For time being let’s say it again: IT’S OVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER.
With that done, Madou Koukaku more or less met my expectations for it. Though I can’t quite say it surpassed it either it didn’t really disappoint either.
During the trial releases I heard many complaints about the gameplay being bad so that helped lower my expectations in that area. Contrary to the complaints, I feel that it was pretty decent in the end. To begin with, in games like these, the combat is never really that complicated. Sengoku Rance and the likes just uses a turn based system with skills like a rpg. In reverse I actually find that this sort of combat system is more fitting because it gives room for strategy when you don’t have overwhelmingly more power than the opposing force.
Going further, I would say that the combat really ended up just being a part of the game as territory management was the part that truly took a lot of time out of you. It’s scary how you poke around building things, creating new monsters and whatnot then look at the clock and realize its been 2 hours since the start of the turn.
Much like previous Eushully games, it features a large amount of things to deal with when not fighting. Synthesizing things, fusing monsters, doing story events, quests, organizing and equipping your troops and the list goes on. Of course an important part of it is to deal with building new things on your territory.
It was a pretty scary time sink alright and that was what I expected to be, thank god I managed to do enough work the week before to take it easy for this past week as I drained all of my time into it.
My only real complaint regarding the gameplay is that it had some parts of it that felt relatively unpolished. It could’ve been better but just didn’t quite get there. The common complaints about the battles being repetitive and that the controls aren’t that good are good examples of it.
Story-wise it’s a definite step up compared to Kamidori and Soukoku. It’s unfortunately not to the level of the Ikusa series but well… I don’t think anyone was expecting the story to be that good anyway.
Typical of Eushully, it features plenty of world building, characters of assorted races and whatnot. The story was quite enjoyable but then again, I generally love stories that take their time to put together a nice world so my opinion is pretty biased. Hence, I actually didn’t find Kamidori/Soukoku stories that bad either. Though I’ll admit that they were a bit plain.
The storytelling is generally done through events that show up here and there and features a true history route and various sub routes. This is where the story falls, I didn’t quite like how if you didn’t achieve the true end, the story just cuts short and ends there.
In the case of the “evil” route where you essentially do the opposite of everything, conquering territories, mercilessly raping the women and creating a harem, it was even worse. The entire storyline essentially consisted of a few (unvoiced) lines during war declaration/victory when excluding hscenes. There was just about two or three proper scenes in that route. Felt pretty reminiscent of the Core route in Daiteikoku. In other words, it more or less revolved around the h.
On the other hand in the proper routes, hitting a normal end by failing to achieve true end conditions results in the story getting cut short. The sub-antagonist gets murdered and the story ends there. What happened to the rest of the story you ask? Well you see, this and that happened and we time skipped to a brief epilogue showing the ending with whoever you ended up with.
In the case of you failed to even trip a flag with a nation, you’ll get the normal normal end which rounds up as “the battle still continues!” ./end.
You see, in a typical VN I can say “oops I was too indecisive” and shrug it off but in this case, I literally burned hours just to get given a half assed ending, NG+ and I’m expected to go conquer everything again. Well fuck you.
Nevertheless, after going through with the process some two, three times I finally achieved the true end. By that point I had a full army of level capped units so I can’t say the battles were particularly challenging but it was still relatively fun.
What came as a surprise is that… despite the game being called Madou Koukaku (referring to the dolls on the cover for the record) and the story more or less revolving around these Madou Koukaku, we (shockingly) didn’t actually see any hscenes or anything of the sort with them. At least none that I found. Yeah, I can already hear people telling me “but they’re just dolls!” “They don’t even have reproduction functions!” “They’re too small to begin with!” but it’s Eushully in a world of magic. I’m sure they could’ve done something if they tried.
To be fair, I think that was a blessing. I don’t even want to hear Al’s voice in a hscene, seriously. Even though I got used to it during the latter half of the game, I still don’t want to imagine it in a hscene. Ryun was a bit of a pity though, yes. I wanted to see a route for her ;_;. Which reminds me, this story didn’t really have that much of an all around happy ending which might sadden the people looking for such. Sacrifices were had ;_;. I actually thought the Madou Koukaku’s were all going to kick the bucket but well… I guess it’s handy not being a living being after all. Who knew that all of them “dying” meant I had to take a quest, slay some random monsters and retrieve their core to revive them. I questioned why the heck the antagonist just randomly threw their cores away as well.
Overall, it was a good game with its ups and downs. It wasn’t disappointing by any means and it properly met my expectations of it (the expectations of it draining an entire week of my time as well) but it didn’t really exceed it either as there was honestly some faults here and there as I pointed out. Nonetheless it was fun and that’s all that matters.
Next up I’m going to play…play… I’m not sure. May decide to take a day or two break to catch up on anime and whatnot before continuing to other April releases. I only have a handful of them to go through when I look again.