Death end re;Quest – PS4 Review

Genre: RPG
Developer: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International, Compile Heart
Release Date: Feb 19, 2019
Edited by KnightAvenger

The idea of being trapped inside a virtual world is not a new concept, especially when series like Dot Hack and Sword Art Online have paved the way for that playground, but what if you being trapped linked to events in the real world? This is the concept explored in our newest review, Death end re;Quest. Death end re;Quest is a turn-based JRPG developed, as well as published, by Idea Factory and Compile Heart, that takes the formula for a turn-based RPG and turns it on its head, with much success, but with all success, not everything turns out perfect.

Like a bad dream, the story for Death end re;Quest has its ups and downs, with plenty of ups to keep goodness alive. We, as the player, focus mainly on the lives of two characters, Shina, a sword-wielding adventurer that acts as the main protagonist for the game, and Arata Mizunashi, a coder and former developer of Worlds Odyssey. Our story starts out with Shina waking up in a small house in Worlds Odyssey, having memory loss and a new “growth” surrounding her thighs, in the form of black and purple spider legs. It is soon discovered, though, that this growth is due to a form of corruption that occurred one year prior, as stated by a wandering salesman named Rook, who advises our heroine to seek out Heartis Palace, where she meets Lily. Shina helps Lily but, in the end, discovers that in order to end the corruption in their world, they must travel to a place of myth and get help from a small bear-like mascot, controlled by Arata in the real world, to do so. But the path is never easy, as other characters in the game have their own ideas for Shina and her ragtag group of friends.

While I felt the story holds its own and brings many good points to the table, it also had its share of negative points I felt needed to be brought up. My first negative is the pacing, more specifically how jumpy the story pacing can get at times. This seems to be a trend with Idea Factory games, where the pacing either goes really well and smooth or jumpy and all over the place, this time falling toward the jumpy side of the spectrum. The second and last negative to bring up is the dialogue, in some scenes, felt out of place. The story had some very well written lines, which shows genuine care for the story as a whole, but there were a few lines that just seemed out of place, maybe a reaction that didn’t seem necessary. These do not take away from the story as a whole but were noticeable.

With weapon in hand and buggy by their side, the gameplay of Death end re;Quest is where the uniqueness of this game takes over, baring some of the more interesting mechanics in a JRPG to date, with a few off ones that do not work as intended at times. Let us start with the camps, or hub stops in the game. These small, but limited, spaces allow the player to summon rook by a bell to buy items, sell items and accept, as well as turn in a quest. It is also at these camps you can enter a camp mode, where you can talk to Shina and her party from time to time for small in-game events, as well as save your game and teleport to other camps, if you have found them, in the same dungeon. As you can only save during your time in these camps or during certain decision cut scenes, making use of them is vital, as the game does not really autosave for you.

Next, I want to talk about the split mechanic, which allows you to go between Arata in the real world when pointed to do so, and Shina in the game world. Arata is Shina’s only access to the real world while stuck in Worlds Odyssey and thus, when you find clues of the real world in Worlds Odyssey, Arata takes over. These are refreshing bits of story as well as split-second decision making for the player, as you can still game over during these real world story events and have to get back to that point from Shina’s point of the story.

Arata has more than one use, though, in the game, as through the bear-like mascot Mr. Enigma, he can activate special powers from unlocked code in battle. These powers come in the form of summons, install genre, and modify code. Summons, as the name should state, allow Arata to summon an etoma queen previously beaten by Shina and her comrades to fight with them, as well as give a special power, such as more sp, decreased enemy weight for better knockback, etc. Install genre and modify code are similar to each other, modify code allowing Arata to change something in the battle, like the type of corruption crystals that are on the ground, decrease corruption of the team or enemies, stuff that has big impact, while change genre is as simple as Arata simply changing the genre of the game for one turn of the current character to anything from puzzle to fighting.

Now, to the actual combat, which is the best part in the game for myself, at least. When you go into combat, the character you currently control has up to 3 moves they can make from a list of skills and abilities, some that drain your sp bar. You can regain sp by walking over corruption crystals on the ground of the battlefield or using a sp regen item you can buy from the shop. However, corruption is an important mechanic as Shina, as well as her compatriots, gain a percentage of corruption by walking over corruption crystals and, at eighty percent corruption, enter a glitched mode where their personality changes, as does their look, and they gain access to a glitched-only attack when used as the third ability, with no cost. These moves are super-powered and guaranteed an instant kill on most small enemies, with tough enemies and bosses like the etoma queens taking heavy damage from them. Some abilities also ensure knockback, which, after the third move in an attack set, will send the enemy backwards from their position and into other enemies or the wall, causing them to bounce around the field and take extra damage.

As much as I enjoyed the gameplay of Death end re;Quest, there are some mechanics that don’t quite work or if they do, they are not as effective as they could be. The first one is the attribute system, which functions as a “what does better to what type of enemy” system, and while it does work, there are times you will use an enemy’s weakness against them and have it do nothing for damage, where an attack they resist nearly kills them in one set of attacks. This felt off-putting, as I had to decide-do I follow the damage chart or go with something random and see what works better? The other thing I wanted to bring up was the varying difficulty curbs the game throws at you as you progress. RPGs, especially JRPGs for that matter, like to challenge the player from time to time, which I do not mind, but when a whole section of the game becomes a slog to get through because of the enemies getting tougher without warning, be it you’re underleveled or just natural monster strength, makes the player feel like their work until now has been for naught.

Stepping up to the plate, the presentation of Death end re;Quest is colorful, with plenty of detail to go around, and a soundtrack that, while not a perfect fit across the game, stands out. Visually, Death end re;Quest follows a similar art style to some of the more recent Idea Factory games, which is not a bad thing, as this style holds up well to JRPGs of this nature. When the art pulls away from this style, though, it shines as you can see more linework, especially with the buggy designs and smaller event pictures. The backgrounds, alongside the combat visuals, stand out, as you see the impact the weapons on the ground and the enemies face shift to wincing. The character art is where the uniqueness of this game comes in, as you can tell where certain designs, like the spider legs on Shina as an example, show the level of detail the artist put into the small pieces that stand out.

Mixing genre types with music can be a tough call, but here in Death end re;Quest, it works out decently for the majority of the game. The soundtrack in Death end re;Quest is a mix of genres, which is nice, as you have the calm piano taking on a different role, where, now, it becomes this action-filled combat focused tune, with more aggressive instruments like drums, take a more mellow back seat to classical pieces. As I stated prior, this does not always work to the soundtrack’s advantage in some locations. but for eighty to ninety percent of the soundtrack, it fits nicely. The sound effects used here are spot on throughout, which is solid, as hearing a bastard sword slam into the ground or a ball of firey energy explode amplifies the combat experience. I cannot forget the voice acting presented here as well, which is excellent. The VA’s did a fantastic job of giving the lines, applying the right amount of emotion into them to sell those intense feelings of hatred or wallows of sadness.

Overall, I found Death end re;Quest to be a fantastic JRPG, with enough unique elements, such as the glitch forms, knockback in combat and intricate story to keep the fun going for hours on end, even with the negatives it has going into it. The immersive, yet intricate story, multiple game endings, unique game mechanics, detailed but impressive visuals, and a mixed instrumental soundtrack make this JRPG stand out from the crowd.


  • An immersive and intricate story experience
  • Multiple game endings, including bad endings
  • Unique game mechanics that keep combat fresh
  • The detailed, yet impressive visuals
  • A solid mixed instrumental soundtrack


  • General story pacing issues throughout
  • Difficulty spikes throughout the story

DarkLunarDude gives Death end re;Quest a Drastik Moé Blobs of 8.5 out of 10.0 (85)

For the price of $59.99 (USD) on the PlayStation Network, I can easily recommend Death end re;Quest to RPG players, with the unique premise this game has to offer and over thirty plus hours worth of content currently here.

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