Getting visual novels to the west on consoles has been harder than other genres. While JRPGS and fighting games have continued to get support, visual novels have been seen as a niche that may not have an audience. If players wanted to play them at all, PC was usually your only option. The trickle over has been slow but it has not been without merit probably thanks to the PS Vita. With that being said, rejoice visual novel lovers, Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth are coming stateside.
What Is This Game About?
“Haku becomes involved with the war against his will and has to fight to protect his friends (read: Harem) while discovering the truth amid the deception”.
To put it simply, this game is not a pure visual novel. Visual novels are text based point and click adventures with no real “game play” to speak of. One example of this would be the Hakuoki series which is also getting a re release with Kyoto Winds this fall. This game would fall more in line with being a text heavy strategy RPG which is how it’s being advertised. If I could compare it to any series it may be the Banner Saga with how the story is told.
The premise of the game is that the player wakes up after being rescued by a girl with animal ears and tail named Kuon. She gives the player his name, Haku, where they attempt to help him reclaim his memories. Along the way he meets up with other animal hybrid people and gets swept up in a war filled with political intrigue. If players want more backstory, there was an anime released, Utawarerumono Of The False Faces, that can provide some more insight.
Haku becomes involved with the war against his will and has to fight to protect his friends (read: Harem) while discovering the truth amid the deception. The other interesting part about this game is that it does include adult scenes and is coming over relatively uncensored. There was one scene taken out due to the portrayal of physically disciplining of a child.
Why Should You Support It?
Let’s be real, the Japanese market is what’s keeping the Vita afloat. I mentioned in a previous article why Sony should make Vita 2.0 and games like this are the main reason. While I’m sure the Switch will be successful, it will take a while for games like this to come over on the console. If consumers are not supporting these types of games now they may not come over at all. Players may say what they like but the hardcore following of Danganronpa supporters may be the reason why its getting a PS4 remaster.
If you’re interested in playing a SRPG with adult themes on consoles this is the game for you. Pre-orders just opened on Amazon and Gamestop so take a look! This game will be available on the PS4 and Vita but you guys probably know what platform I’m getting it on.
Have you played visual novel games before? Do you think there is an audience for it here in the West? Are you going to pre-order this game? Let us know in the comments below.