Collar X Malice
Top Critic Average
Collar x Malice is one of the best otome visual novels I've played with lots of things to shake up the formula for the better but some typos in the text sour the experience.
In the end, Collar X Malice is a great visual novel that happens to also be an otome. The story is dark, stressful, and creates an atmosphere that forces the player to want to continue. True, there are many wrong paths, but once you see the end in sight you will understand what makes this game so good. I enjoyed my time with Collar X Malice and I'm eager to experience the remaining routes and endings that I missed, which could easily take 40 hours of accumulative playtime.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into Collar x Malice, but I was admittedly a little afraid its darker tone would result in a nastier, more sadistic streak across the board. I couldn't be happier to have been proven wrong: while the writing leaves a lot to be desired in some regards, the story told is a compelling one, and earning the trust of the icy suitors was a more nuanced and sweet process than I expected. If you're of a mind to enjoy this silliness like I am, forget the New York Times bestseller list – your over-the-top romantic beach read is just a Vita download away.
Collar X Malice is a slick, stylish, and sexy thriller.
A solid game in the genre, however it cannot surpass certain level. Nice and exciting story makes a good break from more challenging titles.
Review in Polish | Read full review
Collar X Malice is a well-crafted visual novel, with thought estetics and elaborated plot. The story itself is deep with lot of possibile interpretations. But this game also features all limits of its genre: dialogues are often too long and there are design limits that are not common to the contemporary audience. Those will be able to overcome these flaws will discover a deep story with great replayability.
Review in Italian | Read full review
There is a reason that Aksys website for this game doesn't stress that this is an otome as the story is engaging for visual novel fans of all types. Collar X Malice is a well-crafted title that leans hard on its mystery and creates a sense of foreboding while keeping it from becoming too much. Idea Factory walked a fine line here and ended up with a cool, stylish experience for anyone that just wants to chill in an easy chair with a cool story.
All in all, my passion for Collar X Malice is more than I could have ever anticipated. From its diverse and interesting cast, to its alluring version of Shinjuku in crisis, it captivated me from start to end - held back only by mundane extras and localisation errors. It stands in my eyes as the best visual novel since Virtue's Last Reward - and I hope in future it can see a PC release to free it from the niche shackles of the PS Vita.
If you're OK with dealing with text issues—or will speed through too fast to notice—then Collar X Malice is going to hook you. The themes may be disturbing to some, and the M rating the ESRB gave it is definitely deserved, but it left me thinking for a long time after I hit the title screen for the last time. Sometimes, that's just what I need.
Everything I hoped for and more, not only has it quickly taken its place as one of my favourite games released this year, but Collar x Malice has earned a spot as one of my favourite visual novels overall. It's something very special, and it's going to be one tough act to follow.