Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ - PlayStation Vita Review

Some people view it as a paradise...Arcadia.

Game Info:

  • System: PlayStation Vita
  • Publisher: Aksys Games
  • Developer: Idea Factory
  • Release Date: April 28, 2017

Who it Caters to

Yet another otome game released by Idea Factory, Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is sure to catch anime otome fan girl’s eye. The same mind that brought to you great otome games like Code: Realize and Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is back with Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~. If you love otome games—and having a plethora of male suitors at your fingertips—Period: Cube may perk your interest. You may even notice a few similarities to games you have played in the past such as Amnesia: Memories, Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, or Norn9: Var Commons. Tune in or pick up a copy and find out what we’re talking about.

What to Expect

Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is an all new otome game released by Aksys Games, which allows you the option of attaining the love of different bachelors. There are beautifully illustrated CGs created just for this game. According to Aksys Games, there is a total of 30 hours of gameplay and multiple routes for you to go down. Be prepared to spend a good amount of time on Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ if you want to know all the ins and outs of the game.

Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ Release Trailer

Story

The story begins with you and Hiroya, your childhood friend, seeking out your brother, Shiki, who has suddenly disappeared. You come across his apartment and discover that he was playing Arcadia, the new online RPG. In an attempt to find out more about Shiki’s whereabouts, you and Hiroya decide to play Arcadia. However, you soon discover yourself transported within the game with no choice but to play the game until its end to free yourself. This world in Arcadia is full of dangers, but you’ll have to survive. Soon, you’ll find out that you are the key to freedom dubbed the “Almighty,” and everyone wants you.

Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ starts off with a little more action than other otome games. Actually, you basically start off in the middle of the action as you run away from a monster in Arcadia before suddenly reminiscing about how you ended up in this predicament, which entails the summary above. After you find out what exactly led to your being chased by monsters, your childhood friend saves you and the real journey begins. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is a game within a game and that aspect alone makes it that much more interesting than otome games before it.

Gameplay

Before we get into the real meat of Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus's~ gameplay, we should start with the technical aspects. First off, what caught our eye were the beautiful graphics that really take advantage of the PS Vita’s abilities. Unlike other otome games, Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ has extremely vibrant colors that really pop. You have every shade of color from black and purple to ruby to violet and turquoise.

The characters are well designed, although we must admit, the bishounen made us feel old with their baby faces. That made it extremely difficult to get into the game at first as the boys looked utterly too young compared to some other otome games. The character movements are a little stiff, as well. When characters bowed, they merely move downward and no attempt at making it look like a real bow was made. This would have been better with the use of CGs to create fluid movement and make certain seems to look more dramatic, especially if we are talking about one character bowing to another. Also, does anyone else think that Kazuha (default name for the MC) looks like the MC of Amnesia: Memories?

The sound effects for Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ were fun. When players are killed, the sound effect used is reminiscent of sound effects used when monsters are killed in real RPGs. The soundtrack is very good at using music to manipulate the mood of the situation. One of the songs sounds eerily similar to River Flows in You, the famous song by South Korean composer Yiruma. However, we do want to note that many songs in the soundtrack sound very familiar like those used in other otome games, although you be the judge.

As a game within a game, the creators of Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ did a great job at ensuring it wasn’t lacking in gaming terminology, and even added them to the dictionary—which we needn’t bother to reference. The plot played out similarly to Sword Art Online in that characters discover that they are stuck in Arcadia because they accessed the game through World V, then they try to figure out a way out while also establishing a life in the game. Some characters resign themselves to their fate and hide away in villages or behind their castle walls, while others had decided to engage in PKs because it resulted in the real life deaths of other characters.

As a game within a game, Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ has some RPG-like features to ensure that you get the true gaming experience. There are a few scenes in which you will have to go up against a monster and a screen comes up asking you what action you will take. Beware, these actions also change the course of the story. Unlike other series of the Isekai type, the characters of Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ were able to clear miscellaneous quests—not of your own choosing—to access the outside world for brief periods of time to further progress your real life research and figure out where your brother, Shiki, is. Don’t forget that in the end: you are looking for Shiki.

A notable aspect of the game is the main character herself. Kazuha is pulled into Arcadia when she first starts the game, which means she’s level 1 so she has no choice but to rely on all the male characters who are stronger. As the game progresses, Kazuha levels up slightly but is still fairly useless in a real battle despite supposedly being The Almighty, an “item” that everyone is after. However, her power lies in her power as The Almighty, which does not show itself until the last possible second. Still, we are pretty pleased that this otome game character is not as useless as most.

Plotwise, the beginning feels similar to Hakuoki since the main character starts with getting attacked and is looking for a relative in an unknown land. However, Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is similar to Amnesia: Memories as you jump into a route almost immediately with your first 3 choices (excluding the name and handle). So you better be on your toes at the beginning. Once your choices have been made, it seems you are locked into that route unless there happens to be another that utilizes the same route. This is not a game in which you meet all of the bachelors first before picking, so don’t be alarmed when the CGs and flirty language start early on in the game upon meeting the bachelors. It’s a bit odd and makes the relationship progression feel fast, and makes the game feel short. The romantic element is most definitely in the game, but it feels rather hasty in some segments, especially for characters like Demento.

On our first playthrough, we got locked into Astrum’s route without knowing it—although we later realized that we could have branched out to Demento’s route—and so, we felt bitter about being stuck with a character that was not what we had desired. However, you will find a sense of realism as these in-game characters differ greatly from real life, and you may find that the characters you were after aren’t what you had in mind. We’d hate to spoil any of the routes for you so we won’t mention the progression of our thoughts, but we did start to enjoy Astrum’s route the more we found out about him. When it comes to Demento’s route, it may seem a bit odd since it branches off from Astrum’s route midway, so it feels like you’re flirting with Astrum for a good portion of the game.

Other routes will bring you new content to read, although the timeline seems to be the same in each playthrough. One character to note is Hiroya, the amazing childhood friend who sticks with you until the end, even when you don’t pick him for a love interest. Even though we loved playing through all the routes, it’s hard to see what happens to Hiroya in each one—and the main character doesn’t even seem to care!

When it comes to the little aspects of the plot, parts of it felt weird. There were a lot of plot holes, which will drive you crazy by the end of the game. The more you play, the more that gets explained, but at the same time, not everything is hashed out as well as we’d like it to be.

For some otome games, you get a game with multiple fleshed-out endings like Hakuoki where each route takes you down an entirely different story. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is not one of those games. Each route gives you a somewhat varied edition of the main plot, so you don’t learn that much by changing routes, but different routes may leave you with more plot holes than others.

The main reason you’re playing Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ is because you want to play a visual novel where your actions actually change the outcome of the game, so let us get to that. The gameplay is painfully easy compared to otome games like Amnesia: Memories, as we stated earlier. Like Norn9: Var Commons, you know if your actions have a positive or negative effect on a character immediately after you make your choice. This makes this game rather plot driven and doesn’t add much of a challenge if that is what you are looking for.

Despite its simplicity, you can still have fun along the way trying to attain each ending (every character has 2). There’s also a special unlockable character after you have gone through each character route, although if you have played enough otome games, you can probably guess, from the initial hashing of the plot, who the unlockable character is. Still, with this many routes, you can expect to hit Aksys’ promised 30 hours of gameplay.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ had some surprises that we quite enjoyed and had a decent amount of plot to keep us entertained. While we aren’t confident about the claim of 30+ hours of available gameplay, the game should keep you occupied for a few days depending on your availability. Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ didn’t really give us that many new features in comparison to other otome games, but it was a decent game. We can hardly rank it as one of the best otome games, even on the PS Vita, but it has a fair amount of intrigue that had us interested in playing the routes all the way through to find the true endings.

Honey's Pros:

  • The melodic sounds of the OST are soothing and enjoyable; You may find yourself wanting a copy for yourself!
  • The bishounen had surprisingly different yet realistic real life personalities in comparison to their in game personality
  • The heroine is not as weak and generic as she seems to be when the game starts out; Kazuha continues to grow and eventually is able to live up to the name of “The Almighty”
  • If you are interested in the plot only, the easy gameplay simplifies everything allowing you to just enjoy the story while periodically requesting you to take action.
  • There’s a special love interest that is unlocked after trying out all the routes
  • The gaming references are fun and the inclusion of RPG-like features makes the game more engaging for players who love playing video games
  • Hiroya - He’s just such an awesome childhood friend; Can you blame us for wanting to mention him again?

Honey's Cons:

  • The love interests immediately looked really young, even compared to other otome games.
  • Your first few actions decide on the route you end up on, so you’re stuck really early in the game.
  • A lot of the aspects of Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ seem similar to that of other otome games from the soundtrack to the MC
  • Depending on the route you take, the plot can be rather shallow or have plot holes
  • The relationships don’t feel as fleshed out
  • Rather easy gameplay with little challenge

Honey's Final Verdict:

If you’re curious or you’re a fan of otome games Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ may be the game for you. There’s a decent amount of gameplay available and the plot can be interesting. Since Period: Cube ~Shackles of Amadeus~ has already been released, pick up a copy soon to check out! Has anyone out there already played the game? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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