I love Visual Novels but I’ve really struggled to understand them. After beginning to read manga, and watching anime, it was the next natural step for me. It was this article by AM Cosmos that helped me understand these games and Hatoful Boyfriend was the first game I completed. With that brief introduction out of the way, onto the meat of this post.
I’m going to be doing a chapter by chapter review of the VNs I play from now on. I enjoy playing them and want to share them with you. I don’t think a lets play particularly works as I don’t want to spoil everything, in case you want to play it yourself!
So here we are covering Collar x Malice. I finished Chapter 0 and it’s time for reactions and reviews! If you want more up-to-date reactions you can also follow my twitter reaction thread.
Knowledge of Collar x Malice
I didn’t know much about Collar x Malice going in. In fact, I didn’t know anything. Watching the starting OP was eyeopening with all the guns and cats.
Once the game started, it was pretty obvious why all the guns. The starting scenes really set the basic story for the player and allowed you to really get a sense of the world you’re in. You get to meet two of the protagonist’s friends from the start. One is her superior, Masanobu Mochida, and the other is her police academy classmate, Yuzuru Saeki.
One of the first things that really grabbed me in this game was how pretty it all was! I was astounded by the pretty graphics straight away and when I got the first mini game tutorial it just reinforced it. Every CG has just been as gorgeous as the last. As a note, I will try to avoid showing those CGs. There’s something special about finding them yourself and not knowing what they contain.
It didn’t take me long to get completely besotted with this game. I hadn’t even got half way through the first chapter and I was already recommending it.
The writing is just sublime.
I adore the protagonist and how she has her little sass responses. So many times I was reading the text going “Who do you think you are?” only for her to turn around and say the same thing! I’ve never had that before I really hope that’s just because I’ve picked bland VNs to play in the past.
Anyway, the story doesn’t take long to get going at all. Very quickly you’re through into the thick of things and the title of the game makes so much more sense too. If you’ve seen my tweets at all you’ll know that when the first choice came along I managed to make a top notch decision!
The rest of Collar x Malice’s Chapter 0 is spent introducing us to the boys. I really like how you can identify when a boy is an available romance by the colour text. I’ve not managed to figure out exactly when the box colour changes but I think that it was after the protagonist is given their full names and a proper introduction.
Either way, each boy has their own colour and it really adds another element to the screen. With the protagonist having pink, and side characters having black, it just adds another distinct element to them. After meeting Sasazuka at the detective agency I decided that he was the one I wanted to go for just because of his connection to computers and him having the online game case.
Towards the end of the chapter there are a few more choices. I managed to not die, I’m happy to say. I want to note I didn’t look up which choices affected the route I wanted, nor when the route would be decided.
All in all, you get the broadest sense of who each person is before you have to make any more choices. I can’t tell you which, or what, will affect your route.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of the game. See you all for a Chapter 1 Reaction!