Title: DIABOLIK LOVERS VANDEAD CARNIVAL
Developers: Otomate & Rejet
Release Date: 4th December 2014
Length: ~ 10 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
The basic premise of this game is that the Sakamaki brothers’ father Karlheinz sends them an invitation to the Vandead Carnival. This celebration is a huge festival that takes place in the underworld and is normally only attended by vampires. However, it states in his letter that Yui is to be crowned this year’s Carnival Queen and should attend.
Reluctantly, the Sakamakis agree to go but, upon arrival, they run into the Mukami brothers, whom also received a letter of invitation from Karlheinz. After some bickering, the guys decide that one of them should escort Yui around the carnival and leave the choice up to her…
Aside from the main “Vandead Carnival” part of the story, there are also 3 other story sections in the game:
- Present from Sakamaki – This involves the Sakamaki brothers planning a surprise birthday party for Yui.
- Present from Mukami – This involves Yui & the Mukami brothers celebrating Christmas for the first time.
- Sleeping Vampire – In this section, choose which of the 10 guys you’d like to snuggle up with (this section uses dummy head mic).
Most of the gameplay involves walking around the carnival and choosing which areas to visit. There are sub-scenarios involving 2 characters & main scenarios (each character has 4 main story chapters). You can also choose to practice the mini-games.
There are 10 mini-games in total, one for each of the characters. You can practice them in the Mini-Game section of the Extra menu. The game titles are:
- Flag Game
- Shall We Dance
- Hide and Seek
- Classification of a Plate
- Change of Coffin
- The Carpet of Magic
- Pom Pom Cotton Candy
- Balloon Popping
Given how much I despised More, Blood my initial thoughts were that this was going to be trash but I was actually mildly surprised…
The actual main story for each of the characters in this game is short but sweet, with all of the characters generally being nicer than usual, which was appreciated. I felt that the Mukami brothers (Kou in particular) generally come across a lot better in this installment. The story almost feels like a condensed version of their conflicts from the previous game.
The thing that this game really does well is the character interactions. I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the previous games that there’s precious few scenes featuring more than one of the guys. This game more than delivers in this regard, with the sub-scenarios (involving 2 characters) generally being hilarious! My only complaint would be that some of these scenes really deserve CGs!
The two “Present from” scenarios are a fun read and also have some really comedic moments (the Sakamaki brothers trying to bake a cake immediately comes to mind) and are also really sweet.
Finally, the “Sleeping Vampire” section of the game was my personal favourite! This section is recorded using dummy head mic which was honestly too good & the guys are all super adorable during these sections! Each scenario is around 10-15 min long which is decent but I kinda wish there were more fluffy scenarios like this in the series.
Okay, while this game is generally really entertaining & cute, there is a major problem – the actual length of the game. It took me less than an hour to read each guys’ route & sleeping vampire scenario. The two group stories were also pretty short at under 30 min each so I finished the game in less than 10 hours, which is pretty ridiculous.
One of the main problems was that they clearly spent a chunk of their budget adding in all of the mini-games but they really fail to utilize them in the game – you literally have to play the one corresponding to that character once (in any difficulty) per route and that’s it! I think they should’ve given you more incentive to practice the games by either ensuring you have to beat the mini-game at “medium” or “hard” difficulty during the route or even by adding in a trophy for getting an A or S rank in every difficulty of every game. Since you don’t have to do this, there is literally no point in playing the games more than once, especially as they’re all very simple. I did like the flag game but that was about it…
There’s also a lack of CGs with each character getting only 5. There are a couple (4) group CGs but this really doesn’t make up for it…
Full disclosure – I didn’t pay full price for this game. I can’t remember exactly what this cost me but it was pretty cheap so I’m not as salty as I could be but essentially this game is not worth full price.
My Score: 6/10
Overall, this is a pretty fun game which almost makes up for the disappointment of More, Blood. The character interactions are great and the story is very sweet, especially the Sleeping Vampire section which is 10/10.
However, the mini-games and general lack of content are a let-down which means that the game isn’t worth buying unless you manage to snag it for a decent price (like 40%+ off).
This game did manage to restore my faith in this series a bit so I’ll be getting around to playing Dark Fate sooner rather than later, especially as there was another game announced at Otomate Party (I will catch up with this series /eventually/).
I apologise for the lack of posts but I probably won’t be doing an unboxing this month as there’s only like 4 things to show.
In other news, I finally got my switch (yay!). I’m really liking it so far but figured that I should play something that I can review so picked up a copy of Kimi no Hitomi ni Hit Me. Aside from the horrendous title, it’s actually pretty fun so far and the characters are cute so I hope to get it finished and reviewed relatively quickly?
Thanks for reading!