Thursday, June 16, 2016

Taisho x Alice -All in One- Review

大正×対称アリス
 Game: [Taishou x Alice].
Alternative title: Taisho Alice.
Genre: Otome game Visual Novel.
Developer/Publisher: Primula and Prototype.
Platform: PC, PS Vita.
Official Site: http://www.prot.co.jp/psv/taishoalice/index.html
VNDB: https://vndb.org/v16032
Release date: 2016-06-02

Taishou x Alice was originally an episodic release for PC but have no fear as the PS Vita version
contains all four episodes, so if you still haven't gotten it now is a good chance to do so.
 Also this is getting an english release thanks to e2gaming but if you already know japanese
and can import I recommend to get the vita port since E2gaming is also doing a partial release.
Plus there is no way of knowing if E2gaming's localization will live up to the original.
  I'm willing to give E2gaming a fair chance though, since they had a rough start, I can only hope
they don't make any more mistakes! hopefully they can license the VA and are able to use
 the original OP and ED's it would be sad to see this game release in english without it.


  The heroine of the story is Arisu Yurika, after she runs into Alice in the prologue they find a
 crystal mirror and end up inside it! several fairy tale characters reside here such as the 
Little Red Riding hood and Cinderella... but their genders are reversed. XD
On way or another the outcome of this story will surely be interesting.


Start/TL;DR
The system? nothing special, standard VN stuff.

My play order is:
Akazukin > Cinderella > Gretel > Kaguya > Shirayuki > Mahoutsukai > Alice.

As for play order you have to start with Akazukin or Cinderella(episode 1) in the vita port
but after you do one of the two routes available the next episode unlocks except for episode 3 since
this one is locked till you have done ep1/2 and epilogue won't unlock till you've done everything.
As for ep 3 the first time you start it you're locked to Shirayuki's route for obvious plot reasons.
Also every single route is unique and you select the guy right after the prologue ends.
Anyway I still decided to finish episode 1 before moving on to ep 2 like it should be.
If you play out of order for the sake of character... nothing will make sense
and you'll basically only shoot yourself in the foot if you do that.
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 Pro's
- Great heroine.
- Unique seiyuu cast, (a few well known ones though).
- Most if not all the characters are likeable.
- Art.
- Individual route is unique and is mostly self-contained.
^It does keep you interested in the rest of the story as it slowly reveals things.

 Con's
- Heroine uses english words at random, this can be annoying but doesn't happen often.
- BGM, it has its charms but some is kind of grating.
- As an otome game it may leave to be desired once you get to 'epilogue'.
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This game focuses on romance and its characters, the overall story will slowly unfold
as you go through all the episodes and it does a good job in keeping you interested and
 wanting to learn more, it actually rewards the reader in the end.
Don't mean to spoil but even though before epilogue you might find your fav...
it will become obvious there's only one real choice in the end.
9/10
 Taisho x Alice is a great VN with a good story, I fully recommend it.

I have to mention it AGAIN, if you are playing or are going to play it especially the PC ver...
PLEASE play in order the games came out Ep1>ep2 >ep3>epilogue because else you'll ruin the
whole story for yourself because things revealed in ep1 will be casually blurted out in ep2 and so on.
TL;DR/end

More ramblings and possible spoilrs after the jump.
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 ~Episode 1~
 This episode is unlocked from the start.
Akazukin
CV: Maeno Tomoaki.
 He's a very serious and polite guy, has a fear of women.
His route was a bit slow at first but not in a bad way, anyway
he might not show it early on but Akazukin is really adorable, I like him a lot.
Also this route was very focused on Akazukin and Ookami, none of the other
main guys appeared except Mahoutsukai and the bad ends in this route weren't that bad, also
 if you were to compare the ep1 bad ends to the ones in ep3... this is nothing compared to that.
Just who is Wizard boy? he's so mysterious.
Meano's acting was also really great A++.
The overall story for this route was interesting and Akazukin's confession was so damn cute. T~T
I don't have much to say about this route, other than that it was good and well written
besides since this is getting an english release I don't want to spoil too much.
In the beginning I never thought Akazukin could possible be this cute, boy was I wrong.
I don't regret doing his route first, /buries face in a pillow.

 Romance ★★★★★
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★★
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cinderella.
CV: Hirakawa Daisuke.
The lazy ore-sama snob, he's quite the brat, Cinderella has his reasons for being that way and
 he's still a decent guy behind all that. This route was a bit dramatic though.
After the last game I finished, I really hoped that Cinderella wouldn't be
one of those creepy Hiradai characters since he voices a lot of those recently. /sweats
(Good thing is he wasn't one of those types and for that I am glad, thanks Primula.)
Unlike Akazukin's route other main characters do infact show up in this route.
It shouldn't matter which one you'll do first though... 
So they help Arisu find out more about Cinderella before she finally meets him and
well let's just say that when she meet Cinderella left a bad impression of himself, rofl.
 Also Cinderella knows how to put Alice in his place ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Overall his route was decent, his ending was bittersweet, Cinderella may have been a snob at first
but the backstory and development over the course of the route only made me like him more.
Cinderella, despite being bratty he's actually a big softy inside, don't know if it just me
but Cinderella's route was a bit longer than Akazukin's, I really liked it though! the comedy was A++.
 This might've been one of the more romantic routes in the game.
 Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆
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~Episode 2~
This episode unlocks after you finish Akazukin or Cinderella's route in ep1 however
I recommend you do not start this episode untill you completely finish Episode 1.
 Gretel.
CV: Eguchi Takuya.
  He loves making sweets as a hobby and often makes too many, also Gretel is no angel.
 In his route Arisu is Gretel's sister... I won't go into the details as to why though.
During Cinderella's route you thought he was this kind guy who loves sweets?
Allow me to burst your bubble because he's one of those clingy guys and for over half of
 his route Arisu is locked away only going out with him most of the time. (눈_눈)
I've seen worse so Gretel isn't that bad, the route managed to be enjoyable for me.
I'd rather have a clingy overprotective onii-chan or otoutou's than an abusive one.
At one point in Gretel's route I was like this is cero-c right? because damn...
that was some delicious ear porn! Egutakuya's acting was A+++.
Anyway Gretel's route was al-right, its not bad or anything in fact the poor boy is just
 misunderstood and also extremely frustrated about a lot of things, sigh.
As a character I like him but sorry I do not like him as much as the other characters.
His kiss cg ended up being in a bad end... oh well atleast he had one! ( ´_ゝ`)
There truly seems to be a connection between the characters... just what is it?
Romance ★★★☆☆
Plot ★★★☆☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kaguya.
CV: Masuda Toshiki.
 Kaguya is a nice guy, he's a womanizer and also speaks with a kansai-dialect.
He frequently gets dumped by the ladies, worse part is his route starts with Kaguya
getting dumped and the second he sees Arisu he asked her to go out with him... oi.
Well yeah this guy has some issues.. as he even forgets the name of som ex he was dating
 before he met Yurika and it wasn't just one girl either, sigh many misunderstandings
but there is actually a good reason for this and no I won't spoil it, I thought it was well written.
Overall this route was more enjoyable for me than Gretel's, I was interested in Kaguya
 from the start so I'm glad his route didn't disappoint writing wise! except for the fact
that his route had 12 bad ends. >_> just be warned that there's some triggers for self harm.
Mein gott, what a minefield this route was, have fun playing without a guide because I sure didn't.
Honestly it makes sense that Kaguya has a lot of bad ends considering how he is, one wrong choice
and its goodbye, it really is a minefield and I really recommend you to use a guide. 
Yep Kaguya's route has the most bad ends in the entire game its also rewarding when you do get it. 
Well if this was the PC version I wouldn't have done them all... but vita port has trophies so... :v
Anyway Kaguya is such a sweetheart and a bit of a dork, he's a bit precious. T~T
There's more to this route that I wrote down but I do not wish to spoil everything
please enjoy it on your own! and I'm glad this boy was finally saved!
Romantically I don't really know about it but he deserves his happy end.
 Also Kaguya did nothing wrong, nothing.
Romance ★★★☆☆
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆

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~Episode 3~
This episode won't unlock till you have done Gretel and Kaguya in ep2.
Also the first time you play this episode you're locked to Shirayuki's route so if you wanted to do
Mahoutsukai first, too bad! It wouldn't make sense to do Mahoutsukai before Shirayuki anyway.
Shirayuki.
CV: Aoi Shouta.
 Even tho he's pretty he sees himself as the most horrific creature on the planet, www.
 Shirayuki is a bit of a kuudere, he's shy and doesn't speak when its not necessary.
The route had a slow start, Shirayuki is such a sweet and precious guy... sigh.
Shirayuki is so precious....
His route was good... considering his personality its only natural it was slower in the beginning.
Also that ''mother'' was kinda annoying, sigh Shirayuki did nothing wrong.
Its obvious something seemed to be at work in this route and there's more to it I'll leave it at that.
Shirayuki is a cinnamon roll too good too pure for this world.
After I learned the whole story, i'm just like let me love you! you deserve more. T~T
Is it obvious I'm biased yet? Shirayuki's ending was satisfying.
At the end of this route a lot was revealed about Mahoutsukai and I understand more now, also I
totally understand why they locked the other route and made us do Shirayuki first when we get to ep3.
But the story is not over yet, there is still more! oh wizard boy, what are your secrets?
Shirayuki's bad ends sure got me interested in him even more! even if the bad ends were really bad...
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mahoutsukai.
CV: Hatano Wataru.
 The mysterious wizard, who seems to know more about a lot of things.
After all the bad ends in Kaguya's and Shirayuki's route, I just don't know what to say about him...
Its hard to see his true intention, he's either friendly/goofy or dead serious. >_>;
His route was interesting thats for sure... I sure wasn't expecting this route to have a
Sherlock Holmes type mystery going on but it did, honestly this route felt like it was
trying to fix everything he did in some of those bad ends especially Shirayuki's.
After all of that, I sure was a little angry and confused towards him, so i'm glad that this route
 atleast tried to get me to like him again after all of those bad ends.
For the most part this route didn't disappoint me, a lot of things about Alice are revealed in this route
which in turn hypes up Alice's own route, overall Mahoutsukai's route was pretty good
because at this point you just want to know the truth about Mahoutsukai and you do.
The end was sad since I just felt bad for Alice... so the happy ending wasn't really satisfying to me.
You know its bad when a route feels like nothing more than a stepping stone for the epilogue.
In my opinion Mahoutsukai deserved more and he didn't get it... he also didn't even get a kiss CG.
 Sigh Mahoutsukai really did get the short end of the stick...
Romance ★★★☆☆
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~Epilogue~
This episode unlocks when you have done all others.
 Alice.
CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu.
No escape!
 Amnesiac boy with quite an attitude, he's the first person Arisu meets in the pitch black world.
This epsode is the conclusion of the story and as turns out from Mahoutsukai's route, Alice's real
name is Alistair, since shit happened in his childhood he developed a sort of personality disorder... 
There is a lot more to it but you're better off finding out for yourself.
I really looked forward to Alice's route, throughout the game I already was quite fond of Alice
 so fond that Mahoutsukai's happy end felt like a bad one to me. >_>
I loved this route, Alice's painful past was properly revealed and explained, the conclusion
and the ending was perfect it made the whole journey worth it. T~T
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
 Enjoyment overall ★★★★★
~
Oh and there also was an another story centered around Arisu and Alistair about
childhood but without the breaks in the actual route since before the past was
told segmented arcs, across the whole route, their were some new things though.
I guess the another story was okay for the most part, it was an extra.
Anyway...
I've already said more than enough, if you want to know more play/read the game for yourself.
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Fav route/chara in order who I like he most:
Actually there is no point but I might as well do it anyway...
Alice > Shirayuki > Kaguya > Akazukin  > Cinderella > Mahoutsukai / Gretel.
 It's pretty obvious that I like Gretel the least, never been fond of those types.
Akazukin, Kaguya and Shirayuki are Cinnamon rolls too good and too pure for this world.
Yes all three of them, however in the end Alice is pretty much the only choice.

Final Thoughts
 The route in this game are decent in length, its not too short and not too long.
Also the pacing but sometimes there were monologues like at the end of Shirayuki route in which
I thought it was over but no they had to go even deeper... I don't mind but huge chunks of texts
bore me sometimes even though the content itself was good, atleast the romance
in most routes felt natural unlike the previous otome game I finished so I'm glad this
turned out to be better than I expected and actually worth my time. Some routes in
this game felt longer than others though the average duration was around 6-8 hours.
Cinderella,Shirayuki and Alice's route felt the longest to me.
 In my opinion the overall story was well written but its not perfect, good thing is most if not all
the guys were likeable and I thought the heroine was pretty great, she has her quirks.
Though I feel like this is one of those otome games that would be even better if 
the heroine was voiced, IMHO a lot of otome games would benefit from voiced heroines.
Honestly I want to write more about the overall story but I feel like I shouldn't spoil it because
this game is better to go in blind without knowing too much details.

My favourite characters as seen above is probably Akazukin and Alice
I liked the writing for Kaguya and Shirayuki but they sort of follow after the first two.
The story might be slow at first but good thing is, the character interactions in general are great.
Lots of banter, meta about fairytales and fourth wall? what's that?! it broke a long long time ago!
The story in each route is focused on the character whom's route you're on, but
in the epilogue everything comes together and starts to make more sense as its connected.
Anyway it does a good job at slowly revealing things and  building up the romance
in the process, Taishou x Alice almost has it all...even if as an otome its not perfect.
 9/10
 A well written story with good pacing and bittersweet endings, what else do you want?
 I fully recommend Taishou x Alice -All in One- its a great otome game, don't miss out on it.

Characters ★★★★★
Art  ★★★★★(Perfect.)
Scenario/plot. ★★★★★(Well thought out.)
Music★★★☆☆ (OK...)
System  ★★★★☆ (Comfy...)
Enjoyment overall ★★★★★
~
Ah it feels great to finish another otome game with a well written story!
I'll remember this one, thats for sure! I wonder if there will ever be a FD?
I wouldn't mind it but honestly it ended on a good note so in my opinion its not necessary.

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