Release Date: 29rd September 2016
Length: ~18 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
In a town blanketed by snow, two clans: the Wolves (Volg) and Hawks (Farji) continue their decades long rivalry. A young girl, Jed, was adopted into the Wolf clan but was born with a red eye which is the sign of a witch. Witches are considered to be highly dangerous in the town and are burned upon discovery so Jed is forced to hide her identity and act as a man. However, she still manages to enjoy her life and is popular with the townspeople. One day she is tasked by a man to find the “Kaleidovia” – the town’s treasure that was stolen from the church. She’s told that if she fails to find the Kaleidovia before the upcoming Masquerade celebration that the two clans will start a war. Will she manage to retrieve this treasure while still hiding her identity?
Jed (CV Tamura Mutsumi)
Having grown up with the head of the Wolves, Jed considers herself to be a member of the clan. However, she left their household four years previous as she was worried about causing damage to their reputation if her true identity is found out. She now lives in a derelict tower on the outskirts of the town with Haitaka. Jed makes a living by doing odd jobs around town and has earned a good reputation. She enjoys cooking and is particularly thrifty. Despite having a red eye and being considered a witch, she has no magic powers. She sometimes dresses a girl and calls herself Eiar to go undercover and gather information on the Kaleidovia.
Lavan (CV Hino Satoshi)
Lavan is the older of the two brothers and is considered to be the next head of the Wolf clan. He is a member of the police force and takes his duties very seriously as he tends to consider what’s good for the town above his own wishes. He cares deeply for Jed and worries about her living alone.
Levi (CV Saitou Souma)
Levi is the younger of the Wolf clan brothers and is generally the more outgoing of the pair. He also works in the police force but is known for slacking off and missing his patrols in the morning. He enjoys going for a drink in the local pub with his friends a lot also. He considers Jed to be his best friend and will always call out to her if he spots her while out around town. Despite the fact that he seems quite air-headed, Levi actually really enjoys reading and has a sizeable collection of books at his home.
Lugus (Cv Furukawa Makoto)
Lugus is the oldest son of the Hawk clan. He tends to act quite aloof which keeps people at a distance. He cares a lot about his family though: idolizing his father and doting on his younger sister. Lugus is a skilled swordsman. He’s currently investigating a number of murders committed by the “Black Shadow” serial killer on Hawk territory. He dislikes sweets and has a really bad sense of direction, often struggling to read maps.
Tower Overlord/Haitaka (CV Hirakawa Daisuke)
Haitaka is the other resident of the tower that Jed lives in and is one of only 2 people who know her true identity. Much of Haitaka’s past is shrouded in mystery as he claims to have amnesia. He also claims to be a ghost and fortune teller. He spends most of his day either going for strolls or sleeping but never ventures into town.
Hugh (CV Namikawa Daisuke)
Hugh is a mysterious young man that shows up and disappears whenever he pleases. He claims to simply be a traveler passing through. He often writes down the stories of places that he’s been to and stores them in his journal. He’s taken an interest in Jed and is curious about the “choices” that she will make.
Francisca (CV Oohara Sayaka)
Francisca is Levi and Lavan’s mother as well as the current head of the Wolf clan. She has raised Jed since she was a baby and considers her one of her children. She was distraught when Jed left their mansion and looks forward to her visits dearly. Francisca is an utterly terrible cook but doesn’t realize it.
Olga (CV Morikawa Toshiyuki)
Olga is the father of Lugus and Tee and is the head of the Hawk clan. He generally appears very cold and aloof. He appears to care little for the town and its people.
Tee (CV Yamaoka Yuri)
Tee is Lugus’ younger sister and a member of the Hawk clan. She has a tendency to look down on the Wolf clan, calling them names and arguing with Levi often. She adores her older brother and would do anything for him. She also loves sweets.
Lawrence (CV Toriumi Kousuke)
Lawrence is the young man who was tasked by the previous priest to look after the town’s church and is also the person that asked Jed to search for the Kaleidovia. He’s a very caring person and looks after Elric almost like a father. He enjoys cooking and sewing but his embroidery could use some work. He claims that he originally came from somewhere far away but is slightly reluctant to speak about it.
Elric (CV Ishikawa Kaito)
Elric is an orphan that Jed meets in town one day. He claims that he has no memories before he woke up in the snow one day at the edge of town. He lives with Lawrence in the church and was asked to assist Jed with her search but avoids helping whenever possible. He has a bad attitude, often being sarcastic and rude to others. He is always found with his rabbit companion whom he considers to be like family.
Character design and artwork for this game was handled by Yuiga Satoru, whom is probably best known for her work on the other Psychedelica game as well as illustrating light novels published under the Lululu Bunko label.
Opening: Haizora no Shizuku – Shikata Akiko
Ending: Vermelho – Shimamiya Eiko
The BGM for this game was composed by Yoshino Yuuji, whom is known for his work on the game Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku Kinema Mosaic as well as the anime series Ookami to Koushinryou.
The title screen changes depending on which ending you last did, which is a nice touch.
The majority of the system is quite straight forward + the flowchart found in the previous psychedelica is back.
The main difference between this game and the other psychedelica is the map system – here you can choose to read sub events and speak to the townspeople. You need to read a certain number of sub events to progress with the main story in some cases so it’s best to stay on top of them. In later maps you are given the option to change Jed’s clothes and dress as a female which opens up some sub events.
Despite the previous game in the series Kokuchou no Psychedelica / Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly being one of my personal favourites I’ve put off playing this for like a year because I was worried about it not living up to my expectations. While I may have been correct, there’s definitely some things this game does well!
First of all, it’s worth mentioning that while you don’t *technically* need to play Kokuchou before this, I would highly recommend doing so as there are numerous references to the original dotted throughout and one ending in particular is more meaningful with knowledge of the previous game. Besides, who doesn’t want to find themselves crying over throwaway lines about pancakes?
Okay onto the good stuff now; Jed is one of the best heroines that I’ve come across – she’s definitely strong (both physically and mentally) but has a more vulnerable side that makes her more endearing. There were lots of scenes where she definitely shines and her banter with the other characters is great. She 100% comes across as a proactive “protagonist” rather than a more typical passive “heroine” that is normally found in otome games. The fact that she’s voiced was also great.
The rest of the cast are also interesting and well-developed. The way the story is written ensures that you will likely care about most/all of them a lot. This goes for the side characters too – all of them are important in some way and it’s rare for a game to give each of them such depth. I honestly love everyone in this game so it’s hard to pick a favourite but Elric and Tee are such adorable brats.
Yuiga Satoru’s artwork is also of very good quality – while her style may not be one of my favourites, I feel that her artwork has a lovely liveliness to it and a lot of the CGs are drawn from interesting angles/perspectives that make them a lot more interesting (imo) than the majority of game CGs. There’s a good amount of CGs given the game’s length although interestingly many of them are group CGs which makes a nice change.
The best thing about this game though is the main story – it had me absolutely captivated for the 3 days I spent playing it. The plot is generally very interesting and has plenty of twists and turns, some of which totally caught me off guard. As expected, this is a pretty sad game and expect to cry multiple times throughout!
Now onto the negatives: the pacing of the common route isn’t great and chapter 2 in particular feels like a grind. The map feature, while good in theory, is pretty dull and having to speak to a ridiculous number of unimportant townspeople isn’t exactly fun. Like, I didn’t mind speaking to the important characters as the questions they were “asked” were fun/informative but I legit don’t care what some stupid NPC thinks about living in the town, especially when you get *incredibly riveting* answers such as “I like living here but it snows a lot”. While I liked reading the sub stories, I really wanted to continue on with the main story and when you only get like ~10 minutes of main story in between map sections it’s not enjoyable at all.
My other main complaint about this game is the length and quality of the individual character routes. Now, I am aware from playing Kokuchou no Psychedelica that the character routes are never the game’s main focus but it’s mildly annoying when the majority of them are less than an hour long each with only a couple of dedicated CGs. My first play through (Levi’s ending) took around 14 hours and I managed to finish every other ending (there’s quite a few once you add them all up) in under 4 hours which is pretty crazy. A lot of them are quite disappointing too and feel more like bad/normal endings. That being said, the “A Girl” and “Traveler” + “Links” endings are pretty good so leave them to last.
My Score: 8/10
While there may be problems with pacing and the character routes/endings, this is definitely still a great game with a fascinating story line that will leave you glued to your screen. To be honest, you don’t play the Psychedelica games for the individual routes as there tends to be more interesting endings outside of them so don’t let that put you off playing!
Jed is an awesome heroine and the rest of the cast are incredibly interesting and well-developed. It may not be *quite* as good as the original Kokuchou no Psychedelica but it’s still 100% worth playing, especially since the English version will be out soon so no excuses 😛
I’m just going to sit here and pray that Otomate announce a third Psychedelica game at Otomate Party this year – I’d probably even buy switch ports of the first two ;~;
Oh well, my next review will be Collar x Malice and should be up next Friday~ I’m also finished Shiro to Kuro no Alice so hope to review that at some point too. I’ve started the galge Harvest OverRay for a change of pace – I’m almost at the end of the common route and have been enjoying the character interactions a lot so far! The thing I’m most pleased about though is that I’m finally making some progress on clearing my ridiculous backlog. Maybe the fact that I’ve not had to put much effort into any Enstars events lately has helped, hmm…
Thanks for reading!
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