September 28, 2011

Game review: Moujuutsukai to Oujisama

Made by: Otomate/Idea Factory 
Genre: Otome, Magic, Romance, Adventure
Summary: Tiana is training to become a beastmaster just like her mother and when walking home one day she meets a man who is selling rare animals. Tiana ends up buying all 4 of them and when she gets home the creatures start to talk. They ask Tiana for help finding a cure for their curse so they can turn back to humans and so the story begins...

Matheus

Matheus is the blond ladies man who got transformed into a lion. He and Tiana hit it off well and he soon let her play and cuddle with him. I want to pet a big fluffy lion too (,,#゚Д゚) Matheus got a strange phobia of men which is also a reason he prefer to hang around the ladies.

So Tiana goes to the medicine shop to ask if there is any cure for the curse and finds out that there is apperently a “witch’s apprentice” who works there that can make a cure for her. She gets it the next day and it works! But only for 15 minutes. The animals suggests she goes back the next day, which Tiana does, but the shopkeeper says it's gonna be expensive to pay for a medicine that works longer.

Matheus says he knows a way to get money quick and asks to use the rest of the medicine. Tiana trusts him and end up going with him to a local inn where Matheus win in a cardgame. The rest of the needed money was gained by the two of them doing beastmaster performances in the town. 
The cure doesn't work this time around either and Matheus joins Tiana the next time she goes back. When entering the shop the shopkeeper went
"B-But you're supposed to be dead!". Before they could catch them, both the shop owner and the apprentice witch escaped through a secret room. Understanding that it was the two of them responsible for the curse, the guys started thinking of a plan to lure them out. Matheus and the other boys also told Tiana that they are the princes of the country and all brothers.
Since they still got a lot of gold powder left (medicine to turn them human) so they decide to get a carriage and show themselves around town. That way the royals will know they aren't missing anymore and the person wanting to kill them will know they've failed. 
When returning the carriage Tiana met her childhood friend Klaus, who works with the royals. He told her about Matheus past and the reason of his phobia.

There is a Carnival in town the next day and Matheus asks Tiana to join him. They buy some cheese, played cards, and gets followed by a swarm of fangirls. Matheus tells her that he doesn't care about them since none of the girls really love him. This is also proven by the magical rose garden where the rosebuds only bloom if you love someone true and deep down in your heart. Matheus gets a ton of rosebuds from the fangirls, none of which blooms. He then asks Tiana to help him carry them and the moment she touches them all of them turn into beautiful roses. \(^▽^)ノ

Some days later a bunch of fangirls show up at Tianas house, screaming that they want to see Matheus. Out of nowhere the witch apprentice, Gerda, shows up and stabs Tiana with a cursed dagger.
The curse is slowly eating away her life and Gerda says that if they want to save Tiana and turn back to humans, Matheus has to kill his brothers. They stage a fake death and are able to capture both the shopkeeper, Silvio, and Gerda. They finally spill the beans and tell the gang the reason they cursed them:

20 years ago the town was burned by the ground by The Last Witch. Gerda was her apprentice and when her mentor was captured some weeks ago Gerda was told to kill the 4 princes if she wanted to see her teacher again.

Gerda also explains that neither the princes curse or Tianas can be lifted without The Last Witch, so they all team up and goes off to save the witch. Just when they are about to leave they find out that a war is starting between the countries. The princes were also charged with murder, so they had to be careful when traveling. Our heroes split into groups and Tiana of course goes with Matheus.
They later end up meeting Bernd, Matheus mentor and only person he ever really trusted. Bernd end up stabbing Matheus in the back and he is saved by Tiana and her beastmaster skills.

Tiana, Matheus and Klaus end up hiding in the secret room of the potion shop where Matheus recovered from his wounds. They tried to attack Bernd again, this time with the help of Alfred, only to fail once again. Dirk, their fifth and youngest brother appeared out of nowhere and swore to kill Matheus. He was the one responsible for starting the war and told them he had made a contract with the powerful dragon who was resting inside of The Last Witch. Dirk was planning to create a new empire called Elfonbine, where he is to rule.
Our gang eventually got back to the hideout room where Tiana suddenly passed out. The curse was starting to get to her but at the same time Matheus wanted to stop Dirk. Tiana understood that she'd only be trouble if she went with him, so they kissed and said farewell. A few days later Matheus still hadn't come back, Tiana being on the brink of death. Klaus then gave her a potion Gerda had prepared. The curse would be lifted for 24 hours, only to result in her dying directly after.
Not waiting a second, Tiana drank the medicine and started riding towards the city Sardine.
FFFF I really really like Matheus, but pairing up Midorikawa with his character did not work for me at all.  Midorikawa does that kind of sleezy, way too deep voice that almost ruined it for me. I honestly don't know what they were thinking. I still really enjoyed Matheus route and his bonus picture when unlocking his route was so adorable I had to make it my wallpaper. Honestly, who wouldn't want to cuddle up with a big, warm, fluffy lion?

Alfred
Alfred is the strongest of the brothers and don't really know how to interact with people (women especially). After Tiana ordered the second batch of medicine, Alfred said he could get the money for her. Together they went to the colosseum where he easily won against his opponent. Just when they were about to leave he saw a bunch of men, including the man he just fought, screaming and rushing towards them. Alfred grabbed Tiana and threw her over his shoulder, apologizing and saying she runs too slow XD

Turns out the men weren't angry, they wanted to try to fight Alfred one more time. He politely refused later and they did a performance just like Matheus and Tiana, this time Alfred was doing sit-ups in his wolf form. He suddenly messed up and started counting "One...two...One...two" out loud which caused some suspicion. The story continues same as in Matheus route until the carnival comes.
Alfred and Tiana visited the colosseum again where Alfred sparred for awhile. They also went to the market, the hill and the forest. When walking home it started to rain and Alfred pulled Tiana under a roof to take cover. He noticed her shivering and hugged her closer, telling her to listen to his heartbeat.

After the rest of the guys noticed Tiana and Alfred was getting closer, they started teasing them. Alfred in particular, being so clueless about women, didn't get understand and Tiana was too embarrassed to say anything lol.
The next day someone knocked on the door and there stood Dirk, the fifth and youngest prince. Out of all the princes, he and Alfred are the only ones sharing the same mother. Dirk told Alfred to return at once and blamed Matheus for everything. He also insulted Tiana, her home and started talking about how Alfred should be king instead of Matheus. After Dirk left Alfred told Tiana that they used to have yet another brother, Abel, whom died in an accident. Dirk became bitter after Abel passed away and Tiana said she hoped they could get along in the future.

Same night the witch apprentice stabbed Tiana with the magic dagger and later tricked Silvio and Gerda into being caught. The war broke out and they split into teams, this time Tiana went with Alfred. During the time they traveled, Alfred told her how Abel died. Abel had asked Matheus for a duel, which he had refused to, Abel got angry and was about to attack Matheus from behind when Alfred jumped between to stop him. In the end Alfred lost his eye and accidentally stabbed Abel in his heart. Everybody agreed that it was an accident except for Dirk who kept saying it was Matheus fault.

So back to the story, Dirk eventually became the dragon and started destroying the town again. Alfred told Tiana to find a safe place but she refused to leave him. Gerda contacted her through the magic mirror and told her that her beastmaster whistle can tame dragons, just like her mothers could! Tiana searches for Alfred and eventually finds him in the colosseum, the two of them faces Dirk together.
Alfred was really cute and I do like clueless guys, but he doesn't really have that spark and charm that the rest of the cast does. His story was okay but not as interesting as the rest.

Lucia

Also known as the Tsundere Duck by people who have played the game xD
And let me just get this out of the way first; Ducks are adorable. Lucia the duck is ten times more adorable. Tsundere Lucia the duck is the most adorable thing ever.
Moving on, Lucia is the third prince and always the one to start an argue. He got strong opinions and can sometimes come off as mean, but on the inside he is really a good guy.

After the events with the medicine and carriage, Lucia and Tiana meet up in the castle garden. Lucia tells about how he and his cousin Kurt used to play here and do all kind of mischief. Tiana tells him she used to train animals here too and wondered if they ever met. On the day of the carnival Lucia is sulking and Tiana spends the day cleaning the house. She hears someone playing violin beautifully and it turns out to be Lucia. He apologizes for making noise and explains he's not as good as his father at playing. Tiana smiles and ask him if he wants to go to the carnival after all, and he happily agrees.

They end up resting at the flower field on the hill where Tiana falls asleep, tired from all the fun. She wakes up by hearing Lucia talking to her.
"Do you still not remember?". When she opened her eyes, he asked her what she thought of him, and she replied that Lucia is Lucia. Simple as that.

Before returning home Lucia told Tiana to leave early since he had some businesses to do. When she came home she searched for her old diary. As a child she had indeed tamed some cats in the castle garden, together with a boy who played the violin. They've made a promise to enter the annual beastmaster competition together one day.

Lucia didn't come back to the house for several hours and all the other brothers got worried. Right when they were about to leave he showed up. Matheus was so angry he grounded Lucia and took all of his powder that turn him back human. Lucia tried to explain that tomorrow something really important happened, but they didn't listen.

The next day Tiana, Erik and Lucia were the only ones in the house. Tiana tried to cheer Lucia up and found a paper by his pillow. He told her not to read it but she did anyway. Turns out Lucia had been applying for a beastmaster contest that day, which was the reason he came home so late last night. He knew Tiana wanted to become a beastmaster just like her parents and she thanked him for his kindness. Lucia got so happy he suggested they would sneak outside, but Tiana said it would be best not to disobey Matheus. Our tsundere duck got the wrong impression and started yelling at her, thinking it was because he wasn't a big lion or a graceful wolf, just a silly duck.

Tiana sat in the living room, thinking how to apologize to Lucia when Erik came running, saying Lucia had escaped. Matheus and Alfred came back and they searched all together. He was found by Kurt in the forest, badly beaten up. When he woke up he told Tiana he wanted to capture a boar so she could use it in the beastmaster contest, but he was interrupted by her hugging him. She remember that it was Lucia she used to play with as a child and he tells her he's been practicing playing violin just so he could preform together with her.

So they eventually split into teams and this time Tiana goes with Erik, Silvio and Gerda to rescue The Last Witch. They are betrayed by Hannes, the man who sold Tiana the animals from the beginning, but luckily Tiana and Lucia hid behind a bush. Lucia says he have to save Erik, kisses Tiana and tells her to run, then steps out. A fight with the guards take place and Lucia is just about to lose when out of nowhere Kurt appears and beat the bad guys ass.

Right after they've escaped, Tiana passes out from the curse. Lucia cries a river and asks her if she still want to go with him to fight the dragon, and she replies that she does. Even if she is about to die, she wants to spend her last moments together with him.
Lucia easily takes first place as most likable character and best guy in the game. When playing the mofumofu he kept saying all these cute things like "D-Do you do this with the other guys too?" and "You're the only one allowed to pet me". While I didn't really like his character design in human form (Add some freckles and he would have reminded me of Ron from Harry Potter), his cute duck hoodie made up for it.

Erik
The cute, little innocent bunny! Or is he?
Erik is the youngest of the four brothers. He is a bit of a crybaby and carries a stuffed frog named Caspar on his back all the time.
During the carnival Erik and Tiana goes to the rose garden. He tries giving her some rosebuds (just like Matheus) but since Tiana thinks of him as a kid they don't bloom.
They had lunch on top of the hill the next day, where Erik asked Tiana to kiss him.
She apologized and said she still didn't think of him in that way.

On their way home they run into Silvio who starts picking a fight. Erik wants to prove Tiana wrong and when he steppes in Caspar gets torn apart. Inside was a little bottle with some sort of powder that spills onto Erik. When Tiana opens her eyes she doesn't recognize the man in front of her, but it is indeed Erik. Silvio runs of scared and Erik sprinkle the silver powder on himself, turning back to shota. Tiana was about to ask him about it, when she realize shota Erik have no memory of what happened.

Lucia, being the closest one to Erik, later asked Tiana if anything special had happened. She told him what she saw and he said it's something Erik will have to tell him herself. Tiana gets stabbed with the dagger the same night and when she wakes up Erik wants to tell her the whole story:

Erik's mother wanted a daughter badly, so when Erik was born she could not help but feel disappointed. She was worried about how many princes were killed in order for other princes to get closer to the throne. Erik grew up thinking he was a unwanted child and put a curse on himself at age 7 so he would always be the sweet, innocent, childish person his mother wanted him to be. He hated his life and was even about to commit suicide if Lucia hadn't stopped him. Tiana hugged Erik and thanked him for telling her, understanding his reason for wanting to create a facade.

Gerda and Silvio was captured by Erik singlehandedly and he threaten to cut their throat off if they didn't lift the curse from Tiana. Gerda was so scared of him that she told him the whole story about The Last Witch right there and then, and off they went.

During the travel they camped in the forest and Erik said he didn't want to be someone he is not anymore, so he threw away the last of the powder, forever giving up on the option of turning back to shota-Erik. Tiana cried and realized that she loved shota-Erik for his smile and bright personality.

When raiding the castle some days later, the team split into two once again. Erik and Tiana hid in a storage room where Erik told him that even if he's been "asleep" inside of Erik this whole time, he still felt as if he had spend time with Tiana and loved her. Not knowing what to feel, Tiana just said that she wanted to know more about the real Erik.


The two of them made it to the main room, where Gerda, Silvio and Lucia had been captured. Erik threw the rest of the gold powder in the room, turning everyone into animals. While laughing, he sat down on the throne and told them to spill the beans on where the witch was. Right when he was about to kill Hannes, Tiana screamed and told him to stop.

So then the gang went to stop Dirk, who once again turned into the dragon. On the way there Erik kissed Tiana and told her that he was always afraid of his true self, and that he would end up being a murderer like his father, but thanks to Tiana, he was now a better person. She smiled and Erik promised to always protect her.
Wow, I'm kind of speechless after finishing his route.
It's not that unusual with a shota character that got a dark/grown-up side, but this game took it to a whole new level. Erik definitely got the most character development out of the guys and playing his route was really interesting and I honestly had no idea what would happen next. When writing this review I was close to writing "Dark-Hunny" (Ouran High School Host Club reference) LOL, doesn't help that he is a rabbit as well.

Klaus
Tianas megane childhood friend. His route was short and it honestly felt like the creators were going "Oh damn, we don't have a megane character! We can make him a osananajimi so he got some background story!". Klaus also get some powder on him and he gets turned into a little mouse. Very fitting (※థэథ). One thing that bothered me was that his sprite looked kind of bad, but in the CGs/other view, he looked pretty handsome. I didn't dislike him, but I didn't like him either. In the end, he just felt like any other side-character.

Silvio
Silvio is the shopkeeper and god, I just love the teasing/flirty but cute kind of guy that Silvio is.

So since Tiana doesn't hook up with any of the princes, she doesn't have enough money for the cure. Silvio suggests she goes to the forest and find 100 magical flowers which would be enough payment.

The same night Tiana goes there together with the animals, they split up and she meets Silvio there.
He was afraid she might get hurt or attacked so he came to check on her. When they were walking around Silvio told her that there is maximum 30 flowers in the forest anyway, so even if she finds all she won't have enough. Sulking, Tiana started walking faster but accidentally tripped and fell down a hole, dragging Silvio with her. There Tiana had found a secret place filled with the magic flower and enough to get the cure for the princes.

So Tiana and Silvio spends the following days together and Silvio keeps telling her how much he likes her, even if they only met recently. He says there is something nostalgic about her and she agrees.
After everyone find out Silvio and Gerda are the bad guys, Tiana felt confused and hurt. She walks by the potion shop on the day of the carnival and sees somebody inside. At first she think it's Silvio that have returned, but is later scared that it might be a burglar. She goes inside either way and there was a random man dressed in black. He told her to be quiet and was about to kill her when Silvio showed up and saved her. Quiet they stood together and none of them had anything to say.
Silvio asked her to stay away from the princes and that she would get hurt if she continued to. Tiana replied that she couldn't just leave them and Silvio disappeared through the secret door.

The next day he and Gerda came knocking on the door, wanting to cooperate with the princes. When Matheus didn't trust him Silvio pointed at Tiana and said he was doing it for her sake. He also gained their trust by pouring some powder on himself, turning into the cat that Tiana had seen around the last couple of days.

During their travel Silvio and Tiana bonded even more but things got complicated and in the end they had to say goodbye. Silvio said he'll return as soon as he has rescued the witch, and that he wanted a proper kiss when he comes back. Tiana blushes like a tomato but agrees to Silvios surprise.

Things take a turn for the worse when the dragon appears. Tiana goes off to find Silvio almost dying at the colosseum. He takes her hand and tells her he loves her, and that even if she doesn't remember him, he will always remember her. Silvio was the kitten Tiana used to train with at the castle gardens and his curse is a reverse from the princes. (Was an animal -> became human)
He fell in love with her back then and when seeing her enter the potionshop for the first time he was more happy than ever. Silvio passes out but Gerda says he'll be fine.


Now he got a big decision to make; drink the potion and forever be his true form, a cat, or to stay with Tiana as a human.

Gameplay:
So in Moujuutsukai to Oujisama there is a special gameplay called MofuMofu. You get to choose which one of the guys you want to pet (in animal form, of course lol) and you have to pet them in the right spot before the time runs out. I loved MofuMofu-time and as I mentioned before, Lucia the duck and Matheus the lion was my favorite. I'm that type of person who never had any animals when growing up, so whenever I visit someone that does, I go crazy with the cuddling and forget the person I was visiting orz
The game also got a nice bar system where you can check out which guy likes you the most. In case you forget anything there is a memo with the important parts of the story saved.

A big bonus for me was the extras. 4-komas, a special picture and a voiced comic is all unlocked when you finish someones route. Silvios 4-koma was about how he could climb all over Tiana in cat form, and when he then turned human and tried the same thing (groped her boobs) she hit him in the face lol.

Final Score:
Story 10/10

The main reason I gave this game such a high score was not because the story itself was that spectacular, but because they really created a cozy and fantasy-like atmosphere. The extra story in the PSP version where Tiana herself turns into a cat was adorable. Lucia especially went "You're so fluffy and warm, this is bad, I don't want to stop cuddling" Beside from that, I'm a sucker for this theme; Romance, magic, far-away country, strong heroine and handsome boys. What's not to love?

Music 7/10
Opening song was really nice and ending song as well. In-game music was nothing in particular but I overall enjoyed it.


Art 8/10
Just a note; I tried both the portable version and the PS2 version of this game, and on both of them the character sprites were a bit pixel-ish. Another thing that I'm kind of bothered about is how characters like Lucia and Alfred didn't have that many "good" CGs. If you compare to Eriks CG, all of them were cool/cute and showed the characters face etc, where in Lucias many of them felt half-hearted.
The art in general is very fluffy and I love the soft coloring that goes hand in hand with the game.

Voices 6/10
I have to score this low because of Midorikawa's work with Matheus. I would also have preferred someone else for Alfred, who spoke way too low for me to even hear him at times.

Total: 9/10 
Right off the bat I knew this was my type of game. I love these fairytale-like stories and all of the characters are very lovable. If you like a bit of magic, romance and comedy, together with character development and a nice story, I really recommend this game~

3 comments:

twentyninenights said...

I don't like Midorikawa's voice too in this. Want to look cool, but sound annoying (I am so sad that he voicing Tamahome in FY, I really like that character). Lucia maybe have useless CGs, but I find his story is the most interesting than any other chara. He have that funny story and also childhood story. But he just can't fulfill my interest in guy. Klaus may have that kind of look that I like, but sadly, his story doesn't feel anything to me.

And for portable version, I don't know why I prefer Klaus' route when he bake bread. Maybe because the other side stories are similar to the usual route?

You have to play the fandisk. It's really interesting.

Yumii said...

I agree with you about Lucia. I didn't think I would like him that much, but he ended up being my favorite character. Klaus was...alright(?). The bread scene in the portable version was sweet but just like you said he didn't leave much of an impression on me either.

I started to fandisk and really enjoying it right now! (I'm not planning on writing a review of it though)

I'm the type of person who likes it more when they are together rather then seeing two people fall in love, so playing fandisks is always more fun for me.

twentyninenights said...

For Nise no Chigiri, I may prefer to play only the fandisk. Look, I already forgot about the first story, but when playing the fd, I could knew all of their story even though I forgot the previous one. Maybe is similar to moujuutsukai.

Ah, right. I forgot to mentioned that I already finish Rou's route in Noise. So far, Noise isn't as scary as everyone think about.. It's nearly sad and I think it's similar to Shinigami to Shoujo in term of emotional story.

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