Moe Chronicle Review – Into the Abyss (Vita Import)
Compile Heart is a developer who engages in a particular form of art and one of their latest outings on the PlayStation Vita is no exception. Genkai Tokki Moero Chronicle — known in English simply as Moe Chronicle — is the second outing in the company’s Genkai Tokki series. With its focus on fan service and overly-cute monster-themed girls, Moe Chronicle has dropped the card battle sensibilities of its predecessor Monster Monopiece and instead gone for a more traditional dungeon crawl experience despite its pandering aesthetic.
Monsters and Humans Living Together
The story of Moe Chronicle begins in a land known as Monstopia — a place where humans and monsters once co-existed before the “legendary monster girl” caused things to ago awry. As the main character Io, it’s up to you to save the world as your town was unaffected by the events that have taken place in the outside world.
Unlike a lot of dungeon RPGs, Moe Chronicle has been designed with fairly basic mechanics in place. It’s here you’ll be fighting typical RPG monsters, battling through multiple floors which house monster girls you can either fight or capture to recruit as a playable party member. Recruitment depends on fulfilling certain conditions, however, which involves a risque rubbing mini game. Success in this game results in the girl joining your team, while failure ensures she’ll just run away.
Characters in Moe Chronicle can be equipped with different “job” types by equipping up to four different types of panties. This holds true for each of the 50 playable characters and offer up a variety of stats covering typical RPG staples such as physical or magical bonuses. Every character also has what is called a “moe trait” that gives a boost to the party. As you’d expect, much of this content is fan service-driven too.
Battles themselves are soaked in sexy fan service as well. You’re given a choice when fighting to attack monster girls directly or target parts of their clothing which act independently from the character’s normal HP pool. By utilizing the elemental weakness of each piece of clothing, you can initiate combos which also increases attack power.
An Easy Dungeon Crawl
All things considered, however, Moe Chronicle is fairly accessible. You can romp through the main quest in about 20 hours give or take, but there are a decent amount of post activities to take part in. The story parts are about what you’d expect from a Compile Heart game — bland and full of filler with a protagonist who acts as an extension of the player. The problem is, however, he’s afraid to speak to girls for fear of being branded a pervert so most of the conversation and interaction comes off as awkward and uncomfortable.
Moe Chronicle’s main draw is its fan service elements — let’s not beat around the bush there. The game focuses its time largely on a handful of the 50 characters you can encounter, complete with ridiculous scenes that play into each of their particular tropes and cliches.
There is Such a Thing as Too Much
From a design standpoint, Moe Chronicle is drawn in a cutesy anime art style. The visuals are very bright and appealing for the style, it’s just a shame that the game has to rely on its pandering elements to really show them.
Gameplay is probably Moe Chronicle’s only real strength, all things considered. As a dungeon RPG, Compile Heart managed to create a game that’s easy to get into even at higher difficulties, however its lack of depth and freedom in character stats and abilities brings things down a bit. The Genkai Tokki fan service is what it is. I feel a lot of it is unnecessary — namely the rubbing mini game — but for those into that sort of thing there’s plenty of it and plenty that toes the line between extreme and not.