The much anticipated Ayakashi: Romance Reborn from Otome Romance (formerly known at Voltage Inc.) has been released worldwide. In the game you play as Futaba who has unlocked her powers as an Onmyoji diviner. Dark spirits called ‘wraiths’ are possessing people and turning them violent. With the help of a group of a handsome group of ayakashi, Futaba will work to bring peace to her city. Before reading my first impressions of the game make sure to check out my interview with the localisation game director, Ryan, over here!
I don’t want to spend too much time going over the different features of the game as I believe that’s something best experienced by yourself. But let’s have a quick look. After completing the prologue (5 chapters), you’re given the option to follow the story of one of three divisions (Dawn, Night and Twilight). From there the story branches into an individual romance route. As of now only the Dawn faction story is available and under that Koga, Kuya and Ginnoji are available to romance. The game features gacha cards which are used for battles in and out of the main story. You can level cards up to get various rewards like outfits, backgrounds or strengthen the card. There’s also a cafe where you can listen in to the chibi ayakashi chat. I’m definitely missing a few features of this game, but like I said best to find them yourself.
Ok, onto my actual thoughts. I have to say I’m very impressed so far with the game. As many long time readers of this blog will know I sometimes get put off by new mobile otome if there’s too many features. But while this game does have quite a lot of different mechanics, they’re introduced slowly. The game gives you a chance to get used to one mechanism before teaching you another.
The story itself is very interesting, but one thing I’m really enjoying is the banter between characters and their personalities. I find with mobile otome with a big cast of characters it can all feel a bit one note, but so far every character stands on their own. No one fades into the background and while I can’t remember everyone’s names I have a good sense of who they are.
Another point of concern for me was when I realised that the common route was 45 chapters long. As this is a first impressions post I haven’t played deeply into the game (up to chapter 14). So far I’ve found the chapter lengths to be quite decent, and I tend to save up keys so I can read a few chapters at a time. Since I’m at the beginning of the game this is pretty easy to do, but I am concerned as the story continues and its harder to rank up (and as such get story keys) the story may feel a bit stop-start.
However, in all this praise there are definitely some features I would like to see improve. Firstly, when I play games I tend to like to have a linked account where I can have it logged in on my phone and my iPad. I tend to play on my iPad at home and my phone when I’m out. When I tried to do this with this game, it deleted my data off my phone and only allowed for it to be played on my iPad. It seems you can only have one account on one device. Not one account across two devices. If someone knows a fix for this, please let me know.
On to some actual game aspects. I was really excited to unlock my first CG in the game, but was kind of disappointed when I actually saw it. The CG was pretty much just a detailed sprite. The background was the same as the regular background, as you can see above. I’m not sure how other CGs will look further in the story but I hope they’re not all like this. Additionally, when you’re unlocking the strengths or extra features of a card it seems like you have to click on each bit individually. This can get tedious if you want to completely level up a card. It would be great if you could just click at a point and unlock until there – something similar to how Shining Live works.
Overall, Ayakashi: Romance Reborn has done what I did not think possible. It has a lot of fun game mechanics that work together and don’t overwhelm the player. The story itself is interesting and gradually introduces you to the large cast of characters. There are some minor issues with the game, I’m disappointed by the CG I unlocked and would love to be able to play on the same account across devices. But overall, I’d highly recommend otome fans to check this game out.
If you’d like to be friends with me on the game my username is twohappycats (ID: 9143473767908)!