Aksys Announces Old and New Otome Titles coming to the West in 2020! (Nintendo Switch)

New Otome Game Titles Coming to the West in 2020!

The wait is over ladies! As of today (July 5, 2019), Aksys Games confirmed several Otome titles that will grace the West in 2020 for the Nintendo Switch console.

During Aksys’ Anime Expo panel, the company who’s known to localize famous Otomate brand titles, have confirmed four games they’ll be bringing to the West in the next year.

Here’s a list of what we’ll have:

 

CODE REALIZE: Guardian of Rebirth and Future Blessings

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Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth and it’s first fandisc, Code Realize: Future Blessings are finally getting a Nintendo Switch Port. First of all, I assumed they would just port the PS4 Game, Code Realize: Bouquet of Rainbows (which basically consist of the two games in a bundle), but sources tell me, it’s gonna be on separate cartridges (seems like it). The release date for Guardian of Rebirth will be on December 2019 while Future Blessings remains TBD in 2020.

If you’re new to the Code Realize Series, I’ve written reviews for both the first and second game, feel free to check em’ out below:

Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth Review
Code Realize: Future Blessings Review

 

 

COLLAR X MALICE AND COLLAR X MALICE UNLIMITED

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The famous crime-solving otome visual novel, Collar x Malice is finally getting a Switch port.  To those who are new to this title, CxM became very popular in the West due to its heart-pounding mystery type storyline topped with its alluring cast of characters that will leave you breathless all throughout the game. Not only that but the game’s first fandisc, Collar x Malice Unlimited is on its way too. Both games’ western release date for the N.Switch remains TBD in 2020.

CxM is my favorite otome title so I’m naturally excited about this. If you’re curious about this title, feel free to check out my review of the first game here.

 

 

PIOFIORE NO BANSHOU (WORKING TITLE)

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That’s right folks! This mafia themed otome game is finally gracing the West after getting a lot of well-received feedbacks from the Japanese market back when it was first released in 2018 for the PS Vita. Aksys, has yet to confirm the game’s official English title. Piofiore no Banshou’s western release date remains TBD in 2020.

Fun Fact: Piofiore no Banshou’s Nintendo Switch port in Japan, was recently announced this year (set to release on July 25, 2019) as well as it’s upcoming fandisc for 2020, Piofiore no Banshou – Episodio 1929.

Read the game’s synopsis here.
View the game trailer here.

 

CAFE ENCHANTE

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This one actually made me scream. (°◡°♡)

Cafe Enchante or Gensou Kissa Enchante (Japanese Title) was initially announced back in 2018’s Otomate Party in Japan but it wasn’t until this year’s recent Otomate Party (JP) that we got to see more information about the game and it’s set of unique and interesting characters. Cafe Enchante is set to release in Japan by October 10, 2019, while the western release date remains TBD in 2020.

The game premise is about a young girl, Kotone Awaki (protagonist) who inherits her grandfather’s cafe only to discover that none of the patrons are human.

Fun Fact: This game’s scenario writer is Nao Kojima, a well-known screenwriter in the Otome Industry who’s fairly popular for his famous works: Hakuoki, Code Realize, and Variable Barricade. The game’s head illustrator is the artist Yuuya. You’ll find some of her works very familiar if you’ve played the titles:  Hanayaka Nari series, Dandy Shot “Pub Encounters” and Jakuo no Lyla.

View the game’s trailer here.

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Sources: Anime News Network

 

New Nintendo Switch Otomate Titles for 2019 and 2020

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Otomate has recently revealed a couple of upcoming new titles as well as new info and confirmed release dates of their previously announced games during the Otomate Party (2019) Event held in Tokyo International Convention Center, Japan.

There are currently twelve games (old and new) that were announced coming to the Nintendo Switch.

 

Spade no Kuni no Alice “Alice of the Spade Country”
Wonderful White World & Wonderful Black World

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

This new title is a revival of the Heart no Kuni no Alice series by Quinrose, now with the name Quinrose reborn under the Otomate brand.  It’s predecessors, Heart no Kuni no Alice (2007), Clover no Kuni no Alice (2007), Joker no Kuni no Alice (2009), Diamond no Kuni no Alice (2012) were originally released as QuinRose titles in the Playstation Portable before the company went bankrupt in 2015.

(Edit: Thanks to Miau for the tip!)

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CUPID PARASITE

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Cupid Parasite is a love comedy otome game about a protagonist who’s a bridal matchmaker that’s also *secretly* a cupid (goddess) at the same time. Her goal is to help “five parasites” (five ikemens) who can’t find true love.


 

 

DAIROKU: AYAKASHIMORI

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

No further details have been revealed for this game, other than all the ikemens are “yokais” (non-human, demon/spirits). Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Takahiro Sakurai, Yusuke Kobayashi, Ryouta Ohsaka.

Fun Fact: If you love the art for Bad Apple Wars, you will love this game’s character designs, as it’s created by the same artist Suou.


 

 

TOKEI SHIKAKE NO APOCALYPSE “CLOCKWORK APOCALYPSE”

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Otomate teases us with a brief description of this new title as “A Story that starts with a Bad End”. Besides that, no further details have been revealed for this game yet.


 

 

PIOFIORE NO BANSHOU – EPISODIO 1929

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

This will be the first fandisc of 2018’s hit Otomate title Piofiore No Banshou. This fandisc will be written by Kazura Ringo and will be directed by Asahi Takamura. Both are the same screenwriter and director of the first game.


 

 

MEIJI KATSUGEKI HAIKARA 

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

The game is developed and supervised by Ichi Column, the popular game studio known for their hit Hanayaka Nari series. No further details have been revealed for this game other than its setting will be in the Meiji Period (😂just like how the title gives it away lol).

Here are all of the characters, full body screenshots below:

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AMNESIA SERIES
MEMORIES, CROWD AND LATER

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Rejoice! Our favorite title, Amnesia Memories finally gets a Nintendo Switch Port. This game is confirmed to release September 12, 2019. Furthermore, the game’s first and second fandisc, Amnesia Crowd and Later, will also be making it’s way to the switch console. The bundled fandisc of Crowd and Later is set to release on October 3, 2019.


 

 

COLLAR X MALICE & COLLAR X MALICE UNLIMITED

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Watch the official announcement trailer here.

…And if the previous title didn’t satisfy you, get a load of this!

Collar x Malice and Collar x Malice Unlimited will be storming its way to the Nintendo Switch Otome market in 2020. In addition, an anime adaptation of the series is currently in the works! 


 

 

OLYMPIA SOIREE

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

They’ve actually pre-announced this game during last year’s Otomate Party (2018). Sadly, this title’s release date was pushed back to 2020. The game was designed by the famous Japanese Illustrator Satoi who’s very popular for her famous works in Diabolik Lovers series, Re: Birthday Song series and Ozmafia.


 

 

BILSHANKA SENKI ~Genpeiden~

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

Just like Olympia Soriee, this game was also pre-announced during last year’s Otomate party (2018). Bilshanka Senki Genpeiden is a collaboration between Red Entertainment and Otomate. Its release date was also pushed back to 2020.

The story premise takes place around the Heian period during the civil war of Genpei (1180-1185), opposing the two clans Yorimoto and Taira. Most of the main characters are inspired by real personalities of the time. The heroine is the last daughter of the Minamoto and is named Shanaou, birth name of the famous General Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Makoto Furukawa, Soma Saito, Kengo Kawanishi, Yuichiro Umehara, and Jun Fukuyama.


 

 

Gensou Kissa Enchanté 

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

To end this roundup with a bang. Here, we have more deets and a confirmed release date for the game Gensou Kissa Enchante. The game premise is about a young girl, Kotone Awaki (protagonist) who inherits her grandfather’s cafe only to discover that none of the patrons are human.

Fun Fact: This game’s scenario writer is Nao Kojima, who’s widely known for his famous works: Hakuoki, Code Realize, and Variable Barricade. The game’s head illustrator is the ever popular Japanese artist Yuuya. You’ll find some of her works very familiar if you’ve played the titles:  Hanayaka Nari series, Dandy Shot “Pub Encounters” and Jakuo no Lyla.

Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Kenji Akabane, Yuichiro Umehara, Kaito Ishikawa, Yuki Ono and Junichi Suwabe.

Interested? Check out these CG screenshots taken from the game’s trailer!  

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Does this game makes you thirs– er, hungry or what?! 😂 Gensou Kissa Enchante is confirmed to release on October 10, 2019.


 

Source: Otomate JP Official Website
Disclaimer: These games are only confirmed in Japan.

UPDATE: Aksys Games Announces Old and New Otome Titles Coming to the West in 2020

 

Enchanted In The Moonlight is now out in the Eshop!

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Game Title: Enchanted In The Moonlight
Release Date: June 13, 2019 (North America)
Developers:
Voltage Inc.
Publishers:
Voltage Inc.

The hit mobile otome game by Voltage  Inc. is now out in the Eshop (North America) and should now be available to purchase. Originally released as a mobile port back in June 2014, Enchanted In The Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga & Samon and Enchanted In The Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage & Yukinojo can now be played in the Nintendo Switch Console.

Click here for Enchanted In The Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga & Samon downloadable content (Nintendo Eshop).

Click here for Enchanted In The Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage & Yukinojo downloadable content (Nintendo Eshop).

STORY (Nintendo Eshop)

You’re an average, 25-year-old girl whose life consists of working at the local library, keeping up your family’s shrine, and not much else.

However, that all changes when gorgeous men save you from mysterious, malevolent forces! These men aren’t all they appear to be, though. They’re actually Ayakashi Spirits!

You discover that your blood is imbued with an ancient power, one that the spirit world covets, and these handsome strangers are willing to protect you… for a price, that is.

Are you ready to make a deal with these otherworldly creatures?

 

VOICED? NO

The two Voltage games are both available in Japanese and English language. According to Voltage’s official website, two more “unknown titles” are set to release for the Switch this year, so let’s all be on a lookout for it.

For more otome games available in the Nintendo Switch, click this link.

 

Source: Voltage Inc. Official Twitter

Backlogs and Updates (2019: Part 1)

First of all, If you have participated in my game raffle give-away, the winner has been announced (picked through randomizer), so be sure to check out the twitter post through this link. I also wanna thank everyone who participated. I had fun, and I’d love to do this every year. ^^

Life has been nuts lately, so I apologize for the inactivity.

Backlogs and Blog Updates

With very few to zero localized otome game releases this year, I’m currently taking a break from playing otoges to finish my RPG backlogs. My gaming buddies (from discord) and I are currently having a FF marathon. We’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while now. We’re actually just re-playing some of our all-time fav. Final Fantasy games so we can discuss, theorize about it after like diehard nerds we are.

I’m also finishing a few Visual Novels in my game backlogs, though I’m afraid I won’t be reviewing them unless they totally made an impression on me, like the recent one I just finished, WILL: A Wonderful World. You can find my review for this game here.

Current VN Backlogs:

  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Not really too focused on this since I’ve already played the DS versions)
  • Steins Gate Elite
  • Our World is Ended (May 28) 

Of course, “taking a break” doesn’t necessarily mean I’m quitting otoge forever (no way I’m doing that), I still have a few games I needed to finish which are currently ‘paused’ at this time.

Otoge Backlogs:

  • PS VITA: Black Wolves Saga: Bloody Nightmare and Last Hope  (Still on Rath’s route)
  • PC: Steam Prison

 

FUTURE PLANS?

I’m thinking of opening this blog for guest posting. I have a couple of gamer friends who are actually more articulate and wayyy more knowledgeable than me when it comes to Visual Novels (lol) and I’ve been talking to them recently for a colab project, so here’s hoping it’ll pan out well. OR rather, we all get off our lazy asses and make this happen wwww  (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚

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With companies refusing to localize console otome games in the West nowadays. I am beginning to lose faith in the future of our niche. Are mobile games and the evil that is, micro-transactions our last resort? I really hope not. 

I’m also saddened, not to mention disappointed that the western otome community has been far long ignored all throughout these years. How it has been a constant struggle having to proxy ship almost every game and merchandise we can find available online, don’t even get me started with the shipping fees that’ll cost you an arm and leg. ha!

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I’m not even too sure now if we’re getting the newly ported otome games in the switch. Haha, it’s frustrating, I know… but oh well… ┐(‘~` )┌

Speaking of ports, Otome companies in Japan has been constantly on the move of porting their older games to the Switch console recently. This might be a good opportunity for localization companies to finally (by a shred of miracle) consider bringing these games to us, though at this point I honestly have very low hopes.  Anyways, I have updated the list of JP Otome games available to purchase right now as well as what’s coming soon in this post. If you’re curious, be sure to check it out.

 

RANDOM Q&A

There were a couple comments and questions I got through my contact page which I would like to address here in this post. First of, I always get excited when I receive emails from you all and even go all out on my replies. lmao …and while I’m still going to individually reply to everyone’s email, I’d figure I should answer the most repeated questions here:

  • Can I link your walkthroughs in my personal blog/tumblr/social media?

YES! By all means, go ahead!^^

  • Do you get paid to write your reviews?

NO. I do sometimes, get free game codes though!

  • Why don’t you have a patreon / ko-fi like other bloggers?

I don’t need money or any kind of financial aid right now, plus I don’t think all my fangirl ramblings are worth shelling dimes for! 😂 lmao. This blog was originally created as a means of relieving stress on my part. Tehee! If you want to support this site, a simple appreciative ‘thank you’ is enough to get me motivated to write more reviews. (´ ▽ `)

  • Will you be reviewing PC otome / visual novel games too?

Now that there aren’t any otome console games gracing the west, I was actually thinking, this might be the time to finally go through my PC backlogs though to be honest, the PC is probably my least fav. platform i’d want to play my visual novels with. So, yes. I just might start with Steam Prison soon.

 

Hey! Thanks for reading and for sticking around! Happy gaming! ♡

 

Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles Review

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CODE REALIZE: WINTERTIDE MIRACLES

Release Date:  February 14, 2019 (North America)
Developers:  Idea Factory, Otomate
Publishers:  Aksys Games
Platforms:  PS Vita, PS4
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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I literally took my time playing this FD, knowing it’s the last (physical) otome game that will ever grace localization in the PS Vita.

Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles (Shirogane no Kiseki) is the second fandisc of the series, Code Realize. This game contains varieties of alternate and after stories that happened after the events of the last fandisc, Future Blessings.

 

This fandisc contains the following stories:

  • Cantarella (Side Story) – Walkthrough available here.
  • Finis’s Epilogue
  • Sholme’s Epilogue
  • Love Triangle Stories (Short Stories)
  • Wintertide Miracles “First Christmas” (Alternate Stories)
  • Special Epilogues (Epilogues for White Rose’s stories in Future Blessings)

 

ART AND MUSIC
I know this is probably redundant as I’ve gushed about it a few times in my reviews for Guardian of Rebirth and Future Blessings. But, the artist Miko has done it again! I could not for the life of me, describe how incredibly beautiful the CGs are for this fandisc. There were also new sprites available for all the main and side characters, wearing their cozy winter outfits. Even Queen Victoria gets a new sprite wearing her expensive royal fur faux garb!

What I also loved about this fandisc were the new BGMs added for the series, they were all unforgettable and were specially made for the game’s Yuletide theme. One song that really stood out to me was the second Ending theme (Finis’ and Sholmes’ ED) “Beside You” by the artist SHOJI. Listen to the full track below:

***I purchased the whole soundtrack for Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles in iTunes. Link here.

 

NEW CHARACTERS

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Cantarella (CV: Mamiko Noto) – Fuuka (Persona 4), Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad), Inia Sestina (MuV Luv), Felicita (Arcana Famiglia), Marvis Vermilion  (Fairy Tale)

Miles Strand (CV: Keiji Fujiwara) – Kagura Mutsuki (Blazblue), Jiro Hyuuga (Binary Star), Reno (Final Fantasy), Kiriya (Senran Kagura), Sakuya Tougane (Psycho Pass)

Baron of Aiguille (CV: Sugiyama Noriaki) – Akito (Norn9), Thor (Kamigami no Asobi), Suou Hana (Ayakashi Gohan), Katsuragi Naomasa (Yunohana Spring), Kashika Galle (Cendrillon Palika)

 

SIDE STORIES AND AFTER STORIES
I did Cantarella’s route first, followed by Finis and Sholme’s epilogues, then knocked out the love triangle dates before I played the main course, that is the “First Christmas” alternate stories for Wintertide Miracles. I myself, enjoyed this play order, though I would suggest playing whatever story you feel like playing first because that’s the whole point of a fandisc! lol

 

CANTARELLA (Another Story)
This story happened somewhere in the middle of Guardian of Rebirth’s common route. On their way home, after watching a performance at the Royal Opera House, Cardia and the rest of Lupin’s gang witnessed an attempted kidnapping of the Opera House’s beloved songstress, Cantarella. They’ve managed to save her as well as send her perpetrator running for the hills. They then took Cantarella to her home for safety measures, which lead the gang to meet her so-called “father” Miles. In this story, Cardia finds a friend in Cantarella and later on, discovers her true identity as both their existence managed to connect each other’s fates.

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Just like “Lupin’s Gang’s” (side) story in Future Blessings, Cantarella’s route offers new likable characters and an interesting new plot for us to follow. Although I’ve very much enjoyed this story (for what it is), I didn’t like how the writers threw in these important characters on the third game, since canonically they don’t matter anymore as the main plot officially ended in Future Blessings. I would rather have this as an alternate story than a side story because It felt kind of unfair for Cantarella, Miles, and Auguille to get dissed like that after this little episode. lol Unless they’re planning on a third fandisc! (laughs)

Although the choices you make in Cantarella’s route, will not change the whole outcome of her story. It will, however, change a few scenes and dialogues in the game depending on the guy (main characters) your choices are inclined to. You can view my walkthrough for this route here.

 

FINIS’ EPILOGUE (After Story)
This after story took place right after the end of Finis’s route in Future Blessings. 

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Six months have passed since Cardia managed to save his little brother, Finis from the unfortunate Nautilus incident in London. During this time, both twins return to their home in Wales and spend each day cleaning and repairing their old abandoned house while enhancing their bond as siblings. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose when one of Isaac Beckford’s invention called the “Knockers” have been spotted destroying a couple of buildings in London. It was made clear in the story, that these supposed-to-be-quarantined inventions of Isaac were “wrongly” activated by accident and it is now, up to the  Beckford twins (Finis’ most especially, since he’s fully knowledgeable when it comes to their father’s inventions) to stop this heaving uproar that threatened London its peaceful days.

This was probably one of my favorite After Stories in the series. Not only we get to see Finis in his true nature, as Cardia’s adorable cinnamon roll lil’ brother. We also get to see Lupin’s Gang and the Gordon Family in action as they help out clear the disruption in the streets of London during the main incident. ***This epilogue was very heartwarming and I absolutely enjoyed seeing Finis’ soft side while he deliberately declares threats whenever one of the main bois flirts with his sister! *chuckles* (´ ω `♡)

 

HERLOCK SHOLME’S EPILOGUE (After Story)
This after story took place right after the end of Sholme’s route in Future Blessings. 

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It’s been half a year since Sholmes defeated his arch nemesis, James Moriaty (in Code realize Future Blessings). During this story, Cardia becomes part of Sholmes’ Detective agency together with his partner John Watson. The three of them fight crimes for the cause of good, even to the extent of ‘trying‘ to stop Lupin, the gentleman thief’s planned diamond heist of the prized jewel called “Mermaid’s Tear”.  Though try as they might, Lupin, as cunning as he is, still gets the upper hand and was able to escape with ease together with his genius engineer assistant, Impey. I know this was just a filler episode but it was kind of weird seeing Cardia as their enemy for once, but oh well…

Anyway, Sholmes actual main story revolved around finding a cure to Cardia’s poison.  As the Horologium still present in Cardia’s body, this fact still poses a threat that one day it will activate again, killing her along with the demise of London and its people. With this complication at hand, Sholmes gathered his A-team geniuses in the field of science and medicine; Victor Frankenstein, Dr. John Watson, Impey Barbicane and even the deviant genius scientist Nemo, who apparently now lives in a tiny cardboard box located in sewers (laughs) 😂 Poor guy! As all of them try their hardest to conduct research on a formula that will counteract the horologium’s poison, more problems seep into the picture that eventually causes Sholmes and Cardia make one life-threatening decision.

I like how Sholmes’ epilogue was narrated in a fairytale-esque kind of way. I enjoyed the story’s fluff content though, to be honest, this is probably the weakest story in the game (imo) as there really wasn’t anything “new” going on. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of Sholmes, I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time discovering a few surprising sides of our favorite hot daddy detective. 

 

FIRST CHRISTMAS “Wintertide Miracles” (Alternate Stories)
These are “after stories” that happened right after Finis’ route in Future Blessings. It’s merely an alternate story where our heroine Cardia finds love during the Yuletide season. We get one story for every five main characters. What’s really special about these stories is that Cardia falls in love with one of the guys while his brother is alive! …THIS couldn’t be any more perfect, ❤️ I almost wished this was headcanon!

 

Spoiler Warning: I will only be posting each story’s premise but I’m putting up my spoiler banner just in case.

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Victor Frankenstein
After Isaac Beckford’s Nautilus incident that wreaked havoc in the city of London six months ago. Victor ended up opening a clinic located in the downtown part of London in order to help as many people as possible at a cheaper cost.

Victor’s main story started when one day he receives a mail from his parents in Switzerland telling him to settle down. He, in reply, told them he has no plans in getting married anytime soon but then started talking about how he’s currently interested with this ‘one girl’ and went all out writing two whole pages regarding his feelings for Cardia. (´ ε ` )♡ Without thinking of any repercussions, he sends the letter back to his parents judging its only the right thing to do as he’s speaking honestly from his heart. uwu. The next few days, he receives a reply letter from his mom saying they’re coming to London for Christmas so they can meet their son, Vic’s girlfriend. 🤣

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In result, a panicked Victor travels to Wales to ask Cardia to be his “pretend” girlfriend just for Christmas while his parents are in town. 😂

***This was by far the cutest, most endearing “First Christmas” story I’ve read among the selections and I absolutely enjoyed it to bits! Besides its overwhelming fluffy contents, we also get to see Victor introducing Cardia to his parents (in CG!).

 

Saint Germain
Six months after the Nautilus Incident, Saint Germain, visits Idea’s leader Omnibus and reports that both Finis and Cardia, Isaac Beckford’s “problematic twins” are now living peacefully in Wales as normal human beings and are no longer a threat to humanity. As one of Idea’s faithful apostle, he awaits for Omnibus next order but was surprised to hear her tell him to take a long sweet vacation instead.

Still dumbfounded by their leader’s words, Saint Germain goes back to the mansion to find something to do with his newly acquired free time but since everyone in Lupin’s gang went about their own lives after London’s incident, he was left as the only resident in his house. This made him feel lonely and he admits to himself how much he misses the rowdy group clamoring inside the premise of his mansion. What’s more, is that he longs to see the face of his beloved, who he has not seen since his last visit in Wales.

This made him decide to write invitation letters to the group for a Christmas “Get-together” party. Though unsure if his anticipated guests would actually make it to the planned event. Saint Germain waits with hopeful eyes to see the faces of his precious friends again.

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***The part where he waits for his friends actually made me tear 😭. Why are Saint Germain’s stories always melancholic? Why?! Thank goodness, this ended really REALLY happy. I would also like to gush on the fact that this is the only episode in the whole series where we get to see Guinevere outside her armor! Seriously, you absolutely can’t miss this!

 

Abraham Van Helsing
After London’s Nautilus incident, Van decides to travel with Delly all over United Kingdom in search for survivors of the Vampire War.

During their travels, the duo hears about the upcoming Christmas festival in London and decides to come home for the occasion as well as attend the gang’s Christmas party at Saint Germain’s mansion. They haven’t seen everyone in a while, so this decision made Van and Delly both excited. While at it, Delly proposes to take a side trip to Wales before coming to London and see the Beckford twins. Van agrees with him with Cardia in mind. ( ´ ▽ ` )

A few days have passed and they both arrived at Cardia and Finis’ home in Wales only to be disheartened to see the twins not being around. But with optimism as their friend, Van and Delly decided to wait. Night falls, and finally, Cardia and Finis arrived in the most unfashionable way ever (their automobile almost came crashing towards the duo) 😂 Everyone says their greetings when Cardia noticed that Van and Delly have been waiting out in the cold for too long, so she insisted they stay for the night.

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The supposed-to-be one night stay turned into days and the group eventually decided to go to London together. While still in Wales, Cardia wanted to make everyone Christmas presents in the form of knitting and Van insisted on helping her with it.

***I love this! (/▽\*) This surprising side of Van Helsing is all I ever wanted. I’m so glad to see him happy, always smiling and in his positive beaming self. It’s so refreshing! I need more happy-ray-of-sunshine Van Helsing in my life!

 

Impey Barbicane
Half a year has passed since the Nautilus incident in London and Impey visits the deviant scientist Nemo in prison from time to time as he plans to re-invent the gravity alleviator and is currently taking notes on Nemo’s advise while at it.

One day, In Saint Germain’s mansion, Saint tells Impey they received word from Van and Delly saying they’ll be back in London for Christmas. Since Lupin and Victor are already residing in the city, they decided to might as well invite Cardia and Finis in order for the gang to reunite once more this Yuletide season.

Meanwhile, in Wales, Cardia, (while fixing their automobile) thinks of how Impey’s constant declaration of love for her makes her heart feel woozy. She gets confused because she’s sure she loves Impey back but also “loves” the other members of Lupin’ s gang as well as her brother Finis. With this train of thought, she pesters her little bro and forced him to say the phrase “I love you” (to her), to which a blushing Finis, with all the effort, reluctantly did. 😂 But then yo girl was like “Oh but why does it feel different when Impey says it?” 😂 😂 😂 ROFL. This was adorably hilarious! I just can’t! 😂 

Later that day, they received a package from London in the form of a miniature Impey doll with a recording of Impey, Saint Germain and Lupin’s voice telling the siblings to come home for Christmas.

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***I really enjoyed reading this one! I love how Cardia was strongly forward of wanting to explore her own feelings as she tries to discover the different meanings of “love”.  …and seeing Impey immensely blush time and again was such an awesome treat, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear! Another plus point was that we get to see Nemo give love advises to yo boi and that, to me was the icing on the cake in this story! (laughs)

 

Arsene Lupin
After the Nautilus incident in London six months ago, Lupin is back doing his thievery schemes like the proud gentleman thief he is.

One day while on a mission to steal a prized necklace from a corrupt Duke’s estate, he ends up being chased by Leonhartd as usual and just when he was about to execute his dashing escape, he gets distracted (by thoughts of Cardia) and gets shot by a rubber bullet instead. This, not only surprised Lupin himself but his perpetrators, Leonhardt, and his men were also perplexed at how they were able to take out the famed gentleman thief in one easy shot. In the end, an injured Lupin still managed to get away as he limped his way back to safety.

Back at the mansion, Victor along with Impey confronts Lupin saying he’s not being his usual self lately and asks him to perhaps, take a rain check from work (theft missions). A week later, Saint Germain chimes in, telling him the same and suggests that perhaps he’s longing for “someone”.  Taking in the Count’s advise to heart, Lupin begins to think of Cardia and how her absence is taking a toll on him. He then concedes with his true feelings and finally admits he misses her badly and the only way to cure this yearning is to see her face to face. So he starts writing the ‘perfect’ love letter for his beloved lady. 😂

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***I must say, this after-story has the best CGs, as expected from the game’s headcanon boi. Just like Lupin’s uwu story in Future Blessings, it had its glorious romantic moments between the couple. As far as I see it, the game is clearly biased on Lupin’s story… the kabedon scene and that loooong kiss at the end, come on!  I couldn’t ask for more!

 

TRIANGLE DATES (More CGs!)
These are short stories which involve scenarios of Cardia spending her day with two main characters in the series. Although these are rather shorter stories compared to the ‘Wintertide Miracles’ selection, I was really impressed by how exceptionally good these little episodes were. You think you’ve had enough doki-dokis? Try this one on for size!

graphics-kawaii-small-223230Here’s a list of all the Love Triangle episodes (you can play it in any order):

  • Lupin and Victor pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Lupin and Impey pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Lupin and Van pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Lupin and Saint Germain pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Van and Impey pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Van and Victor pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Van and Saint Germain pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Impey and Victor pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Impey and Saint Germain pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Victor and Saint Germain pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11

Secret Episodes:

  • Delly and Sisi pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Aliester and Nemo pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11
  • Hansel and John Watsonpixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11pixel-hearts-png-11

 

SPECIAL EPILOGUES
These are short epilogue stories continuing the last events of Future Blessings (White Rose). These will unlock last, after finishing all of the above’s selections.

 

2019-02-26-213609IMPEY
It’s been a few days and Impey hasn’t returned home after going on a work-related project (fixing airships and submarine engines in London).  Cardia was left alone in the mansion and although she knows Impey will come back soon, she thought of surprising him by gathering a lot of research documents related to their ‘moon-project’. She leaves for Wales to collect any information her father might have written in the past that can possibly help with the project. Not to ruin the surprise for her hardworking husband, she leaves a note that says “I’m going”.

Impey arrives at home, finds the note then begins to panic thinking Cardia has left him.😂 So he hurries and follows her to Wales to clear out this whole silly misunderstanding.

 

2019-02-26-232213LUPIN
Cardia and Lupin go on a picnic at their secret place which has a great view of the industrial city of London and Lupin suggest that it’s about time to go on a honeymoon. Next few days, he takes Cardia to his birth city, Paris. There, they visit and the grave of his master, Theophraste and both of them said their prayers. They also ran into the head of the French police whom Lupin coined as someone equivalent to ossan Leonhartd. They had everyone (French police) chase them for fun and the couple gallantly escaped in style.

 

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VAN
Cardia and Van are finally getting married and Shirley helps Cardia put on her wedding dress. Cardia decided to step outside the church so she could practice walking in her high-heel shoes when a bunch of men in black suits kidnaps her and takes her to another wedding location. There she finds an impatient man wearing a groom’s outfit who urges her to walk down the aisle with him. Cardia remembers the combat techniques her husband taught her and throws the man to the floor. Meanwhile, a worried and upset Van bursts out through the church door and started taking down the men in suits Liam Neeson style! 😂 😂 😂 Before things get worse, the gang stops Van and explains this was all a misunderstanding as the kidnappers and groom were actually actors and the bride actress never showed up for rehearsals so they thought Cardia was her by mistake.

The Moral of the Story: Don’t mess with this couple… ever! 😂

 

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VICTOR
Cardia is now working as Victor’s assistant in the Royal Society and they spend their days doing research in Victor’s lab. Though they call themselves husband and wife, they realize that they never really had an actual wedding ceremony. So Victor asks Cardia if she wants to have a proper wedding and she says yes. A few days later, they began their search for a church in London but couldn’t find any since it’s peak season. Queen Victoria, along with Leonhardt notices Victor’s sullen expression and asks him what’s wrong, Victor tells them their circumstance and a snarky Victoria promises to help him only if he can prove to her how much he really wanted the wedding. After their deal, Victor comes home later than usual as he’s working extra hard to get her beloved wife that perfect wedding she deserves. Finally, the day has come for Victor to propose to Cardia and Victoria granted them permission to use the newly renovated St. Paul’s Cathedral. They got married in front of their friends and the Queen, and Cardia couldn’t be any happier.

 

2019-02-24-180658SAINT GERMAIN
Cardia is now free of her poison and she and Saint Germain return to London so they can hold their wedding ceremony. The Count buys the ship “Gloria” from their mafia adventures in Lupin’s Gang (Future Blessings) episode and tells her this will be their venue. A day before their promised wedding, Hansel takes Cardia to the enchanted forest and there they meet with Saint Germain and the leader of Idea herself, Omnibus. The old lady gives them her blessing, saying they will no longer be in the watchful eye of Idea and Saint Germain is now finally, freeee!  The couple both said their thanks to Omnibus. They got married in their luxurious ship the next day and all of their friends are with them happily celebrating the couple’s most special commemoration.

 

Will I be able to enjoy this game even if I haven’t played Future Blessings?
There were a lot of characters and events in Future Blessings that were present and added to this game, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to skip Future Blessings in the series. In addition, the main “Wintertide Miracles” stories continue from the last events of Finis’s route in Future Blessings, so, all the more reason not to skip the first fandisc.

Localization
There were a couple of typo mistakes that I couldn’t really overlook which makes me think that perhaps because of it’s promised released date on Valentines Day, the game was rather rushed and there wasn’t a lot of time spent dedicated solely on proofreading it. ┐(︶▽︶)┌

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? \(^▽^)/
My overall play length for Code Realize Wintertide Miracles was a good 10-15 hours. Despite me trying to make the game last forever for about at least, two weeks, I finished it pretty quickly because I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Cantarella’s side story was way better than the gang’s Mafia adventures in Future Blessings and I sure did wish the ‘Cantarella-characters’ would’ve made a cameo in the special epilogues, because seriouslywhat a waste of good characters to be squeezed in, on the third game. ┐(‘~` )┌

Finis wins best boi in my book. This was one of the things I really appreciated most in this FD, and I’m sure most Code Realize hardcore fans would agree. Finis’ character finally gets justice! We get to see more of his adorable side as Cardia’s little brother while maintaining his hostile and dubious personality 😂. Who would’ve thought this boy is such a tsun-tsun! ❤

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Do I recommend this game? YES (esp. to all Code Realize fans)
Take note, this game is the series’ second fandisc. So literally, one cannot play it all willy-nilly without fully playing it’s first two predecessors. Personally, I’ve enjoyed this game a lot but that’s because I’m already a huge fan of the series. Perhaps to those who aren’t into Code Realize, you probably won’t enjoy this as much.

With the production of PS Vita consoles and games, completely shutting down worldwide this year, Code Realize Wintertide Miracles was such a special treat for us otome fans ~ esp. now, where there is scarcity of otoge releases in the West.

The game’s romantic Christmas theme really took this one up a notch and the newly added side stories are really something to look forward to. If you already like Code Realize, loved it’s main casts and wished for more adventures with them, Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles is definitely worth the purchase.

 

CHLO’S RATING: 8/10

Nightshade Review (Nintendo Switch)

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NIGHTSHADE

Release Date:  December 20, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Red Entertainment / LANTERN ROOMS
Publishers: D3Publisher
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
ESRB Rating: (Mature) 17+

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Walkthroughs:

  1. Goemon
  2. Chojiro
  3. Hanzo
  4. Kuroyuki
  5. Gekkamaru
  6. Common Route

 

PROLOGUE (from Nightshade’s official site)
During the Sengoku Period the two main factions of ninja clans, Iga and Kōga, warred against each other for decades.
In the year 1593, Nobunaga Oda started the Tenshō Iga war, decimating most of the Iga ninjas in the process. The very few that survived were absorbed into the Kōga clan, despite their past rivalries. After 17 years the Sengoku Period finally came to an end, and Japan was unified.

Enju (Protagonist), daughter of Kandō Ueno, the Head of the Kōga clan, spends her days training diligently in hope of becoming a full-fledged ninja like her peers. At long last, she is assigned to her first mission but finds herself caught in a dark conspiracy.

 

ART AND MUSIC
One of Nightshade’s prominent features that’ll easily make an impression among otome fans, is its art style. The game credits non-other than the famous illustrator, Teita who’s fairly popular for her other works such as Norn9, the Juuzaengi  Engetsu Sangokuden saga and the recently released visual novel, Charade Maniacs.

I wish I could say the same for the game’s musical score. The OP theme was nice but wasn’t memorable at all. The END theme (Good End) however, “Taezaru Hana”  by MIKOTO was pretty soothing that I ended up purchasing the track in iTunes. Listen to the full song below:

 

Voice Acting
Nightshade honestly has the best seiyuu lineup. The voice acting was, in fact, one of the major highlights of the game. The VAs really did an amazing job capturing your emotions. I was already expecting this much from their topnotch VA list, but they did more than stellar performances with this game! Every seiyuu involved were magnificent, even the side character, Ieyasu Tokugawa (voiced by Koki Miyata, who’s famous for his role as Ukyo in Amnesia), did an amazing job portraying his cunning personality.

 

Hikaru Midorikawa ♥ “Goemon Ishikawa” – Tamahome (Fushigi Yuugi Suzaku Ibun), Zenya (Sweet Pool), Ayato (Diabolik Lovers), Hanate (7’Scarlet), Yutaka Nabari (Nil Admirari)

Wataru Hatano “Gekkemaru” – Asato (Lamento Beyond the Void), Lindo (Dance with the Devils), Kotarou (Hakuoki), Sakiyama Youji (Sweet Pool), Yuuto (Storm Lover)

Hiro Shimono “Kuroyuki – Shou Kurusu (Utapri), Senri Ichinose (Norn9), Sou Kiryuu (Harukanaru Toki no Naka De 5), Ricchie (Black Wolves Saga), Ray Blackwell (Ikerev)

Kenjiro Tsuda “Hanzo Hattori” – Chikage Kazama (Hakuoki), Soshi Amazaki (The Charming Empire), Leonardo Da Vinci (Ikevamp), Nathan Seymour (Tiger & Bunny)

Kosuke Toriumi “Chojiro Momochi” – Hajime Saito (Hakuoki), Kagiha (Psychedelica BB), Poyo-Poyo (Period Cube), Hideyoshi (Ikesen), Lawrence (Psychedelica AH), John Watson (Code Realize)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (Spoiler Free)

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I must say, I love all of the characters and their routes that it was hard for me to pick a favorite. If you’re concerned with plot spoilers in your first playthrough, my recommendation would be to play the routes in the following order (from least to greatest in spoiler content):  Goemon – Hanzo – Chojiro – Kuroyuki – Gekkamaru. For enjoyability, I’d recommend playing in the same order. Goemon and Hanzo were the lighter routes, Chojiro was angst from start to finish and the brothers (Kuroyuki and Gekkamaru) have more plot revelations than you’d  expect. I would also strongly recommend saving Gekkamaru’s route for last, trust me when I say, this makes your last playthrough more worthwhile. 😉

 

GOEMON ISHIKAWA

  • The Japanese Robin Hood
  • ladykiller

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True to his name in history books, Goemon Ishikawa is the legendary Japanese outlaw who stole gold and other valuables from the rich to give to the poor. He’s very popular among the townspeople due to his ingenious thieving schemes. He is known to send prior notices to his targets before he robs them off their treasures. Goemon is also a highly skilled ninja who has the wit of a brilliant tactician.

Playing Goemon’s route first was a good choice since his story was the lightest among the bachelors in the game, plus I haven’t fallen in love with Midorikawa’s voice in a while, so there’s also that ha! I find Goemon’s story really refreshing due to his carefree personality and charismatic nature. Because of this, it was so easy to like this character from the get-go. Going down his route will let you discover a few revelations regarding Goemon’s past, where he came from and how he ended up as the notorious thief he is now. His route also offers  a couple of plot twists and although it was a little predictable towards the end, it was executed really well where it didn’t feel awkward nor forced. As far as the romance goes, Goemon is a straight up, ladykiller. It was fun to see his relationship with Enju develop all throughout his route. His playful teasing and his easy-going personality will have you falling for him in no time.

 

HANZO HATTORI

  • Mr. stoic ninja
  • kuudere

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Besides, being Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa’s personal guard, Hanzo is also the Tokugawa clan’s shinobi leader. Because of his resounding title as the strongest ninja history has ever known, he is very popular among all the shinobi clans in Japan. He is normally calm and collected but will not hesitate to become ruthless for the success of his mission.

Hanzo is the oldest among the bachelors (and I absolutely love him!) He is, I believe 33 years old, making quite an age gap between him and the heroine Enju, but LOL this is Toyotomi-Tokugawa (Edo 1600’s – 1800’s) period we’re talking about, where huge age gaps among couples are very common… But age aside, let me tell you… Hanzo’s route completely took me by surprise! I have no words! *Breaths heavily* I guess, I was already eyeing this character from the start since Kenjiro Tsuda voiced him. But I wasn’t expecting his arc to be this good that it literally caught me off guard. He ended up becoming my favorite of the entire game!

At first, he started as the very straightforward stoic kind, who’s only doing his master, Lord Tokugawa’s bidding. But after a few encounters where he teams up with the heroine and helps her survive, he begins to slightly soften up, giving us a glimpse of his true adorable fluffy nature. Both Hanzo and Enju go through tremendous character development in this route, especially the heroine. I just love seeing Enju prove herself time and again how much she wanted to make it as a true shinobi while she constantly faces hardships every step of the way (she’s freakin’ cool!) I also love seeing Hanzo unexpectedly supporting her through her struggles. It’s as if, rather than saving her all the time, he wants her to learn to depend on herself instead; and to me, this relationship was truly very refreshing, not to mention absolutely heartwarming. Expect a lot of badass back to back action scenes in this route, where Hanzo and Enju kick some ninja ass!

 

CHOJIRO MOMOCHI

  • Big Brother
  • Angst! Angst! Angst!

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Chojiro is the son of the late leader of Iga, Tanba Momochi . After losing his family and clan in the Tensho Iga War at the age of five, he joined the Koga clan along with the other Iga survivors. Chojiro is also the heroine’s cousin as well as her mentor/trainer. He is a man of a few words and he completely devotes himself to his missions without questions.

I made a mistake playing Chojiro’s route earlier in the game as I wasn’t ready for a sudden whirlwind of angst! At the start, Chojiro’s personality was very closed off, its almost as if he has built a wall before him to keep others away. Because of his tragic past, he doesn’t want to get attached to anyone, afraid he’d lose them at the blink of an eye just like how he lost his parents when he was young. This makes his relationship with Enju a little less intimate from the beginning. As the heroine tries her best to get a closer reach of him, he waves his feelings off because he’s conflicted between succeeding his missions as a shinobi versus his own desire to help Enju and stay by her side.

Chojiro’s route was also the most tragic in the game!😭 Ya’ll better prepare those tissues! Romantic wise, his story was not my favorite. The drama just out-weights the romance on this one. I do love the writing in his route though. It seriously gave me an emotional breakdown I wasn’t prepared for. 😅I suggest playing his route in the middle to get the angst out of the way. This, also kinda gives you more room to recuperate from the heavy drama before jumping into an even more dramatic finish as you do Gekka’s route last.

 

KUROYUKI

  • clever, cunning
  • soft yand

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Kuroyuki is Gekkamaru’s younger brother. Right after he was born, both boys became orphans and were taken in by Enju’s family. He was sent away on an extended mission when he was eight, by the heroine’s father Kando Ueno, who’s also the leader and head chief of the Koga clan. Kuroyuki is also the same age as Enju (16).

Not much is revealed about this character other than he is Gekkamaru’s brother who was sent on a secret mission when he was eight years old. Where did he go? What was he doing for the last eight years he was gone? It was rather questionable how his character (in other routes) always comes and goes sporadically in the plot.

I couldn’t really expound more on Kuroyuki’s arc without entering spoiler territory but going down his route will let you discover one interesting revelation about him and the game’s overarching plot. It was quite satisfying to play Yuki’s route because finally! we get to fill in some plot holes. I fell in love with his story for the same reasons some people are calling it out for. It wasn’t light nor easy-going as Goemon’s or Hanzo’s, it wasn’t tragic as Chojiro’s or Gekkamaru’s. It was dark and I probably wouldn’t have it in any other way. Kudos to Hiro Shimono for breathing extra life to this character!

 

GEKKAMARU

  • best boi
  • puppy eyes
  • true route ish?

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After losing his family at the age of three, Gekkamaru was adopted by the heroine’s parents along with his younger brother Kuroyuki. Gekkamaru was assigned to be Enju’s trusted bodyguard when they were young and has proven his loyalty and devotion through time by sticking to his role as Enju’s protector. He is wholeheartedly committed to his master (Enju) to a point where he becomes too overprotective of her.

So after going through all kinds of heaps and hooplas of playing and suffering each of the character routes in the game, Im finally down on my last one, Gekkamaru. I know you can just play his route whenever but I chose to do his story last for the experience. ohoho!

…and I have no regrets!😭 Gekkamaru’s route started with pure dramatic fluff as expected. It was just so precious and endearing to see how far this man would go for the sake of the heroine. His loyalty and dedication for Enju was such a pure bliss that it even pains me to see him doing too much😭. His route was a combination of action, romance, a side of humor and a whole lot of drama as he and the heroine struggled to survive by each other’s side. I thought to myself, “This story couldn’t get any better or worse, could it?” but then angst hits the fan through plot twists after plot twists (during the last chapters) and this was where the story really picked up. I was at lost for words. I felt really sad, angry and confused. His route put me through a tidal wave of emotions, I had to pause the game for a while, sit in a corner to get my head straight and my breathing in check! lmao! Gekkamaru’s route is like a slow burn, heart-rending gut punch and I absolutely loved it.

 

ENJU UENO (Main Heroine)

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Enju is a strong heroine and I adore her to bits. Unfortunately, her potentiality to become an even better shinobi was wasted in some routes because of the whole damsel in distress scenarios, with the exception on Hanzo’s and Gekkamaru’s route ~ these were probably the only arcs where Enju was able to hone her skills as a ninja and showed her true strengths.

Enju Ueno was literally, thrown to the wolves when she got caught up into this despicable game of survival, out of the blue. Not only that, but the ordeal she went through of betrayal, loss, and sorrow was absolutely too much to handle for someone her age. Still, despite all the hardships, she chose to live and survive. I was thoroughly impressed by her determination which I believe was one of her strongest points. YES, this is one badass heroine right here folks!

 

Side Characters

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Ennosuke (Left) – The fastest ninja in the Koga clan. He’s not romanceable, and I don’t think I’d want him as a dateable character either, heh. I love his friendly banters with Kyara.

Kyara (Right) – Proud, graceful, responsible, and badass on the battlefield. Her weapon of choice is a “chigirigi” which is similar to the “morning star” in medieval age weaponry. I ship her with Ennosuke. AlsoSaori Hayami voices her, so this to me was a plus!

Kasumi (Center) – the cutest, most adorable ninja…ever! She’s the youngest of Chojiro’s disciples. Looks up to Enju and Kyara as her older sisters. I love her so much! *must protecc*

 

SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
I purchased the physical copy of Nightshade (proxy shipped) which lets you choose three language options to start the game with (English, Chinese, Japanese). I can say, that the localization was fairly decent. I didn’t play the PC version, but I asked a few people who owned both PC and Switch copy and as far as their answers go, D3Publisher did not change the English translations for Nightshade on the Switch. They changed the fonts though! D3Publisher is known to deliver decent game localizations. They’re not the best but they’re not disappointing either. I’ve spotted a couple of minor typos in the game, but it’s NOT something that would ruin the whole experience for you.

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The Switch system was very comfortable and very easy to navigate from the jump. They even offer a “rewind” option for you to backtrack scenarios, which to me, was a saving grace. This way, making the correct save files became a piece of cake. The Nintendo Switch version also contains the game’s DLC “Special Content”. These are extra fluff episodes that happened in the middle of a character’s story. They also come with a special CG (one for each story).

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・
It took me a total of 30 hours to finish the game, and none of these 1800 minutes spent were wasted. Yes, I loved every bit of it.

Although the story was set in the Sengoku “Warring” period of Japan. Instead of the usual cliche battleground premise, that’s normally used in Sengoku themed animes and VNs. Nightshade’s story focused more on the darker side of politics during the said period. The indirect “battle royale” theme, I admit, was quite bracing and very well paced, at that. It was something I never expected to actually work in an otome game.

Besides Nightshade’s gorgeous artwork, I wanted to compliment the game’s stunning special effects, such as the leaves falling in the BG, flower petals scattering about  (whenever Enju uses her ninjitsu), and the moving sprites (which played exceptionally well during fight scenes). The voice acting for Nightshade blew me away and I couldn’t have wished for a better seiyuu lineup. I guess my only gripe here was Enju’s inconsistency as the heroine. In some routes, she’s badass while in others, she’s weak and very dependent. Her characteristics as a whole seem to vary depending on who’s the guy she’s with. I still love her as the main protagonist though!

While I’ve enjoyed playing all the routes in Nightshade and their respective stories, the ones that made an impression on me were Hanzo’s, Goemon’s and Gekkamaru’s. Chojiro’s was good but it was too angsty for my taste and while Kuroyuki’s story drove me to the edge of my seat, this is the route where Enju is at her weakest.

Do I recommend this game? YES
This is the first ever english otome game in the Switch that I would no doubt recommend to everyone at the drop of a hat. I’m so glad I’ve waited for this port, despite all the STEAM sales that have gone by the previous years 😂 (laughs). To be honest, I was even quite sad when I finished it 😅 and wished there was more content for me to delve into. If you’re having second thoughts whether or not it’s worth shelling out 48 bux to get this game in your Nintendo Switch Library. Here’s my advice: GET IT! This one’s definitely a gem and imo, almost up to par with the big titles (like Code Realize, Hakuoki, CxM). If you want an otome game with impressive storyline and characters you can’t ever get enough of, I can’t recommend Nightshade enough!

 

CHLO’S RATING: 8/10

London Detective Mysteria Review

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LONDON DETECTIVE MYSTERIA

Release Date:  December 18, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Karin Entertainment
Publishers:  XSEED Games
Platforms:  PS VITA, PC (Soon)
ESRB Rating: (Mature) 17+

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Walkthroughs:

  1. William H. Watson
  2. Herlock Holmes
  3. Kenichirou Akechi
  4. Jack Millers
  5. Jean Lupin Jr.
  6. Sarah Marple (Charmed End)
  7. Seiji Kobayashi (Charmed End)
  8. Baker Street Boys End
  9. Grand End

Read the game’s synopsis here.

 

Fun Fact: Originally published in the year 2013 by Karin Entertainment as “Eikoku Tantei Mysteria” for the Playstation Portable (Japan), the game was later remade in 2016 for the PS Vita with a few minor changes (regarding the game’s artist and voice actors).

As XSEED’s first otome title. London Detective Mysteria has gained an overwhelming hype from otome fans when they first announced it’s localization during their panel in Anime Expo (2018). But has the game really lived up to its hype? We’ll get to that in a bit…

 

ART AND MUSIC
The game credits two artists responsible for the London Detective Mysteria’s BG art and character designs, Natsu Mimura and Shiroma. The epilogue’s CGs were different than the ones in the main routes and Watson apparently is the only character who gets a new sprite. I’m not sure which artist did which, but as per Shiroma’s official site, I believe she did the epilogue CG’s (PSV ver.) while Mimura did the main (PSP ver.). That aside, both artists did an amazing job as the overall artwork for Mysteria was exceptionally beautiful.

The game mostly made use of fanfare-ish  music to match that 19th-Century-London vibe. The overall soundtrack of Mysteria was great though it wasn’t memorable to me. I did like the Ending theme though! You can listen to the game’s soundtrack (sample only) here.

Voice Acting
I didn’t like Emily Whiteley’s voice. Her VA sounded “airy” as if she’s always panting and running out of breath. Her “Kyaah“, “Eeep“, “Ngh” sounds were annoying as hell and I didn’t feel any emotions when she’s saying her lines. I’ve looked up other projects by her voice actress, and it appears that she’s only had a few (and very minor character roles at that). Perhaps if her VA had more gigs and projects, her acting might’ve improved??  ALSO… Maybe it’s just me, but I think Holmes’ voice sounded muffled and out of character. ┐(︶▽︶)┌

Natsumi Ooshita “Emily Whiteley” – schoolgirl1 (Dance with the Devils), schoolgirl2 (Shinmai Maou no Testament) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Masamoto Nakazawa “Jack Millers” – Clear (DRAMAtical Murder), Giancarlo (LuckyDog1), Moriya Keiichi (Omega Vampire), Souichirou Iseya (Yoshiwara Higanbana)

Shirai Yusuke “William H. Watson” – Kumagai Chitose (Beast Darling!),  Blanc Lapin (IkeRev), Amemura Ramuda (Hypnosis Microphone), Eltcreed Valentin (Steam Prison), Hiraizumi Miki (FLML)

Chihiro Suzuki “Herlock Holmes” – Akira Kamio (Prince of Tennis), Noel Valmore (Wand of Fortune), Oshiba Hagane (Tokyo Babel), Kuuso no Mikoto (Scarlet Fate)

Masaya Matsukaze  “Jean Lupin Jr.” – Ootori Kyouya (Ouran High School Host Club), Hagakure Yasuhiro (Danganropa Series), Souryo (Dot Kareshi)

Hiraoki Miura “Akechi Kenichirou” – Hido Takafumi (Kin’iro No Corda), Mishiro Takumi (Storm Lover), Uesugi Kenshin (Ikemen Sengoku), Takayuki (Yunohana Spring!)

Yoshitaka Yamaya “Kobayashi” – Mitsunari Ishida (Ikemen Sengoku), Aki Miyoujin (lol) (Sweet Punishment), Kensuke Asagi (World End Syndrome)

Yuuki Ono “Pollock” / “Edward Moriaty”  – Hamelin (Ozmafia), Saeki Yuzuru (CollarxMalice), So Minjye (Possession Magenta), Kangatari (Arata the Legend)

 

MAIN ROUTES AND CHARACTERS (NO SPOILERS)

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The starter routes of the game are Watson’s, Holmes’s and Akechi’s. Jack and Lupin’s route will only unlock after finishing the “Destined End” of any of the other three former bachelors. There’s no specific route order for you to follow (spoiler-wise), but if you want recommendations, I suggest playing in this order: Watson / Holmes – Akechi – Jack – Lupin.

 

WILLIAM H. WATSON

  • Dr. John Watson’s son
  • Animal Lover
  • #sunshineboi1

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Similar to their fathers’ relationship. Watson Jr. acts as Holmes Jr.’s assistant as well as his best buddy. Although their personalities are the total opposite, Holmes and Watson have this strong bond of trust that benefits both lads when working as a team. As the son of a famous doctor, Watson is also very proficient when it comes to medicine and first aid. He’s a headstrong character with an admirable physical strength that comes in handy when a combat situation arises.

I wanted to love Watson’s route as much as I love his character and his VA Shirai lol. Sadly, his story falls rather boring and was convoluted with a lot of events that were all happening at the same time. At some point in his route, Watson went into the “woe is me” phase, thinking he’s not strong enough to protect the heroine from danger. Well love, if the heroine can just stay out of danger for at least an hour or two, maybe you wouldn’t have to worry as much. lol 😏 Romantic-wise, Watson’s character grew on me. You can tell that he’s already head-over-heels in love with Emily, even from the start and I thought their childhood encounter (memory) was really sweet. (´ ε ` )♡ All in all, this boi was a ray of sunshine! An awesome character, that was wasted on such a bland, mediocre story.

 

HERLOCK HOLMES JR.

  • tsunjerk
  • daddy issues

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Holmes Jr. is the son of London’s most famous detective Sherlock Holmes. That said, he takes after his father’s outstanding wit in solving cases as well as his stubbornness. Since Holmes is a man of logic, he usually looks down on Emily’s way of solving cases through an intuition-based approach and shows no mercy in calling her out for it.

The only thing to look forward in Holmes’s route is his CGs. While his CGs make him look hot, his sprite looked weird that it was hard for me to take him seriously (laughs). Holmes was an all-around jerk in his route too, not only to Emily but also to other characters in the game. His insecurities of always getting compared to his rockstar dad pretty much drained my interest. At some point in his route, when the cards took a turn against his favor, he was too prideful to ask for help from his father nor let his friends lend him a hand. ( ̄ヘ ̄) His douchebaggery was a bit too much that it ticked me off from the experience. Oh, well!

 

AKECHI KENICHIROU

  • Foreign exchange samurai student
  • perfectionist

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Akechi is an exchange student from Japan. He’s a brilliantly knowing young lad who’s detective skills are almost up to par with Holmes Jr. He is very observant and has the habit of taking down notes whenever he learns something new from his schoolmates and the people around him. He’s also very skilled with the katana, his weapon of choice.

‘Finally, a route that does not disappoint’ was my first reaction when I first finished Akechi’s ‘destined end’. The pacing was really good where it started off with the normal fluff E.g; Akechi confronting bullies at school and Emily crushing on him hard lol, then escalated into the main conflict where Emily (due to her never-ending nosiness), gets kidnapped and Akechi, with his trusted assistant Kobayashi, have to fight off some bad guys to rescue her. The romance, I have to say, was really cute, especially in his Good Ending, where he and the heroine romantically admit their feelings for each other (´ ω `♡) . His After Story was also adorable that I would probably consider it, one of the best in the game. If you enjoy some endearing fluffy content, this route would be something to look forward to. 😉

 

JACK MILLERS

  • ‘Jack the Ripper’ but not really
  • star-crossed lover

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Jack is an East Ender, whose known to be fortunate enough to attend in Harrington’s Academy’s detective school. Although he keeps to himself at all times, he’s used to being talked behind his back by his schoolmates because of his “different” (East End) upbringing. He possesses a sharp mind but remains to have no apathy towards everyone around him.

Jack’s route was all I ever wanted from this game. It was full of angst and drama as expected, and I wouldn’t have it in any other way (^0^). In terms of story, I like how each character (In Jack’s route) was introduced in a manner where it didn’t feel rushed. I also loved how Jack’s romance with the heroine was portrayed as if it were the archetypal Romeo and Juliet (star-crossed lover) trope. Emily wasn’t a complete idiot in this route and to my surprise, made a couple of mature decisions for once! (laughs) His After Story was a little sad and as much as I wanted to see my son, Jack, have a happy ending with rainbows and butterflies, I find the “bittersweet end” an appropriate finish to his story.

 

JEAN LUPIN JR.

  • nerd by day, gentleman thief by night
  • mama’s boi

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As the son, of Arsene Lupin, the famous gentleman thief from France, Lupin Jr. lives up to his father’s reputation as a master of disguise whose thieving is often for a good cause, while operating on the wrong side of the law.

Lupin Jr. was the sole eye-candy of this game. His CGs were just gorgeous and even his character sprite was a sight for sore eyes! His route, however, left me a mixture of feelings. The romance was on point and I liked how his story started, but little by little you’ll begin to notice, how the events have gone from interesting to underwhelming, you just can’t wait to finish it.😪  I did like how Papa Lupin was such an exuberant character,😂 and their father-and-son banters were enjoyable to watch so to speak. To be quite honest, I wasn’t too impressed with Lupin’s overall story but I’m sure, due to the games clear bias on this character, Lupin Jr. will be a fan favorite to many. Though to me, his route was a letdown. His Oedipus complex just didn’t sit with me well lol  ┐(︶▽︶)┌ 

 

EMILY WHITELEY

  • Main heroine

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So after a couple of aggravating instances where I almost dropped the game due to the heroine’s shortcomings, I gave Emily a chance for the sake of completing Jack and Lupin’s route. While I’m glad she played out well in Jack’s story, for the rest of the game, Emily stayed an absolute disappointment.

Ms. Whiteley has a knack of sticking her nose and diving headfirst to obvious danger (she does this in almost ALL the routes of the game). She winds up getting rescued by either Pendleton or her love interest, ends up apologizing in tears, only to commit the same mistakes over and over again. I’m not sure if it’s her naivety or her sheer lack of common sense that makes her a total idiot. Perhaps, both! (⇀‸↼‶) I wasn’t too impressed with her voice actress either. Her character design was beautiful though! ❤️

 

SIDE CHARACTERS (Warning: Some Spoilers!)

2019-01-08-030541 SEIJI KOBAYASHI
The Friendzone Route
Kobayashi is #sunshineboi2. As Akechi’s assistant, he gets a lot of badass fight scenes in the game. Overall, a great NPC who got copped out of romance. His Charmed End consists of Emily friend-zoning him before he returned to Japan.😪

 

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SARAH MARPLE
The BFF Route
Marple is Emily’s closest girl schoolmate. She loves tea and baking pastries. Her Charmed End consists of Emily and her having tea together in the countryside and doing all kinds of girly things.

 

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MISS HUDSON
Annoying af
There’s nothing significant about this character other than her introductory chapter, “The Littlest Landlady”. Take her out of the picture and the game still remains as it is. Her chapter was a waste of time.

 

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RALPH PENDLETON
The True MVP of LDM
As the loyal butler of House Whiteley, this character has gone through all kinds of shit just to protect Emily from the danger she puts herself through. The fact that we never got any kind of backstory about him, was a big letdown and downright disappointing.

 

SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
The system was comfortable enough that it didn’t give me any setbacks in finishing the entire game. I find the scenario list extremely helpful for completionists like me, who’d want to unlock all the game’s endings. My only gripe was that there was no option to backtrack a scene. There is a text backlog which you can always visit in any case you missed a dialogue but there’s no way for you to go back to that particular scene. This became remarkably difficult while I was trying to make the correct save files.

Localization was excellently done as expected from XSEED Games. I could probably only spot very few typos and spelling errors which you can surely overlook due to them being very minor. The game’s translation was made to match the setting’s Victorian Era. You can tell that besides from just purely translating the game there was a lot of research done to it as well and I really appreciate that with localization companies.

However, I’d like to point out that doing too much can also become a little off-putting. There was a point in the game where the heavy purple prose on dialogues turned me off, especially during the fight scenes where every kick and punch comes with a fancy monologue. (>﹏<) The accents of East Ender characters were either necessary or unnecessary. I understand that this was obviously to distinguish those who live within the Poor District of London, to those in the City Proper. But I’m a total dumbass and I f’nd ‘t ‘ard  t’  an d’ur sta’n lines leik dis’. LOL

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? (´-ω-`)
With the heavy prose on writing and a very lengthy gameplay which will take you approximately 40-50 hours to beat the entire game, London Detective Mysteria became a chore to finish. It literally took me a month to complete it myself, and I wasn’t even being lazy or anything of the sort.

Story-wise, I was surprised how the main plot that was initially introduced (Emily trying to solve the case of her parent’s murder) was left untouched in each of the main character’s route. The fact that you have to unlock the “true ending” to know the story behind Emily’s parents was such an inconvenience. It was a mess! It didn’t help that the prologue and common route was overwhelmingly long and I believe some irrelevant chapters were unnecessary (E.g. “Ms. Hudson’s”chapter). I expected Emily to step up as a detective but all throughout the game she remained amateurish in solving no-brainer cases. If anything, she was extremely lucky (as most generic heroines are). I did like how some of the stories in the game brought up realistic events that were very common in the 19th century. Themes such as discrimination among Eastern foreigners and the segregation between the rich and poor were a few examples.

The characters that left an impression on me were Akechi, Jack and Watson. Akechi’s route was cute and tackled a few topics on cultural differences between the East and the West, it was an enjoyable read. Jack’s route tugged my heartstrings and made me cry (he wins ‘best boi’ in my book). Watson’s route was boring but he was such a delightful character, it’s hard to ignore his charm ha! (*’▽’*) The mystery cases in the common route were mere “child’s play” but the main target audience for this game are young teens so that’s to be expected.

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Do I Recommend this Game? YES but only if it’s on SALE.
If you’re a completionist, finishing the game can become a tedious task, so pick this one up at your own risk. Maybe if  London Detective Mysteria wasn’t too overhyped, I would not have been seriously disappointed after finishing it.

Still, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad game altogether. The game’s art was astonishing and remains it’s best winning point, and there’s a selection of characters you will surely love. The story, however, is very mediocre and monotonous where one full gameplay is definitely enough to perhaps satisfy your thirst for new otoges in the dying VITA console.

 

Chlo’s Rating: 6/10