Friday, September 30, 2016

Utawarerumono Futari no Hakuoro - Review

Game: [Utawarerumono Futari no Hakuoro]
Genre: Visual Novel, Strategy RPG.
Developer/Publisher: Aquaplus
Platform: PS3, PS4,PS Vita.
Official Site:
Release date: 2016-09-21

This game is a direct sequel to utawarerumono itsuwari no kamen which in turn is
a sequel to the first utawarerumono game and playing the third game without
atleast playing itsuwari is a bad idea, like they do a small recap
in the beginning  to refresh our memory it doesn't cover everything they expect
you to know the ropes. I know not everyone has the time
but atleast play itsuwari before this just trust me its worth it that much
to know who everyone is and the state of the world, I don't want to be rude
but atleast understand this much, thank you!

- Interesting story & world.
- Art/Bgm.
- Characters, especially the main party.
- Munechika's trials are informative.
- Not enough story battles? there's mock battle! have fun if no mood to read.

- Annoying villains. 
- Slow start, can get draggy; TL;DR etc.
There is honestly not much to say about it without going into spoilers and such
so i'll write a little before making the obligatory more after the jump.
If you want to get into this series I recommend starting with the anime of the first game
then play itsuwari no kamen other than that I love this series very much
and want other people to enjoy it from the beginning because its more rewarding.

No time to play/read the original? don't worry!
The original anime adaptation of the first game is fine but itsuwari's adaptation is a
mess of fanservice which strays from its source material and skips out on more content
than its prequel adaptation though I have to add that after you have played itsuwari no kamen
the anime may be a nice extra but its not a replacement. 
By the end of this game you will feel rewarded for finishing it all the way. 

Since the Utaware duology is being localized the best way(IMO) to enjoy the series is:
Utawarerumono anime + OVA's > Mask of Deception> Futari no Hakuoro(Mask of Truth)
This game like its predecessors is a visual novel, those expecting deep SRPG mechanics
like will be disappointed because limited skills/actions in battle and like I mentioned in my
 itsuwari review during the story you will spend more time doing reading than in battle though
it does get better later on and oh boy this game loves reinforcements to extend them.
 Sadly there are no or barely any interesting mechanics in stages except for stage 16, good luck
trying to push him back and in my opinion its easier to defeat him!
Though post game does have one escape and defensive stage were things could get interesting!
That's the sorta thing I wish was in the main story and not as an extra...
The mock battles are nice and are best to play along side the main story if you get
bored from reading and the game isn't giving you battles, you could do it post game for more
variety of characters since every single playable character is available to the allied and enemy side
but keep in mind battles get longer and to get the trophy it become a pain.
 Mikazuchi is so OP... but I still cry when they give me Itaku,  the poor boy is essentially
Maroro V.2 aka no special finisher and an unfinished move set.
I can't even be bothered to train Itaku and max out his stats with BP...
You need to win it 20 times for a trophy... which does make it annoying but I guess 
the all loot trophy is way worse since you may need to do mugen-enbu multiple times.  
I originally forgot to mention this but Munechika's trial is the best tutorial mode ever
esp if you aren't sure how to trigger certain dual deathblows, which trial 16 teaches you.
Of course it also teaches you how to properly use characters and realize how broken they are.
Gotta say this game did have some epic battles in the story especially were Oshutoru(Haku)
and others uses their mask and the instrumental version of  Fuantei na Kamisama plays
which is so hype, I liked how we were able to play as Haku using the mask
but I don't think the battles were thought out very well even tho its epic. -_-
Like I said I won't go into details, but have a few CG's instead... 
The game like its prequel has a slow start, while the story is definitely there its often interrupted
for slice of life events since we must spend more time with the harem! no this still isn't a galge...
because its obvious who really likes Oshutoru(Haku) the most which is Kuon
though it was kinda funny seeing all the girls fall for him all over again, lol.
Most SOL are good and funny to reward you after battles and what not but I can't help but feel
 that some of them only help to drag it out and they aren't as fun as most of itsuwari's scenes
some are and others aren't which is totally fine and well it is nice to get them to relax
but the pressure of war just wasn't there like the original utawarerumono yeah that's right
the war parts isn't as good as the original since not enough variety in enemy generals
and some parts just got dragged out for better or for worse, I felt bad for Maroro.
I still prefer the original Utawarerumono SOL scenes over Itsuwari/Futari since
sometimes the events here seem to like never end and at times make me forget
 the state of the world and that is bad because they drag the game on more than needed.
Speaking of battles again, they're good but still quite simple atleast in the first 20-30 hours and
you don't get access to special moves that early either unless you like grind on past battles?
But why would you even grind? the game is easy enough the first time through!
The second half of the game becomes more interesting battle wise, esp near the end.
 Postgame is were it actually becomes hard though which once again is a bit of a shame.

The story? good, this is clearly the end of the utawarerumono series the last bits
of the ending were really rewarding especially for a long time fan of this series.
The last parts of the game were super interesting things since the truth was revealed here
and honestly while I had some sympathy for the real bad guy he's just such a shit lord! yes he
 was that bad, much more than any other villain in this game and a sad past won't save him.
He's rotten to the core, pun intended.
Second chances? sure but he blew it because also LOL @ his hobby, but this is all I'll say.
Gotta say this game was incredibly draggy, there's a clear plot as to fight Yamato and
restore the throne to its rightful heir but the actual plot doesn't get started after that all happens
which isn't untill at the 40 hours mark(give or take a few hours).
Okay not everything can happen too quick... they all needed to come together for the big siege
which is like half of the game mind you but honestly the time spend with everyone was good.
Still the villains are just plain annoying the writer sure knew how to make me hate them.
All in all it was a good game though despite my nagging its probably
 the best game I've played this year based on story alone also the bias
 for EruruxHakuoro is real yes they make an appearance and so does Urutorii.
Kuon so badass, also the scene with the robot asking for a password was hilarious.
 My female favorite characters in order: (*duology only, no returning characters)
 Rurutie and Kuon > Nekone > Munechika > Anju > Fumiriru > Uryuu/Saryana >
Atui and Nosuri > Sinonon >Shisu.

 Male favourites (*.)
Haku > Ougi and Mikazuchi > Kiuru > Itaku > Oshutoru/Ukon > Maroro > Yakutowaruto >
Yashima > Raikou > Wosis/Oushisu.

Rurutie and Kuon best girls next to Nekone, sorry if biased... lol.
Yakutowaruto is a decent unit but I barely used him, after I fully upgraded his BP stat
postgame he turned out to be such a well balanced unit but by then it was too late.
Also why was the need to keep Shinonon so close? I get that they could not leave her behind
but surely she could have stayed with oshutoru's mom in ennakamui? maybe I forgot
the reason if so oh well but at the end of the game it was sort of weird.
Ougi is so great, I love his ability to nulify an attack if he has the energy! also he's such a siscon!
Well then we have Mikazuchi a badass and a great rival, who doesn't like him!
Itaku is the typical childhoodfirend of Atui but I wish he wasn't a Maroro v.2 in terms of moveset.

Utawarerumono is an amazing series, I loved it all the way to the end, its not without issues though.
Will it be localized? YES maybe and even then you may not see both games till 2017 and
that is IF by now some company started working on it, one can hope they DO NOT only decide to
localize this one because oh boy that would suck because one wouldn't even understand the deal
with hakuoro or can even sympatize for any of the characters, sure there are two anime's but you
know not everyone watches anime just to play a sequel game in the west.
Also I can't say its an easy game to localize there is lots of text graphics that need to be edited
into english... and let's not start about the VN parts because oh boy its lots and lots of text
they even had to change some of the names like Yakutowaruto becoming jachwalt...
Yeah that clever but uh IDK about Rurutie becoming Rulutieh... seems like for some names
they just spoon feed us the pronunciation, which is fine but I am like sorry how about no.
Localizations will never be perfect... if one wants the original they gonna have to learn japanese.

Oh well, enjoy some more CG's, I recommend Utawarerumono as a series but
I don't recommend only playing itsuwari no kamen and futari no hakuoro.
Start all the way from the beginning, I don't mind if its the anime, its worth it.



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