Aria Reviews: Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~

Mod Aria (or Sam if you prefer) is back again talking about Otome Games! I’m planning on talking about them a lot, but today I’d like to discuss one of the newest Otome Games to be localized by Aksys Games, Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~. I mentioned this game in another article that I did. However, I recently finished it (while also juggling Persona 5, Hakuoki and Fire Emblem Echoes). As such, I thought I’d take the chance to actually start a review on it.

Story/Characters:

The premise of Period: Cube is fairly interesting. You play as a girl named Kazuha (or you can change her name if you’d like) as she searches for her brother who has recently gone missing. She and her childhood friend decide to start their search by playing an MMORPG called “Arcadia” together (since her brother played it often).

When they do enter the game, they discover that they entered a server that was not supposed to exist, called World V, and that anyone who enters World V cannot leave. Their body in the real world remains unconscious and their virtual body stays alert in the game world. Sadly, if they die in the game, they die in real life. The only way to escape is to find the Trinity of Swords: The Divine Blade, the Shadow’s Edge and the Almighty Amadeus. It is soon discovered that Kazuha has become the Almighty Amadeus, and she has a hidden power; one that could save everyone.

So the premise of this game isn’t very unique in comparison to MMO-style games (like .hack and Sword Art Online). Stuck in a real world, secret mastermind lurks just around the corner, you could die in real life, etc. What sets this game apart from most of the others is that, finally, it’s a female character who actually ends up being The Chosen One™ and the most powerful.

As for how the actual story went, it’s a bit strange. With every new explanation given for why things played out the way that they did, a bevy of new questions are created. There’s a deep plot and some interesting ideas in Period: Cube, but I feel like they sacrificed expounding on this plot to focus more on the romance element that all Otome Games come with. Personally, I’d rather play a game with less routes and more story than vise versa; so honestly, I was a bit disappointed in Period: Cube. That’s not to say I had a bad time playing this game though.

There are seven romanceable guys in Period: Cube. Your childhood friend Hiroya, the prickly lone wolf Radius, the roleplay enthusiast Astrum, the mysterious man Zain, the devil-may-care girl Libera, the monster character Poyo-poyo and one secret route. As far as the characters go, I honestly didn’t connect with very many of them. This was mostly due to the fact that the game itself was also quite short, so the romance was very rushed.

It was like one minute Kazuha and the Current Route Guy were arguing, then suddenly kissing? It just made the romance feel so unbelievable for some of the characters. Really only Hiroya’s and the one unlockable route were believable. Speaking of Kazuha, I did think she was a good heroine, but in comparison to heroine’s like Cardia, she cannot compete. I’m not the kind of person to hate on Otome Game heroines, but I do prefer ones who don’t just sit back and watch things unfold, which Kazuha did sometimes. I will say that they made Kazuha being rescued by the guys in the routes make some sense, as she cannot summon her Almighty powers at will.

The character routes I enjoyed: I really liked Astrum’s route (a lot of people have, and for good reason). While he fell in love with Kazuha fast, he’s genuine. Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of his real life persona because of his rudeness, the character he RPs is very princely and hot. I enjoyed Hiroya’s on principle. I do like childhood friends, but not tsunderes. His romance made sense and a lot of main plot was in his route, so it’s actually really good. I also enjoyed Radius’s route, but it’s for a shallow reason: he’s my type because he’s all about the darkness aesthetic and his character race is a dragon demon. Plus his character model is the most gorgeous of them all.

Libera’s was interesting, but was the most nonsensical. Zain was a bit too creepy for my tastes. One secret route was just badly written and could barely constitute as a route. But I half enjoyed, half hated the Poyo-poyo route. The romance (while quite discomforting) made sense, and the route ends are unlike any others in the game. Regardless, there is an awkward taboo in Poyo-poyo’s route, so I’d do a bit more research into it. It might be something you cannot handle if you, well, don’t watch Game of Thrones. 

I give the Story/Characters a 5/10

Art/Music/Gameplay:  

Period: Cube plays like any other traditional Otome Game. It’s a visual novel where your choices affect the outcome of the story. There’s an affection meter that takes the form of an MMORPG character profile (which is fun), as well as an Almighty lower level for Kazuha. You fill the Affection meter by picking the right dialogue choices for each character, and Kazuha’s Almighty power level is risen based on combat choices.

The combat choices make the game a bit difficult, as I couldn’t notice a screen catch if I chose right. But the dialogue choices are easy; a screen catch and melody sounds off when you’ve chosen correctly. I personally enjoy this feature; I really like to see the good ends my first time around, so it made hunting for them easier.

The GUI is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in my experience playing otome games as well. More bright, opaque blues with a sparkling main menu. The title screen is laid out nicely, and if you wait for a minute, a little Poyo-poyo will dash around. It’s cute! There’s tons of customizable settings to make the game easier or more challenging for you. Also available is a dictionary that is filled with a ton of MMORPG terms and slang. Though, for any MMO veterans, it’s nothing new.

A feature that I greatly appreciate is the History feature, which lets you load from any point and in any route. It also lets you adjust the character’s Affection meter and Kazuha’s Almighty power level as low or high as possible from where you started. It makes getting the bad ends after you’ve hunted for the good ones seamless; trophy hunting is easy, too.  

Visually, Period: Cube is very pleasing. The artist, Kuroyuki, has really improved. I’ve seen the art from Black Wolves Saga (another Otome Game I did), and I feel like Period: Cube’s art is definitely a step up for them! The vivid spectrum of blues and purples are very fantastical, but also very calming to look at. The colors are deep and rich, and the character models during the actual game are beautifully rendered. Some of the CGs were a bit awkward in my opinion, but for the most part, this game is visually stunning. The world Map of Arcadia, the dungeons and caves; it’s all brilliant.

As for the music, it’s pretty much the same song and dance: Takumi Ozawa composed some fanciful and stellar music, as well as an astounding main theme. The ending theme, composed by MYU, is touching and poignant.

Aksys Games also did an amazing job with the localization. While there were grammatical errors and typos in Code: Realize and NORN9, there were hardly any in Period: Cube. I’m sure the translation was easy because the characters spoke in katakana a lot, but I still think this is a great improvement for them as well. I really appreciate all they do for Otome Game fans!

In sum, the staff of this game really produced something great. It’s been my favorite interface and system for an otome game so far. It’s really a shame the writers couldn’t match up.

I give the Art/Music/Gameplay a 9/10

Overall, Period: Cube is definitely a inimitable concept for an Otome Game. Never before has the MMORPG setting been done with a female main character who has a throng of men falling in love with her, so I have to say I love how this game subverted that genre. However, I feel that the games story and characters weren’t anything all that special. It’s really a shame due to how exquisite of a look and feel Period: Cube has.

If you’re not too picky about some taboo themes or short character routes in your Otome Games, then I think you should definitely pick up Period: Cube. If not, then here’s my suggestion: the game itself isn’t terrible, but it’s not high quality. I would wait until the game has a flash sale on PSN and pick it up there.

I give Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadues~ a 7/10.


Thanks so much for reading this article! I really plan to review more Otome Games and cover them more on YouTube, so please keep an eye out for more of that content from me. And please keep supporting NWG! Thank you!

–Mod Aria/Sam

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s