The Caligula Effect
Top Critic Average
I wish I didn't want to like The Caligula Effect as much as I do, but it's just tragic how far it falls from its own obviously lofty goals. For a game about a virtual world where everyone appears as their best possible self, The Caligula Effect is a walking worst-case scenario, representing the most disappointing possible execution on the huge potential of its best ideas.
There is a lot of content to experience, but it is all riddled with flaws, making it an unsuitable replacement for Vita fans disappointed in the lack of Persona 5.
The Caligula Effect is an average JRPG with a memorable soundtrack that has some ambitious ideas for mechanics, but fails in executing them in a constructive manner.
The Caligula Effect offers a fascinating story inside of a huge virtual world. Filled with heavy concepts, writer Tadashi Satomi weaves a complex story about human suffering, artificial happiness, and the lengths people will go to find inner peace. While not nearly as developed or immersive as Persona 5, the game's flashy graphics, star-studded soundtrack and solid story help to make up for what the game lacks in a depressingly shallow and unfulfilling social system, unclear objectives within dungeons and a rather tedious battle system.
If you're a JRPG fan and can see past its dull dungeon design and grindy friendship system, then there is still fun to be had here, but you'll have to push through layers of tediousness to get to it. The Caligula Effect is a game with plenty of good ideas, but sadly, they're just not executed very well. It feels like developer Aquria has tried to implement so many ambitious concepts, but it doesn't actually take the time to flesh them out, and instead, repetition has been used to fill in the gaps.
The Caligula Effect has a turn-based battle system that is refreshingly fun.
FuRyu's latest RPG might be their best work yet, with a combat system that can be incredibly satisfying to link together, but there is still something lacking in the parts that don't attempt to emulate Persona.
The Caligula Effect features a nifty concept as well as some notable minds behind its story, music and character design. At the same time, the PS Vita JRPG is also the victim of bad timing as everything it does, Persona 5 does much better. If you haven't played the latter, then I recommend getting that instead. Otherwise, if you're looking for a more old-school Persona-style game, then The Caligula Effect can be worth checking out.
The Caligula Effect has some of the coolest systems ever found on the Vita. The game seems to push what the system is capable of and perhaps that was asking too much. With some frame rate drops during battles and unnecessarily confusing dungeons, the game might get passed up by the more casual RPG players. However in the end, the side stories, characters, and awesome soundtrack saved the game and made me want to see it through to till the end.
A lot of video games attempt to say something, but rarely do they manage to leave a genuine impact by the time the credits begin to roll.