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Collar X Malice Unlimited Review

by Ethan Marley
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I’ve been very vocal about my love of Otome visible novels for years. The softer method to romance over male-focused relationship sims has all the time been extra up my alley, and though the tales are hardly ever something particular they make for entertaining reads. Out of all of the video games on this style that I’ve performed, nevertheless, Collar X Malice has all the time been my favourite. Taking the normal Otome method (sizzling guys, good artwork, enjoyable character dynamics) and mixing it with an thrilling (if not slightly shallow) homicide thriller story result in a enjoyable expertise that I nonetheless suggest to folks as their first Otome sport. It wasn’t good, however it did quite a bit proper.

When Aksys introduced they had been bringing each that and the sequel (or fandisk) Collar X Malice Unlimited to Nintendo Switch I used to be fairly stoked. The unique sport had been trapped on the PlayStation Vita for years, and Unlimited had by no means even been localized. In my evaluate for the unique sport’s latest port (when you haven’t learn it, you can accomplish that right here!), I used to be completely happy to find that little or no had been misplaced within the transition to Switch. There had been points, however the expertise was not marred for me. Unfortunately, in its present state, I can’t say the identical for Collar X Malice Unlimited.

But that’s getting forward of myself. Fandisks for common visible novels are quite frequent, primarily as a result of they’re comparatively low-cost to make. Take most of the identical property, create some new portraits and CGs, write a brand new story, get the forged again collectively, and voilà! Sequel. This isn’t a foul course of, and lots of followers would gladly purchase a brand new sport to see what occurred to their favourite pairings after the credit rolled. On paper Collar X Malice is the right sport to obtain this remedy, with Unlimited with the ability to supply an excellent take a look at how Shinjuku has been recovering after X-Day in every of the routes. 

Collar X Malice: Unlimited Review Screenshot 1

The construction for a way this performs out is quite attention-grabbing. You begin the sport with a prologue that includes an occasion retconned into the timeline of the sport. Canon is rarely an excessive amount of of a precedence for me after I play Otome video games, however that was price mentioning anyway. Like my final evaluate, I gained’t get an excessive amount of into the story to avoid wasting you a few of the enjoyable surprises, however this serves as an thrilling little story that unlocks the character epilogue routes based mostly in your selections. All of that is organized very properly into the New Memory menu, separating all of the totally different chapters and letting you begin any which might be at present unlocked. The prologue chapters have one menu, the character epilogues have one other, and the final two are devoted to aspect tales and the prolonged new Adonis route. This is a what-if situation the place Ichika decides to hitch the group with the intent of eliminating it from inside.

I used to be quite upset at first to find that the sport was missing within the thriller division, and consisted primarily of romance and fluff. I’ve no difficulty with that, in reality, I like them, however I hoped for a bit extra of a steadiness like the unique sport. I bought over this quick, nevertheless, as a result of the lovable romantic moments had been simply too charming. Nothing that occurs feels overly sophisticated, and total I discovered that every of the epilogues had been pure conclusions to what was established within the first sport. I went in anticipating cute moments with my favourite characters over all else, and regardless of the sport being quite simplistic total I had a enjoyable time revisiting this forged.

Each man has his personal branching route, with quite a lot of endings that play out relying in your selections. It’s a really replayable sport, and it’s a whole lot of enjoyable going again and making totally different selections to see new occasions and CGs. This is customary Otome follow and Collar X Malice Unlimited doesn’t disappoint right here. 

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The visuals are simply pretty much as good as the unique sport, if not higher in a couple of areas. The sprite artwork is attractive, the backgrounds are nonetheless very prime quality, and the brand new CGs are superb. For these searching for a extra romance-focused Collar X Malice expertise, or simply REALLY discovered a few of the romantic leads engaging, you then’re in for a deal with with these CGs. They can get fairly sizzling and heavy, however with out ever going too far. Loads of passionate making out, cute cuddling, Ichika occurring dates, and even a wedding. It’s all simply past lovely and appealed particularly to the hopeless romantic who felt that sure routes in Collar X Malice barely lacked adequate payoff for its relationships.

The UI additionally bought a enjoyable spin on it, including some flowers to the unique menus to suggest budding romance from the aftermath of X-Day. Or they only thought it regarded cool, both works. The textual content bins additionally change relying on which story you might be enjoying, with the sport beginning with the previous textual content field type and transitioning to flower-themed ones within the epilogues. The music stays steller, even when there are a whole lot of reused tracks from the primary sport. The new music stood out to me, nevertheless, and the brand new opening, particularly, was even catchier than the primary. 

With all of those positives, what’s the difficulty then? The localization is subpar, even in comparison with the unique sport. What caught me off guard first was the inconsistent type of the dialogue, and this was noticeable instantly as I started the Takeru tales. He was all the time my favourite, I’ve a factor for the blunt genius varieties who begin off actually impolite however soften up over time, so I made a beeline for his story. I used to be fairly stunned how excessive they took him in his prologue although, with him saying the phrase “f**ok” quite often. I’ve no difficulty in any respect with localization including swears in when acceptable, however I can’t recall ever seeing him say that within the unique sport. I may recover from this, as this possible meant a brand new staff translated this, however that was only a warning of what was to return.

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Collar X Malice Unlimited desperately wanted one other modifying cross, as the quantity of typos and errors that closely have an effect on readability is inexcusable for a visible novel launching for practically full value. There are stretches that stream quite properly, however the dialogue can typically really feel flat. The unique Collar X Malice’s localization suffered from the issue often, so if this was all I’d be kind of high quality with it. That shouldn’t be all, nevertheless. There is an above-average quantity of typos, generally phrases are lacking, traces are mistranslated, and a few sentences appear to be they had been re-written midway by means of and are practically incomprehensible. This is sure to hassle some folks much more than others, however it caught out sufficient to make it a difficulty.

To make issues worse, the formatting for the sport is often a large number. Short sentences will start in a textual content field unfinished, then proceed into the following one (often with no capitalization) when the complete sentence may have simply match into one textual content field. I additionally seen in-game textual content messages that disappear after reducing away to dialogue after which again. The localization appears very rushed, and the sport ought to have been delayed to handle these points. I wished to carry off on reviewing the sport to see if a rumored patch got here out to repair it, however as of penning this, no patches have been launched.

I actually wished to love Collar X Malice Unlimited. In some ways, I really actually do. Ignoring the technical points, it’s a really lovely follow-up to my favourite Otome sport. It’s arduous to not develop into enamored yet again with this setting and characters, and I actually benefit from the small epilogue tales. The CGs generally are nice, and when you’re a Collar X Malice fan this sport is made only for you. But I can’t ignore the technical points, and it negatively impacts the expertise greater than I’d like. I hope a patch comes out to repair this all up, ideally quickly. 

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy offered by Aksys Games

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