Release Date: August 13, 2020 (North America)
Publishers: Aksys Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: +17 M (Mature)
NOTE: All the contents of CxM Unlimited are tied to the first game. With that said, I don’t recommend playing this game if you haven’t touched nor finished Collar x Malice.
ART AND MUSIC
The artist, Hanamura Mai was still in-charge of Unlimited’s character design and overall art. The sprite’s change of outfits was very refreshing to see. Some characters have three outfit changes in the game iirc, (office, casual, and bedroom). The CG’s are absolutely stunning which is by far one of my favorite aspects in CxM Unlimited.
We also have Uta Natsume to thank for her adorable chibi art in Unlimited.
Fun Fact: Uta Natsume is mostly in-charge of Otomate’s chibi artworks (e.g. Clock Zero, Code Realize, Amnesia series, and more). You can get her artbook here.
Plastic Tree still performed the game’s OP as well as one of the game’s ED songs. The new ED song “Cityscape” performed by Asaka was probably my favorite out of all the themes as it fits really well with each of the main casts’ romantic endings. Listen to the sample track below:
“Cityscape” is the fifth track of Asaka’s mini-album called “19BOX”. You can buy her entire album in iTunes.
Fun Fact: Asaka also performed this song live during 2019’s Otomate Party after a CxM Unlimited skit.
There’s no recommended play order for this fandisc. So by all means, play whichever variation you like. To enjoy the game fully, my suggestion would be to start with a favorite first and save another favorite for last.
Be warned, this fandisc is rated M (Mature), there will be implied sex and a whole lot of steamy content so do yourself a favor, grab a fan and turn the AC on blast cause it’s going to get extremely hot in heeeeere! 🥵💦🥵💦
STEAM METER: 10/10
This After-story takes place right after solving the X-Day cases (during Mineo’s route of the first game). Ichika and Mineo officially became a couple and Mineo was now reinstated back in Shinjuku’s Field Ops 2. Since both he and Ichika works in the same building, they get to spend a lot of time together, especially during lunch breaks where the couple meets up at Shinjuku station’s rooftop to share and enjoy Ichika’s prepared bento. Mineo has also moved out of Yanagi’s place and got his own apartment right next to Ichika’s, so he can easily visit her and Kazuki, as well as quickly come to their aid if need be.
I never expected this, but Mineo’s after-story was probably one of the BEST in the entire fandisc. Almost all of the dialogues are hilarious af, I was laughing out loud the whole time! 😂 It was also very refreshing to see Mineo in action with Satake during their police patrols. You’d think he’d still be this bumbling idiot from the first game but he’s practically learned now and a lot smarter too! His romance with Ichika was definitely the cherry on top of this route. I just loved their relationship dynamics and you have no idea how much I’ve replayed and re-read their first night together that was described in detail! (yes, it was steamy as heck!) 💦 💦 💦 Mineo is also the only main character that genuinely develops a natural bond with the heroine’s younger brother, Kazuki, which to me was definitely a plus.
STEAM METER: 8/10
Takeru’s after-story continues right after his route’s best ending where he teams up with Commissioner Minegishi’s Investigation crew to track down and arrest all of Adonis members ending Shinjuku’s dreaded X-Day incidents. Sasazuka is now back working in HQ’s Cybercrime Division and is constantly flooded with work on a daily basis making it hard for him to see his girlfriend, Ichika. To make up for their lost time together, Ichika agrees to move in to Takeru’s apartment for two weeks to test and see how well they get along with each other while living under one roof. Also, in this after-story, Takeru takes Ichika on a short vacation trip to New York City.
Takeru easily became my #2 in the first game that I couldn’t wait to play his story in Unlimited. As expected, I am very pleased with how his story was paced. It had the right amount of ‘dokis’ and actual plot content to get me plowing down his route in one sitting.😅 Their two-week stay-together was probably my favorite part because your thirsty boi Takeru just wouldn’t let Ichika sleep every night! 😉💦 😂 But besides these fanservicey content 😂that I personally devoured, I’m also glad that this route touched more on Sasazuka’s family, e.g. his cool and casual relationship with his dad and his feelings towards his mom’s death. It was also enamoring to see how Ichika has changed Takeru to not only open up to her but also to other people he treats as his allies. I love seeing this tsun boi’s soft side and the improvement in his relationship with Ichika’s brother, Kazuki even surprised me.😊
STEAM METER: 6/10
Right after Ichika gained her memories back, Shiraishi turned himself in and confessed all of his crimes as an Adonis agent. He also provided intel for Investigations HQ to track down Adonis’s base and because of his constant cooperation with the police, they were able to arrest all of Adonis’s members and put them all in bars. Ichika is now back working in the SRCPO Division and Shiraishi has been put in special arrest and now lives in his cool looking prison cell. One day, an Adonis prisoner escaped, and is out to take revenge on Shiraishi with the goal of killing him and everyone related to him.
I’m actually *kind of * disappointed with Shiraishi’s after-story since half of it (including a couple of CGs) were merely flashbacks of his route in the first game. I can’t say I disliked it though since I’ve at least enjoyed discovering more about Shiraishi’s past, e.g. how he lived in the Sandbox as #14 and how his budding friendship with Rei Mikuni started. Just like the first game, Shiraishi’s story in Unlimited made me really sad, 😢 his internal monologues (in prison) were truly heart-rending and I feel like, out of the entire game, he was the only character that was genuinely copped out of fanservice content 😢. I wasn’t enthused with the revival of X-Day in this story either as the event took 3 chapters of his route, leaving only one chapter of him doing lovey-dovey scenes with the heroine. 😩
STEAM METER: 8/10
Three months after the X-Day incidents were resolved. Ichika’s wounds have finally healed and she’s now back working in Shinjuku’s SRCPO Division. Kei was assigned back in HQ and has been training really hard for his new VIP missions. Whenever the couple finds free time on their end that matches both of their schedules, they meet up at Kei’s place for some make-out sessions lol. 😂💦 Kei, predominantly in this story, is still conflicted with his goals and desires between being an SP officer and being Ichika’s lover. Ichika on the other hand tries her hardest to meet her “airhead” SP boyfriend halfway.
Coming from a Kei fan of the first game, I find this route a little unsatisfying. Sure, the love scenese were definitely on fire but it felt like the couple struggled a lot when it comes to trust and compatibility. Kei (at the start) was still his same ol’ reckless abandon self and Ichika was yet again feeling uneasy regarding Kei’s carelessness when it comes to making life-threatening choices (Seriously though, (；￣Д￣) weren’t these *issues* already resolved in the first game??). For the most part, this story only moved forward when Kei and Ichika’s friends started helping them resolve their silly misunderstanding. It was nice seeing Yoshinari smacking the sh*t out of his senpai for acting like a total jerk🤣 and Yanagi talking some sense out of Kei over some drinks. I also find it interesting to see Kei struggle with his complicated semi-yandere self towards his love and obsession for the heroine. I can’t say this after-story was a let down because I did enjoy its conflict and resolution and all the CGs were a sight for sore eyes. It was nice to see Kei, improve himself overall, as a person and not just as Ichika’s lover. I just wished there was more fluff (and maybe actual plot) than silly random squabbles in this route tis’ all! heh.😅
STEAM METER: 10/10
The X-Day incidents have finally ended. With the arrest of all Adonis members including their leader, Zero, which surprisingly was the heroine’s best friend, Saeki, Shinjuku has now lifted its quarantine and is slowly going back to normal. Aiji opens up his own (independent) private detective agency and Ichika continues to work for the SRCPO Division. Since both Takeru and Mineo went back to the police force, Aiji lives alone in his office, and Ichika often visits him there so they can 😉*spend time together*. The main conflict of this story started when one fine day, an unexpected visitor shows up which turned out to be Yuji Yanagi, Aiji’s older brother. He harshly demands Aiji to quit his detective job and get his career back in the police department and moreover, threatens that he’ll do whatever it takes for this to happen.
Well, as expected with CxM’s true route/poster boi, he gets the BEST after-story of them all. I’m not even complaining here. On the contrary, Aiji’s Unlimited route had me grinning from ear to ear the entire time.🥰 I loved it! It was really gratifying to finally delve into Aiji’s past as a rebellious delinquent and discover the kind of relationship he’s had with his older brother Yuji. It was also such a treat to know more about Yuji Yanagi (who’s apparently a tsundere by heart)🤣 and see Aiji as a doting ojisan towards his baby niece. This is probably the only after-story in the game that has no lingering unresolved malice from start to finish and I pretty much enjoyed all the fluff, not to mention the exuberating steamy content of this route to bits. If your best boi in the first game was Aiji Yanagi, you will be extremely pleased with this one.
There are three Side stories in Collar x Malice Unlimited. “Onward”, which is Kazuki’s story, “Pride” which features Seiji Minegishi’s story, and “Crossroads” which features Hideaki Yoshinari’s POV story.
ONWARD (KAZUKI HOSHINO)
Onward, centers around Kazuki Hoshino’s POV. Mainly, his experience during his first days in Tokyo, how he met and became friends with Akito, and how his life went on during the X-Day incidents of the first game.
I thought this was absolutely precious!
I just wanna give Kazuki and Akito a big hug and feed them ice cream! 🥺 It’s nice to have a side story that’s not romance focused for once, but rather touches on family relationships and genuine friendships. This side story was a truly refreshing read!
PRIDE (SEIJI MINEGISHI)
Seiji Minegishi’s side story, Pride, begins right after the X-Day incidents were resolved. In this story, Minegishi was leading his Investigations team in solving a kidnapping incident where they team up with Ichika and Mochida in the SRCPO Division.
I wasn’t too charmed about this side story tbh, because I think Ichika and Minegishi’s incompatibility is pretty blinding. I like Seiji as a character in general and I do love his mature take when it comes to romance and relationships but as Ichika’s love interest?😐 Nah. I was expecting a lot of fluff but their romance felt like one of those (Boss x employee) forced pairings in mobages, I just can’t.ヽ(´ー` )┌
CROSSROADS (HIDEAKI YOSHINARI)
Crossroads, tells the story of Yoshinari’s first encounter with Ichika, how he became close friends with the heroine’s brother Kazuki, and how he slowly and strongly falls in love with our lovely protagonist, during the X-Day timeline.
What’s really delightful about this side story was that it was all told and narrated in Yoshinari’s POV. That said, his two whole chapters were extra hilarious that it quickly became one of my absolute favs. in this fandisc. It was like a romantic-comedy skit starring your SP boy Yoshinari, trying to help repair Ichika and Kazuki’s sibling relationship while he mulls over his one-sided love for the heroine. I honestly wished there were more chapters for this!
ANOTHER STORY (ADONIS)
!WARNING SPOILERS! This story continues one of the bad endings of the first game (particularly in Aiji’s route) where Ichika joins Zero and becomes a member of Adonis. Consider it an alternate universe where everyone dies, and Ichika is left to join the terrorist group she loathes so much and becomes Zero’s loyal lackey. The story starts with Zero giving orders to Ichika to investigate all the agents of Adonis, with the intent of finding a traitor among the members.
This was honestly, rather interesting because you’re actually conversing with these so-called *bad guys* as one of them, so most of the interactions were quite amicable and surprisingly, even precious to an extent. I believe this was written so we can all see the other side of the executioners as normal human beings that were only lead astray by malice due to godawful circumstances they’ve dealt with in the past which drove them to seek revenge. I like that this AU story made it profound that they get no redemption from what they did and it was kinda sad to realize that most of them are just waiting for their doom, knowing their lives can never go back to normal. 😢
!WARNING SPOILERS! Zero’s story took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it’d turn out darker than I anticipated. This story kinda reminded me a bit with Kei’s route (in CxM) where Kei was so fixated with his death wish. The only difference was that Kei wanted to die while protecting Ichika while Zero wanted Ichika to end him. Nonetheless, I’m glad how the writers actually went with this, because I don’t think Saeki can ever be saved. He knew what he had done and he knew he can never be forgiven. Again, they made it clear as day how far he’s already receded with the malice brooding inside of him. It’s as if there was nothing left for him but to desperately seek for salvation and his fixation that Ichika is the only one that can deliver this was his true unspoken goal.
My fav. part was Ichika wishing that maybe in another timeline or another universe, she can be allowed to live a happy life with Saeki.😥 This story was really bittersweet and tragic, and strangely enough, I don’t think I would’ve wanted it in any other way!
SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
I wish I could say the localization has improved but sadly, it hasn’t. The typos actually didn’t bother me, but it was a bit concerning to see missing text boxes in the game from time to time. I wouldn’t say this will hinder your progress though, it was just kind of tiresome to repetitively see these flaws in the game. ┐( ´ д ` )┌
Collar x Malice Unlimited’s system was quite similar to the first game, Collar x Malice, as far as how the title menu, albums, dictionary, and BGM collection works. They’ve also added a few bonus features for each main cast and side character/s of the game. These bonus features are:
LEAF – (only exclusive to the main casts) are random text message exchanges by Ichika and her love interest throughout the day.
SHORT STORY – only unlocks after finishing a character’s (including side characters) after-story. Just like the first game, these stories usually happen right after the end of each route.
VOICE RECORDER – are recordings of each character’s (including some side characters) self-introduction, hobbies, likes and dislikes, and a few other things. This was a fav. feature of mine because it included a section for hot daddy, Hajime Morioka. 😍
It took me about 40-45 hours to complete the entire game, including unlocking all of its possible endings. Each after-story has two endings. You’ll have the “Best Ending” which usually comes with a CG at the end, and the “Normal Ending” which doesn’t. Surprisingly, there were “Bad Ends” too but you’ll only stumble on them during the game’s Prologue. If you’d rather not bother with the bad ends make sure to follow the guides I’ve linked above.
If I had to pick a favorite after-story I’d have to say Aiji Yanagi wins the poll, followed by Mineo. Yoshinari’s side story was hysterically one of the funniest chapters in the game, so if you’re a fan of this precious bean, this is something to look forward to. I’ve enjoyed all the interactions with the executioners but the ones that really stood out (to me) were Sanjo🍜 (and his love for ramen) and the endearing episodes of the Uno twins.
As an avid fan of the first game, playing Collar x Malice Unlimited was definitely a pleasurable ride and experience. I have no major problems with this fandisc, though if I had to nitpick, I’ll say the missing text boxes and prominent typos weren’t really aesthetically pleasing to the eye and maybe I was just a tiny bit unsated with Kei and Shiraishi’s route but other than that, this game ultimately satisfied me to the core!٩(｡•́‿•̀｡)۶
Do I recommend this game? YES
If you’re a fan of Collar x Malice, can’t get enough of its characters, want more stories and romantic episodes with the main cast, do yourself a favor and get this game. I’m totally 100% vouching you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with CxM Unlimited. Honestly, the series itself is worth checking out. There aren’t a lot of otome games that’ll knock your socks off like Collar x Malice and there aren’t a lot of otome game fandiscs that’ll truly deliver top-grade satisfaction like Collar x Malice Unlimited. So go ahead, treat yourself with this gem!😉