Company: Otomate, Aksys
Synopsis: When her brother, Shiki, fails to respond to her texts, Kazuha Hanamiya decides so visit his apartment. She is joined by her estranged childhood friend, Hiroya, who has received a worrying message from him in Arcadia, a game the two play – Don’t go near World V. In Shiki’s apartment they find his computer on with the screen reading [Accessing World V]. Later, Hiroya logs into the game to look into the rumors about World V, a server that exists only as an Urban Legend. Kazuha decides to help search for info in game, but when she creates a character she is pulled into Arcadia. Shortly after everyone in World V receives two system messages. The first states that if your HP reaches zero you will die. The second announces the last in a trinity of swords, the Almighty Amadeus, which is meant to help the players defeat the final dungeon to permanently log out of World V. It also provides an ID for the Almighty Amedeus, which match the MC’s character ID. Now the MC must dodge attempts to capture her while searching for her brother and trying to survive and return to the real world.
MC: The MC, Kazuha Hanamiya, is a pretty average high school student. She isn’t into games (she has to have what a party and a portal are explained to her) or idol culture (she recognizes Rei only because someone shows her a magazine featuring him), and she doesn’t really seem to be that close to anyone. She is a really big fan of her elder (step) brother, Shiki, and the two of them are constantly texting. Kazuha really hates to be helpless and tries her hardest to be productive in any situation.
- Astrum: Leader of an elite Angel guild. He is very verbose and can be either very charming or very sharp tongued. He is a well known player, contributing both speedrun videos and forum posts to the fandom. He is really into roleplaying
- Demento: An angel player who is also a player killer. He goes about the wilderness attack who he pleases, reveling in their blood and screams
- Hiroya: The MC’s childhood friend, though they’ve drifted apart. He is a mid-leveled demon player. He’s a bit brash and over-protective but genuinely cares for the MC and is equally worried about her brother.
- Libera: A (comparatively) low-leveled female demon player. Libera is very cunning and isn’t above using their charm to get through situations. Notorious for their dislike of combat.
- Poyo-poyo: A non-aggressive monster that specializes in info. Loves cute girls.
- Radius: A top level demon player. He’s notorious for never joining a party but is so strong that he has been able to solo much of the final dungeon
- Zain: An NPC with gentle manners and who acts more like a player than an NPC
Impressions: The people-get-stuck-in-a-videogame subgenre makes its way to otome games! And the result is… a mixed bag. Although I enjoy the stuck-in-a-videogame sort of story in a general way, it is frequently done badly, and although Period Cube isn’t the worst example of that sort of story, it isn’t the best either. Most of the problem isn’t with the game, Arcadia, but with the plot points surrounding it; for example, the reasoning behind trapping players in the game. Part of me wonders what it would be like if the videogame part was removed entirely, but at the same time the best routes are the two that take advantage of the nature of videogames and there being the videogame world and the real world. There is also this bit about a library that I wish had been omitted so hard because it is used as an excuse to get out of good writing.
I’m also not entirely pleased with the romance options either. Seven choices is a really wide selection, but they seemed pretty skewed towards the demon side with Astrum being the only route that really deals with the angels since Demento branches off that route and then stays in the wilderness. I would have liked to have seen another route taking place in the Celestial Palace, maybe with Sirent (I know someone who would be all over that route). Also fun would have been a route for Jocus, because he is basically Impey Barbicane from Code: Realize, and I basically fell in love with the Forte party. I also find it trouble how easily almost all of the romance options can stumble into flat out psychotic territory, for the most part without you even having to trigger the Merry Bad Ending.
One of the best features of this game is the History menu. The chapters are laid out in a nice visual way so you can see where the routes branch off and there’s just something very pleasing about seeing all your progress laid out. There are three endings for all character; the bad ending which just cuts off exactly, the Happy Ending which has a CG, and the Merry Bad Ending which is a bad ending with an additional scene and CG.
And speaking of how the routes branch out, this game is pretty different in that it doesn’t allow you to meet all the romance options in the common route before branching out. You’ll likely end up on a route before you even know what you’re doing. I personally find this choice fascinating, but it can get frustrating without a guide, especially if you want to play blind but also want to follow a certain route progression.
As far as route progression goes, the order I played the routes was:
Astrum > Zain > Demento > Radius > Hiroya > Libera > Poyo-poyo
I found this to be a pretty good order. Astrum, Zain, and Demento’s routes should be place as a trio, since Demento’s route shoots off from Astrum’s, and Demento plays a huge part in Zain’s route. Hiroya and Libera’s routes are the most spoiler heavy, with Libera having a little extra something; so if you want the mystery they should be near the end of your order. You must complete the other routes in order to unlock Poyo-poyo so he is automatically last.
All in all, it was a fun and interesting play. I recommend it if: you’re able to stomach a decent helping of BS as far as motivations go, wouldn’t mind a cast that are all one step away from yandere, and don’t mind that three of the routes are far and away better than the others. Otherwise, maybe give this game a try when it is not at full price.
Favorite Guy: Astrum
Favorite Route: Libera
If You Like This Game Try:
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side
- Norn9: Var Commons
- Shall We Date: War of Prayers
- Shall We Date: Angel or Devil +