So, this game is not out yet but I decided why not review the demo for those who maybe haven’t played it but are considering buying this game, or just for those who are curious about the game in general. This is obviously not the actual review of the game yet since it releases on December 19th. This is also based on the mobile demo since there is no Switch demo as of yet.
First of all, since I already translated the character’s profiles before I’ll post them here along with my own impression of them based on the demo.
[This is the protagonist of this game, Teuta. She is voiced by Yui Kondo. My first impression of her was really good! She’s a reporter, so she’s knowledgeable on a lot of things. Unlike Iori (the protagonist of Sidekicks) she is a voiced heroine who already has a background and personality that is more polished. However, she does have a power like Iori did, but its actually more interesting. Rather than see the future, she can go back into the past as another person. Teuta knows she has this power, and uses it to her advantage when she can. So far the interactions she has with the characters are very fun and she’s a much more spunky protagonist.]
[Limbo is the poster boy of this game who’s voiced by KENN. he’s a lawyer and one that does justice in his own way by serving justice on whom he deems should serve it. In other words, he’s very similar to Lupin from Code: Realize (in my opinion). Overall, he’s a pretty funny character who obviously sets a lot of the comic relief. I haven’t seen him in a very serious way yet aside from him being murdered. Nor have I seen his sister yet, so I am curious about his interaction with her.]
[Mozu is the team’s forensic researcher who is voiced by Jun Fukuyama (its been a while since I played an otome game with him, I think Re:Birthday Song was the last?). I don’t know much about him yet but he’s definitely a character I want to learn more about. He’s very quiet and speaks bluntly at random times. I feel like he’s going to be the character that is most interesting when he finally opens up because he seems very detached; which is probably why people see him as apathetic.]
[Shu is the bounty hunter who is voiced by Hosoya Yoshimasa. Honestly, I found him to be kind of funny at times because of his I-don’t-give-two-shits personality. He reminds me of a more serious Nami from Re:Birthday Song (especially cause he’s a heavy smoker as well). Not too much to say about him but he does seem somewhat close to Limbo. I’m curious about their relationship. Nearing the end of the episode, he seemed to be happy around a kid so maybe he likes kids? Not sure.]
[Helvetica is a popular cosmic surgeon who is voiced by Hiroyuki Yoshino (I could only tell you high pitched voices this guy does like Heisuke Todo from Hakuouki… so hearing him with a more masculine voice… it sounds so weird to me). He’s clearly the “flirt” of this game but more of an eccentric one. He’s obsessed with appearance so maybe he’s just supposed to give off this narcissistic vibe. Not much to say about him yet.]
[Scarecrow is the self proclaimed “boss of the black market” voiced by Shirai Yuusuke. The funny thing about his seiyuu is that he actually voiced Shishiba in Sidekicks and the both of them are nerds. Only difference is… Scarecrow is actually a nerd trying to be cool but he’s actually just super awkward and its noticeable around Teuta. He also has a respect jar because these guys have too much fun teasing him. You hear his voice a lot throughout the chapter but you only are introduced to him nearing the end of episode 1.]
— [Onto the sub characters] —
[Luka is Teuta’s childhood friend voiced by Nishikawa Mai. She’s a police officer and also childhood friends with Adam as well. The three of them make sure to meet up once a week since they’re really busy with their jobs. So far, I really like Luka. She seems like a genuine good friend for Teuta. I don’t have too much to go on with her since I didn’t learn too much, but I hope nothing bad happens to her in this game since she is a sub character and there is MURDER.]
[Adam is an anchorman of a program called the Zero Hour and voiced by Kaito Ishikawa (who is always present in all of Extend’s games). My first impression of this guy is that well, first of he’s handsome. And he’s a sub character… now if we’re going by a certain character in a certain game that could mean something. But, I don’t know if they would go in that direction. It would seem to obvious to make him betray Teuta or something like that. I mean its definitely possible she could end up on one side and he’s on the other. Kind of like… Tales of Vesperia. Estelle would be Teuta, Yuri would be Limbo, and then Adam would be Flynn. In Tales of Vesperia, Flynn sees justice in abiding by the laws, Yuri does not and takes matters into his own hands. I think the situation could be similar in this case? Although he’s just an news reporter. So the situation could happen with her friend, Luka. Not everyone would get the Tales of Vesperia reference… but its the best comparison I can make.]
[Alex is an orphan boy who helps Carmen at her shop. He’s voiced by Nishiyama Koutarou. To be honest, his voice was slightly deeper than I was expecting. I guess he is 15, but with the way he looked I expected a female seiyuu to voice him lol. Aside from that, I don’t know much about him. He and Carmen seem to be close but that’s about all I know. And he knows Teuta.]
[Carmen is the owner of her club called Paraíso Garage and voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara. Okay Sidekicks has a thing for having certain females voiced by male seiyuu and I’m assuming they’re supposed to be trans? Although, I wouldn’t worry about any transphobic things here, they seem to treat the characters respectfully and I already like Carmen. I think she’s supposed to be similar to Kirara from Sidekicks.]
Now for a summary of chapter 1.
The game starts off with our heroine Teuta who is in the body of another person trying to convince Limbo (known as a corrupted lawyer) that he’s going to die and she witnessed it herself. Flashback to hours earlier, Teuta is a broke journalist trying to figure out her moving situation. She has her childhood friend Luka (who’s a police officer) and her other one Adam (who’s a news reporter). One day, she tries to get in contact with Limbo in order to interview him but he continues to decline and he offers her his business card. After this, she speaks with a woman accused of murder in hopes of gathering coverage. Albeit, she ends up giving her some code and drawing a chesspiece on her notebook before she has to leave.
After Teuta leaves the police department, she sees Limbo again but he falls to the ground and had been either shot or stabbed. She tries to save him but he ends up dying. So she uses her power to go back in time as someone else. When she opens her eyes, she’s a suspect who’s handcuffed in an interrogation room. A woman is trying to get info out of her while she’s in this man’s body. Teuta realizes she doesn’t have time before Limbo is killed so she acts like she has a important info that she’ll only share if she has a lawyer present and asks for Limbo. It’s then she has the same conversation, trying to convince Limbo that he indeed dies and asks him to meet her at a cafe called Harry & Keith. Teuta then wakes up and she’s back in her own body at the Central Core of New Seeg where Limbo “supposedly” died but is no longer there.
Teuta goes to the cafe Harry & Keith. Shu is the first one to appear and greets Teuta first. He’s a bounty hunter and already heard the situation from Limbo who comes in right after. And right off the bat they bombard her with the question of what her motive is and how she knows Ortega (the man who targeted and had Limbo killed). Teuta tells them she’s not in cahoots with this guy and tries to prove it by telling Limbo what he showed in his pockets the time she was in other person’s body. It’s still not enough though and they both have their suspicions. When Teuta gets a call from her landlord about having to pay repair expenses for her apartment, she asks for Limbo’s help to not pay the expenses I exchange she’ll collaborate with them. She then goes with them to meet Helvetica, a popular cosmic surgeon.
Immediately this guy grabs Teuta and takes a good look at her before giving her a sort of rating which is apparently what he does when he sees women. He also tells her most first impressions are based on appearances alone. After meeting him, Mozu who works in forensics, appears as well. He’s aquainted with Teuta’s friend Luka who’s an officer and met him while they were eating together. After gathering, they come up with a plan of faking Limbo’s death in order to catch the culprit. However, they temporarily take Teuta’s phone so she can’t contact anyone. Teuta meets with Luka and Adam at a bar she often visits at least once a week. It’s there a kid named Alex stays with the owner Carmen who treats him like family.
So after this, they go through the plan of faking Limbo’s death. Once he “dies” the info is spread quick on a sort of SNS app called ‘Full Circle’ and Adam covers it on the news. In addition, their hacker and behind the scenes guy named ‘Scarecrow’ looked up about Teuta who’s background came up with no suspicious results. All that’s left is for them to expose Ortega and head to the meet up where there will be a money exchange for “killing” Limbo. They go to the meeting place and Helvetica pretends to be the woman who was supposed to kill Limbo. They then reveal themselves and catch Ortega on a Livestream. After exposing him, the police arrive anr they escape on a helicopter and dump all his money out.
After this, Limbo tries to help Teuta with her apartment situation but that same night after having a party at Carmen’s, Teuta finds out her apartment was burned down. Luka and Adam rush to meet Teuta whom they were worried about. She reassures them she’s fine but tells them not to worry and she’ll figure something out. But with no place to stay, Limbo makes arrangements for Teuta to stay at Scarecrows so called ‘hideout’ that is apparently like a mansion full of guest rooms. After taking Teuta there, they meet Scarecrow for the first time who’s actually just an awkward nerd who tries to act cool 😂. He even has a “respect” jar so if anyone talks crap about him they have to pay up lmao. Apparently after their missions they receive pay for exposing corrupt people such as politicians, company workers, ect. So Teuta decides to join them and explains the reason she became a journalists was to uncover truths; especially the one regarding her brother’s death.
Thoughts: So, overall, even though this was a demo I enjoyed it a lot. I mean I already knew since I really enjoyed Sidekicks I was probably going to enjoy this game too. The main difference between this game and Sidekicks is probably that you’re not exactly on the good side of justice but rather in-between and doing what you think is just. I believe that is the sort of theme they are going for in this game. As for setting, it takes place in a city called New Seeg which is supposed to be a city in America inspired by New York. The characters themselves all have an interesting perk about them. I really liked the Sidekicks cast but Rico was too much Shota for me.
As for the system itself, it’s mostly English but the UI pretty nice. Not too flashy and fairly simple but modern looking. Although for the mobile version it wasn’t too wonky, but I feel like the skip is way too slow. You can adjust it to be faster than the default setting, but even then it just feels way too slow. I hope when I play the Switch version it’s not like this. In addition to the mobile version, my phone is smaller than my older phone and the text looks really tiny on it. I’m really glad I’ll be able to play the Switch version because I know the text will at least be bigger on a larger screen.
Here’s what the menu looks like when you first open the game.
Anyway, I really like the heroine so far. She’s voiced so you already feel like she’s more part of the story. But I’m actually really interested in her power. It’s interesting she can go back in time as another person. It makes me wonder if it’s completely random or if there’s a connection to the person she’s taking over (like can she become a person she knows?). And as the plot progresses, I wonder if it’s possible she could end up in the body of someone who’s about to be killed before going back to her own consciousness. Also what happens to Teuta when she “leaves” her body and goes to the past? Is it just a different timeline when she returns to her former self? It’s probably not going to be that complicated but we never learned much about Inori’s power in Sidekicks, so I hope we learn more about Teuta’s.
Ahhh I’m really excited for December! About a month left and I finally get to play this game. I hope this impression at least gives some people interest in whether or not they want to play. I really think this would be a great game to localize in English too. English players would LOVE the criminal aspect of it, plus I actually like Sidekicks more than Collar x Malice. And I think I’ll probably feel the same way about this game too. Don’t get me wrong, Collar x Malice isn’t a bad game, but I had nitpicks about it related to story and some of the characters. I’m not sure what company would localize this game though… I guess it’s always possible it could get an English translation like Nightshade did from the JP publisher but, I’m not sure.