Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library and the Monster Seal is a boring, predictable fan service JRPG. It’s difficult to even be creative in critiquing it because it was so repetitive and mind-numbing. Boring plot, unimaginative gameplay, flat characters, and slow pacing all come together to ruin this game. Unless you are a fan of these types of games, feel free to skip Dungeon Travelers 2.
The storyline propels the gameplay, but is rather uninspiring. The dialogue between characters provides most of the exposition and leaps quickly between events. Moving from the dungeons back to the Royal Library occasionally triggers story cutscenes, but not always at logical points, sometimes just randomly. It broke my immersion with the already thin storyline. Despite the unexpected jumps in story, the pace generally moves at a snail’s, causing the game to seem much longer and tiresome than it already is. The “surprises” were so underwhelming they didn’t initially register. The insipid dialogue between characters often distracted me from the bland story. The majority of non-exposition dialogue focuses on the female characters’ interactions and relationships with Fried, the playable character. These scenes truly highlight the blatant catering to the male perspective and audience, and it is frankly painful.
The cast is exclusively female, allies and enemies alike, and any other shown character is an anthropomorphic animal. All the women have some sort of fascination with Fried, leading to many awkward and irrelevant cutscenes that aren’t even the least titillating. Fried also lacks a real strong presence. He’s rarely shown and his responses are so stock they seem created by a computer. The fan service isn’t the issue, but how it’s presented in the most in-your-face, unimaginative way. There have been games that do fan service right, giving the female agency and character. When the scantily clad females seem to only exist to bolster the only male character, the possible humor quickly fades.
At first the fan service was so obvious and upfront, it seemed irreverent and cheeky. However, the dialogue fails to support this point of view and the scantily clad girls in compromising positions quickly become annoying rather than humorous. The harem-esque cutscenes between Fried and his allies distract from the actual story and are poorly written.
The terrible story and dialogue isn’t even saved by interesting gameplay. It’s a dungeon crawler that is repetitive and uninventive. The leveling system is not unique and doesn’t offer a great deviation from other roleplaying games that have better stories and characters. The customization is nice, but is not that significant during gameplay. The combat system is intuitive, but the joint attack ability appears to be really random with little indication as to how to access it. Enemies are repetitive and fighting quickly becomes grinding in dungeons. Leveling takes a while and enemy respawns take time, leading you to traverse dungeons again and again to level characters up. All RPGs require grinding, but leveling should pace with a game as much as possible.
Given a more interesting plotline, characters, and gameplay, Dungeon Travelers 2 could have been a hit! However, that game doesn’t exist.
It lacks real effort and simply rests on fan service. The game is boring and predictable and a huge slog. If you’re a fan of these games, by all means you should buy Dungeon Travelers 2, but everyone else, spend your hard earned money elsewhere.