Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, a review of a metroidvania inspired by Mizuno’s books



See how Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth fares in our review, a metroidvania inspired by Mizuno’s work

If there is something dear to all fans of role-playing games, whether Western or Eastern, it is certainly Dungeons & Dragons, the classic tabletop role-playing game that has laid the foundation for any fantasy product on the market. Record of Lodoss War (Chronicles of Lodoss War in Italian) is one of its favorite sons, being born as a replay campaign of the main game written by a Japanese author. For those who don’t know, replay campaigns are transcriptions of the masters who are in charge of them so they can be played with anyone. In this case Ryo Mizuno, the master in question, in the distant ’80s even wrote novels about his campaigns dedicated to the wars of Lodoss. Books that were later converted into anime and manga, such was their popularity.

From these bases comes all the mythology behind this new game dedicated to Lodoss War. We try in this our review of Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth to understand if the title Playism, developed in collaboration with the boys of the team Ladybug, in addition to having a nostalgic appeal, also has a soul that allows him to stand out among all the offerings that are currently present in the genre of metroidvania.

History and Legends

A scene from Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

The narrative behind Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is strong and ubiquitous, with a solid foundation rooted in the imagination of anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the series. The events predate the novel “Diadem of the Covenant,” but follow everything that happens in the anime and comics. The protagonist is Deedlit, a tall elf who will have to juggle the intricate corridors of the labyrinth of wonders to try to understand the motivations behind some visions that he had. Visions that have as protagonists all his comrades in arms met during the various vicissitudes faced in the island of Lodoss (and not only), among which there is also and especially Parn, her beloved and the protagonist of the whole main story of Record of Lodoss War.

During the exploration you will learn about special details that bind each member of the group and face enemies who were believed to have fallen in battle but at this juncture seem to have come back to life for reasons unknown to us. You will meet the infernal dragon Shooting Star, Lord Ashram and the witch Karla, omnipresent throughout the history of Lodoss, just to name a few, but you will also come into contact with the rest of the group that accompanied Deedlit in his raids for the cursed island.

Gameplay

Deedlit in the middle of some elemental attacks

From a purely recreational point of view, Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is definitely a solid and fun product, net of some small ingenuity that, although intended, makes the experience slightly invalidated. But let’s go in order.

Like any self-respecting metroidvania, the aim of the game is to be able to unlock inaccessible passages in order to continue exploring, trying to gain experience, spells, skills and weapons in the meantime. In this the title excels and we do not deny that we found ourselves several times to remember the good times of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Metroid. The map is rather linear and not too varied, but certainly enough research and still full of enemies well diversified and steps to unlock. Something that will force you to retrace your steps over and over again.

Our good Deedlit has available – unfortunately – only a basic attack that you can direct in 5 directions. This is in our opinion one of the main problems of the game, the lack of dynamism and the woodiness of the basic attack, in the absence of any animation of the combo. Surely in this sense the developers could have done better. The same cannot be said of skills and animations in general. We will have available the elemental spirits that will help us in case of difficulty and infuse their element to our attacks, as well as actively help us during the clashes. Just the elements are based on much of the gameplay and combat tactics. In fact, many enemies will have attacks based on fire or air, the two main elements, and you will have the opportunity to absorb these attacks by alternating between the two elementals. Absorbing magic will then charge the related bars that once you reach level 3 will recharge your HP. This is one of the fundamental features of the gameplay, so much so that it will be one of the main strategies to use against the strongest monsters.

Scattered around the map you’ll also find spells that you can use in confrontations, and even these will be fantastic allies in case you get into trouble. They range from spheres of luminous energy to trapping plants, passing through elemental spirits and shadowy minions. These abilities can be activated by consuming mana. You’ll also have a bow at your disposal that will help you with ranged combat and will be useful to unlock certain doors by solving environmental puzzles. The bow has no arrow limitations because it shares the use of mana with the spells, so our advice is to always pay attention to this resource to avoid being helpless especially in front of the most difficult bosses.

You can then buy items and equipment from the various merchants around the map, normally located near the save points where you can recharge energy and mana. We will not spoil the surprise revealing everything you can find around the maze but know that there are 2 or 3 other very interesting tidbits.

Technique and style

Deedlit in wonder Labyrinth - Record of Lodoss War: Narse the ancient black dragon of Marble Island

From the artistic point of view, the title is a little gem. The pixel art used, in addition to giving a retro tone, is truly made to perfection. Well-done animations and sprites very sought after make the game a little gem. There are some maps less refined than others, but in general everything is quite diverse and pleasant, with palettes and music that can outline each biome present making it recognizable and giving it a precise identity. Unlike other pixel art titles, it doesn’t use modern tricks for effects and particles, rendering each light, fluorescence and transparency effect exactly as it should be done in this style: all with pixels. This makes Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth stand out from the crowd, because it outlines the attention to detail and care for details that not everyone has in this historical moment in which we run after deliveries and many times we have to compromise. The result is an entertaining and well-made game, despite some minor smears and a not-so-exceptional duration.

Comment

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is a fun game, addictive and made to perfection to be a metroidvania pixel art. Animations really good, good soundtrack including the original soundtrack, many weapons and a varied enough map still hold up a production that has as its downsides certainly not an exceptional duration and a gameplay not overly stratified. Overall we feel like promoting with a good vote this official effort of the boys of Plyism and Ladybug team and consider this title a very good tribute to the work of Mizuno.

PRO

  • Remarkable artwork
  • Diversified and well-defined map
  • Good variety of enemies
  • Fun gameplay
  • Good OST and audio
  • Lack of basic attack combos
  • Little diversity of enemy attack patterns
  • For those who do not chew Lodoss War can be difficult to enter the mood
  • Longevity below average for the genre
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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