The popular Utawarerumono series is back with a new adventure on the PS4 and PS Vita. Find out what we thought in our Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth Review.
|Release Date||September 5th, 2017|
|Price||PS4 $49.99 US/PSV $39.99 US|
I will write the disclaimer now that this is the first Ultawarerumono game that I have played. It looked like a standard RPG to me and I’ve always wondered how this one stacked up to other games in the genre. Well, this one is quite different, it’s a visual novel more than it is an RPG. Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth is the third game in the Ultawarerumono series. The series began with a Japan-only adult video game called Utawarerumono. This game was developed by another company under the Aquaplus umbrella called, Leaf back in 2002 for Windows PC. Aquaplus removed the adult scenes and published versions of the game on PS2 and PSP. This leads us to today where they’ve created two sequels Mask of Deception and now Mask of Truth.
As I said, I’ve never played the first two games in this series and being a visual novel, it’s kind of important to know the story that you’re reading through. I had little to no clue what was going on with the vast variety of characters that are in this game for the majority of the time I was playing it. I will say that there was an attempt to explain things with flashbacks and different things like that, but it was hard to even keep track of what was happening in present time and what was happening in the past. Part of my problem was that the story itself just wasn’t that interesting to me. It’s a typical Japanese anime game complete with unrealistic women’s body types and unremarkable characters.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth is 80-plus hours long. The vast majority of that is comprised of reading text. Obviously, this is a visual novel so that’s something that should be expected, but it does become a bit much even for people who may enjoy that sort of thing. I certainly didn’t enjoy it and I don’t think that’s simply because there was a lot of text. I think it was due to the fact that it was so predictable and so geared towards teen males. The series does have it’s following as this is the second sequel so far, but the story just fell completely flat for me and it was a slog to get through.
While the story itself is tough to get much enjoyment out of for those that are new to the series, the battle system somewhat makes up for it. I will say that this game is a bit more simple than most RPGs, but it remains enjoyable despite that fact. There isn’t any innovation here, but I think that makes it accessible to more people than most RPGs which is a great perk for this game.
The great thing about Utawarerumono’s combat is how the different characters use their abilities against each other. There’s a lot of variety there. There are no items or anything like that to worry about. This game is straight-up strategy and knowing how to counter your opponents moves properly. Each character only has a few moves but there are little changes that can be made to add another level to the character. For example, certain characters can swap one attack out for a higher damage attack if they don’t move to start the turn. This is something I haven’t seen much of in an RPG so it was an interesting addition to the game, in my opinion.
The other big combat mechanic is timing button presses to each attack that allows you to land a critical. If you get this right, it can add an elemental effect to your attack like poisoning so it’s definitely worth getting good at. I feel like this game is so Jekyll and Hyde in the way that the story is so incredibly long and boring to get through for newcomers to the series while the combat was incredibly satisfying to get through and easy for anyone to pick up and play. I really enjoyed the combat in this game and I think if there was more of it, I would have been a lot more invested in the game that I actually was.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth is certainly not for everyone. This game is less of a game and more of a story and if you don’t have the patience or ability to pay attention, it’s not that game for you. I suggest that anyone who is interested in this game play the first two games first or you’ll be lost in a hurry. That being said, for those who enjoy visual novels, you’ll definitely enjoy this game. The story is very detailed and can run for 1-2 hours before you even hit a battle. I recommend this title to people who have played the first two games or people that enjoy reading a lot of text and story-heavy games. If you’re expecting a lot of gameplay, you’re going to be very disappointed.
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Atlus for review purposes*