Demong Hunter is a cute Action RPG that initially comes off like a short and sweet mobile title. However, its steep learning curve, coupled with generally lackluster graphics, music and interface create an end product that is really not worth your time.
The game’s characters are similar in design to the avatars you create on the Wii console; cute with big anime eyes, fat bodies and pointy limbs. Unfortunately, the game’s playable characters aren’t customizable (you eventually can unlock two skin options for each class but that’s as far as customization goes), and the graphics aren’t particularly crisp or well done. Also, the background music amounts to the same generic adventure score you’ve heard a dozen times before; nothing to write home about, and most of the time I kept it on mute.
In the beginning you choose a username, and all of the characters you level are linked to it. Starting off with your choice of a warrior, a hunter, or one of a few monster types, you level up through battles, and at any time you can switch character classes. Each one levels up separately from each other with their own gold stashes.
The world map is very straightforward; there are different stages to go through, and each stage has ten levels. Each level continues one after the other in succession until you complete an entire stage, carrying over cool downs for your skills as well as the amount of health you have, and once you clear a stage the next one opens for you to play until you get to the end. There are also higher difficulty levels, which unlock when you complete the game. However, that’s basically all there is to it. There is no plot, there is no character development; there is pretty much nothing except grinding through the game’s levels and killing various “Demong”, which are your enemies in Demong Hunter.
One thing I cannot stress enough is if you play this game make sure you have a very responsive screen! The main method of movement is a sort press and drag virtual joystick, and movement is very important for this title. Unfortunately the actual ‘dodge’ skill has a cool down because it makes you invulnerable for a second, so your main method of getting away from enemy projectiles, of which there are many, is to walk around them. If your screen isn’t quick to respond, you will have a very difficult time avoiding huge amounts of damage from mobs.
An anime bobble head ARPG, Demong Hunter nods again and again towards Diablo, the seminal granddaddy of Western ARPGs. For example, in Diablo III there is a Treasure Goblin you can encounter that carries a sack of treasure, and when attacked it drops gold and items from its pack. It runs away from you, though if you manage to pursue and kill it, you get a sizable amount of loot. In Demong Hunter there is a “Treasure Demong,” which does exactly the same thing, up to and including carrying a sack in the same fashion and dropping items as you attack it and it runs away. To be sure, it is strange to see such a “kawaii”, anime version of a dark ARPG like Diablo; Demong Hunter gave it a try, and unfortunately I for one don’t think it was effective.
One of the biggest issues with Demong Hunter is the difficulty level – it feels like the game is 90% padding. Each stage unlocks different kinds of Demong which is interesting and adds a little variety, but the real slog is the forced level grinding. Levels are progressively more difficult with each new stage, but that is only because at any given time you have so many enemies thrown at you that you can’t progress unless you can kill things far more quickly and efficiently than you could in the previous stage, which demands going up several levels, and becomes very tedious very quickly.
Demong Hunter is a cute ARPG with middling production values and not much by way of substance. While the characters are cute and the controls are simple, gameplay ultimately becomes very tedious when you need to increase your level by five or six tiers just to get through each subsequent stage due to the sheer number of enemies being thrown at you. If you’re crazy about anime, cute bobble heads and ARPGs, this might work for you – I however don’t think it’s worth your attention.
Is it Hardcore?
No, not really.
Demong Hunter is a cute ARPG, but it’s ultimately hampered by lackluster production values and repetitive, uninspired gameplay. Without plot progression or a steady learning curve, it’s easy to be turned off by DH’s throngs of enemies, which force you to resort to tedious level grinding, and that unfortunately accounts for the majority of the title’s gameplay.