Release Date: June 9, 2022 (Worldwide)
Developers: Voltage Inc.
Publishers: Voltage Inc.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
In a world where witch trials and witch hunts are commonplace, a tragedy occurs.
Bolstered by the power to rewind time via death, the heroine Anastasia throws herself into the flames to save those she loves… and to achieve sweet revenge.
Though born the daughter of a marquess, Anastasia suffers physical and spiritual violence at the hands of her stepmother day in and day out. The joy she had found at suffering’s end is also ultimately robbed from her by someone she trusts. As she burns at the stake, Anastasia obtains the grotesque “Fatal Rewind” ability.
“This time, I will transform into the ideal version of myself.”
With this oath branded in her heart, Anastasia begins her life anew.
But this resolve will only lead to further misfortune.
The curtain rises on the Carnival, and this witch trial shall herald the end.
ART AND MUSIC
Norita, a freelance artist/illustrator who’s worked on previous joseimuke projects, was in charge of Even If Tempest’s overall character design. Their previous works include DMM’s Namu Amida Buddha! (mobile game), Beast Darling, and Otomate’s RUNLIMIT (Drama CD). They’ve also illustrated a few Touken Ranbu and Danganropa comic cover arts in the past. As much as I loved this artist’s previous works, I’m not exactly a big fan of Even If Tempest’s character sprites. Comparing it to other commercial games, I thought they were a tad average. I adore the CGs for this game though! The background art was also nicely done, and the game credits art director/artist Minoru Akiba for it. Their previous projects involved a few well-known anime shows and movies like School Rumble, Trigun (the movie), Pokemon XY (the movie), Goulart Knights, and many more.
Shunsuke Tsuchiya from Procyon Studios composed and arranged the game’s soundtrack. Their previous work includes the bone-chilling soundtrack of Rejet’s popular series Black Wolves Saga.
Makoto Furukawa as “Crius Castlerock” – Yoritomo (Birushana), Lugus (Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk), Allan Melville (Cupid Parasite), Adage (Steam Prison), Ookurikara (Touken Ranbu), Kazuma Kamikubo (Lover Pretend)
Noriaki Sugiyama as “Tyril I Lister” – Akito (Norn9), Konnosuke (Touken Ranbu), Toranosuke (Clock Zero), Thor (Kamigami no Asobi), Baron of Aiguille (Code Realize), Galle Kashika (Cendrillon Palika)
Shunsuke Takeuchi as “Zenn Sorfield” – Inaba Gou (Touken Ranbu), Akechi Mitsuhide (IkeSen), Juuza Hyoudo (A3!), Kirara (Side Kicks!), Zora (Bustafellows), Salum (RE:Zero)
Kaito Ishikawa as “Lucien Neuschburn” – Il Fado de Rie (Cafe Enchante), Marius (Tears of Themis), Dante Falzone (Piofiore), Alan Crawford (Midnight Cinderella), Dimitri (Fire Emblem Three Houses), Kasen Kanesada (Touken Ranbu)
Tetsuya Kakihara as “The Witch of Ruin“ – Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Shin (Amnesia), Uguisumaru (Touken Ranbu), Isora (7Scarlet), Carmen (Bustafellows), Clyde King (Iris School of Wizardry)
Suzuko Mimori as “Maya Kirkland” – Nanami Momozono (Kamisama Kiss), Umi Sonoda (Love Live), Suzune (Tokyo Ghoul), Maria Arusu (Date A Live), Hinae Arimura (CHAOS;CHILD)
Ryuichi Kijima as “Mael Diaz” – Hifumi (Hynosis Mic), Shiranui (Dororo), Humbert Zizek (Sword Art Online), Yukio Mamia (Choice x Darling), Mitsuki (Boruto)
CHARACTERS AND ROUTES
Even If Tempest forces you to go through a specific playing order. You can only select either Crius or Tyril’s route at the start. Once both routes are cleared, the game automatically launches you to Zenn’s story. After clearing Zenn’s chapters, Lucien’s route unlocks last.
My soft recommended route order would be Crius → Tyril → Zenn → Lucien → ???. I think Crius’s story had the least revelations compared to Tyril’s, and the trial (aka carnival) in his route was stupidly easy to solve. Hence, the reason why I’m recommending him first. Though, plotwise, I don’t think it matters, to be honest.
- playboy with layers
a good boi
Crius is the vice commander of the Wings of Garuda, an order that takes care of the Goddess’s favored birds. Due to his refined good looks, chivalrous demeanor, and to-die-for smile, he is rather popular with the ladies. The heroine Anastasia, became his subordinate when she entered the Wings of Garuda to become a knight.
I joked about how the first half of Crius’s route should be titled ‘How to take care of birb 101’ because that was literally the main focus of his route the first few hours in.😂 Anastasia busies herself by taking care of her garuda, Huma, while Crius happily compliments her effort. Then comes the Carnival (basically the trials for this game), where Crius’s presence was barely there the entire episode. Sure, he was around helping the heroine with the investigations, but take him out of the picture, and the plot stays unchanged. I honestly feel that Crius shined more as a character on other routes (particularly Zenn’s) than his own. I do want to commend how he stayed very consistent throughout the game. He’s certainly the type that would always put others first before him. And true to his knightly nature, he remained very gallant til the very end.
Sadly, the romance here felt very rushed. At one point, we see Anastasia still recuperating from her first Carnival experience, when the story immediately fast forwards to a few weeks later, with Crius taking her out on a date. Huh?🤔 The story’s sudden jump from serious to forced fluff out of nowhere was a little jarring, to be quite honest. It’s just a lot of things happening all at the same time. The odd pacing did not leave any room for the story to breathe, nor for the characters’ relationship to develop to their full potential. The only saving grace this route had to offer was its finale chapter, which I think had the most *romance* out of everyone. Also, special shout out to Crius’s ‘sad love ending’…so twisted, yet so good! 🥵
TYRIL I LISTER
- tsundere with a whip!
- surprise gap moe
Tyril is the top dog inquisitor in Hystorica. Though he’s very abrasive and stern upfront, his subordinates respect him for being sharp, quick-witted, and always on top of his game. His exceptional deducting skills are second to none. He speaks harshly, and his intimidating whip makes him look imposing and unapproachable to others. Because of this, Crius and Zenn are his only close friends.
Tyril’s route was a great palate-cleanser from Crius’s whiplash of wacky events. This route was profoundly well written and, in my opinion, probably the best in the game. It hit all the marks when it came down to having a flawless story progression. Right off the bat, you’re already thrown into action with the forthcoming Carnival, and the heroine was given ample chances to shine by having lots of agency with her task at hand to investigate the murder case along with Tyril. The pacing in his route was just so good that it kept me on edge the whole time.
This route also allowed enough time for Anastasia and Tyril to get close and build up their trust in each other. Their banters were so enjoyable, and I love seeing Anastasia get flustered when she started acknowledging her admiration for Tyril and vice-versa. Tyril, as a love interest, was also really good. His surprise gap moe gets me every time! Like, bruh drop the receipt. I’m buying this romance!😍
- mysterious, tragic, angst
- marlboro daddy-kun?
- !!Some Spoilers!!
Zenn is a character whose age and background remain shrouded in mystery. His quiet and tough disposition along with his large build makes him look intimidating to others, and a lot of troublemakers stay out of his way out of fear.
After clearing Crius and Tyril’s route, you are immediately thrown flat-out into Zenn’s story, which was craaaaazy!😱 And I loved it! I loved the conversation between Rune and Anastasia prior to this route. I loved how Anastasia asked for her memories back from Crius and Tyril’s timeline and went full throttle to Zenn’s story………..remembering………EVERYTHING! OMG it’s so wild! 😱 The start of Zenn’s route was perhaps peak plot in Even If Tempest. We’re also getting to see more of the Witch of Ruin here and his looming twisted intentions.
I’m loving the fact that Anastasia finds an ally in Zenn, and they both endlessly work hand in hand together to win the Carnival. Their dynamic as partners were excellent. Though, I can’t help but feel bad for the heroine here. Now that she remembers her encounters with the two guys she previously loved in the preceding routes (Crius and Tyril). It’s just tragic to meet them again in a completely different timeline where not only do they forget about the memories they shared with her, but also the fact that she has to deceive them this time around to save everyone. Ouch! 😭😭😭 This is also the route where Crius shined the most. Unlike in his own story, where he felt underdeveloped as a character, he became such a big player here, especially during the trials. I honestly couldn’t help but simp for him.lol.😩 Just wow…what an upstanding guy!😭 And the fact that you have to betray him was daggers deep to the heart! SOB 😭😭😭
The relationship between Zenn and Anastasia was nothing short of impressive. Albeit, the two being mighty comrades stood out more than being romantically involved. I thought for sure that Zenn loved Anastasia with his all, but I just couldn’t help but feel that his love for her was not fully returned due to Anastasia having so much on her plate. I wish there was more time for them to reflect on their feelings because I honestly thought they possess the potential soulmate arc that was not fully realized during this route due to time constraints.
- cinnamon roll
- b a b y
Lucien is the third-born prince of the Kingdom of Hystorica. Because his mother was not royalty, he’s been bullied by his older brothers all his life. His frail nature has hindered him from getting any supporters. But after the heroine’s first ‘fatal rewind’, he became a changed person and has imminently proven his capabilities, as well as gained a couple of achievements that back up his rightful claim to the throne. A soaring competition against his older brother, Conrad.
What’s interesting about Lucien’s route is that you get to play it from Lucien’s perspective. Half of his route was all about seeing things from Lucien’s POV, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked that Lucien used Anastasia’s criticism about his past weak self as his own guiding light to augment his new persona as the strong-willed “ice prince” we now see after the heroine’s first fatal rewind. It was a nice full-circle moment for Lucien, and I appreciated that. Unfortunately, this route took a huge blow in the head the moment the writers decided to cram a lot of things together when they realized they were running out of time to wrap up necessary storylines. Oh boy! Prepare yourself for a lot of lore dumps, as this route has tons of them. Like massive!😬 (laughs)
Another aspect that got done dirty during this route was the romance or lack thereof. Poor sweet Lucien, he doesn’t deserve this!😭 I feel like out of all the love interests, he was the most that got shafted in every route, including his own. I was honestly surprised when his unrequited love for Anastasia was completely unhandled until the very end of his chapter. There wasn’t any significant scene of Anastasia developing a special bond with Lucien either, unlike the other guys. They did try to fit in some cute flashback scenes with Anastasia and Lucien’s childhood. But I just couldn’t buy the heroine falling suddenly for Lucien, even after his epilogue, which was a shame. At the end of everything, it just felt completely one-sided.😔
ANASTASIA LYNZEL (Main Heroine)
Anastasia’s androgynous look was gorgeous! Though, it’s not only her character design that was stunning, but her character arc as well. I thought she was a brilliantly written protagonist. I love that you’re actually witnessing her character grow and develop in a gradually satisfying progression as the story unfolds in each route. There’s something about Anastasia that reminded me a lot of Jed in Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. It’s not just her pixie-cut hairstyle, but the fact that she’s always picked herself up countless times after being crushed, comes back stronger and is willing to do it all over again.🥺 You can’t help but just be smitten by her! Best girl!
I also find her agreeable and believable to a point where most of the time I’m finding myself muttering “yeah that makes sense” when it comes to her thought process, actions and decisions. She’s someone who will continuously do everything she can to save everyone despite being beaten down so many times. She tries her very best, and it really pains me to see her get hurt and suffer a LOT in the story. Please… I just want my girl to be happy!🥺
I thought she shined the most during Zenn’s story. Having remembered both routes previously has honed her disposition to be more straightforward and direct with her approach to things. And I loved that she didn’t beat around the bush when it came to achieving her goal. The part where she had to betray the people she loved while her inner conscience screamed the opposite hit right in the feels! 😭
Because Anastasia was so involved in the plotline, I really wished she had a visible sprite in the game or a side sprite in the dialogue box. Anything that would indulge the reader to see more of the character they’re rooting for throughout the game! What a waste of opportunity this was.😩 I hope this changes if Voltage ever decides to release another console game.
SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
There are added mechanics in Even If Tempest that makes its gameplay more interactive to players. You have the Investigations segment, where you go through each Sacrificia’s (potential suspects) profiles & converse with them to acquire shreds of evidence. And then you have the Trial segment, where you present your gathered evidence, prove your innocence and choose to indict a culprit. The trials will also have timed choices, and selecting the wrong answers or responding too late can completely throw you to a bad ending. If you’re playing blind, be sure to save on every choice there is during the Carnivals.
As for the localization, besides some occasional typos here and there, I didn’t see any glaring issues that made me twitch my eyebrows. I do want to bring up that the game crashed for me numerous times during the first week of its release. The crashes were really bothersome that I had to put off playing the game for a couple of days until the devs released a patch fixing this bug.
The audio quality for the voices was also pretty bad in comparison to other commercial games. The voices sounded granulated and muffled. It was pretty distracting, to be honest!☹️ I played both docked and handheld and it didn’t make a lick of a difference regardless. It’s such a shame since the game showcased an A-list seiyuu lineup.😞
On a different note, the animations for Even If Tempest were absolutely breathtaking. The cut scenes that play out every time Anastasia does her ‘fatal rewind’ and the time-lapse scene indicating that the Carnival was about to begin were very encapsulating. And I really appreciated these little added effects that made the game even more enthralling than it already is.
I’ve seen a lot of comments saying the game was ‘too dark’, but I really don’t think it was. Though sometimes I feel like I’m just too jaded when it comes to darker content in fiction, so take this with a grain of salt. There will be lots of violence, deaths, and few mentions of carnage and gore (body being dismembered, etc.). There was also one scene on Tyril’s route where it got a little macabre, but it was mainly for shock value. There are noncons on bad ends as well.
While the entire game was rather short, I actually took my time playing this title instead of blazing through it. I played mostly with my switch docked while having the game play out on auto mode. That said, my total hours were around 40-45, give or take. This includes unlocking all the bad, and dead ends.
EVEN IF T…OWN OF SALEM?
I joked about this in passing, but if I had to describe Even If Tempest as a visual novel, it’d be: “If Town of Salem and Raging Loop had a baby, and that baby is an otome game.”😂 How the social deduction aspect was incorporated into its gameplay was very Town-of-Salem-esque, and the fact that Anastasia could loop back in time after death was very akin to Haruaki’s dilemma in Raging Loop. 🤣🤣🤣 As much as I enjoyed these facets of the game, I admit, initially, I wasn’t too impressed by it because it has been done so many times.
As for the plot, it certainly has its highs and lows. Starting with the positives, the game was really good in pulling you in with its mysterious, uncanny atmosphere. The events alone in the prologue perfectly set the mood for what’s about to come in the impending routes, not to mention the inevitable witch trials. The heroine, was very involved in the entire plot, and she has so much agency – you can’t help but root for her all the way. The LIs were also very relevant, and they served a purpose one way or another that made the story work as a whole. I also thought it was clever that the game propels you automatically from one route to the next without warning. It was one unique experience I rarely see in otome games.
Unfortunately, just as I had feared, the game suffers from too many exposition dumps due to undertaking such huge, ambitious plot machinations. The last few hours in the game seemed to struggle in tying things together, leaving so much room for improvement. There were plot holes after plot holes scattered all around. Most times, the story felt very convoluted as the writers tried to cram too many things all together at once. Sometimes, the characters will decide on doing something that doesn’t make any sense, which only leaves you questioning… why??? I thought the finale was an actual LI route or the heroine’s story. But it turns out it was just a Q&A portion, where the writers tried to piece stuff together, including the glaring plotholes through exposition/lore dumps in brief seconds.(lol) If you can’t amplify your suspension of disbelief, you are going to end up pretty nettled by this.
Click to view Spoilers
Things that bothered me:
If you have played the game and have some theories you don’t mind sharing that may (or may not) answer the questions above, feel free to hit the comments section below and tell me your thoughts!
I think what really got me invested in the game was its fascinating characters. The main cast alone was a very interesting bunch. Everyone was suspicious from the jump, and their banters were so entertaining it made me forget that I’m still cruising on a storyline that didn’t know where it was going. But heck, I was there for the ride! The side characters were so good too! Maya, the heroine’s maid, was such a delight, and I wish she had her own standalone route, be it a friendly one or as a female love interest. I don’t care! I just want Anastasia to be with her. I want them both to be happy! (Kudos to my fav seiyuu Mimorin for making me love this character even more!)😭 Conrad was also a very effective side villain. You really can’t help but hate on his guts, and I like that! I stan an unapologetic human trash. I’d crawl inside his cage if I could!😂 😂 😂
While the love interests were all charming as their own person, I did enjoy Tyril the most out of everyone. His route was also the best imo, in terms of structure, and I really felt the chemistry between him and Anastasia. Crius’s route was a hot mess, but he redeemed himself exceedingly on Zenn’s story. Plus, his epilogue was beautiful, so he gets my vote in second place. Zenn and Lucien were amazing characters who were essential players in the story. But because their routes had too much going on, I thought they failed to emphasize a very believable romantic connection with Anastasia; more times than not, their relationship felt somewhat one-sided.
I’d also like to bring up that because this game is very plot-centered, the romance was pushed waaaaay to the back, that it almost feels like a bonus sometimes. The romantic development between the heroine and most of her LIs left so much room to be explored. Anyone who’s looking for fluff should look elsewhere because this game is not it.
Do I recommend this game? YES.
If you’re itching to play an otome game with a very compelling story, dripping with dark fantasy elements and one unique structure that doesn’t follow the norm, I think you’ll love Even If Tempest. The game definitely had one strong start that’ll immediately pull you in, and I believe this was one of its many charms. I won’t deny it – this title did have some flaws and drawbacks with its writing. However, despite these issues, I really enjoyed this game as a whole, and I honestly wished there was more to it! I’m so glad Voltage went with this as their first original console otome game, and I would love to see them release more titles similar to this in the future!