I made to be about level 9 before I moved on to the first major battle since I knew I didn’t want to lose anyone or use my items, which I like to save for when I really need them. You are given four witch bells, which let you warp out of the underground at any time at the cost of ten mana. While I trained up my team, I managed to get items from the battles, so when I continued the storyline, I managed to not use any of them nor lose any of my teammates since it did take me a while to find more puppet parts and souls, which are required to make more characters for the team. Plus, I did spend hours again grinding up the new characters for my team so they could do a good amount of damage while also not being one hit KO’d by enemies. I also avoided the purple-eyed symbol enemies since they’re very strong foes – just like the tip mentioned from floor two.
The Galleria Manor is the player’s hub or home base where you have access to the menus where you can progress the storyline, the puppet workshop to make more puppet soldiers, to heal them or even to destroy them if you want. It’s where the shop is where you can buy or sell items, get access to the Witch’s petition where you exchange mana to unlock abilities like regain +10% HP after every battle, stop before a pit so as to not fall in it, and so on, which have lots of useful abilities to unlock. You can save the game and also where you can go into the wardrobe to go in the underground labyrinth.
The backtracking does get tedious at times, but once you unlock some abilities like wall break (making shortcuts through the walls when possible at the cost of mana), it does somewhat help while constantly going around exploring every nook and cranny completing all the floors of the map as best you can without falling into the pits or taking fall damage while trying to figure out how to progress the storyline without getting lost. It could turn some away, which can be a bad point.
The Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society checks off what makes a good game good; a phenomenal story, the voice acting is excellent, the music suits the game with a decent soundtrack and this time having a PC port that’s fantastic where you can actually hear everything from the story and not struggling to hear the voice actors over the music – which is a big score for me after my previous experience with NIS entertainment when I played Disgaea 6.
One of the features I like is that when you beat a boss, that said boss gets unlocked as a regular enemy, which is fantastic because it’s easier to grind up experience points for your puppet soldiers and mana. It definitely helps when trying to get as much mana as possible when you’re in the labyrinth, so this way you do everything you possibly can do then go and continue with the story. Plus, you’re able to unlock all of the other abilities you want from the witch.
Overall, I had a fun time with Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society – despite getting lost a lot and spending hours trying to progress the story. I would recommend it to RPG fans and those who are looking for a game with a good story.
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software,Inc
Publisher: NIS America Inc.
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 14th (US) and 17TH (EU) February 2023