Saturday, April 22, 2017

Teikoku Kaleido -Banka no Kakumei- - Review

Game: [The Charming Empire]
Genre: Otome Game Visual Novel.
Developer/Publisher: Operahouse/Dogenzaka Lab.
Platform: Mobile, PC, PS Vita.
Release date: 2017-2-19 (English)

I got this game on steam because it seemed interesting and to take a break 
from a more heavy VN, something lighter seemed appropiate and so I bought this even though
I usually do not bother with english games and well I also supported Nightshade.
It had good art and the translation seemed decent oh and its fully voiced!
The music is a bit eh though... and the system was so standard
I could figure out the right choices without using a guide(if there was one)
and if I guessed the wrong one i'd reload usually but I still got the happy end first
the opposite choice led me to a normal end overall it was an easy ride no guide needed.
Well sometimes a simple otome game is good...
The whole theme of this is... what if I fell in love with a rebel leader?

- Simple but decent plot and heroine was more proactive than i'd thought she'd be.
- Enjoyable routes, atleast imho.
- Art.
- Voiced

- Decent in length but its not that long really.
- Three of the romanceable characters don't have presence outside of their own route.
- Music, its sorta average and just there.

Though I found it weird how we suddenly got an introduction of the guys in the prologue
in a fashion thats totally out of place they even show random CG's but turns out this is intended.
It probably was for the mobage part to get you to buy the individual route and was
 too much of a hassle to change it for the steam version which comes with all.
 The prologue just serves as an introduction to the general story it'll change based on route.

The heroine Amane lives and ordinairy life with her grandparents in the countryside
 till she is summoned to the capital by her older brother who's also the ruler of the country.
Overall I think the heroine's okay, she's not a blank slate and will say what's on her mind or
atleast try and knowing this was a mobage I honestly was surprised at how proactive she is.
You start the routes right away after Soushi tells you why your here and I unfortunately 
picked Sera first and they just shove him into the scenario and pretend he was sitting
 in the car the whole time, quality writing amiright but overall it got a little better.
I know mobage stories are usually meh but it turned out ok... atleast make your story 
and characters consistent don't give me a prologue and suddenly go back to it
because hey, this guy was here the whole time! (lol Sera.)
The only flaw is that except Soushi,Kagemitsu and the guy whom's route your on disappear from
the face of the earth, I learned from Sera's route Kagemitsu's apparently a childhood friend
and Soushi's advisor but Sera a bodyguard and Kei another tutor don't exist outside their own route.
I never saw Tanba outside of his own route either oh well its good to see them focus on
 the individual but don't make it look like they come crawling from under some rock, lmao.

Playorder won't matter that much, Kei's route is the most self contained
so he may be best done first so in the end  I recommend this order:
Kei > Kagemitsu > Seras > Soushi > Tanba

Unfortunately my own playorder is a mess and I just decided to wing it...
I felt like they should have locked some routes or forced us to go in a specific order
but the dude whom's route you're on is always the rebel leader it just doesn't really matter
and why it ends up being a little inconsistent cuz if it ain't their route they don't exist
with the exception of Kagemitsu and Soushi ofcourse.
Seras > Kagemitsu > Soushi > Kei > Tanba.

Sera Kouichirou.
CV: Eguchi Takuya.
The reliable bodyguard.
A bodyguard who takes his job seriously, not really talkative so they could shove him right in.
Anywaythey give me a straight-forward prologue only to go back and explain hey this dude 
was there but we didn't mention him and suddenly the car ride was a whole lot interesting!
Too bad after that incident he was like a wall who takes his job seriously, he's too close
 just to be sure he can protect you anytime, seems good to me.👌
Sera is just not good at talking... oh well you know how they go and I thought
it was great to see them get closer and learn a little more about him 
so I don't have much to complain about there were some derps like Sera saying
he never saw her read when she was supposed to be studying a chapter ago, lol but whatever.
Sera got ridiciously sweet over time I was asfdhfsjhghgf'ing so much too...
The plot was pretty abrupt but it wasn't bad I even was a little surprised, overall I enjoyed it a lot
also it funny how the heroine says she never see him blush before but PLS he's been
doing that for the majority of the time they were together and I understood that he may
have fallen for her pretty early but he's like ur just the princess... I must control my feels.
Anyway this route was fun there's not much else to say really
but man its sad he doesn't exist outside his own route and it extra sad the dude
 who has no presence elsewhere brought up such a major plot thread from out of no where also
 Sera reminds me of Fujita-san from meikoi except Sera's miles better but that just my 2 cents.
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆

 Togawa Kagemitsu.
CV: Toyonaga Toshiyuki.
The forgotten childhood friend.
 The unfortunate forgotten childhood friend and Soushi's advisor and considering
 he's an old friend I decided to do him next... besides I was curious
and well his story is more consistent than the previous route I did.
 He's really nice to Amane but can be sort of scary to the other people at the palace if they
are rude to her... yeah he really likes her and won't let them say shit about her family and stuff
even if he test was wrong he just pats her head and tells her she did ok.
I wasn't sure if he was genuinely kind or trying to get on her good side i'm sorry
I'm just wary of these types! but yeah its super clear he's always liked her and a certain
choice before the ball even makes him look possessive but he just jokes about it.
Kagemitsu is a good guy but the majority of the route felt like stuffing myself
with cotten candy, really it was too sweet4me, Kagemitsu also holds a pretty big secret
and overall its okay except for the major codegeass ripoff at the end I guess. >_>
I ain't got nothing more to say but that it was decent and felt shorter
 than the previous route I did it also was lacking a kiss cg but maybe
that's because he's such a nice guy and doesn't want to force her.
You better not forget about him again... T~T
 Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★☆☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆

Amazaki Soushi.
CV: Tsuda Kenjirou.
This is worse because its his route...
Wouldn't have it any other way.
Amane's brother who is also the emperor, when I look at him I can't help but see Lelouch...
This is pretty much the main route and the story flowed the most consistent from the prologue.
I know he's serious about protecting Amane but I can't stand the guy in the way he goes
about things also I think Tsudaken's voice doesn't fit him at all and I believe
 they only picked him because he can easily do an evil charasmatic role, yeah that must be it.
I couldn't enjoy this route since I think his design is terrible, like his eyes are too red
but its funny how I do not mind the romance at all even if incest, lol.
 I know he's likeable but I am so sorry I just flew through this route since I wanted to be done with it
because there was no other character except Kagemitsu around and it was sad to see him
being the forgotten once again but trust me I feel sadder about the other guys anyway Amane was
persistant in trying to talk with her brother to give her more space and he eventually gives it to her.
 The relationship was ok... I loved how Amane was proactive and allowed to make tea or cook
like she so wanted in the prologue , later she made a bento for their picknick sadly he was late
since he's a busy person making her a little sad, overall this route was so-so to me but not bad.
Probably the only scene I liked before it went to hell.
I only sat through it for completion and from what I saw I wish it was handled better, I found it
funny how in other route he's made to look more sane and yet hear its like he's lawful evil? -_-
Only for the truth to bomb again and hey he's just being used like in every route and well
 he doesn't even want to be a brother because he knows they can never be together
the ending itself was pretty cliche and I liked the fact he wants her to be truly happy
even if its not with him so its OK to choose any other guy over him. T~T
You know this sounds better than it should be...
Romance ★★★☆☆
Plot ★★☆☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★☆☆☆

Yoshimine Kei.
CV: Matsuda Toshiki.
The strict tutor... wait who is the one teaching here? (lol)
Only in his own route is Kei Amane's tutor and like Sera doesn't appear outside of his own route
but it was enjoyable despite being extremely self-contained so I did him next.
This whole route is a what if I had a handsome male tutor...? instead of the usual cranky woman.😂
Like Sera he's serious and strict in what he does but Kei sorta looks down on
Amane thinking its a waste of his time but not like he has anything better to do.
Apparently he's being held at the palace against his own will and the crown prince
 from another country Soushi invaded, anyway Kei was really cute even more so than Sera's
so its natural I enjoyed this route a lot and it was nice to see Amane take initiative once again.
The route was good if a little predictable... I don't have any complains but I felt like its better
to do this route sooner rather than later because its too self contained and later you may just be eh
about it as a whole, also atleast Kei had a reason not to show up in other routes...
or maybe they just conveniently take out 3 of the characters still because
they're not important to the overall plot. >_>
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★★

Tanba Touki.
CV: Tetsuya Kakihara.
The charming cafe owner.
 Owner of a Cafe, he's flirty and doesn't appear in any other route... either because god forbid
Amane runs into any other man other than the dude who's route your on or her brother and
the forgotten childhood friend, this is getting real old and I am glad this is the last route.
Like Soushi this route seemed to flow the more consistent from the prologue...
 Anyway this route was great in more ways than one, Soushis like sit tight at the palace and go
improve your etiquette but unlike other route Amane finds a hidden passage way to sneak out
and go into town because she's sick of this suffocating palace(lmao same).
 Tanba ends up saving her from a pick pocket and it all roll from there...
he's is only nice to girls and tbh he seems like a pick up artist. (I'm sorry)
Overall the route was so different from others since she's outside a lot and I liked
every development of the plot which made it a great way to end the game
maybe I am just biased but Tanba had the best route.
I just want Tanba to steal Amane away and well technically he did~
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★★

Fav route:
Tanba > Kei / Seras > Kagemitsu > Soushi.

Fave character:
Seras > Tanba > Kei > Kagemitsu > Soushi.

Final Thoughts
Yeah I really expected a fun otome but... I got code geass instead...
This being originally a mobage it was strangely enjoyable the plot was just there
with a strange turn(lol), the music was mediocre and the art was good but
it reminds me of the quinrose games for some reason. 😅
I'm honestly glad it was voiced or else I wouldn't have bought it also this game kept making files on
my PC and never saved some of the settings permanently... but atleast the cg's didn't disappear.
Anyway I went into this game blind and my first route turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable.
As for length I don't think this vn was that short though, maybe if you are a fast reader
but some people like me read slowly and let the character's finish speaking and take in
 their expressions and certain chapters did fly by but I think the overall length is just right
 the second route and the ones after it went by faster though.
Overall story is the same but each character has his own take on the situation so I wasn't
really bored trying to do other routes still some events will always happen but that not bad
also some character like Sera, Kei or Tanba cease to exist if it ain't their route, Kagemitsu still has
presence alongside Soushi... but I find this sad to have characters come crawling from under a rock.
It obv this game centeres around Soushi and Kagemitsu but yeah its such a waste even for mobage
and I am glad I don't play a lot of those but for a mobage I think this game was decent at best. 
For all we know they did it so we could guess who the rebel leader is or who that prince
 from some neighboring country is and after finishing all route that is the only conclusion
I can come up with and I think it is fine but still it could've been different.
Its no secret I prefer the more adventurous otome games and The Charming Empire
felt very suffocating to being locked to one place at all times except for one route
which was literally a breath of fresh air, oh well I have said more than enough.
Despite some complaints I liked most of it, its out in english, decent art and a so-so plot
plus it voiced so if you love otome you should look into it and don't be an asshole
and pirate but support dogenzaka's effort by buying it so we can get
 even better otome games from different developers!
I don't have much praise for this otome the only route I enjoyed the most was Sera and Tanba
but overall it was very simple in what it tried to do, dunno about their other upcoming
otome game but since its a school setting i'm less inclined to buy it but I hope
since its part mystery I hope all of the guys have fair presence.
Anyway I doubt I'd buy the vita port, unless the extra contents are actually worth it
like for example Kagemitsu getting his kiss cg.
Sadly while it was decent I don't think it was especially memorable...
its nice if you want something simple with a semi-good plot but it could've been better.

Characters ★★★☆☆ (I wish some of the others had more presence)
Art ★★★★☆
Scenario/plot ★★★☆ (Decent for a mobage...)
Music ★☆☆☆☆(Its really average...)
System  ★★★★☆ (Comfy but some technical aspect need work)
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆

Now if you'll excuse me I'll continue suffering through BWS.

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