Collar x Malice – Otome game review

The game that everyone had been hyped about came out with a fandisc… and I only managed to finally finish it after some weekend grinding, made only possible because I decided not to play Pio Fiore because it wasn’t really the kind of game up my alley.

My first thoughts about CxM are that the romance was so-so and happened all within the month of December, making it unbelievable and random at times. It’s kinda expected of a non-romance focused game though, The mystery was interesting and engaging however, and I would recommend this game as worth a play for its mystery rather than its ‘Otome’ factor. I had to suspend disbelief many times though… and such things made me rate the game a little lower than I would have had if these little things were attended to or changed to make it more believable.

Alrighty, into my review!

Story: 
It was pretty interesting, with the substitute murders and stuff, but some of the character settings were weird and unbelievable, starting from Enomoto. His eyepatch hides an extremely unnecessary backstory and I cannot fathom why he would want to destroy his own vision like that. No, seriously? I get that we want some moe here but that is really not what people in real life would do. I get that this is a game, but it is a game set in the REAL WORLD so it was a really redundant character setting, imho.

Next would be how the heroine’s boss Mochizuki gives her a little too much freedom and one too many pats on the back. Japan’s workplace is restricted by hierarchy, and even more so in government agencies. Allowing Ichika so much free reign over her actions and sometimes even seeming to disregard the hierarchy made me suspect that Mochizuki was a part of Adonis many times.

Add on to that, Takeru’s constant hacking into the police system was ignored by Minegishi (The Police Commissioner) and finally blocked only to send him a message that they want Takeru back into the force… Ummmmmm this is a criminal act?? Not only do they proceed with taking Takeru back and straight into the investigation team, they also reinstated the banning of guns because of what he contributed to the investigation. (Not to mention how he spoke directly with the topdog of the police force and made a demand) Extremely unbelievable and way too smooth, even for an Otome game.

I’ve worked in and with a few Japanese companies, and no, they care less about results and efficiency than their hierarchy most of the time so despite it being an Otome game I would have wanted more care on that part to make it a believable story.

To fully enjoy this game, you would have to ignore little plot conveniences like that which, I was unfortunately unable to do so.

Music:
It was okay. Nothing spectacular but did fit well with the Police and RL themes of the game.

UI/UX:
Gorgeous as always, with Otomate’s high budget spent on the designs. It was also easy to start from a chapter with your desired level of affection to get to all the different endings. I don’t know why there was a cat motif on the home screen though. Is it because of Takeru? He has eyes like a cat? Or because Okazaki called Ichika a cat?

Oh well, moving on.

Heroine:
Some people say that she is s strong heroine. While I wouldn’t call her strong, she is indeed more mature than her counterparts in other games, but still does pretty stupid things like not realising she fell asleep in Takeru’s arms (ok, sure). She doesn’t seem to have any friends outside of work though and her life seems to revolve solely around work and her teenage angst brother Kazuki. We definitely didn’t get to see her personality much outside of work and her fear of the collar around her neck.

Routes:
Enomoto’s route was nice only because he was cute, but romance was lacking – no idea when they started liking each other. A

Ozakazi Kei’s route was weird too – he stinks of emo creepy – he likes horror movie and he wants to die. He pushes her onto the bed to tease her in one scene but then suddenly talks to her collar (whom Adonis is listening through), and the text shows that they proceed with sexy time – with Adonis still listening in. After

Takeru’s route was kinda horrible for me, because he kept calling her names and the romance was to be honest kinda random.

I didn’t even finish the other two routes! I just couldn’t get past that stage of the game and while the visuals were really pretty, the game couldn’t keep me hooked…

===

I feel like I’ve outgrown visual novels, or maybe because the work put into Kokorogawari put me off playing visual novels… it’s just so tedious going through all the text!

I don’t know when will be my next review for visual novels but I might move on to the Switch soon XD

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