With the otome game world currently seeing lots of change, I decided to pick up Beast Darling for my brand new(ish now?) Switch to see how games play, as well as to get a feel for how games will work from now on. Honestly I expected to finish this way earlier so I could also talk about what the otome game experience on Switch is like albeit with a subpar game which I expected to be pretty subpar to begin with. Needless to say I was too slow and now Cendrillon palikA is out so I dunno how useful this opinion would be, but whatever, moving on.
Beast Darling follows the heroine, Kazuki (Katsuki?) Kazuha, who from a young age has always had the uncontrollable ability of attracting animals. For as long as she could remember, this has caused her to be a societal outcast, without even attention from her own parents. One day her parents move overseas, but instead of following them, Kazuha decides to stay in Japan, living and working while studying. However, due to her ability, she’s kicked out of her home and job. When her pet cat, Futaba, brings her a pamphlet for Gaou Academy, she goes to have a look after being attracted by the dorms. When she arrives, she’s immediately attacked by a violent boy with lion ears. She learns that everyone at that dorm carry animal curses, which make them sprout animal ears and take on that animals’ traits. There she learns that her animal attracting ability is also able to calm the onset of the curses in these boys. After seeing a little too much, she’s forced to transfer to Gaou Academy and stay in the dorms with the boys. To make sure their secret isn’t spilled, one of the five trouble-making boys are assigned to watch over her.
Beast Darling for Switch is a port of the mobile game of the same name, without all the ticket/mission BS…And honestly it really is just that.
There are no story dependent choices in the game and there is always at least two choices in each chapter, just like a normal ticketed game, which increases the affection of your dude. When the affection is a certain level, you unlock the happy end, or the beast (bad) end if its not high enough. Because of this, it also means you have to restart from the beginning or however many bad choices earlier to get the beast end because there’s no affection gauge, so its impossible to tell which end you’re heading for. The only way I knew I was getting the happy end was because there’s an indicator that you chose the choice that made your dude happy every time (a love catch). There’s also no extra content for full comping (getting the happy end and the good end) so that kind of sucked.
At the end of most chapters, a GAO chat screen pops up, which is like an in-game version of Line. Sometimes there’s a voiced message from your dude as well right at the end, which is sweet but er, mainly gimmicky and serves no real purpose honestly.
The Switch version is part voiced, I assume just like the mobile version, because every other feature is also just as a mobile game would be.
At first, the prologue is fully voiced (save for heroine and side chars) so I was tricked into thinking it was a voiced game, but come the actual individual char routes, it was very sparsely voiced. Most of the time you’re sitting there listening to the same three BGMs playing and it gets tiring.
I should’ve known it wouldn’t be fully voiced since the price was sort of cheap compared to say, the OperaHouse games which are all fully voiced and probably about the same quality. I normally don’t mind unvoiced games, but when they market the game with chars voiced by Kaji Yuki, KENN, Sakai Koudai, Shirai Yuusuke and Jinya Haruka…………you kinda expect to hear their voices for more than 5 minutes in total, you know? It’s the fact that they weren’t really upfront about this info at all that kind of got me annoyed.
Without spoiling, it’s kind of ordinary. Not super good, deep or interesting, but not particularly horrible. It really doesn’t leave much of an impression because it’s one of those games that brings up interesting plot points, but never quite fleshes them out and everything is resolved quite simply.
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