I think we can say with a fair bit of certainty that many of us have played our share of dungeon crawlers. I’m here to tell you a new one is going to be arriving on PlayStation 4 and Switch come August 30th. I can hear the yawns already. You love them but you want something a bit different, right? If this is the case, I have just the game for you. Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle is the game in question and unusually it has a Japanese flair. We aren’t just knights in shining armour battling goblins and orcs in this one.
Set during Japan’s Edo period, Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle is a real-time RPG that sends you, the player, to the distinctively haunted Hyakki Island. This is a sort of penal colony where the prisoners are sent into exile. To make a really bad situation even worse for them, a mysterious castle suddenly appears on the island bringing a horde of unpleasant monsters with it. Amongst this rather unpleasant mess, a rebel mastermind is also inhabiting the island who is plotting to overthrow the Shogun order and assassinate its leader. This is where you come in. You take the role of one of four special agents who is trained in the exorcism of evil spirits and slaying of monsters. Sent by the Shogun, you are to investigate the castle and deal with the threat within. Sound interesting? Not your average hack n’ slash, eh?
What makes this title interesting is that it actively encourages you to split your party with its exclusive 2-party system. This feature is designed to make strategic fights easier for the player. As they move up through the dangerous floors of Hyakki Castle, players will find themselves executing flanking maneuvers and pincer-style attacks while using a variety of moves to beat monsters who will exhibit their own unique combat styles and behaviours.
The ability to split your party won’t only help you master combat. The castle also contains an array of puzzles and traps that you’ll have to find a way to negotiate if you are to survive. In fact, the use of this system is actually mandatory in some circumstances as some of these puzzles can only be mastered by using the split approach. The fact that the game also lets you choose from four unique character classes including human and Tengu will allow for the mix and match of various skill sets and play styles.
The game actually looks great and you’ll be able to see this from the trailer I’m about to leave you with. It’s definitely nice to see a bit of change in style and the fact that Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle is bringing something new to the console RPG genre is certainly refreshing. If you think you may be interested in entering the castle and doing your thing, you’ll find the digital releases of this title on your PlayStation Store or Nintendo eShop from August 30th at the rather reasonable price of $13.99 or £10.99 for those of us this side of the pond.