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KorganoS's Utawarerumono Game Review

Utawarerumono

Utawarerumono game Review

An injured man was found in the forest and rescued by the elder of a village, becoming part of her family. The man has no memory of his past and wears a mask he can't remove. Hakuoru, as he becomes known, proves to be a strong leader and eventually leads numerous missions to liberate the people throughout the country of its corrupt politics. While on this journey he unknowingly seeks out his past, as well as his true purpose while at the same time protecting his new found friends and family.

Written by littlejonny100.

Story & Playability

There's not much 'epic tales' that we can enjoy these days. Most of them consists of harem or just pointless click and read games. Usually the kind of quality H-games originated from Japan are put into the 'Visual Novel' genre instead of H-game. And Utawarerumono clearly has all the qualities of a good visual novel, comparable to Fate/Stay Night and some others. The story is filled with mystery, love, and magic. It becomes more appealing because of the game system. Instead of just your usual click-and-read game, LEAF/Aquaplus developers put a really interesting battle system similar to Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Battle. You can gain levelups for characters, and combine many characters with different skills and you are free to utilise any kind of tactics. Well, one of the turndown of Utaware, is that you aren't able to equip different items or equipments to your character. But that isn't a big of a problem, since the game's difficulty is not that daunting anyways. So, what is it about? You are Hakuoro, a man without a memory. You were found unconscious by Eruuru, a girl from a small village. On Hakuoro's face there is a mask, unable to be removed, yet the story behind it remains unknown. Then, you start off your life alongside the village people and encounter many interesting events that leads to the truth of your identity.

Rating: 8

Graphics

Well, I must say the artwork is very, very good. If you have seen the artworks for To Heart series, which has been acknowledged by many ppl as one of the most visually-appealing H-game, then you can find that similar quality graphics in Utaware. The battle graphics are, well, not that high-res, but cute, and the SD characters reminds me of Ragnarok Online game. The effects are well-rendered, too. The clothing designs resembles one of the native ethnic group in Hokkaido, Japan, called the Ainus (thanks Wiki! ^^) and it's well-modeled to the very details. I love the Eruuru character design, because I think she is one of the cutest girl in ethnic dress I can ever find in animes and mangas, that is, plus the furry ears and tails ^^

Rating: 8

Sound

No voice acting >_< that's dissapointing. But I heard that the upcoming PS2 version will have voice-overs and dialogs. Hmm... I don't have a PS2, and I'm not planning to buy it anytime soon. I hope they will add a patch or expansion for the PC DVD version, because even though I totally adore the musics which are written by Junya Matsuoka, I still think there's something missing to make it a complete experience.
Btw, the ending theme and some song with vocals in this game are extremely good. One of it is titled 'Sadame' and sung by a female vocalist (duh I forgot her name).
The battle musics are kinda repetitive, but the sound effects are ok.

Rating: 6

Fun

All in all, I really enjoyed playing Utawarerumono. And so far, I'm enjoying the anime series, too. It's not a jawdropping high-tech game, nor a super hentai game whatsoever, but Utaware gives the player and audience a long-lasting experience. I am brought to tears and joy by the story, and I'm enjoying every minutes of the battle scenes. There's not much humor in the story, considering this is an epic novel-style story, but I think Hakuoro's character is very interesting, and the girls are very lovable ^^

My advice:
If you want to plunge into Utaware world, start by watching the anime. After you are able to get a grasp on the story background, then the game will explain even more and will be more entertaining to you.

Oh, and if you are going to buy the game, I suggest you wait for the PS2 version. Why? Because it will feature a better battle system (made by a company that created Summon Nights) and has voice-overs. The PC version has higher resolution, and you can get more omake and unlockables, but that's all to it. =

Too bad that the story is kinda short, and even worse, there's not much Utaware merchandise out there. T_T

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by KorganoS, May 30, 2006

Comments

  1. walkure245 May 31, 2006

    Fair assessment. I watched about the first couple episodes and I really couldn't keep interested after that. But maybe, if I played the video game, that might spark a renewed interest. ^.~ Visually, the characters are very adorable as you mentioned. Who wouldn't like people with fuzzy ears and tails? The voices are really nice and I like the music too. Really nice review, Korgie. ^_^

  2. shoujoboy Jun 01, 2006

    Seeing another bishoujo game player is kinda refreshing. I think a lot of people see this site for just anime and anime reviews, when it can be used for so much more. It's also good to see another (or at least I read as another) fairly decent game. I know what you mean, too many games are just click until your eyes pop out, so when you get one that's not, it's a treat. I don't think I'll get to play something like this unless I finally buckle down and work on learning Japanese, or someone in the US licenses it. Since neither is likely... I guess all I can do is dream. Good job.

  3. CooKieLord Jun 01, 2006

    I'm watching the Anime and I'm really enjoying it. Is the game only in Japanese? If so that's too bad. Like shoujoboy, I should get around and learn Japanese cause I'm missing out on a lot of good games. Thanks for the review! I think you did a great job.

  4. aznkether Jun 02, 2006

    I think Utawarerumono definitely ranks up there among the new titles this year. Plus, Eruruu is one of the cutest I've seen; having her with ears and a tail doesn't hurt either.

  5. LiquidNight Jun 03, 2006

    wait...Uta was an H-game like Fate/Stay Night originally?

  6. Fujisyusuke Jun 07, 2006

    Utawarerumono is a hgame by Leaf

  7. Osiris Retired Moderator Jun 09, 2006

    LOL you pervert

    i havnt played the hgame but the anime ....i love it ;_;

  8. kannasan Jul 14, 2006

    haha, i have the game too....nyways...the anime is awsome! Cute girls with tails is awsome! utawarerumono is AWSOME!....Eruruu and Aruruu are the cutest lil things ever to be created

  9. DarkValkerie Oct 06, 2006

    Played the game, I think the anime was better.. much better. probably because i cant understand the game dialogue... >.>

  10. SukiLovesAnime Jan 03, 2009

    I didn't know that this anime was a game XP
    but that just shows that I don't know much XD

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