By Joseph Puntschart / August 23rd, 2017
Editor’s Note: The inconsistencies mentioned later in this review have since been addressed.
|Publisher||Idea Factory International (PC)|
|Platform||PC (via Steam) – Worldwide
PS Vita – Japan and Asia only
NOTE: This is a review of the PC Steam release of Moero Chronicle by Idea Factory International. You can check out our review of the Sony-published Asian English PS Vita release here.
With Idea Factory’s push towards supporting PC, it was only a matter of time before their fan service oriented titles started releasing on Steam, namely those in the Genkai Tokki series. First, there was Monster Monpiece which released earlier this spring. Now we have the second entry, Moero Chronicle. This title did get an English release on the PS Vita in Asia back in 2015 under the name Moe Chronicle, however it is only available in Japan and Southeast Asia. Having already completed the Asian English release (and reviewed it for this very site!) I will discuss in this re-review the quality and the differences present in the PC port.
Gameplay wise, this title played fine. There is the option to resize the screen to fit your play style better. That said this does make the walls of the 3D dungeons look rough close up when the game is upscaled, revealing the limitations of the PS Vita’s graphical capabilities. However, the artwork and CGs benefit from the resizing with the art being of the same quality as the Vita release when enlarged. There are also Steam achievements and partial controller support added to this port, with the former reflecting the trophy list on the Vita release. Furthermore, there are trading cards and badges as well. The controls are fairly easy to use once you know where the buttons are mapped. I feel that IFI could have done a better job at explaining where the controls are mapped, which would help ease initial frustrations.
The “Bumping Scratch” minigame, one of the signature highlights of the series, has been redone for PC. Instead of turning the system vertically like on Vita, you use the mouse to touch the parts of the monster girl on the screen to fill up the gauge. Additionally, the WASD keys are used to move around the screen, now resized to fit the wider laptop screen. This is more comfortable and plays better than on Vita. There is no need to turn the PC on its side and aside from the awkward repetitive mouse clicking is arguably more SFW than the Vita offering. I struggled to apply the different touch/rubbing sensations that you could do on the PS Vita, but I assume that is down for using a laptop mouse rather than a separate mouse.
Furthermore, the translation for the Asia version was generally considered good, however there were some odd spacing, typos and incorrect referencing (ie. “Newd Lady Ruin” and “Nude Lady Ruin” being used interchangeably to refer to the third dungeon). Those expecting IFI to have checked over the translation to fix these errors will be disappointed as the translation is a copy and paste job. Bizarrely, new inconsistencies have been added in the PC port. This includes the game being referred to as “Moe Chronicle” in places like the pause menu, when both the opening theme and the title screen contain the new “Moero Chronicle” logo. Confusingly, the tutorial screens interchangeably use the Asian English logo and the Asian Chinese logo, and not the Steam logo. In this aspect, the port has been slightly bodged and lets the side down slightly.
Moero Chronicle is also more affordable, being priced at $19.99 USD/£14.99 akin to the pricing of Monster Monpiece. This is good as the option to import the Asian Vita release is not accessible to some people, although that hasn’t stopped Vita owners asking for an official localisation on that platform. I am going to address the elephant in the room and say I would strongly argue that Moero Chronicle would have to be censored in order to allow for a western release on consoles. Furthermore, many of the people asking for a western Vita release are also the same people who do not buy censored games, which is very likely what they would be offered in a western Vita release of Moero Chronicle. IFI were damned if they do, damned if they didn’t here, which is not a good position to be in. In that sense, a PC only release is the best way to handle a western release of console titles that are at risk of requiring censorship. Ideally this would also include attempting to make an Asian English release available for collectors and console gamers, however Moero Chronicle is a rare example of this kind of release method.
With all this said, Moero Chronicle on PC is the definitive way to play this ecchi dungeon RPG. There were a few issues with the localisation during the port, however the game itself successfully passes through the porting process. My opinion of the game itself hasn’t really changed much since I played it on the Vita – the title is a mechanically basic dungeon RPG that shines best during its story scenes and presentation, while also being home to some of the best ecchi gameplay available in English. Because I had already thoroughly played through the title on Vita, I focused on clearing the PC version in 20 hours on the easy difficulty setting in order to focus on testing the port quality. If light-hearted ecchi games are your jam, this is a worthwhile addition to your library, whether it be this localised Steam port or the Asian Vita release.
Review Copy Provide by Publisher
Compile Heartdungeon rpgecchiIdea FactoryMoe ChronicleMoero ChroniclePCReviewSteam