Originally released on the PS Vita, Mary Skelter fused horror, ecchi, and classic first-person dungeon crawling with a unique twist. Now, after several iterations and a prequel, Mary Skelter Finale releases and acts as the true closure to this spooky but fun RPG. Can the finale deliver us the conclusion we hoped for, or will it falter and leave us depressed? Find out as we examine Mary Skelter Finale!
Jack and Alice Went Up a Hill
It might be quite daunting to enter Mary Skelter Finale with no previous knowledge of the other games, deep lore, and myriad of characters. Thankfully, developer Idea Factory alongside Compile Heart realized maybe you haven’t lost yourself in the world of Mary Skelter and offer a means of enjoying the story without dusting off your PS Vita.
Mary Skelter Finale comes with a “Before Story” mode that allows players to see all—and we mean all—of the dialogue and story events from both Mary Skelter Nightmares—the DLC in the updated version of the original—and Mary Skelter 2. This is an idea other RPG/JRPG developers should adapt, as we don’t always remember every bit of story from some entries in a series, and having this extra mode gives plenty of incentive for newcomers to jump right in and see a great story unfold like a long anime movie.
Horror, Oppai, and Blood
Mary Skelter Finale feels like a mixture between a horror anime—Deadman Wonderland, for example—and an ecchi/harem series. From the huge oppai woman known as Sleeping Beauty to the cute girl Clara, Mary Skelter Finale really is an anime at heart. What we loved most, though, is that each character has a purpose in Mary Skelter Finale, and rarely do they feel underutilized or sidelined. Though we did wish we saw Sleeping Beauty from the front more often, as we typically only get to enjoy her oppai from the side…
Zap Back and Forth
Rather than be stuck to one character specifically, Mary Skelter Finale utilizes a special system called Zapping. When players get stuck in one level or find themselves at what seems like an impasse, they can use the Zapping System to change the main characters and see where they are in the story. Sometimes, the Zapping System is crucial, allowing one character to open up a path for another or see from a different perspective to get a better grip on the story. As much as we love Jack and his heroic actions, we equally love seeing some of the other characters become primary protagonists and have their own party of characters and special story segments.
Get Ready for the Dungeon Crawling Experience
What allowed the Mary Skelter franchise to last for several years isn’t just the cute girls or large oppai women but the solid gameplay. Similar to titles like Persona Q and Etrian Odyssey, Mary Skelter Finale has players explore maps via the first-person perspective and engage random enemies as they explore. Like most dungeon crawlers, there are various threats like traps and super-powered enemies—called Nightmares—which will impede your progress.
When you do enter a random battle, this is where Mary Skelter Finale shines beautifully. Players will have control over several Blood Maidens and Jack—though sometimes Jack will not be available for story purposes—and will need to attack and use skills to obliterate foes. The gimmick to the Mary Skelter franchise is that blood splatters over the girls unleashing their hidden powers, but at a cost: their sanity. That’s where Jack and those who can manipulate blood—dubbed Blood Youths—come in, as they can use bullets and abilities that nullify the blood corruption to allow players some freedom in when to rely on maniacal power or controlled ability. There’s a deep system to Mary Skelter Finale, and we loved wrestling with when to calm our girls down or let them run wild with blood in their eyes.
Mary Skelter Finale finally gives closure to a beloved franchise that we think should deserve a bit more attention. Rejoining Jack and his lovely cast of comrades has felt long-awaited, and we know fans will enjoy the new twists and turns in this climatic entry in the Mary Skelter series.
Are you hyped for Mary Skelter Finale, or will you be giving this title a pass? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!