Visual novel review: Utawarerumono
You may have noticed that this is the third review in three days. If they seem rushed, that’s probably because they were, Princess Evangile came out and I had wanted to be caught up in visual novel reviews before I started it so I quickly wrote these three reviews in the time it took for Princess Evangile to download.
At least I’m caught up now though, by the time this review is scheduled to be posted I will have likely almost finished Princess Evangile, so my review for that will be out soon.
Utawarerumono starts off with Hakuoro, the main character, waking up in a small village with a irremovable mask and no memories of his past. The villagers soon accept him as one of their own as he helps out around the village. After various events happen, Hakuoro ends up leading the village into war to overthrow the current corrupt emperor.
Utawarerumono is a strategy rpg, there is actually a decent amount of gameplay as Hakuoro leads his ever-increasing army against new foes. Most characters are capable of combat, using them in combat will give them experience so you can level them up. There are four difficulties available from the start, I initially started off by picking the hardest one, but soon changed my mind and restarted from Hard 1 difficultly.
The gameplay at the start didn’t interest me very much, but as I continued, it actually turned out to be pretty fun. The playable characters skills and stat compositions are varied so you are free to play with any playstyle you feel like. The game has a unique feature where experience gained in battle is retained even after failure. (I assume it isn’t a very common feature, I haven’t seen it before, but I haven’t actually played very many rpgs.) So even if a level seems impossible, multiple retries will eventually cause results, even if you can’t be bothered thinking up a new strategy.
The story itself is pretty interesting in itself, it isn’t without its faults and doesn’t have much depth to it, but it’s engaging and keeps you wanting to keep playing until the end.
Ok I don’t think I’ve written enough for this review but I can’t really think of much else to say. I probably shouldn’t have been picking up more visual novels as an excuse to stall writing reviews, but I ended up really enjoying Utawarerumono. If anyone wants a visual novel with srpg gameplay in it, I’d recommend trying it out. The gameplay is pretty simple, but is still really enjoyable, especially considering the game was first released in 2002.
I downloaded the anime version and I’m looking forward to see whether it will live up to my expectations. I might write something about it later if there is something worth mentioning, I do need to remember this was meant to be primarily an anime blog.
There is also a sequel being made currently, I doubt there will be a English translated version for a long time, but it will be something I will be looking out for. Maybe I’ll check it out when I learn Japanese properly.
- Engaging story
- Gameplay doesn’t distract from the story
- Interesting characters
- Some of the character relationships lack depth
- Felt like it was too short