Title: Taishou Alice all in one (大正×対称アリス all in one)
Company: Primula & Prototype (port)
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Length: 40+ hours
Links: Official Site , VNDB
The story starts with our heroine waking up in a world completely devoid of colour or sound. She has no memories of whom she is or even where she is. With an uneasy heart she starts walking around aimlessly searching for an exit when she comes across a young boy with shining golden hair and piercing blue eyes. As it turns out, he is in a similar situation to our heroine and he can only remember the name “Alice”. He decides to call her “Arisu” due to her lack of name and they (reluctantly) start searching for an exit together.
After a while they eventually reach a cavern filled with crystal mirrors with figures reflected in them. After a short discussion, they decide to enter through the looking-glass. What will await the “heroine” of the mirror world on the other side? Will this be a sweet dream or a painful nightmare? It is up to you to save the prince…
As this is the PS Vita port of the 4 original games (Episodes I,II & III + Epilogue) you simply choose the episode you would like to play at the start. The later episodes are locked so the game does have an enforced play order: Finish either one of Episode I’s routes (Akazukin, Cinderella) to unlock Episode II. Finish all of the first 4 routes to unlock Episode III. Episode III has an enforced play order of Shirayuki first and then Mahoutsukai. After completing these two, the Epilogue will unlock. After you finish the good or grand ending of the epilogue then you unlock the “Another Story” which can be accessed by choosing to play the epilogue from the start screen.
Yurika is an air-headed oujou-sama and the protagonist of this fariy tale. She is a complete romanticist and loves to read all kinds of sweet romance novels. She has a brother called Ryoushi and is best friends with Ookami. She’s apparently a great cook who specialises in European cuisine. She lived overseas in the past which explains why she uses a lot of English words when she speaks. Depending on the route, she sometimes works in a cafe part time.
Cinderella CV Hirakawa Daisuke
Cinderella is a selfish, childish man who’s family own a cafe in town. He is betrothed to Yurika because their families are friends. He lives with his younger brothers Shirayuki & Gretel. Cinderella likes to spend money on frivolous things and on hosting all these extravagant parties. He really dislikes any form of hard work. His hobby is making glass-work.
Akazukin (Little Red Riding Hood) CV Maeno Tomoaki
Akazukin is a really serious police officer that comes to stay with Yurika after she receives these threatening letters. He first appears to be very stoic and cold (she calls him a blizzard) but as it turns out he just suffers badly from Gynophobia (fear of women) and is really a pretty sweet guy with a pretty perverse mind (he takes things the “wrong” way and ends up giving himself nosebleeds!). He really loves flowers.
Kaguya CV Masuda Toshiki
Kaguya is a womaniser who falls in love with Yurika at first sight and asks her out on the spot. He is actually homeless and has lost all of his memories so he moves in with Yurika and the rest of the gang. He is a very hard worker and is great with the customers at the cafe. He speaks in Kansai-ben.
Gretel CV Eguchi Takuya
Gretel is the yandere (adopted) younger brother of Yurika and is a complete and utter siscon. He’s an expert in making sweets and enjoys nothing more than spending time with his older sister. He doesn’t have a great relationship with his (adoptive) older brother Ryoushi.
Shirayuki (Snow White) CV Aoi Shouta
Cinderella is a soft-spoken young man that is generally a shut-in. He hate being thought of as girly, cute or anything like that so speaks using “ore” and is actually pretty strong. He likes to spend time sitting by the lake at night and reading. He suffers from Dysgeusia which means that all food tastes horrible to him. He also hates looking at his own appearance and is very self-concious. He’s a thinker and likes to look deeper into situations and also asks riddles.
Mahoutsukai (Wizard) CV Hatano Wataru
Mahoutsukai is a mysterious character who works at the Black Cat Detective Agency. He is supposedly a genius at deduction and tries to help Yurika after she receives a threatening letter. He enjoys playing chess.
Alice CV Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
Alice is a sharp-tongued young man who generally lives above the Cafe. He can vary in personality from Tsundere to Do-S and sometimes he’s just downright rude. He hates the fact that Yurika likes to speak in English and cook “foreign” food. Any more about him would be a spoiler.
Op Theme: some song i forgot – Ayano Eiri
Each of the episodes have their own opening theme (remixes of the above song).
I actually quite liked the OP song and the ED really grew on me too. The BGM in the game is quite lovely and relaxing but not really that noteworthy. I really liked the voice acting though, I was kind of surprised that a new company managed to get such an impressive voice cast. Yoshitsugu Matsuoka really stole the show though, and it was nice to see Aoi Shouta play a main character for a change!
The artwork in this game is handled by Melo whom has mostly illustrated for drama CD series (including the Happy+Sugar series) so it was nice to see her illustrate a full game. My only complaint would be that the characters could really do with an extra CG or two (or 16) each. I’m completely bias for Melo but overall the artwork was very high quality. I also really liked the artwork used during all of the back story parts.
As I explained at the start, you can choose which of the 4 episodes you want to play. As you go through the game the start screen changes and once you fully complete the whole story you can go back and choose which title screen you want, which was a nice addition. Aside from this the system is pretty standard.
Wow. Just wow. I was originally expecting this to be a really moe/fluffy game with little substance but I was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY wrong. There’s so much symbolism and just generally clever writing that I was left gob-smacked on more than one occasion. The writing style of the game is actually quite strange due to Yurika’s fluffy personality and her speech pattern but by the end I was actually finding it really refreshing. All of the routes are incredibly well written and can easily hold their own but when combined with the overall story this game is really something special. I can also appreciate the way Mahoutsukai’s route was handled and I now understand why the last chapter is called the “epilogue”. I could ramble on about this game for days BUT I wouldn’t want to spoil anything but all I can say is that this game’s story + characters are some of the best I’ve ever seen.
My Score: 10/10
Yes, I truly believe that this game is pretty much the best Otome Game I’ve come across, all of the routes are great, the characters are incredibly well-developed and it’s impressive that a game can have you crying out of both laughter and sadness on multiple occasions. Yurika is an amazing heroine who isn’t afraid to take the story into her own hands while still being princess-like.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this game to anyone and everyone and I just hope that the upcoming English version keeps a lot of the jokes so more people can experience this gem. I personally will be keeping a very very close eye on Primula to see if they make more games but will have to content myself with looking longingly at the AGF goods and will probably try and get the character song/drama CDs.
Akazukin = Shirayuki > Gretel > Cinderella > Alice > Mahoutsukai > Kaguya
(I can’t decide on a route ranking;;;;)
Thank you for reading!
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