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Everyone demands that every game meet the every rising standards of game design. Not every game can be a Final Fantasy Tactics and this game clearly isn’t. But when you look at game vs cost this isn’t bad considering you’re getting a full playable game for not a lot of dough. I’ve played a lot of clunkers. The game isn’t bad, it’s just not that good. And for $5.00, it’s alright.
18th Gate definitely holds some appeal and may strike a chord with devoted strategy fans, but it's very much an acquired taste. The first hour or so is a bitter experience, and it's only once you've accepted and begrudgingly adapted to its restrictions that it becomes enjoyable in any way. Underneath its flaws there's a half-decent hardcore strategy game, but whether you uncover it is all down to how patient you are.
Masquerading as an RPG, this puzzle/strategy game makes me want to never play a dungeon crawler ever again. With only 18 stages, the game wastes little time before throwing you into the deep end. I had to sacrifice a few rounds each level to learn what a button did or why the screen was moving all over the place. Also, not letting units wait out a turn or two instead of throwing them into a pit full of monsters kind of irked me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a challenge. This just wasn’t any fun at all. With lackluster gameplay, grueling maps accompanied by enemies that are just cheap, and no real replay value, this game will not appeal to many.
18th Gate wasn’t an attempt at making an interesting, engaging or even entertaining game. It’s nothing more than cynical exploitation – exploiting the last of DSiWare support and exploiting the people that still check in with DSiWare releases. As such it’s an utterly offensive piece of trash.