Title: DIABOLIK LOVERS LUNATIC PARADE
Developers: Otomate & Rejet
Release Date: 25th December 2016
Length: ~ 15 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
The story begins with Yui having a strange dream where a voice accuses her of committing a “sin” and telling her that she will soon lose something precious to her. Shortly after waking up, it transpires that all of the guys she’s living with (you pick at the start which of the 3 families’ prologues you want to read) all have similar dreams and all go to check their belongings. However, nothing appears to be missing.
They then figure out that Yui’s heart has been stolen and replaced with a crystal that will temporarily keep her alive. The guys figure out that the only person audacious enough to pull this off is a famous Duke of the underworld, known for his love of “collecting” (stealing) rare treasures. So the group decide to go off in pursuit of Yui’s heart but there’s also a famous festival called the “Parade” that’s taking place in the same town where the Duke lives…
Since this is a fandisc, there is more than one story option:
- Lunatic Parade – the main story, team up with a guy & track down Yui’s heart. Each guy’s story is 4 chapters long & also contains sub-events similar to Vandead Carnival
- Date with Sakamaki/Mukami/Tsukinami – as the name suggests, these stories involve spending time with each family as a group.
- Care for Vampire – the dummyhead mic part of the game involving Yui & her chosen guy.
The gameplay is pretty much identical to Vandead Carnival & involves you picking locations around the Parade to visit. There are also 12 new mini-games (one for each guy) and the game does let you play the ones from Vandead Carnival too.
I’ll start with the “Lunatic Parade” section of the game since it’s the longest – in general the story for each of the routes follows a similar pattern but the routes are all pretty enjoyable, if a little silly at times. Lunatic Parade (will be referred to as LP from now on) feels very unusual in the dialovers series since the guys seem to listen, learn from & appreciate Yui more in this game than the main entries in the series. This is odd but I really liked this aspect of LP a lot.
All of the characters are generally on their “best behaviour” throughout LP and show that they do have cute/sweet sides. The Tsukinami brothers in particular were great during this game!
The developers seem to have finally figured out that the only reason people would still be interested in the series is because of the characters so they give us plenty of fun character interactions in this installment – some of those sub-scenarios are pure comedic gold! (they could still do with CGs though). I really love how there’s a bunch of “running jokes” in the series (such as Subaru being a hikikomori) and we can now add Shin being treated like a dog while in his wolf form to that list (seriously, those scenes were hilarious).
The “Date with” scenarios were all pretty funny & enjoyable. The Sakamaki brothers are the only ones who really get to “date” Yui though, the Mukami family goes camping & the Tsukinami duo are planning a party. That being said, I enjoyed the group interactions in this section (the Mukami brothers are too cute) and it’s always nice to get group CGs.
Now onto the negatives (I’m afraid) – first of all, the artwork is definitely of a lower quality than some of the older dialovers games and generally matches the slow but steady decline in art quality seen in the series since Satoi’s departure as main artist (she’s only the “character designer” now as far as I’m aware). Like, not all of the CGs are bad and some are quite cute but there’s definitely more duds than you’d expect in most Otoge, especially those with Satoi’s name attached.
Also, the “Care for Vampire” section wasn’t as good as I was hoping/expecting. The section similar to this in the Vandead Carnival game (“Sleeping with Vampire” or something along those lines) had a really cute and sweet theme which it stuck to. However, I didn’t really see too much “caring” going on and some of the scenes felt very awkward to me (this is probably just me though). There was the bonus of dummyhead mic voices here but I just couldn’t get into the scenes – it felt as though the writers couldn’t decide whether they were directing the characters to speak towards Yui or *the reader*. Laito’s scene in particular stands out since he asks Yui/us to pass him a drink and the CG just has this floating cup?? The whole thing was just odd…
My Score: 7.5/10
Despite some small niggles, this is overall a very enjoyable game and one of my favourites from the Dialovers series – if you enjoyed Dark Fate then definitely give this one a go! The characters actually go through a little development in this game too so I honestly feel bad labeling it as a Fandisc as opposed to a fully-fledged game.
There’s a lot of comedy and more content compared with Vandead Carnival so it manages to justify its price. The only problem is that it kinda negates the need to play VC, haha.
TLDR; If you like Dialovers (particularly the group interactions) and want to play some silly but weirdly fun mini-games then definitely pick this up! 🙂
Phew, I’m glad to get this mini-review out of the way – I’m sorry it’s so short! I’m running behind schedule but still hope to post a review next week & have time to finish both games I’m playing before Dialovers CL comes out at the end of the month~