- System: PS4, PC
- Publisher: Idea Factory
- Developer: Compile Heart
- Release Date: July 23, 2019
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Visual Novel
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://ideafintl.com/date-a-live/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation might seem at first to be just a spin on the Date A Live light novel/anime version, but this game has a few interesting elements to it. The first main difference to it is that this isn’t just a visual novel that tries to mirror the adaptations, but instead, it contains unique stories with different paths. The other cool element to Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation doesn’t contain only one game but three! Within Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation are three titles: Rinne-Utopia, Rio Reincarnation and Arusu-Install. Originally, Rinne-Utopia and Arusu-Install where only available in Japan on the PS3. Now thanks to Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation, both of those titles have been ported—and slightly enhanced—for PS4 as well as adding Rio-Reincarnation. Yet, you’re probably wondering are any of these three Date A Live titles worth playing? We here at Honey’s Anime have the answer to said question in our full review of Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation for the PS4!
In our review—by the way—we’re going to avoid spoilers for all three games as each title acts as a sequel to one another in some forms. The first game—Rinne-Utopia—has Shido trying to save a childhood friend who just randomly appears in his life. As usual, Shido’s goal is to learn more about this girl, see if she’s a spirit and if she is, seal her powers with a kiss. Rinne-Utopia is a fun Date A Live story with some truly nice mixes of drama, romance and comedy. While there is a canon/true ending, you can take various paths to have Shido end up with the girl of your choice.
The second story featured in Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation is Arusu-Install which is probably the funniest of the three set ups. Shido has to test a VR system and—of course—gets trapped in the game world. Within the game, Shido meets a digital girl named Maria Arusu who asks him what love means and that sets off a journey to help this digital stranger. When another Arusu appears, Shido ends up in a battle to escape this digital realm and save this new girl he’s befriended. Of the three games, Arusu-Install is the shortest but still can take up to several hours to finish if you want to nab all the possible endings. We’re going to assume that fans of Date A Live probably will want to do so as seeing these endings is so worth it.
Lastly, Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation includes the title named after it Rio-Reincarnation. This third entry ties in the other titles but we won’t go too far into saying how that works exactly. What we will say is that playing the other titles is worthwhile first before diving into Rio-Reincarnation. Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation allows players to enter either one of the three games at any time, but the last one loses some appeal if you don’t at least complete Arusu-Install. Now with what content you’re getting, let’s explain what Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation plays like.
Similar to most VNs, Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation has players making choices that ultimately guide the story along. Akin to titles like Persona, Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation has players choosing from a map screen where they want to go and who they wish to “date” to basically advance the story forward. Depending on your actions and who you date—and when you date them— Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation’s various titles lead to a multitude of endings. It might not sound much different than most VNs but Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation gets some free passes because of how much content you’re getting and the fact that this game is just so cool.
All three stories in Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation are wonderfully written with great narrative sewn in to really enhance the experience. The CG and character models—which move and show emotion—are all beautifully done and look quite sharp. Even the PS3 games in Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation look like they could be on the PS4 with no issues. We also loved the fact that the voice actresses led their talent to Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation’s three games which makes the experience just that much stronger.
Did we also mention Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation is filled with extras? Players can experience two really neat little bonuses from the main menu. There’s audio CDs for Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation various titles and even a mini light novel! Not only are you getting three several hour VNs each but audio CDs and a light novel? Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation almost has the feel of being a limited edition but at the low price of $49.99, which makes the whole package that much sweeter!
Now if we step back for a second to look at the few flaws within Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation we can see a few that might turn off some gamers. The first issue is the gameplay for all three titles is basically the same. Part of us wishes that Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation’s three games had some slight different features between each but unfortunately they all basically play the same. Another issue is if you plan on 100% Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation then we have to prepare you by saying this. Expect to do a lot of reading as there will be a ton of it. We’re used to VNs being lengthy but when you’re playing all three of the titles within Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation you’ll probably need some breaks here and there to rest your eyes.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Three games/stories in one package
- Amazing comedy that will make you die from laughter
- Tons of endings, choices and story paths to take in each game
- Great OST and voice acting
- Included as specials is a mini light novel and audio CDs which is just so cool
- Well worth the price tag
- Expect to do a lot of reading
- Each game is basically the same in terms of gameplay