For all of you otome fans out there, a new game is coming to a PlayStation Vita near you thanks to XSEED Games! See? The PlayStation Vita is not completely dead! XSEED Games has thrown its hat into the ring in the otome realm as otome games are really kicking off in popularity, and their first otome game is London Detective Mysteria, a game by Karin Entertainment. If you loved games with mystery, intrigue, and fun characters similar to that of Code Realize or even Collar x Malice, London Detective Mysteria may be a great game for you.
What to Expect
For all of you otome fans out there, you’ll know by now that London Detective Mysteria is going to be a visual novel, so expect text heavy gameplay at the very least. Be prepared as London Detective Mysteria is also rated M for Mature, and for good reason. The writing can get very descriptive (and it is quite deceptive considering the intro). The game features drugs, strong language, violence, and so much more, so prepare yourself.
If you know anything about Victorian-era London, you should be excited as the characters will all be familiar to you. While games like Code Realize featured Arsene Lupin and Herlock Sholmes, London Detective Mysteria’s love interests are actually the children of your favorite legends Lupin, Holmes, and Watson. You’ll also get to see other famous figures like Jack the Ripper as well!
London Detective Mysteria Trailer
It is the celebration of Her Majesty’s birthday and the lady of House Whiteley is to attend and debut into the upper echelon of British society. It is at this party that Emily Whiteley meets the sons of famous detectives Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and finds herself joining the ranks of society not as a marriageable lady but as a detective.
However, there are many things happening on the streets of London that even the Scotland Yard has yet to solve. Murders, thefts, and gruesome accidents taint London and make it unsafe. With The Queen’s recommendation, Emily Whiteley will attend one of the best schools in the nation to become a detective and make the streets of London just a little bit safer.
As stated earlier, the game is mainly text based so be prepared to do a lot of reading, however we must commend Karin Entertainment for the amount of work that was put into the localization for London Detective Mysteria. The English translation appears to be quite well done, save for infrequent errors that aren’t difficult to get around, and a lot of care was put in to ensure that the storytelling was still graceful and descriptive. This made for a great read. Not only that but since this is a detective game, it follows a somewhat episodic path where there are multiple stories one after another, but it does so in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re just going from one to the next. There’s still an overarching story, like the mystery behind your parents’ deaths, and it flows well from one arc to the next.
One of our favorite touches was with the character stories. Rather than picking a route and sticking with it, for the most part, the stories aren’t overly romantic (save for a special few that have their moments quite early on). You go through each story arc and learn a little more about each character, befriending them in the process. Through each arc, you get to earn hearts with your lucky bachelors and view their affection level by selecting “Select.” This means that technically, you can win the affections of multiple characters. However, since London Detective Mysteria features a branching plotline with true endings, you’ll want to see an ending through to ensure you got everything. Unlike a lot of other otome games though, it’s not quite as evident that you are on a certain path.
For character stories, it’s funny to see that these successors to their fathers’ names are almost exactly like their fathers in many ways, however Holmes absolutely resents being compared to his father. Whether or not they are following in their fathers’ footsteps simply to inherit their fathers’ names really depends on the character stories though. While there are a handful of love interests, we have to say that it’s quite obvious that the big one is Lupin’s route. Speaking of, the game seems to be really steering you towards Lupin’s route that had a good mix of romance and plot. Even when I was not aiming for Lupin and had no desire to go down his route, he still managed to steal the show!
On the other hand, the others were extremely plot heavy, especially at the beginning, and it throws you off and makes you wonder if you are even playing an otome game (well, minus the fact that there are plenty of ikemen and a heart note shows up when you make certain choices). This will make or break your experience depending on what you go into this game expecting.
During the game, you spend time trying to solve various mysteries that pop up from simple runaway cats to the attempted murder of someone inheriting fortunes. As Emily, you will walk through all of the evidence. The writing is so well done that you might be surprised by the outcomes of each mystery, or if you are an enthusiastic mystery novel connoisseur, you will not be surprised at all, but that’s what makes mystery novels so fun! While you are busy with the different episodes, you are also picking up clues here and there about the deaths of your parents, which you suspect to be foul play despite what authorities have declared. You are able to record clues and reference them later to help solve the mystery.
Compared to other main characters, Emily was pretty likeable. She did her best to actually get involved in each mystery, even if it was miniscule and probably inconsequential. Emily still falls into your usual heroine trope where she just has to befriend everyone, even if they are nasty. The only thing that really bothers us about her has to be the fact that she gets taken hostage multiple times throughout the story. Heck, she even gets taken hostage twice in a 2 minute time span! It’s completely frustrating how useless she is at times, but at least this isn’t all of the time.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
In the end, I have to say, I really enjoyed most of the plot for London Detective Mysteria. It’s really plot heavy but keeps the game from feeling like your basic otome game with no substance. I like that there is a good mix of romance and plot, although I wish it had a bit more romance than it did in most of the routes. We had a love-hate relationship with Emily, but she doesn’t ruin the game in the end or frustrate us completely. Sometimes the plot falls a little short and there are plot holes that left us aghast. The story is also extremely long, so your first play through may take a few days of nonstop playing, but it just shows that Karin Entertainment tried, right?
Compared to many titles on the market, I think that London Detective Mysteria is better than games like Period Cube, but it falls short of Hakuoki (which I consider to be the gold standard for otome games). It’s well written and has good development without being too boring or slow paced. It doesn’t have all of the supernatural aspects of Code Realize, but it’s a great Victorian era set game with a few of our favorite love interests brought back to the Vita.
Elegant writing with proper syntax and few errors (infrequent but they do stand out)
Character designs, CGs and backgrounds are well done
Story is extremely intricate and well written
The game contains many solid hours of gameplay for each route
Slightly slow response time
Frequent comments about the main character’s weight
Extremely long common route
Honey's Final Verdict:
Well, there you folks have it! London Detective Mysteria was a game that we really had few complaints about. Whether you have played a few otome games or all of the ones on the market, you may want to consider putting London Detective Mysteria on your wishlist.
How many of you out there have been looking forward to London Detective Mysteria? Are you excited for it? Or maybe you played it in the original Japanese? Feel free to share your opinions about the game with us down below!
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!