When My Next Life As A Villainess All Routes Lead To Doom! (Hamefura) second season ended, we thought there wouldn’t be anything new coming out for the series until its movie. Then Idea Factory’s sub-branch specializing in otome games, Otomate, created a game for My Next Life As A Villainess series. Now, after two years, My Next Life As A Villainess All Routes Lead To Doom! ~Pirates of the Disturbance~ will finally reach Western shores!
Pirates of The Disturbance is an otome game where you play as Catarina Claes, who is going on a little vacation on a world cruise ship called the Vinculum. You quickly discover that the rest of your friends are on board as well. What was supposed to be a relaxing cruise ship doesn’t go as planned when pirates attack. The attack suddenly reminds you of a fan disc you read that had a doom ending for the villainess Catarina. The game will release on November 28, but I was given the opportunity to play and review this game before the release thanks to Idea Factory International.
As someone who plays otome games, I want to mention that My Next Life As A Villainess isn’t part of the otome genre. I considered the otome genre a genre that is mostly connected to video games and any manga or anime series that are based on those games. Even if the series isn’t a part of the otome genre, they can still have an otome game since they tend to cross over sometimes. Therefore, this review will be about how well I think this game is as an otome game player who has also watched the anime and read the manga. It’s been quite a while since I’ve last played one, but I have played otome games that were developed by Otomate, like Hakuouki and Amnesia, to name a couple. So, I already had some expectations for this game, especially for the romance part. I have only gone through four playthroughs, so this review and my thoughts for this game are based on what I have played so far and it may or may not change as I continue to play more of the routes.
The game follows the usual visual novel format that you see in most otome or visual novel games in general. You follow along the story until you hit a point where you have to make certain choices. Depending on the choice you make, the affection of the guy characters will increase. There isn’t much to say gameplay-wise, just that you will eventually figure out which of the choices can raise certain character’s affection, especially if you play the game multiple times. One thing I liked in this game was being able to see the other character’s points of view since it adds a bit more depth to the stories, especially in the more romantic scenes. The game also has an extra feature called Memory Scenarios, which can be unlocked if certain conditions are met. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel too excited for most of the Memory Scenarios. I only clicked on it if I ever unlocked it for story’s sake, but I sometimes found it annoying. There were a few Memory Scenarios I fully enjoyed, but that is because of the content they gave and the characters they were based on, rather than the feature itself.
The gameplay isn’t what I was playing this game for anyway. What I was hoping to see and feel was the romance between Catarina and the guy of my choosing, including the two new characters that were original for the game. Many of the characters in the series are in the game, with all the Japanese voice actors reprising their roles. I enjoy playing voiced otome games because immersing myself into the game is a lot easier, especially towards the romantic scenes where we can feel that romantic tension. So, being able to hear all the original voices including the voices of Kenichi Suzumura and Daisuke Namikawa, who voice the two new romance-able characters, was a sweet deal. Through the romance routes I played so far, the voice actors did a wonderful job of letting me feel that heart-throbbing romance that I wanted to feel in an otome game.
At the moment, I am very much satisfied with the romantic aspect of the game in the routes I played since they fulfilled the romantic desires I wanted from an otome game. I was especially very satisfied with the endings from a couple of those routes. I do wish that there were more romantic scenes between Catarina and the chosen partners. Yes, some scenes were romantic and made my heart beat fast, but I was hoping for more. I wanted to see more tension in the romance, more scenes that would make my heart beat fast and make me fangirl at how romantic they were, and that would bring me into a romantic mood and make me want more. While I do find it hilarious that some of these romance scenes get interrupted somehow, I’d have preferred more romantic scenes with no interruptions. It felt like some of the side characters’ romance was stronger than Catarina’s romance stories. It was not what I was expecting for an otome game developed by Otomate, even if the game is based on the series. They can still keep the series’ charms while at the same time having a lot of that romantic aspect of an otome game.
Actually, it didn’t feel like an otome game at all. It felt like I was watching the anime or an OVA from the series rather than playing a game. I am usually the type that easily immerses myself in the type of media, and I especially immerse myself fully into otome games where you are supposed to be that main character even if they already have a set personality. It was a bit hard to do that in this game. I did enjoy the stories, especially the romance stories I played so far. The interactions between the characters are funny and made this game quite enjoyable to play.
I think this game is okay overall. I found it a bit more chill than other otome games. At least there wasn’t a point in the game where I was agonizing over which of the choices I needed to make, except for maybe those inner meetings with the other Catarinas. My favorite routes at the moment would be Silva and Rozy, with Silva being my top favorite between the two. I still would like more romantic development and romance scenes, but this opinion might change later once I play the other routes. However, the appeal or stories of the side characters are too strong and overpower the main couple themselves. I don’t recommend playing this game without any knowledge of the series. The game is set after the first year of the academy, where the first season of the anime ended, so it references a lot of things from it. I highly recommend playing this game after you watch the anime or read the manga. If you just wanted a chill otome game that doesn’t make you agonize over your choices or just don’t care, then I say go for it. But, if you want a serious romance and romantic development between your couples, it’s probably better to play some other otome game that can give you that.
My Next Life As A Villainess All Routes Lead To Doom! ~Pirates of the Disturbance~ will release in English on November 28. It will have both a standard edition (US only, $49.99USD), a day one edition (UK & EU only, £54.99 / €59.99), and a limited edition (TBA). Fans can now pre-order the game on North American and European retailers. Pre-orders on the Idea Factor International official website and the Nintendo e-shop will go up at a later date, but fans can sign up to get notified for when they go live at their official website.
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