- System: Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: D3Publisher
- Developer: Red Entertainment / LANTERN ROOMS
- Release Date: December 20, 2018
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Visual Novel, Adventure, Otome
- Players: Single player
- Official Website: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/nightshade-switch
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
s a collaboration between D3Publisher and Red Entertainment in an effort to create an otome game with more weight and creativity. With designs by Teita, who is a well-known freelance illustrator and has worked on games like Norn9: Norn + Nornette, the character designs and illustrations are absolutely beautiful and surpass the gaudiness of games like The Men of Yoshiwara and the simplicity of Pub Encounter. Prepare yourself for an interesting tale about ninja and their way of life.
As the main character, you will play as Enju, the daughter of both Koga and Iga, a representation of the peace between both clans. Enju has always been coddled in her life, but she dreams of finishing her training to become a proper shinobi. However, Enju is about to go on her first mission, but there’s more to it than they all know.
The characters for Nightshade can be rather cliche (how many otome game characters aren’t, really?), but they are rather well written though some of the stories revolve around a lot of the rather meager backstories for each character in their childhood. Each of the 5 love interests has an interesting loyalty as they have had to experience different critical events in their lives. For example, there’s Chojiro who is a lone survivor (that we know of) of the Iga Clan at the age of 6. Kuroyuki left for a mission and was gone for 8 years by the time the the story begins. Hanzo is the famous ninja that everyone knows, but he is from a different clan. Gekkamaru has devoted his life to be the protector of Enju and takes his role very seriously. Lastly, there’s Goemon who is a legendary thief and outlaw. Each character brings in an interesting tale, greatly changing the story depending on who you choose. Each route comes with 2 endings and even the music changes depending on the ending.
There are even a few side characters like Ennosuke and Kyara who have real contributions to the plot overall, unlike other games where side characters tend to be bystanders. One of the side characters, Kasumi, was really difficult to like and spent most of the story screaming or crying when the plot got too heavy for her. Thank goodness for the ability to turn off her voice. Speaking of, the game comes fully voiced with most characters having CG sprites, though not everyone has one. This makes for great storytelling and adds to the pleasure of playing. It would have been nice if Enju was voiced, too, as she did open her mouth to talk and it was awkward to not hear her actually say anything.
The music and character designs were well done. We really enjoyed just pausing the game to look at all of the illustrations in the game, which could have all been standalone CGs in themselves. The music added to the overall effect and nuances of the game. These little details really added to the gameplay to add the finishing touches.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- The game is fully voiced, but you have the ability to turn off voices for different characters
- Voice acting was done wonderfully
- Character designs, CGs, and backgrounds are beautiful
- Great soundtrack
- Well written story and plot twists
- Each route is about 11+ chapters long depending on the character making for lengthy gameplay
- Main character is not fully voiced
- Some parts of the game’s are repetitive if playing multiple routes
- The price is a bit steep even among newer otome games