Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in A Dungeon: Infinite Combat Review

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"Hello, young man. Are you looking for familia?"

Following the recent releases of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 and Fairy Tail, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate, or DanMachi Infinite Combate for short, is the latest in anime-adapted games. Rather than focusing on an original narrative, DanMachi Infinite Combate instead retells the events of the anime. The game is developed by MAGES, a studio best known for adventure titles such as Steins;Gate, Muv-Luv, and YU-NO. Rather than being an adventure title on its own, DanMachi Infinite Combate is instead a blend of visual novelization and Role-Playing Game. 

Is it wrong to pick up Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Story

Episode 13.5

The opening minutes of the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate focus on Bell Cranel. The rookie adventurer wastes no time arriving at the Guild for his first assignment. Despite being an only child of the Hestia Familia, the white-haired boy is eager to make his goddess proud. Not to mention that she really does not have the skills to fend for herself. Despite starting slow, it does not take long for Bell to get ahead of himself. 

Once a bad idea aligns with bad timing, Bell finds himself facing down a minotaur. Vastly outmatched, Bell is completely powerless as his life flashes before his eyes. His adventuring days are not numbered, however, as his knight in shining armor inadvertently arrives on the scene. Aiz Wallenstein of the Loki Familia effortlessly cleaves the monster in two. Unsure how to respond, the now bloodstained Bell decides instead to just run away. Despite the terrible first impressions, neither party is able to forget one another. Unbeknownst to both, the random encounter secretly becomes the source of Bell’s newfound power. 

God’s House

On the story side, DanMachi Infinite Combate is a recap of the anime’s first season. In addition, the game also borrows elements from the anime’s spin-off series: Sword Oratoria. While each anime focused on the Hestia Familia and Loki Familia respectively, DanMachi Infinite Combate balances both points of view. These are split into two types of chapters: Bell and Aiz. Unlike most RPGs or visual novels for that matter, Ais’ story is not a branching path or reserved for a second playthrough. Instead, the Bell and Aiz chapters are played back to back. With this implementation, both sides of the story are always told before moving on. 

Fans of the anime or light novels should know exactly what to expect. Fan serviceable date scenes aside, the game’s narrative serves as cliff notes of the source material. Prospect players can take that knowledge as they will. As DanMachi is a beloved anime to many, most will also enjoy the game’s interpretation. With that in mind, the date scenes are probably a selling point. Sadly this feature is only available post-game. Best Girl nominees such as Aiz, Hestia, and Syr Flova are all available for Bell to “pick up in a dungeon.” Arguments of fellow fans can become instantly invalid once the player helps Bell choose the best girl in-game. 

Gameplay

Dankest Dungeon

Anybody picking up Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate will likely do so for one of two reasons. These most likely motivations include the story or gameplay. For pre-existing fans, DanMachi Infinite Combate is an opportunity to relieve the anime or original light novel. On the other hand, Role-Playing gamers may instead see DanMachi Infinite Combate as yet another dungeon to crawl. 

Ironically, the dungeons are perhaps the least memorable aspect of DanMachi Infinite Combate. Unlike the standard roguelike or roguelite title, DanMachi Infinite Combate does not utilize randomly generated dungeons throughout the main game. While these admittedly exist within the post-game, everything before that is man-made. While the designs of randomly generated dungeons are never great, they mainly exist to preserve the quality of gameplay and replayability. Unfortunately, DanMachi Infinite Combate drops the ball in both divisions. While the dungeons were designed by the developers, they are just as memorable as those created by a generator. To make matters worse, each floor is often reused sooner or later in-game. The end result is unmemorable dungeons that are overly easy to explore. 

One, Two, Three… Jump!

Much like Fairy Tail, DanMachi Infinite Combate has a huge emphasis on Guild assigned quests. At the start of each chapter, the player character is given the option to accept various tasks. While these are a great way to earn in-game currency, they are generally optional. The chapter won’t conclude until a specific Story quest is completed. 

As the name suggests, Story quests are all inspired by anime events. While these tend to be the more interesting options, there really is not much variety overall. A majority of missions are simple bounty hunts or floor exploration. With the average quest restricting a two to a four-minute time limit, each dungeon really does not have much ground to cover.  

Mixed Nuts

Simply put, DanMachi Infinite Combate’s combat is something of a mixed bag. At its core, it is a fun concept. Unlike dungeon crawlers such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon or void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium, DanMachi Infinite Combate‘s gameplay plays out in real-time. Without the low-key turn-taking of the roguelike genre, battles are relatively easy outside of boss encounters. 

In battle, Bell and Ais have up to five available actions to perform. The first two are Weak and Strong attack. In this sense, the core gameplay feels something akin to a 2.5D Warriors spin-off or Fighter. With that in mind, there’s honestly not many start times to opt for the Strong attack. While damaging, it leaves its source vulnerable for several frames. This brings us to the game’s dodge mechanic. The battle system is so simple that it isn’t difficult for no-damage dungeon runs. After two or three Weak attacks, a simple rolling dodge can bring Bell or Aiz out of harm’s way. The other options in combat include Magic and Supporter skills. While Aiz gets both at the get-go, Bell must slowly gain access. While this means that Aiz is initially the more enjoyable character to play, Bell is the one with actual power progression.

Design

Visual Novel Light

Much like your average Compile Heart title, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate is a blend of the Adventure and Role-Playing genres. Originally based on a light novel, DanMachi is perfect for a visual novel adaption. The story is told with the usual character cut-ins. Bell, Aiz, and Hestia are generally depicted by static 2D designs. While dynamic Live2D art is becoming more common every day, the static approach still serves the characters quite well. The still images look like concept art straight out of an art book. 

As with most any visual novel, the game also makes use of some beautiful CGs. These scenes look like stills from the anime. In fact, it’s quite possible that some are. Between the scene of Bell and Aiz first meeting on opposite sides of a dead minotaur and just about anything featuring Hestia, these CGs are pure DanMachi. The amalgamation of DanMachi Infinite Combate‘s 2D assets is beautiful, to say the least. They are so fitting that it ultimately begs the question as to why the game even attempts to work in a 3D space. 

Retro Gaming

Much like with gameplay, the design takes the greatest hit while traversing the dungeons themselves. Bell, Aiz, and the monsters they hunt are recreated in super-deformed 3D. In recent years, games such as Dragon Ball FighterZ, Fairy Tail, and the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm tetralogy have effectively recreated the look of their source material through beautiful cel-shaded graphics. DanMachi Infinite Combate is not one of these games. Instead, the character models look on par with something found on a licensed PlayStation 2 or Nintendo GameCube title. 

Considering MAGES’ experience developing quality visual novels, it is a shame that DanMachi Infinite Combate is not just that. During character interactions in and out of town, the game has the perfect esthetic of an adventure title. A visual novel such as Steins;Gate Elite which reuses existing anime footage would work perfectly for DanMachi. Instead, the 2D and 3D designs clash throughout. Perhaps the greatest moment of this is during Bell’s first boss encounter. Based on the writing and audiovisuals, this desperate struggle is hyped up to be something epic. It was in the anime. Instead, the scene transitions into a derpy close up of a badly rendered boss. Talk about anti-climactic. 

Sound

Heavenly Voice

As this is generally one of the most common questions on GameFAQs and Amazon listing, let’s talk about the language. No, we are not covering bad words here. Though it is pretty likely that just about any anime based game besides Yu-Gi-Oh! would have at least one of two of them. We’re talking about the option of dual audio. Of course in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate, there isn’t one. 

The game’s audio is entirely Japanese. As the breakout star that is Hestia flooded the internet before a dub was even reasonably possible, this hopefully won’t offend too many players. DanMachi Infinite Combate is a visual novel in spirit. Let’s be real, how many visual novels are ever dubbed? Japan’s original voice actors all reprise their roles. Of course, the monster effects all sound pretty rough. The most important aspect of the audio is the ability to choose the menu’s narrator. Bell is the default, but just about every notable adventurer or goddess is an available alternative. What adventurer wouldn’t want the best goddess Hestia welcoming them home? 


Supporting Soundtrack

In terms of music, DanMachi Infinite Combate’s soundtrack sounds oddly reminiscent of Atelier‘s Arland trilogy. Coming from an avid Atelier fan, that is certainly a good thing. Having just started a new playthrough of Atelier Rorona DX, several double-takes were made while listening to the music as it played. Aside from the occasional proud monster or lustful goddess, city life is generally pretty peaceful. Luckily, the music quite effectively encapsulates those mostly peaceful times. Considering the flaws in combat and 3D design, the music is perhaps the best part of each dungeon crawl. 

Overall

Overall Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate blends genres to mixed results. The story and 2D presentation are wonderful and a wonderful recap for series fans. Unfortunately, the game’s overly simplistic Role-Playing gameplay and outdated 3D visuals hinder what could have been a wonderful Adventure title. While series fans may enjoy the visual novelization, RPG enthusiasts may want to look elsewhere for their next “pick up.” 

Hey! Hey!! Listen!!! gives Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate 6.9 goddess out of 10

Good

  • Solid (though shortened) story adaptation
  • Date events
  • Likable ensemble cast
  • Cute characters
  • Beautiful 2D design
  • Returning Japanese vocal talent
  • Soothing soundtrack
  • Main Goddess Hestia

Bad

  • Imbalance between Adventure and RPG
  • Unbalanced battle system
  • Random dungeons locked until post-game
  • Repetitive main game dungeons
  • Outdated 3D design
6.9

Fair

Story - 8
Gameplay - 5.5
Design - 5
Sound - 9

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