Developer: Team Ladybug
Publishers: Playism, Red Art Games, Active Gaming Media
Release Date(s): March 27, 2021 (Windows), December 16, 2021 (Xbox Game Pass) January 28 (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox One / Xbox Series S|X
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
With the popularity of Super Metroid and the shift in direction of Castlevania that started with Symphony Of The Night, the adventure genre became recognized under a new name: Metroidvania. The term was first coined by Jeremy Parish on Retronauts and has been popular ever since. Record Of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth fits the ‘vania’ side closely. Based on the manga and anime, Record Of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is a fun yet short experience.
Story Overview: Plotting a Way Through
You play as Deedlit, a high elf who is skilled in magic and in sword combat. You wake up in an odd state as Deedlit doesn’t remember how she ended up on the ground in an unknown area. As time goes on, she runs into an evil sorceress named Karla who holds some information about the location they are in. Throughout the adventure, you’ll come across characters from the series who will help you throughout the six stages.
If you’re not familiar with the series, you won’t recognize the characters you interact with. Most that you will encounter are bosses for that area. The game doesn’t explain who each character is, which makes the plot a little hard to follow but once you complete the game, you’ll at least understand how Deedlit ended up where the adventure began.
Gameplay: Warriors, Come Out!
The gameplay in Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth is mostly melee attacks and a ranged attack with a bow. You also find elemental spirits that will allow you to use magic on enemies.The game does bring a twist to the generic formula that plagues a lot of action-adventure games of this nature. Using a polarity system borrowed from Ikaruga, Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth has you switch and upgrade as you battle random foes.
You can toggle between wind or fire; and when you’re using one element to hit an enemy, the other element grows in strength. Each element has three levels and when it hits the final level, the element is at its strongest. What’s also surprising is that if you’re low on health, you can switch to the other element (if it is at the third level) to recover health to a full bar. The downside is if you get hit while recovering, the transfer stops and you go down a level.
That’s right, for any hit you take, Deedlit will go down a level in her element attack. Luckily, you can get those levels back to three with ease as each hit you make will power the other element. It’s a good risk and reward system. You’ll have to master it as some attacks that are thrown at you can be guarded when you are the right element. The enemies and boss also have this guard ability, so be aware what opposite attacks work.
The game doesn’t have any animal transformations, but does have the staples of a Metroidvania: double jump, slide, back dash, and a spirit that will automatically throw out some attacks.
Exploring The Labyrinth
Exploring the labyrinth may seem interesting; but sadly, there’s not much to seek out. The hidden spots can easily be found since there will be a crack that you can hit and reveal. With six areas that have teleportation throughout, you’ll run through horizontal and vertical areas that aren’t that impressive (but acceptable for its 32-bit sprite backgrounds and locales). It doesn’t have that Metroid Dread appeal, but for an indie game, it does enough as you battle the bosses and enemies. Leaning heavily on the Symphony Of The Night design, there’s only one map and while you do have a mini map in the left bottom corner of the screen, you’ll barely pay attention to it because your focus is on the action that is taking place.
In-Game Music: The Battle Cry
The soundtrack for Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth has a pleasant MIDI score that is composed of keyboard, strings, bells, vocal sound effects, and majestic drum programming that is pleasant to the ears. With its jaunty medieval arrangements, it’ll never annoy you as you grind for special weapons, currency, and experience points. It truly makes you feel energetic when fighting a boss or relaxing when there isn’t much happening on the screen.With a good amount of tracks that you’ll hear, there’s bound to be one you’ll love.
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars—With an eight-hour campaign, fantastic music, and interesting characters, Record Of Lodoss War: Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth is a fun action-adventure game you will enjoy. With a mild challenge and a Boss Rush mode as a special feature, along with a new game+ for collected weapons and abilities, Record Of Lodoss War: Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth provides a battle that you fight again and again.
Eddie V. is a co-founder of Boss Rush Network who writes, podcasts, and loves video game trivia. You can find him on Twitter with @thatretrocode.
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