Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is an extremely engaging and challenging SRPG, a rarity in this day and age. For such a polished production and top notch style, Runersia is a delight to all the senses, despite slight hiccups such as certain translation errors.
Overall, the title has an immersive story and impressive world-building, making it an easy suggestion for those who are new to the otome genre who may or may not be the targeted demographic. It’s simply that good. With a story rich in detail and the especially exciting moments of exploring the “Isekai” side of the game, it’s filled with unexpected twists and turns by the latter part of its story. Café Enchanté is in the higher tier of otome titles to me, with a plot that exceeds expectations and is equipped with one of the most endearing and delightful otome casts within the genre. It sits comfortably up there with the likes of Collar x Malice and Code: Realize.
As a stand out in the Project DIVA series with its notable additions of customisation options, MegaMix is welcoming to newcomers with accessible and adaptable difficulty, and for fans who are craving a new experience in the series with the exclusive Mix mode.
Prodigal is merely £7.19 to experience, and I cannot recommend it enough. Additionally, both old and new fans of the title still have even more to look forward to with Prodigal, as its final and biggest update will drop mid March with additional content: four new dungeons, two hidden bosses, updates to tools, two new minigames, a handful of quests and Zaegul’s not-so-secret shop opening up.
Gnosia excels at being whatever you want it to be. As a single-player deduction game, or as a slowly revealing, spine-chilling story with amazing characters in the forefront and lore behind it, Gnosia has immediately become a must-play title for 2021. Just as I had hoped.
Six’s story continues to become increasingly intriguing, but still feels unfinished as of now. Her true intention in her journey, her reasons for causing the damage and why she did what she did will hopefully be alluded to in the future, as she currently appears to be a morally grey main character. While Mono is undoubtedly a victim who will forever be in our hearts, Six’s actions have left us with more questions after Little Nightmares II. I’m hoping for some more DLC, or at least a continuation in some format; there is evidently so much more to be seen not only in this dark and disturbing world, but in the story of Six.
While the writing and characters could have been better in some parts, its premise and uniqueness is worth a look into at the very least. Filled with penetrating atmosphere, and with a very well thought out mystery brimming with ideas, Return to Shironagasu Island is a welcome arrival for Hyogo Onimushi in the world of visual novels.
The villain deserved a lot more screen time. By the end of the game, there was an overwhelming amount of intriguing narrative threads the game did not manage to go into enough detail on. The amount of material presented here makes me crave even more hours of the game — it was a thoroughly engaging and exciting time, but I simply want more Ewen.
One of the strongest parts of Buried Stars is in its layered characters, who have enough depth to feel human, with their many flaws and strengths combined. Additionally, their responses to both the dire situation around them and the truths of their own traumas are penetratingly realistic and raw, with the majority of impact coming from the impressive voice actors. The same can be said for the game’s clever use of social media, both useful as a gameplay mechanic, and its relevance to the narrative.
Because despite the game’s many flaws, Kodaka proves that he continues to make brave and bold decisions in his creations, and has still delivered a title true to his vision. While featuring an extremely constrained plot, its surprising focus on love and its excellent take on the FMV genre was a thrill to experience. I simply want even more — and for Kodaka to have the opportunity to iron out the few nitpicks I’ve mentioned above.
While I’ve been mostly critical here, the game is an absolute treat to play through when taken on its own terms — but ultimately, it lays down the groundwork for something even greater. Fingers crossed this IP makes a return at some point in the future!
EPHEMERAL is ultimately not an otome game players will be coming back to after completing it, unlike many other more popular titles — but what it does provide is a selection of short bursts of fantastical romance scenarios that we can experience after we have consumed every other possible title within the genre. It’s short, sweet and gives us what we are looking for — blushing bishounen monsterboys.
Ultimately, Olympia Soiree is the whole, entire package – you’ll want to play it for the layered story, (mostly) lovable characters and steamy, high amount of romancing. It’s exceeded my expectations and surprised me in some ways too (thanks for existing, Tokisada!) — and horrified me more often than not.
Cupid Parasite is super entertaining, and it is a breath of fresh air for the genre in the west. I’m hoping and praying for even more games of this calibre to be localised in the future, because now it’s all over, I wish I could play Cupid Parasite blind once more.