Friday, May 18, 2018

Utawarerumono Chiriyuku Mono e no Komoriuta - review

Genre: SRPG/Visual Novel.
Developer/publisher: Aquaplus.
Platform: PC, PS2,PSP, PSV, PS4(this version).
Release date: 2018-04-25

Since I've never reviewed the original(played PSP ver ages ago) I'll try to 
to do so for this ''remaster'' it won't be that long since its an old game.
So since Utaware Itsu/futari was such a success, like it moved mountains
of copies on release (especially the latter) AP decided to release an updated version 
of the original game after the ps2/psp version BUT made the srpg part like its sequels.
It was originally an eroge but most of it has been replaced by other events
 some things are still implied though and the harem well its still there. xD
I played the PS Vita version but it felt like it was the PS4 version as outside of battles
its incredible clean, I never had a problem with itsu/futari since those're decent ports too
sure its rougher on PSV but atleast it retains its charms AND runs well.
Unfortunately this might be my last actual ps vita game outside of pure visual novels. 

- Story, long but worth to sit through all the way.
- Lovely cast of characters.
- SRPG part is enjoyable; more options compared to utaware 2/3; lots of stages.
- Music; can use special arrangement that give the feel of 2/3 during scenes
and if you want to get nostalgic there's the old BGM, best of both worlds.

- Its not without its flaws, some may stick out like a sore thumb.
- While the art itself is amazing... changing the hue of the sprites to fit the time of day looks odd.
- Missables; if you just go through the story first(like me) you might have to do another
playthrough since certain items from event/drop of optional stages are missable its not a problem
if you do everything as it becomes available but its more of a matter of knowing when and where.

Pictured; an optional battle, please note at this point its post game and i've grinded BP to max out some stats.
 Gameplay; upgraded to the likes of its sequels; SRPG part is like a breather between VN part
there's a hard mode for those that want a bit more challenge. Its very slice of life-ish
at first but it gets better; it just takes its time, the first battle was about a bit over an hour in.
 I found its easy to take breaks as well due to it bringing you to the camp menu often enough.
It has a slow start but when it gets serious its battle after battle and there's times of peace
like a calm before the next storm of course the further you get in the quicker the pace
and less time for shenanigans, that's the only way I can sum up the flow of the game
without mentioning spoilers. In terms of stages there's a ton and I still found it to be
much more engaging than its sequels, replaying only made that clearer for me.
The variety/goals of some of them is better too like there's a pure defensive stage later on
and they love throwing nasty status effects at you either by attack or a turret.
The finishers/dual are gotten pretty early and its funny how enemies can heal... even boss
this time you too can equip items that a give a stat boost and be able to heal themselves
in case Eruruw isn't around, you can even use offensive items. Overall its more enjoyable.
 You can still redo turns and replay old battles but i figured you'd expected this
and if you've bought Sasara and Tamaki before they'll automatically join.
 However I never had need of them; the main playables and a few guests(they have deathblow!)
are more than enough! also man Oboro is so amazing; he's fast and strong! if you only
raised his strength with BP and accesory to the point if used well nothing stands a chance really.
If I had to give the playable's class/roles it'll be: Hakuoro is average but if he dies so does
everyone's brains which means a game over. Eruruw is the healer, Aruruw a tank.
Oboro and Karula are the glass cannons. The gay twins Dorii and Gura the rangers.
Benawi is defense is best offense! and Kurou is his back up but weaker in terms of defense.
Urutorii and Kamyu are casters; not too strong but not that weak, they have their uses.
Touka and Genjimaru are offensive; if you know Yakuto-err Jachtwalt they're like him!
then we have Theoro and Derihourai.. both offensive unit but you won't get to use them much
atleast there's optional stages but like you're not starved for EXP or BP and I completed
the game without even touching one optional stage, missed opportunity? sure since if I want
that platinum I will have to do it again to get certain items. TBH I never platted futari no hakuoro
since the loot trophy was too time consuming and I just wanted to do other things. Well now you
know they are there and if the VN part drains you some action is available. It add a lot even if
amount of optional is like half the main scenario stages of which there are 32 of.

 On another note...
It is nice how these two DLC Sasara and Tamaki are shared throughout all three games
if you had bought them before they are yours forever! yay cross-game DLC.
The only thing that irks me is a season pass but its only 30$ and you'll get bonus items along
with playable Haku, Kuon, Rurutie, Ukon, Nekone and more which is nice fanservice.
 Atleast Ukon has a deathblow now which was quite cool IMO

Overall it really feels more like an SRPG with all the options available, not too difficult
but not that hard. Unfortunately I found the last few end game stages got too easy (lol Oboro)
I gotta add that as soon as you clear stage 14 it becomes extremely easy to farm BP
so no matter the difficulty you can just adjust stats to your liking on a whim.
That aside the pace of the story was literally one thing after another near the end, the plot
isn't bad its just so much at once and I am glad the story took itself seriously which makes
you like oh I actually missed those shenanigans early on but there's no time for that!
That might add to the impact of the ending itself. Now imagine it being mid 2000's-
(I'm trying not to mention actual spoilers or how's and why's so bear with me.)
-and you finish it; there's no sequel you're left with that ending. Personally
I found it nice its not completely a happy one but it isn't that awful they actually
left a lot of matters up to interpretation. Life goes on Hakuoro's friends
said lives had been changed because of him... basically his presence had a huge impact.
The relationships said friends have with each other... is great too and I feel
in a lot of rpgs these days you don't get to see it like here. Utaware might be harem-ish
but its not all about the harem even the sequels still manage to get that across.
Did I ever mention the lore? and how it just makes it that much more engrossing...

Graphic; Stills and Portrait are beautiful, world is lively and colourful
even not important character have sprites or atleast most of them but like I did not see a need
to change the hue of the sprites(the standing pictures not cg's) to whatever time it is ingame.

Music? at the start you can choose between original/sequel tracks so whatever suits you...
BGM is beautiful and fits the scenes quite well I don't even need to explain why
but if you have never played the original I recommend sticking to the original music track
unless you are like super fond of itsu/futari's OST.

Fav character:
Touka > Aruruw > Oboro > Kamyu >Yuzuha >  Eruruw > Benawi > Kuuya > Sakuya >
Urutorii > Karula > Genjimaru > Gura / Dorri > Kurou > Derihourai/Hien > Teoro >
Kamuchataru > brick wall; Nuwangi > Suonkasu > Dii > deepest pits of hell; Hauenka(fuck him).
Some of this is basically just preference; its only the ones that stood out.
 Nothing against the gay twins; but like they are pretty much
Oboro's sidekicks and didn't leave that big of an impression on me aside of comedy
and them being super duper loyal to him. Karula is like idk not my type but she's great
character and has her reasons but I found myself more attached to Urutorii. :/
 Benawi would be my husband and Kurou... well he's like a bro he won't let you down
but that's it really he adds a lot to the others if scenario allows.
Oboro's cool; a bit of a siscon but while he seems a bit hotheaded he matured a lot
over the course of the game and he totally gets the MVP award there's no contest for that.
Touka would be my absolute favorite; her personality... she's a bit dumb and she might
overlook things in the heat of the moment but she makes me smile a lot.
Kamyu is... like the ugly duckling and quite mysterious but she made friends
which helped her in the end I think its beautiful to see that.
I'd prefer Aruruw over Eruruw due to her growth and showing courage despite her age
like I know the story is very biased for Eruruw but half of the game she was like
a tea servant and at best a pillar of support yet... she gets almost no recognition
and just has to deal with stuff happening at the end but to be there for someone even though
they might look the other way like wow that's mature. So yeah she's good in her own way.
Yuzuha... despite her situation she's genuinely happy for doing what she can. ;_;
Kuuya.. oh man she... she got caught up in some shit and the end result wasn't pretty
but there's hope for her so she wasn't completely beyond help.
Uh now i'm getting emotional so let's stop.

While I still praise the anime of this work, as it stays pretty fateful to the game it still really
is a digest it was made painfully obvious what was omitted; minor spoilers warning here
Benawi and Kurou's relationship to Nuwangi's sister Kamuchataru; the arc takes place
around the same time Hakuoro and Karula deal with Suonkasu. Its nice chara development
but still felt like a side story. The only side thing I liked was the deal with
Urutorii and Fumiriru; the child she found and cared for; its something that may not
have been a big deal back then but with the itsu/futari it suddenly becomes so much more.

How to sum it up...
If you like VN's with a charming cast of characters and a meaty storyline I suggest
picking this up if you haven't and want to try getting into this ''utawarerumono''.
Playing this after uta2/3 will be nice too, you'll still pick things up like for example that
little baby that the gang finds midway through the game that will be more clear, even though
I played this before it was a nice way to refresh my memory on various facts.
The slice of life scenes are many but not too long and you can replay battles
at any time! there's optional ones too so you'd probably not be bored.
Of course I can't promise you'll like it, it has some flaws but if you like stories that take its time
with an engrossing world and lovable chara's I recommend this series along with tears to tiara.
I HOPE THEY LOCALIZE THIS VERSION, not only to complete the trilogy but why wouldn't
you want an updated version that plays like its sequels AND in high definition at that?
Atlus did a good job localizing the other two... the names look a bit weird to me in ENG but that's it.
Hmmm... its clear Aquaplus did cut corners where they could... like did Kurou
have a beard at this point? he doesn't in his sprite but does in his 3d model.
I actually didn't notice this till way later; shows how much I care about graphics.
Overall its a great game, decent story/world and a lovely cast of characters!
Its sad but I think on its own this installment may have been enough...
there's just something, something about its sequels that lacked.
That doesn't mean they're bad like they gave the much needed resolution for Eruruw
and went on to tell the tale of Kuon while going further into matters not resolved.
It might've just been that it wasn't on such a grand scale as the first game like
less generals/countries hmm yea that could be it.
Even then if you have a PS4 or Vita I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Utaware's story is far from perfect but its an enjoyable series nonetheless
I can't wait for Utaware Zan even though it seems to be like a fanservice spin off.
Well have a finisher exhibition; I also watched the PS4 version and well
it does have more flair even then I am glad this was my last ps vita game.

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