Release Date: September 22, 2022 (North America)
Publishers: Aksys Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: +17 M (Mature)
***This is a sequel to the first game, Piofiore: Fated Memories. That being said, it is strongly suggested that you complete ‘Fated Memories’ first, before starting Piofiore1926.
TW: Piofiore: Episodio 1926 has a very strong theme of violence, gun violence, bloodshed, gore, death, sexual assault, and non-con/rape on bad endings.
The year is 1926.
The port city of Burlone, known as the “backdoor of Europe,” is home to three powerful mafia families vying for control. Liliana Adornato is a church orphan with a hidden past that is inexorably tied to the fate of the city and the unique marking on her chest. But when a new threat looms over both Burlone and Liliana, the leaders of the Falzone, Visconti, and Lao-Shu families must come together in a temporary truce to retrieve a stolen relic and restore the balance of power.
-(From Aksys Game’s official website for Piofiore Episodio 1926)
ART AND MUSIC
The same staff that worked on the first game, were the very same team that brought us Episodio 1926. The CGs thanks to the artist, RiRi, were still gorgeous as ever, and the BGMs by Shunsuke Wada were nothing short of impressive.
|Director: Asahi Takamura|
|Overall Illustrator: RiRi|
|Scenario Writer: Ringo Kazura|
|BGM: Shunsuke Wada, Hijiri Anze, Naoyuki Osada, Myu|
|OP/ED Themes performed by: Mao and Kaori Oda, SHOJI|
The talented composer Myu, who arranged and composed several OP & ED tracks for prominent Otomate titles (e.i. Code Realize, Period Cube, 7’Scarlet, Cafe Enchante, etc.), has also joined Episodio 1926’s team in the music production department.
Showtaro Morikubo “Gilbert Redford” – Impey Barbicane (Code Realize), Souji Okita (Hakuoki), Toa (7’Scarlet), Jocus (Period Cube), Reiji (Utapri), Troy (Bustafellows)
Ryohei Kimura “Nicola Francesca” – Kageyuki Shiraishi (Collar x Malice), Gil Lovecraft (Cupid Parasite), Kanesada Izuminokami (Touken Ranbu), Shougo Ukai (Nil Admirari)
Toshiyuki Toyonaga “Orlok” – Semi (Dairoku) Seiji Kobayashi (London Detective Mysteria), Takeru Totsuka (Kamigami no Asobi), Natsume (EPHEMERAL)
Nobuhiko Okamoto “Yang” – Hansel (Code Realize), Manabu Souda (Collar x Malice), Hiroya (Period Cube), Peter Flage (Cupid Parasite), Iris (Iris School of Wizardry)
Kaito Ishikawa “Dante Falzone” – Dimitri (FE Three Houses), Il Fado de Rie (Cafe Enchante), Hikage (Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly), Lucien (Even if Tempest), Kasen Kanesada (Touken Ranbu)
Shinnosuke Tachibana “Henri” – White Mask (Bad Apple Wars), Kousei (Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku), Rollan Crydelle (Jakou no Lyla), Koryuu Kagemitsu (Touken Ranbu)
Shunichi Toki “Leo Cavagnis” – Yakumo (Dairoku), Dahut (Shuuen no Virche), Hibie (Winters Wish Spirits of Edo), Matsui Gou (Touken Ranbu), Yuki Rurikawa (A3!)
Tsuda Kenjiro “Yuan” – Chikage Kazama (Hakuoki), Hanzo (Nightshade), Shuugo Monari (Jack Jeanne), Soshi Amazaki (The Charming Empire), Leonardo Da Vinci (Ikevamp) Moonspeet (7Deadly Sins)
Kohei Amasaki “Emilio” – Saburo (Hypmic), Mathis (Shuuen no Virche), Tweedle Dum (Spade no Kuni no Alice), Aira Shiratori (Ensemble Stars!)
The only locked route in Piofiore Episodio 1926 is Henri’s. The rest of the five bachelor routes and ‘Episodio Alternativa’ are up for grabs at the start, and you can play them in whatever order you like with no restrictions. The devs did have a recommended order to play which is Gilbert → Orlok → Nicola → Yang → Dante → Alternativa → Henri. Henri’s route only unlocks after completing the “Alternativa” Episode.
I personally think Nicola, should be played before Dante (spoiler-wise) as it felt like his route was a nice build-up towards the events in Dante’s story. So my soft recommended route order would be Gilbert → Orlok → Yang → Nicola → Dante → Alternativa → Henri. Nonetheless, I believe the first four starter routes (Gil, Orlok, Yang, and Nicola) can be interchanged. Just be sure to leave “Dante→ Alternativa→ Henri” last, for best story flow.
- needs to watch his liver 🍺🍾🥂🥃
It’s not only his expensive scotch and whiskey that Gil fancies swigging every day, but the man here also drinks respect women juice on a regular basis. Just like in the first game, he continues to treat Lili as his equal and even includes her in their mafia meetings, giving her a say on things when decision-making points arise.
Gilbert’s route (by ‘Piofiore standards’) was pretty light-hearted, and I believe this was probably the reason why he was the first recommended route to play. I loved his story for what it is, but I have to admit – his events were quite underwhelming compared to the others.😅 Despite this, I liked that his route gave us a glimpse of Gil’s backstory. We get some good flashbacks of his hard life in America, and a sneak peek into his past before he became the head of the Visconti family. Plus, we get to see his sexy deadbeat ‘dilf’ of a father, which I absolutely enjoyed. (cackles)
Gil and Lili’s relationship continued to thrive from where it left off in the first game. They both genuinely gave me the typical rich-husband-and-wife vibes, which was something I’d expect when you’re in a committed relationship with the gallant, Mister Redford himself. Since his route was pretty unedgy compared to the other bachelors, it gave more spotlight for his relationship with Lili to shine, which I appreciated. Gilbert and Lili also had one of the most suggestive CGs in the game which didn’t come as a surprise to me.🥵 To the Gil fans who loved how vanilla his route was in the first game, I believe you’ll appreciate him more in this sequel. In addition, Morikubo cursing in Italian was the best part of this route!😁👌 Che palle!
- soft but deadly
- deserves better! 😤
After everything, they’ve been through in the first game, Orlok and Lili are yet again, thrown into looming chaos as Orlok is assigned another dangerous mission from the church. This time, they needed to come back to Burlone to do some perilous investigating, risking both his and Lili’s lives in the process.
Unfortunately, this route was a snoozefest, and unless you’re an Orlok fan, you probably won’t enjoy this story as much? I really thought Orlok, deserved better, but alas! If anything, this route seemed to focus a lot on Orlok’s self-reflection as an assassin and a puppet of the church. This was fine for the most part, but if you drag this idea for the entire six chapters, then the story becomes drab and uninteresting.🤷♀️ I did love the little backstory we get pertaining to how Orlok was chosen as a “disciple”, and the egregious training they went through to become one.
This route also bit more than it can chew when they added so much conflict towards the last chapters. There’s just so many things going on! You have the church arc, the revenge arc (characters harboring a grudge against Orlok and wanting to kill him), and then you have the mafia arc. It was kind of overwhelming to keep up with these events, and because of that, Orlok and Lili’s relationship didn’t get too much air time.😢 Nonetheless, I appreciated how wholesome Orlok and Lili’s romance remained (that’s right! they never did the deed LOL). They’ll have soft moments together that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.🥺 His bad ending was angsty and depressing, which seems to be a theme for Orlok by now. Ha!
- horny 🍋
- hates lardo 😂
Nicola and Lili are now officially a lovey-dovey couple, and conflict ensues when Lili is thrown into danger again when her life is threatened by someone incognito. For her safety, Nicola takes her to the Francesca Manor, and Lili resides there for the time being while her man investigates who’s trying to target her this time around.
Contrary to my disappointment with Nicola in the first game, this sequel actually (and imo) redeemed him tremendously, not because of his route, but more so because of his character development. I love that Nicola is now more focused on Lili
instead of Dante. Oftentimes you’ll see him think about her well-being, pondering on what makes Lili happy and how he can be the perfect partner suited for her, all the while still fulfilling his role as the cunning and conniving underboss of the Falzone family. It was so refreshing to see his personality fleshed out for the better while remaining very consistent with his character’s true nature.
I also liked that his events highlighted how dependable and smart Nicola is. 😳 I swear, the man is too sexy for his own good! It’s really surprising how much I enjoyed his route just from these aspects alone. It’s a shame that I couldn’t take the “plot” they were going for here seriously due to how redundant it felt with the first game’s ‘church arc‘.🤷♀️ (shrug) I’m also salty that there was no Bartolo sprite! Oh well!😩
Click for SpoilersThe plot here is literally, Teo telling Lili how much she effed up as the “Key Maiden” because she got rawed with the wrong dique. But later on realized that Nicola’s dique qualified as much as Dante’s so all is good! AHAHAHA I cannot! 😂😂😂
- who r u, and what have you done with Yang?
The Falzone and the Visconti leaders were defeated previously by Yang, so now the Lao-Shu is prominently the strongest faction in Burlone. However, as Italy’s government tries to oppose and end the mafia regime in the country, Yang and the Lao-Shu group find other ways to thrive while preparing to leave Burlone for another location. Trouble occurs when an old acquaintance of Yang from the Liu Huang Hu pays him and Lili a visit.
Just like Gilbert’s route, Yang’s story was very removed from the “church” and the “Key Maiden” plot, which was honestly, a breath of fresh air (as I was already growing tired of it).😅 As for this route…… Hell has frozen over – may god help us all! Yang has grown soft and more humanlike – I could not believe it. 😱 What a twist! (LOL) On the one hand, I am glad to see a fluffy and more tamed Yang. But on the other, it felt like my expectations were deceived because I was honestly looking forward to more havoc and chaos from him.😩 Regardless, I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed this route as a whole. It really was an unexpected curveball for Yang’s character, which was a very welcome change of pace, to say the least.
I also wanted to add how much I enjoyed Lili here! All throughout Yang’s route, she remained highly proactive, and a bit catty, even. She finally took the reigns when she abrasively confronted the Lao-Shu’s formidable leader with no fear. IKR?! Shooketh! She even *tried* to learn basic Kung fu skills from the twins for self-defense! I’m so proud of my baby girl! (cries)🙏😭
- king of consent 🥺
Following the aftermath of the first game, where Dante and Lili were thrown into unexpected turn of events involving the church and Burlone’s darkest secret, the couple has been living peacefully for a short time until peril strikes them again when the government seeks to overthrow the mafia families in Burlone. Crushing, especially what the Falzone family traditionally upholds. In the midst of disorder, a new foe has also emerged to seek vengeance on our protagonist, Lili.
Dante’s route started with an enjoyable action-packed prologue. Heck! talk about starting with a bang, literally!😅 It’s also the route with the MOST spoilers plot-wise (mainly, with Lili’s real identity as the ‘Key Maiden’) – so make sure to play this last if you don’t wanna spoil yourself rotten when uncovering Lili’s character arc. Just like Orlok’s route, there were so many conflicts that needed resolving here, but it was thankfully wrapped up nicely imo during his last chapters. I gotta say, I was a little disappointed with how underwhelming the main antagonist’s motivations were. I expected something deeper, but to my dismay, his reasoning, in the end, turned out to be pretty daft.🤷
On the other hand, I thought Lili and Dante’s relationship was adorable. I enjoyed their chemistry as a couple, and because of Dante’s abashed nature, I love seeing Lili taking the first initiative when it comes to romancing this soft kuudere mafioso boss. Their first lovers’ spat was so cute it made me stupidly cackle.🤭 Also, kudos to Dante’s good ending, which was probably one of the most satisfying ones in the game. His CG in Alternativa was also very gorgeous to boot, I stared at it for nearly 20 mins straight!😩
Episodio Altenativa follows the last chapters of ‘The Finale End’ of Piofiore Fated Memories. The story begins when an important relic called the “iron crown”, was stolen from the church by a mysterious man who calls himself “Phantom”.
Emilio gathers the gang in Burlone and tells them to apprehend the perpetrator, get the relic back, in exchange for three whole years of the mafia living peacefully without any tumults and intervention from the fascist Italian government who’s been unyieldingly trying to destroy all the mafia families in the country.
Prior to unlocking this episode, you’ll need to read the “Advent Calendar” scenarios, which are mainly short slice-of-life stories featuring Lili’s day-to-day routine at the church while occasionally bumping into Piofiore’s love interests and side characters in Burlone. I like that this intro displays quite the contrast to the impending darker narrative which Episodio Alternativa has in store for the readers.
As for Episodio Alternativa, I really enjoyed this route, mainly due to all the literary pieces that were referenced and woven into solving each of the cases, the “Phantom” stages. These stories can get really dark and gruesome too. The writers were probably huge fans of Thomas Harris’s Hannibal books because I was seeing bits of similarities from it (laughs). Alternativa was also a really decent introduction to Henri’s route, largely because we get a lot of scenes with the gang pursuing and chasing after the antagonist, who plays a major role in Henri’s story. Also, the fact that Okitsu had to do multiple voice ranges here makes this route even more impressive than it already is!
- bel homme! 😌💓
- sad sexy french man 👌
After the terrible incident that transpired in Burlone 1925. Henri and Lili managed to escape the city and are now living as fugitives in a small town located on the outskirts of France, together with three young orphans. Their peaceful days end when Henri discovers he’s being hunted down by a new adversary, who’s willing to do anything to exact his revenge on him.
**(Deep sigh) Okay, fam! I take everything that I’ve said about Henri in my previous Piofiore review back! I am sorry I even doubted him for a second. I am appalled by my actions, and I am willing to make everything right by collecting all the Henri merch I can find starting today as my way of repentance!😭Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. This route to me was the highlight of Piofiore 1926. It was so good in the sense that it portrayed Henri’s redemption arc so well to a T. And well deserved at that since his character was undisputedly done dirty in the first game. I was yelling and screaming in my seat the whole time (cackles).😂 Sad, emo pretty boi holding back the horny happens to be my favorite trope! LOL
This route also showcased the horniest Lili has ever been, and I absolutely LOVED IT! Girl can’t control her hormones and tbh, same?! 😂😂😂 Really! I don’t blame her (cackles) On the flip side, I thought this route started really slow, albeit effectively because the build-up towards the final chapters was so worth it! I also loved Henri’s tragic (bad) ending because it was SO MESSED UP!! Orlok’s ‘Bad End’ in the first game couldn’t even hold a candle to it!😬 You might wanna skip this one if you’re someone who’s easily triggered with SA/noncons.
- best mafia wife!
I couldn’t help but be smitten with Lili in this sequel. She has honestly grown more mature and well-grounded from the first game, and it was so refreshing to finally see her thirsting over the guys, being bold and cheeky with them at random times of the day, and more!😆 I also enjoyed watching her pursue and acquire new skills like basic accounting, trade (stock market), and even learning a new language (English). In addition, it was such a delight to see her get comfortable with herself, adapting so well as a mafioso wifey. Whether she’s picking a fight with the Falzone capo or putting the murderous Lao-Shu leader in his place, her personality really shined exceptionally throughout the game.
I’ve also enjoyed every CG with Lili in it because of how beautiful she is, especially with all her outfit changes, accessories, and all-around aesthetics. I know I’ve mentioned this many times before, but she really is one of the most beautiful MCs in Otomate’s roster of MCs.
SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
Similar to the first game, Piofiore: Episodio 1926’s interface had the same classically elegant theme that matches the game’s time period. The Menu Screen also changes its idle location depending on the routes you’ve finished, as well as the time of the day. Additionally, Episodio Alternativa, offers a flowchart system (located in the “Chapter Jump” section) that comes in handy in giving your hints on which chapters you’ve completed, as well as the ones you haven’t.
For its localization, it was unfortunately not as good as Aksys’s previously released titles (e.g. Variable Barricade, Olympia Soiree, etc). It had its fair share of typo errors, unfinished sentences due to odd line breaks, and the occasional missing articles. I wouldn’t say it was bad, and it definitely did not deter my gameplay experience, but these errors were more frequent than usual, which I thought was worth mentioning in this review.
Surprisingly, I clocked a whopping 80 hours total on my switch console, completing Piofiore: Episodio 1926. This includes finishing all the endings and unlocking all the CGs and Dictionary entries to 100%. I didn’t expect the game to be this long either. I believe I’ve spent about 5-6 hours completing each route, experimenting back and forth which “Meanwhile Stories” to view to unlock certain endings.😪
Story-wise, this sequel was undeniably better than the first game. While some routes fell short in coming up with new ideas for plot purposes, their pacing was still kept together, and in no way did it feel that the scenes were rushed. Romance was definitely the highlight of this sequel. It was for sure a crowd-pleaser, if anything. There were routes that suffered plot redundancies, but I forgave them because the romance aspect was so good. So if you’re someone who bought this game for the ‘romance’ alone, rest assured you will be fed. 😘
The new characters were all interesting, so to speak. Whether their motivations were oblique or borderline dumb, they definitely made the game more flavorful and entertaining. There were a couple that definitely left a strong impression on me. And yes, Eugene is defo one of them, I don’t care if he’s deadbeat; he’s hot and he gets a pass in my book! Yuan was also another interesting character that perfectly defines hot garbage up for grabs,🥵 and TsudaKen voicing him just puts the icing on the cake. I am a little sad, that Bartolo didn’t get a sprite; he was such a loyal-to-the-bone character. His banters with Nicola and Lili, albeit short, were honestly so enjoyable to witness!
As for the love interests, I admit, I did not have any bias when I played the first game. I did enjoy Yang’s route, but it was more because his story was very different and unpredictable. This time around, in Piofiore 1926, I have now been converted and have fully submitted myself (body and soul) to the church of Henri Lambert. 😌✨ Despite Henri’s story not being as ‘grand’ as I wanted it to be, his slow-burn romance was a hot sell. And I wouldn’t have it in any other way!
My second fav. LI would be Nicola Francesca. There’s just something about older guys that really takes the cake for me! Ha! 😂In addition, Nicola has truly redeemed himself in this sequel, both as a character on his own, and as a love interest. His little backstory in Alternativa literally blindsided me. Who would’ve thought he was part of WWI’s Battle of Caporetto?! It was such a cool little fun fact that amplified Nicola’s character. It’s funny that my least fav. boys from the first game now shot up their rankings as first and second.😅 It goes to show how the writers did their due diligence by fleshing out the characters that lacked depth in the first game. This in itself, is very much appreciated.👌 Thank you writers-sama!
I wasn’t going to do a Piofiore 1926 LI ranking, but someone nicely asked in the comment section of one of my walkthroughs for it, 😁 so here it is!
♡ ♡ ♡ Henri ➤ Nicola ➤ Dante = Yang ➤ Gilbert ➤ Orlok ♡ ♡ ♡
Do I recommend this game? YES.
Looking for more danger and romance with the Mafiosi in Burlone? Say no more! This title should get you covered. If you loved Piofiore: Fated Memories, this game is a must-play!
Piofiore: Episodio 1926 is a solid sequel to its predecessor and an astounding treat for the avid fans of the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time playing this title. And despite my already lengthy playthrough, I’ve honestly wished there was more Piofiore content for me to sink my teeth in (Plus, I need more Henri food on my table. Ha!). This is saying a lot coming from someone who wasn’t a superfan of the first game. Am I finally being converted into a Pio-stan?😳