Top Critic Average
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk uses its many mechanics to create an excelent DRPG. The mechanics make exploring the labyrinth fun and the combat has an element of constant danger that prevents it from becoming tedious. The story and its little tragic tales are great in captivating the players and push them to explore beyond the necessary. Overall, this is one of the best DRPGs in recent years.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a fun, rich, challenging, and deep dungeon crawling RPG experience. There are a ton of mysteries and anyone who loves to explore and find every nook and cranny of the environment will find many things to enjoy. I do recommend the TV experience over the handheld way to play, however both will give you an immersive and satisfying gaming experience. Do yourself a favor Nippon Ichi fans and pick this one up.
Nippon Ichi continues to be one of the more experimental developers within traditional JRPG genres. Disgaea has always offered a fundamentally different approach to tactics JRPGs, and the two Witch and the Hundred Knight titles did interesting things with the action JRPG. Being different means they're not for everyone, but Labyrinth of Refrain is perhaps the developer's most mature, nuanced, and interesting effort yet.
Ultimately speaking, my feelings for Coven can’t really be summed up by a simple like or love. It’s something more akin to respect. Despite everything being needlessly complex, it’s done in a way to make the game much more enjoyable rather than bogging it down.While I don’t necessarily like all of the decisions made in the game, if NIS decides to make another I’ll be one of the first to pick it up.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a refreshing addition to the DRPG genre that is a must play for fans of Etrian Odyssey and those who enjoy NIS' visual style.
Naturally there are a few things to be said about the story's setup and the not-so-massive enemy count, but this can be forgiven in the grand scheme of things. The game knows what it wants to be, and I gladly spent well close to 100 hours seeing it all through. If you are looking for a game that will keep you going, Labyrinth of Refrain has your back.
I fell in love with the game as I played it. It speaks to my sensibilities as a gamer in terms of the dungeon crawling and exploring every nook and cranny. The battle system is different and fun, and I enjoyed the story the game gave me as well.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk satisfies that itch for an Etrian-styled RPG on the Nintendo Switch that has yet to come, but with all things that come from Nippon Ichi's RPG powerhouse, it's a study of excess for better or worse.
In an RPG subgenre where the story often takes a backseat and true innovation is lacking, Labyrinth of Refrain is a standout with an emotional payoff for those willing to spend time with its reprehensible cast.
So Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is my second dungeon crawling title in as many weeks, and while both were good I have to give the nod to Nippon Ichi and NIS America here for crafting one that manages to feel like both a traditional part of the genre while still taking some chances that generally work more often than not. The combat and sound effects can be a little repetitive and there is a bit of menu overload to be had here, but the massive, custom parties plus wall-breaking mechanics combine to compliment an enjoyably presented game with a darker, more interesting story than we usually see out of dungeon crawlers.
While breaking all of the typical conventions of the genre, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk somehow manages to stay true to the spirit of a JRPG. Although it's held back by repetitive combat and some disturbing cutscenes, the game has a lot to offer for hard-core fans of turn-based, dungeon exploration games, especially those with a darker sense of humor.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk isn't perfect but it manages to stand out in its own way. With Baba Yaga/Dronya and Luca being a charming couple, it helps the story from dragging, ultimately leading down an interesting path.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk feels like the Marmite of dungeon crawlers, you’ll either love it or hate it. If you played The Lost Child recently and you really enjoyed that game, even with its steep learning curve, then you’ll most likely really enjoy Labyrinth of Refrain, especially if you are also a fan of the Witch and Hundred Kight and Disgaea series’. To the general consumer out there who likes Dungeon Crawlers which are nice and simple with no complicated mechanics or many processes to take in and remember, this one may not be for you.
If you're looking for a quality turn-based JRPG that plays well on your TV and on the go, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is it. Just make sure you keep it away from the kids.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk lands on the Nintendo Switch helped by a series of good gameplay mechanics and a combat system that is fast and welcome to handle by the players. While not everyone will be on board with Labyrinth of Refrain and its peculiar humour, the game will easily and deservedly win over the preferences of JRPG fans.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
For the most part I see Labyrinth of Refrain as a take it or leave it proposition mostly resting on your interest in genre or at least the methodical style of play. It’s not terribly dynamic or exciting given that it is turn-based, but there can be a sense of satisfaction when you get into new territory and discover new things. On the narrative side perhaps there’s a crowd who is into the sometimes bizarrely adult elements but at the same time the game could have obviously gone further all in on that thread and didn’t. The result is a narrative that can be long-winded but surprising and amusing sitting on top of rock-solid turn-based RPG elements that you can tailor to your tastes reasonably well. Not a bad deal if you’re looking for something a bit different on several levels.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is definitely not a fairy tale, but if you're okay with playing something with a darker, more mature tone then it's worth giving this a go. Exploring every inch of the labyrinth is addictive, and its unique battle system and an in-depth character creation system will keep you busy for quite a while.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is an altogether fun but often repetitive dungeon crawler let down by its weak cast and uninteresting storyline. Moments spent in the labyrinth dungeons, though initially confusing, are bright spots in an otherwise uninspiring game, giving the opportunity for exploration and presenting an intriguing battle system which allows for plenty of customisation and experimentation.
There are nice ideas and a plentiful amount of passion put into replicating the look and feel of classic first-person, dungeon-crawling in Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk. If one were to approach this with the intent of short, couple-hour bursts with little aim other than the acquiring of more loot or leveling up one's disposable units, the game services those eager on that aspect of dungeon-crawling.
Although Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk presents itself well enough, it ultimately falls short due to the incredible lack of pacing, a roller coaster of a difficulty curve, and generally not that engaging gameplay. Combat is mindlessly repetitive, exploration tedious, and progression is severely stunted. This is the culmination of too many moving parts that are for show, but don't achieve any real goal.