[VN-RPG] Utawarerumono: Masks of Deception and Truth

Utawarerumono 2

Utawarerumono returns with a bang offering another great story in its fantastic world.

Release: 2015-2016 (Aquaplus)
Writers: Suga Munemitsu (Utawarerumono, To Heart 2)
Japanese difficulty: Medium
English: Atlus
Ratings: VNDB (8.13); EGS (8.07)

Visual Novel

If you’ve played the original Utawarerumono, you already roughly know what to expect from the sequel. It’s a medieval fantasy visual novel interspersed with SRPG battles… that follows an amnesiac man’s path to glory.

Okay, as much as the original was fantastic, the sequel might have been following it a bit too closely with about two thirds of its scenario covering the exact same ground. Luckily, the game has a great cast of likable and interesting characters that make even the less exciting parts of the adventure a treat. And, well, world conquest is one trope I don’t mind seeing again.

4

Although Utawarerumono 2 relies a bit too much on its predecessor for story ideas, and some of the setting reveals aren’t as shocking when you already know its most important secrets, the game’s narrative is interesting enough to keep your attention from start to finish.

The sequel never really blew my mind like the original and the stuff about the secret final villain felt a bit forced, but neither was I ever bored or felt disinterested when I played the game. There were even a few scenes where I almost teared up, especially during the last minutes of the final epilogue.

3

That said, the game has some severe pacing problems that most likely killed any hope for it appealing to an average gamer. Utawarerumono 2’s story isn’t the fastest out there with multiple countries and countless characters warring in Game of Thrones fashion to begin with, but on top of it, each time the story moves a little you have to watch a bunch of daily life scenes, which, granted, tell you more about the characters and can make you smile at times, but also feel like padding to make the game twice as long as it should’ve been.

If character dialogue (and translation) wasn’t so well-written, I might’ve ran out of patience and started skipping those fragments.

2

I felt Utawarerumono 2 lacked punch in certain areas to truly make it a masterpiece (like there were a lot of missed opportunities for some good tragedy and drama), but it’s definitely both a solid visual novel and a satisfying SRPG that is a must-play for anyone into medieval fantasy.

And it also somehow received an absolutely fantastic translation from Atlus that I’d recommend over the original even for Japanese speakers. It single-handedly turned Maroro into one of my favorite characters when his voice was pretty dull in the original.

1

Positive:
Negative:
Attractive character designs
Borrows too many of its ideas from the original
Good soundtrack
Extremely slow pacing
Fantastic setting that takes the best from medieval fantasy and sci-fi dystopia
Could have shown a bit more romance between Haku and Kuon
Likable, interesting, and even some relatively profound characters
Too many girls inexplicably fall for the protagonist due to the MC syndrome
Solid story that feels like half the original Utawarerumono and half Game of Thrones
The finale is a bit predictable and doesn’t blow your mind like the original
Relatively enthralling plot with a couple of nice twists here and there
Doesn’t offer much of a challenge even on the highest difficulty level
Offers a fantastic tribute to the cast of the original, especially in the final epilogue
Satisfying SRPG game-play, I particularly liked the rewind function
Fantastic English translation
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