For those of you that did not know, I am a sucker for an otome visual novel game on my Vita. Even though the Vita is “dead”, the year 2017 seems to be helping the console flourish with the push to bring more visual novels to the system. If this is the last hurrah, I am all for it and can only hope my wallet is ready. With that in mind, I wanted to share my thoughts on this game after playing for a few hours.
This article may contain spoilers for the prologue chapter of the game so beware.
This game follows the story of a no-named heroine, I believe her cannon name is Kazuha, on a journey to find out what happened to her missing brother, Shiki. You realize you hadn’t heard from him in a few days, which is unusual, so you want to check up on him. In the meantime you are joined by your estranged childhood friend Hiroya, who decides to come find you when your brother has not logged on to an MMORPG called Arcadia that they play together.
You get to his apartment, find nothing in disarray but his computer monitor is still on logged into the mysterious Server 5. Hiroya fills you in on some rumors surrounding the server, which could be dangerous, so of course you decide to make your own character on the game too. Despite filling out all the information correctly, you are transported to Server 5 with Hiroya and given the class “Almighty” without knowing what any of that even means. You are then notified by the game’s system that you are trapped in the world, very SAO or Log Horizon like, and can only return to the “real world” briefly by completing special quests. Being an MMO noob, you are all kinds of helpless as you wait for the dashing cast of men to help you save the day and uncover the mysteries of the game.
I have only completed two routes so far and while I don’t have a favorite guy to romance I can appreciate the tropes they are putting out. Most of them relate to the stereotypes of MMO players and since I play Final Fantasy 14, this made the experience more enjoyable. I will say that with the games M rating I was expecting a bit more... suggestive themes. I would say along the lines of Hakuoki but it appears like the rating might be too high. I need to play the rest to be sure but we shall see. Overall I have enjoyed their stories and the bad ends have a mix of “oh that doesn’t seem too bad” until it goes to the “but oh man, that makes it fucked up” as the scene plays out.
It is a visual novel so it is point and click per usual. However, this game likes to give the illusion that the player is playing the MMO so there will be some sequences where it starts a battle scene and you have to pick attacks to use. It’s a nice touch and on some routes can unlock other characters to romance.
The other touch that I do like is the ability to skip to certain parts of the story to make different choices once you get a complete ending. In the “history” tab, players are greeting with a flow chart that has all of the chapters outlined and show how the characters split off from the main story arc. As an added bonus, you can change the affection and Almighty levels of the protagonist from this screen without replaying the whole thing over again to get a specific ending. Yes please!
Usually when I play these games I wonder what the extra replayability will be once it’s all over. Unfortunately their doesn’t appear to be much to do at the complete end. You get the standard fare of BGMs, CGs and Movie play back but not too much else. When you do get the good end to a route there is an extra snippet of story when you click on each characters profile.
Overall, I am enjoying my time with the game and I look forward to finishing all the routes. If you love visual novels and otome games definitely pick it up so they can send more over. Why should Japan have all the fun?
Until Next Time,
This game is available 4.28. 17 for purchase on the Playstation Vita and published by Aksys Games.
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DreaPoetic is your favorite neighborhood Otaku and JRPG enthusiast for the TAY family. You can follow me on Twitter at @Drea_Poetic04.