Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society Review – Profoundly Covert

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society Review – Profoundly Covert

Dungeon crawlers can be an intimidating genre for newcomers. Between the intricate character management and the level design, the idea of tackling such an uphill climb isn’t the most inviting. As someone who shares these feelings about the genre, I felt somewhat anxious when booting up Labyrinth of Galleria The Moon Society. Thankfully, for those who can endure the opening hours and be patient, this game has something to offer both veterans and newcomers.

Throughout Labyrinth of Galleria The Moon Society, players are immediately introduced to the protagonist, Eureka Soleil, an optimistic, cheery, and bright-eyed girl who finds a job at the Galleria Manor. There, she’s tasked with being Lanterne de Fantasmagorie’s, or simply Fantie’s, medium through a series of extensive dungeons accessible via a wardrobe from within the manor.

This labyrinth is known for massacring people when returning, causing potential adventurers to cherish their lives and avoid such struggles. So, to more safely traverse these areas, parties of puppet soldiers led by Fantie do the dirty work. And since they’re inorganic beings, the otherwise gruesome outcomes can be avoided.

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A notable witch also residing in the manor, Marta is the one who introduces Eureka to her employment and the various layers surrounding it. Additionally, she’s also the one who empowers the puppets and grants access to the labyrinth in the first place. Eureka’s provided goal at this job is to find curios in the dungeon originating from unknown art galleries that no one appears knowledgeable about, all to satisfy the estate’s owner.

While the narrative’s premise may seem dry, its details become somewhat engrossing the further one progresses, thanks to its memorable cast. Veiled truths regarding the mysterious curios hidden within the labyrinth, clues about the manor’s previous owner, and other tangentially related subject matter, such as another young girl residing within the estate, all contribute toward this game’s permeating sense of discovery.

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And those plot elements loosely tie into the actual gameplay, comprising dungeon-crawling mechanics and turn-based combat. Neither of these concepts are executed in obtuse, contrived manners, but the game does an exceptionally poor job of introducing them.

Right from the start, tutorial after tutorial is shoved in the player’s face, leaving no room for natural learning from the core gameplay itself. The actual exploration of the labyrinth feels like it takes far longer to reach than it truthfully does because, at least in my case, the constant tutorial prompts were just too severe.

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Regardless, once those opening segments are complete, the pacing becomes far more natural, with explanations only arriving every once in a while. As for the dungeon-crawling, players explore using puppets, which are all crafted with key materials. Their specialties can all be chosen, such as what Stance should determine their initial status states. Further, growth types can also be selected during puppet creations, and those dictate the trajectory their stats will lean toward as they gain levels. Equipment is dependent on the puppet type, as well, so a good deal of thought has to be spent when considering party formations.

When looking at the sheer amount of numbers in everyone’s status menus, receiving meaningful feedback can become understandably overwhelming for those not acclimated to the genre. Still, a decent chunk of it doesn’t require a deep understanding to simply progress. Just go with the flow and alter yourself as the title’s contexts deem fit. Adaptability and patience are what players will need to exercise and embrace first and foremost throughout Labyrinth of Galleria The Moon Society because otherwise, one can feel like they’re brick-walled.

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My experience initially comprised such thoughts since I underestimated the difficulty the beginning obstacles provide if certain measures aren’t taken. The manor base is where players should pay considerable attention because one of the central mechanics, Witch Petitions, is vital to feeling secure within the labyrinths.

These diverse functionalities, unlocked from Mana gathered in the dungeons, are one of the collective keys to success since they give supplemental benefits that add up over time. A self-explanatory shop housing restorative items of all kinds also greatly aids during travels. Further, if the puppets sustain severe enough damage, their limbs can be torn, requiring restoration that can cost a pretty penny if the needed materials aren’t present.

In retrospect, if one takes their time and digs through the menus instead of brute forcing the adventure, a genuinely enjoyable gameplay loop balance is born. These strengths are then amplified by certain aspects of the dungeon design. As narrative progress is made, players will be granted new traversal methods, like destroying walls on the map or crossing tiles of poison. These tools help keep the pacing fresh, though there were some instances where I found the correct pathway to be a tad too obscure and out of the way to reach.

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These occurrences weren’t terribly common and could just be due to my lack of expertise with the genre, but they did hinder my enjoyment every so often. My most vital tip that may not seem initially obvious to beginners is to pay attention to the layout of the walkable tiles since symmetry can hint toward unventured lands.

To potentially prevent cases of being lost, you can write notes to place on specific map tiles. Granted, typing out these messages is cumbersome on PlayStation and is likely more convenient on the Switch and PC, where the touchscreen/keyboard features, respectively, amplify convenience.

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In the realm of audio, Labyrinth of Galleria The Moon Society boasts an endearing English dub almost entirely lifted by the efforts of the voice actress behind Eureka. She captures the joviality and innocence of the character perfectly, which serves to enhance the perceived connections and impact she has on several characters.

The whole cast does excellent work, but Eureka’s the definite standout. Music-wise, this title has that quintessential Nippon Ichi Software eccentricity in its melodies, so individuality may have been compromised as a result. Still, they provide effective background noise in the admittedly dull visuals of the labyrinths.

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Labyrinth of Galleria The Moon Society is an addictive dungeon-crawling RPG that fans of the genre will undoubtedly sink dozens upon dozens of hours into. Its involved yet approachable gameplay systems, meaningful sense of consequence, and cathartic breakthroughs of progress make it a joy to spend time learning. Even amidst some area design choices I perceived as stumbles, unnecessarily drawn-out tutorials, and bland environments, this was a journey I’m glad I stuck out to its end.

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