Lapis x Labyrinth - Exclusive Interview
Release Date: 31st May 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4
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Q1. Since Lapis x Labyrinth is a new IP for Nippon Ichi Software, what similar games can players look at when it comes to figuring out the type of game it is?
AC: Lapis x Labyrinth is a 2D action game, and it’s kind of similar to games like Spelunky or Terraria in that aspect, but what really differentiates it is that you can choose different classes and take all of them to battle at same with the Dango system, and also it a really fast-paced game.
AJ: With the games that were previously mentioned they tend to have everything is based within one giant world, whereas Lapis x Labyrinth lets players take on different contracts, which are allocated as different levels. So instead of being rouge-like its much more level based!
Q2. Lapis x Labyrinth has platforming elements in it, is it safe to say previously released platformers like the Prinny series and The Blind Prince & The Liar Princess have had an influence on it?
AJ: As far as the titles you’ve mentioned, I’m not sure they had some influence on the development of Lapis x Labyrinth, but it hard to since I wasn’t directly involved with the development of the game. All I can say is that having played the Prinny games and Lapis x Labyrinth there’s a really big difference. The platforming in the Prinny series is a bit more precise, whereas Lapis x Labyrinth focuses more on the exploratory platforming side of things.
Q3. In Lapis x Labyrinth there’s the stacking mechanic, which is somewhat of a Disgaea influence in the game, What benefits does this mechanic have for players when playing?
AC: There are two major ones that I can think of right now! The first is that you can take multiple characters of your team in combat at the same time, and are able to switch between them at any given moment. This matter because each of the classes has different abilities, some are better at ranged combat situations and some is better at close up combat situations. This gives players a wide range of abilities they can cycle through in order to find one that suits the situation they’re presented with. The second thing is that players are able to jump off stacked characters and reach higher areas of the level.
AJ: The game allows players to customize their own experience in a sense, as they’re allowed to customize each of the classes and characteristics of members their party, which is more to akin to how can customize your party members in Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk. So players are to customize hairstyles, name, voice and nature of the character.
Q4. With the different character classes in Lapis x Labyrinth, how does the game encourage using all the class types and their abilities, so players can find out which is suitable for their intended playstyle?
AC: I think the game wants players to utilize as many classes as possible because the Dango system is sort of arranged to do that in a sense. As you go further into the dungeon, and if you die there is a penalty where you’ll lose the items you’ve gotten, which is quite similar to a rogue-like. But, if you felt like the types of monsters you were facing were more suited to having a ranged attacker, then you’d feel more enticed to switch to such a character. To summarise I think the game is really open to letting you try as many classes as you want with the use of the Dango system.
Q5. How does Lapis x Labyrinth manage to achieve replayability and longevity?
AJ: I know we keep on harping on the Dango system, but with this system really encourage replayability. For instance, each contract you take on is actually created and isn’t randomly generated, and after completing each contract players are ranked based on how successfully they cleared it.
Q6. Lapis x Labyrinth will be launching as a limited edition, what was the decision for releasing the game this way, compared to other games you’ve previously released? And can fans expect future titles to release in such a way as well?
AJ: This is something we’re constantly working on, and we’re trying to find the right between what certain people want out of games and we know that some people didn’t appreciate some of the price points for games that were a little bit smaller in terms of scope. We do know there’s also a real demand for really cool editions for games, like having games come with art books or soundtracks, so we want to make sure that people who want that nice being able to get such as the edition of the game and have a nice choice to choose from.
Instead of having the one price point across the board for everyone, we're trying to reach people who are interested at these games at different levels, like people who want to collect things or maybe people not able to spend a lot of money. In the US were actually doing this with The Liar Princess & the Blind Prince where we saw we couldn’t bring it to Europe, but we were able to make a special edition for retail and the digital release came out at a smaller price.