The visual novel they have created their own market over the years, opening the mind of the public to any possible taste. The Otome is one of the best known genres of this type of video game, where typically a girl finds herself in different love situations with a series of possible boyfriends. Idea Factory And Otomate these are just two names of companies most interested in this part of the market, thanks to products that have found a certain recognition from the public and critics. In this review we therefore analyze Amensia Later X Crowda collection that includes two visual novels originally released for PlayStation Portable and now on Nintendo Switch.
The new world
The first game included in the package is Amnesia Latercontinuation of that Amnesia always released for PSP. The story tells a series of scenarios, in which each one brings the player to know hypothetical developments related to the previous game.
The first is known as new world, a kind of what if with the young girl protagonist still without memories, but always able to see her friend spirit with an energetic and positive character. The adventure continues in an attempt to live everyday life, while the heroine tries to recover those lost memories and reconnect with her. The second scenario is known as After Story, a sort of ending to the love stories undertaken in the first episode. As a third we find Waka’s World, where the heroine has to spend time with her boss in order to understand personal sides of her character. Finally, the fourth and final scenario is known as Girl’s Partywhere the girls in the game spend more time together.
A work that does of its narrative the main attraction, although we prefer not to focus further on telling the story. The important thing is to know that the title in question strongly addresses those who played the previous episode, although the work does not limit the approach towards new users. Everything is done to present the different characters and the setting, but some quotes and cross-references obviously cannot be understood.
A light read
In this review by Amensia Later X Crowd, it is impossible to ignore the lack of written translation in languages other than English. This is not a problem in itself, but it severely limits the accessibility of the product on a global scale. In fact, given the nature of the genre, the game features a huge amount of dialogue lines, which are the central part of the gameplay. However, the vocabulary is not complex, and remains very understandable even with an average knowledge of the language.
In the pure side of the gameplay, the end user must expect all the features typical of modern visual novels. In this sense Amensia Later fully satisfies thanks to the function to deactivate or activate the dubbing of certain characters, change the speed of the text, remove the boxes to observe the images, configure the function of the keys, automate the progress of the story and much more. In this sense, the personalization is extremely wide, so much so that it is even possible to avoid the moral choices of the protagonist due to a complete absence of interactivity for the entire duration of the title.
In other words, as per the tradition of visual novels, the experience offered in Amensia Later is purely narrative. The aspect that is most observed is therefore related to quality and variety of the artworks present, as well as the script. In the first case, the limits of the original platform of the product are evident, where the different character designs and animation are not exactly the best in production quality. At the writing level, however, the work presents itself with different situations capable of arousing a certain curiosity, despite fairly predictable characters.
The end of a story
Amnesia Crowd is the second game included in the collection and its purpose is to offer a conclusion to the events told in Amensia Later. In this sense, the title does not even try to present the events and the protagonists again, so much so that we strongly advise against its approach before playing at least one of the two previous games in the series. At its first start, the player has to choose one of the three modes that can be undertaken. The first is known as Suspense, or the main one, which presents an interesting dynamic. The user must experience the story from the point of view of the protagonist and her love interest, chosen specifically at the beginning of the game, in an attempt to resolve a dangerous situation.
Here it is evident how the developers tried to create a product more interactive compared to the previous episode. The narrative splits in two different perspectives, where on the one hand the possible boyfriend investigates in an attempt to find the heroine around the city, on the other hand she investigates in a point-and-click style inside a mysterious building. Both styles of play are very simple structurally, but they create the right one variety of gameplay as well as increasing the player’s curiosity. Obviously, everything is combined with the classic visual novel style typical of the series, with all the gameplay and customization features described for Amensia Later.
A sea of mini-games
The playful side of Amnesia Crowd is further highlighted by her own secondary scenarios. The first is known as Working, where the player faces a series of small business challenges while chatting with the chibi versions of the different characters. The second secondary mode is known as Trump, where the aim is simply to play Poker or Blackjack with the boys. In OrionInstead, it is possible to undertake interesting chat with the spirit friend or participate in some activities such as quizzes. The latter is a nice content that certainly arouses curiosity, also because to participate in this kind of activity it is mandatory get points playing the rest of the game ..
The last two modes are mainly dedicated to the romantic part of the saga, that is After Story And Comunication. The first directly continues the events told in Amnesia Later, the second concerns the appointments with possible boyfriends. The latter presents a certain degree of interactivity, since the goal is to respond to small talk and see the reaction of the chosen companion.
Switch is the new home of the Otome
It is interesting to underline how this is the first official localization of both games. The porting of this remastered collection, originally released for PlayStation Vita, finally allows western users to experience two interesting experiences of the Otome genre. Great as i touch controls are also available for the re-release for Nintendo Switch, although in the minigames of Amensia Crowd it is mandatory to use the keys. Finally, we point out that during the test for the review of Amensia Later X Crowd we did not find any kind of glitch or bug whatsoever. A development that demonstrates a care card, both in portable and home mode.
Amnesia Later X Crowd (Tested on Switch)
The collection developed by Otomate brings to Nintendo Switch two visual novels originally published and appreciated on PlayStation Portable. A series of products dedicated mainly to lovers of this style of play, and which certainly does not intend to change the mind of those who have not been able to appreciate them for years. However, the localization work alone deserves respect, although it is not totally accessible given the exclusive presence of the English language.
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