Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth Review
It takes a fellowship to take down a conniving power that is running rampant across the land. What would you do if you had the ability to save a nation? It will take more than just one kingdom to fight the good fight against the imperial army. However, it will literally take about an hour and a half just to fight some monkey’s in the darn forest and then another few hours just to get to another gameplay scene. I guess the imperial empire just needs a good talking too before we get into some combat! Welcome to this review of Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth coming to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita and oh boy are we in for a long ride.
They were not lying when they said you will get a story, but having the game mostly being just that is worse than playing Metal Gear Solid four with only 3 hours worth of gameplay and the rest just all cut-scenes. No, I am not comparing the two as a genre, I am comparing the situation of a video game not having much gameplay. I get the idea behind the Utawarerumono series as being a novel based “video game”, but being that we are in 2017 and you showed off a lovely animation sequence in the title screen. I felt that this game could have been richer if it had more of that and less of the slide show that I had to sit through. I felt like I was in a classroom trying to pay attention to the lesson, but mostly bored of the picture show after a few minutes.
The story is driven and held me for a while, but I came here to battle an evil force not read a slide show manga. That to me is a problem for people that want to play a game first and read the story second. While playing I went back to the past RPG’s that I have played that may have felt the same way, but nope. Even with texted based titles you at least can choose how the story will progress by picking options for your character. However, the game is not talking to you as a character it is talking to the other players within the story. You are just there as a watcher, not someone involved which to me is a downside.
Visually I can get behind this game, it is pretty and has some beautiful art. I am also enjoying the musical score which is compelling and drives the mood of the still image in the right direction at times. I still feel that they dropped the ball by adopting more of the anime with the cutscenes, but I guess the fans enjoy this more.
I can’t say I am much of a fan of their choice in style to drive a video game, but they do provide a lot of fan services for both waifu lovers and husbando’s alike. I mean here is one example of how they described one character I do enjoy because she is sassy Nosuri.
A girl who leads a clan of thieves titled after her name. She is a lively thief who has a big chest and not very well organized. Her younger brother, Ougi is always by her side.
I laughed hard at that statement, but in that, we can move forward to the gameplay portion which is an RTS that moves well. I love the diversity of ranged and close ranged fighters. As Nosuri uses a bow with pretty fair distance but can only fire in a linear manner. Her brother on the other hand Ougi has a four-way attack grid that if pushed in a timely manner can cause some devastating damage. The system is a bit confusing for me vs. other RTS, but you will have the option, later on, to add people to your party when available. Each character does play differently in a scenario where one might have a charge and release attack while others have moves that can only be done without moving first. Knowing your team is key to victory.
Sadly the first portion of the game I would say 3 hours is just you learning what is going on and how to play. Sadly within that three hours is just 25 minutes of gameplay in an 80+ hour game.
Is it a bad game? Not entirely, but on a personal note it is not my style on how they have you sit through so much dialogue, but when you do get to the gameplay portion it is fun and enjoyable for those moments. If you can keep your attention on the story long enough you will be rewarded with some interesting combat, but other than that this is a game for the fans out there of the series. Even with the special edition you only get a pillow of the two priestesses who are amazing to use in battle. However, not enough game for me to fully enjoy everything about it.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth receives 2 out of 5 paws. It comes out on September 5th, 2017 for $49.99 and PSvita for $39.99. If you are in New York check out my friends at Video Games NY for your gaming needs. I tried to enjoy it, but just not my cup of tea…well the combat is at least. – Beast Out –