Going into Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? – Infinite Combate I had never watched or read any of the anime so I was open to everything it had to offer.
Of bored Gods & mortals
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is set in a world of adventure where the Greek/Norse inspired Gods have grown bored and have decided to meddle in the lives of the humans and bestow blessings on certain individuals and bring them into their “familia”. These individuals then grow to become adventurers and grow stronger on dungeon-crawling adventures and with the help of their deity.
This brings us to the game itself as it follows the lives of two adventurers at each end of the worlds adventuring ladder. You start off as Bell Cranel a newbie and the only member of the Hestia Familia, who wants nothing more than to become stronger.
One of his adventures goes wrong when he crosses paths with a minotaur who happens to be several levels higher than him and not supposed to be anywhere near the floor level he is on. All looks lost for the plucky Bell until he is rescued by “sword princess” Aiz Wallenstein who steps in and saves Bell as the Minotaur’s appearance is kind of her fault.
Ais Wallenstein is an experienced warrior and beautiful to boot and If you are a fan of the anime or manga you will know who these heroes are off the bat but like the uninitiated like me, it is a good introduction to these characters as you will get the know them more as you play throughout the first half of the game as in the second you are exclusively Bell.
As the story progresses, you’ll alternate between controlling Bell and Aiz. This unique perspective offers backstory into the world of Orario that is lacking in the anime. If you’re a fan of the source material then playing through the campaign will give more insight into each of the characters. The story is the highlight of the game and was often the only thing to keep me trudging along.
I will hold my hands up and say I am not the biggest dungeon crawler fan, I think personally you need to be that kind of gamer that can do hours of grinding the same levels to get what you want and I am at the stage that I don’t really have time to do that but to my surprise, there is not much grinding at all in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Yes, there are side type missions that you receive from the guild but it doesn’t feel like a chore to do them and in some instances, I welcomed them as it gave me a chance to gain more experience, test out my attacks and to face monsters and study their attacks.
The gameplay itself is fundamental, you control a Chibi-Esque Bell or Aiz as you mash the same buttons to defeat your foes. Once I mastered the dodge and got my head around special attacks and allied attacks, it got easy, and a bit repetitive and I struggled to soldier on through it which is a pity because the story element is pretty good.
For whom the Bell tolls
The story isn’t anything new but the way it was presented in an interactive novel with real Japanese voice acting (and if you know me I love me some voice acting in games) none of this gobbledygook gibberish like most games these days.
The cutscenes as well were well done and some of the artwork and background scenery was what you would expect from a game like this. These were definitely the high points of what I would say was a pretty dull game. Did it make me want to watch the anime, I don’t think so but as I said if you are already a fan you will get much more out of this than I have.