The Collar X Malice Review, Idea Factory’s new visual novel

The cat collar
We are in the near future. Japan is under attack by a terrorist organization called Adonis. After gunmen shot dead by police officers, the organization announced the arrival of an X-Day fantasy, locating the epicenter in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. Our main point of view will be Ichika Hoshino, a young policeman.
Adonis (who will capture a deadly collar) will be caught by Adonis himself, despite his involvement in X-Day investigations and related crimes. The main help comes from a group of former policemen, organized for the occasion.
These are the premises, halfway between the fantapolitica and the police. Do not go over the plot for at least two reasons. The first is that the story can have extremely personal development depending on choices made; the second is that knowing in advance what will happen will take pathos to the choices, which in this game are really all. The hinge here is not the action, but the plot. Investigations will in fact become a container where the relationship between the protagonist and the numerous male comprimers develop.
Their relationships, in fact, are all. Ichika will become acquainted with many characters, whose relationships will be managed both “by voice” and through virtual messaging. No break in the fourth wall: simply the protagonist will communicate through an app (Leaf, obvious parody of Whatsapp) of his smartphone. Here comes the first defect: the prolonged. While on the one hand the police context forces us to dilate the times, dialogues often lose themselves in the long run. You end up reading them barely or skip it all.
The Collar X Malice Review, Idea Factory's new visual novel
The page is pushed by pressing X
But if you resist the will to tap the X (or the touch screen) of the PSVita, you will find out how the game has a deep storyline and multiple facets. Just to understand how well the dialogues are well planted. The same vulgar or vernacular terms used are spatially used to paint a daily and recognizable context. There is much empathy, and the protagonist itself has a deep psychology that the player himself is called to define. This “feminine” point of view also arises in the contour elements, disseminating refined references and in a simple and accessible interface. Like every visual novel, the script maintains high levels of elasticity, as the ways to come to the forefront are many with equally multiple variables.
The story goes on, coming to a conclusion whatsoever the choices made by the player. This idea is common in the genre, but it is controversial almost the same way. Too many “wrong” choices lead the story to end prematurely, in what is nothing but a masked game over.
This feature coupled with the lack of automatic rescue makes progression much more problematic. As a function of this, in the game there is rewind : you can go back to the dialogs and give different answers. However, this feature is limited to the current scene only, with the result of not stopping any player’s “mistakes”. By making the fault of saving at the wrong time (for example before a blind alley), it forces you to start from scratch.