Tokyo Tattoo Girls - PlayStation Vita Review

The art of patience

Game Info: (Box Display)

  • System: PS Vita, PC
  • Publisher: Nikkatsu, NIS America
  • Developer: Sushi Typhoon Games
  • Release Date: Nov 14, 2017

Who it Caters to

Tokyo Tattoo Girls is made for those who love a mixture of two things: Cute girls and strategy gameplay. Those who love games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms will find Tokyo Tattoo Girls right up their alley. If you’ve ever wanted to conquer Japan through the use of tattoos with mythical powers, Tokyo Tattoo Girls is the game for you. Did we also mention that it’s full of cute girls?

What to Expect

In Tokyo Tattoo Girls, be prepared to take over Japan one area at a time. Use a mixture of strategy and time management to start from the bottom as a newcomer into the world of Tokyo Tattoo Girls. Lead your girl of choice—of which there are several to choose from—as they conquer Japan via their tattoo powers. Can you become the ultimate tattoo artist!? Find out now in Tokyo Tattoo Girls.

Story

Taking place in an unknown future, Japan has been separated from the rest of the world via a quarantine. Meanwhile, within Japan, various girls have gained a strange slew of powers thanks to tattoos that appeared on them. With Japan facing unrest thanks to the isolation from the rest of the world, the various girls with powers separated Japan into 23 wards to prevent chaos from erupting. Sometime later, you appear on scene as a new tattoo artist and will work alongside a new girl with the intent of conquering all of the 23 wards. With the girl’s power and your art, you will both show your prowess as you try to free Japan from the shackles it now has. Though what fate awaits after the unification of Japan…

Gameplay

Here at Honey’s Anime, you can usually find us clawing for any game that has the theme of cute anime girls and strategy. That’s why when we first heard about a game called Tokyo Tattoo Girls by developer Sushi Typhoon Games, we were intrigued to say the least. Cute anime girls with tattoos who were vying for power in a post-apocalyptic Japan just screams our type of game. After putting some time into Tokyo Tattoo Girls, we have a lot of thoughts we’d like to share with you readers out there. That’s why we shall do just that in our review of Tokyo Tattoo Girls for the PS Vita and PC.

At first glance, Tokyo Tattoo Girls might seem a bit daunting. When you start a new game, you’re asked to choose from 6 different girls who will apparently be your companion throughout the story. Each girl has slight advantages and disadvantages that help them in the overall game such as being more defensive based and or focused on attacking. Now you might be asking what do these skills actually do and how do they apply to Tokyo Tattoo Girls’ gameplay? Well that’s where we begin our true journey into explaining what Tokyo Tattoo Girls is truly all about.

Your mission in Tokyo Tattoo Girls is quite simple, take over all of Japan’s 23 wards using your girl of choice. To accomplish this, players must earn respect in all of the areas enough to eventually challenge the ward’s leader and win over that ward for themselves. The issues with this is that obviously no area is just going to allow you to take over and that means you must prove yourself a truly capable leader. This is where the meat and potatoes of Tokyo Tattoo Girls shows off.

Players are given several things they need to micromanage in Tokyo Tattoo Girls. The first is an honor gauge above the left side of the screen which drops as areas go on alert as you begin to evade them. If the honor gauge drops to 0 then it’s game over and you’ll have to load up a save point or restart the game. Avoiding this is crucial as you begin your campaign to take over the 23 wards. Your main job is to let your girl take over places at random and to use strategy cards—which require PM and can’t be spammed as they have a recharge rate—to help stop fighting in areas that turn red, recruit followers—also known as Punks—and ultimately speed up your actions during your campaign. Then there is the fact that you must improve your girl via applying tattoos to their body.

As you gain PM—or protection money—you can apply tattoos onto your girl to increase their influences in the wards. Each tattoo raises up unseen stats such as charisma and their threat level which makes taking over the 23 wards a bit easier by giving you more followers and even making some of the ward leaders appear before you quicker. It’s important to mention that all of the main action in Tokyo Tattoo Girls is done via numbers and not soldiers or avatars. Turf battles—which occur when a ward’s alert goes unchecked—will be the only time you see anything happen beyond the actual meetings with the ward leaders. Once you actually do meet with the ward leaders, don’t expect much here either as all you do is choose from 1 of 3 choices which grant players honor refills depending on their choices. There is also a mini game which involves dice rolling to gain money but that’s something that can be avoided and should be as it’s usually a risk unless you cheat using your strategies card.

Now as you might see, Tokyo Tattoo Girls sounds kind of confusing and that’s the harsh reality of your first 10-20 minutes of gameplay. While there is a lengthy tutorial that can be initiated during any new game, it won’t explain the finer details of Tokyo Tattoo Girls and thus, your best understanding of the game will come from your own failings and success. However, we ourselves found out how to play and once we did, Tokyo Tattoo Girls became quite simple. Then as we got further into Tokyo Tattoo Girls—more so the harder difficulty settings—we began to notice that there was some fun to be had.

Graphically, Tokyo Tattoo Girls looks pretty impressive. Each girl—meaning your 6 companion girls and the 23 ward girls—have different looks and styles to them. Thanks to developer Sushi Typhoon Games’ gaining a traditional tattoo artist known as Koji Tanaka, the tattoos themselves look wonderful and feel almost lifelike. What also helps Tokyo Tattoo Girls is the great voice acting which makes each girl feel different from the rest. That’s why if anything we have no issues with the graphics and sound of Tokyo Tattoo Girls.

Now, let us talk a bit more about some of the other issues we do have with Tokyo Tattoo Girls. While Tokyo Tattoo Girls is fun, if you love strategy games with very little input—even on the harder settings you won’t ever be doing more than pointing and clicking on the map/girls—for those who like more robust strategy games you might find issue with Tokyo Tattoo Girls. Add to the fact that the story in Tokyo Tattoo Girls isn’t at all interesting beyond its prologue and you’re going to find it tough to warrant playing the game multiple times with the different girls unless you just want to go for beating the tougher difficulties. If Tokyo Tattoo Girls had more moments with your companion girls and more means of interaction—more mini games is really what we mean here—then we could have said it was a great game that never gets old. However, as it is, we really do warn players who purchase Tokyo Tattoo Girls to only play in short bursts to really stretch out the enjoyment the best you can. Each campaign takes anywhere from 1-5 hours depending on your skill, difficulty and luck—which plays out with the ward leaders even meeting you—so there is a lot of content overall in Tokyo Tattoo Girls for those who invest themselves into it.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

We here at Honey’s Anime love when games like Tokyo Tattoo Girls try to do something new and different. While the strategy gameplay of Tokyo Tattoo Girls works well and the art of both the girls and the tattoos look great, the rest of the game falls apart thanks to missed opportunities and lackluster gameplay options. With a story that is all over the place and gameplay that grows tiresome after a few hours, Tokyo Tattoo Girls fails to be the strategy game we wanted and ultimately, it will be the same for many who venture into the 23 Wards of Japan. Thankfully, at the low price of $19.99, Tokyo Tattoo Girls might not be a hard game to recommend if you truly love games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms but with more of a focus on cute anime girls and a very simple strategy game design.

Honey's Pros:

  • Great art
  • Quirky but interesting cast of characters
  • Simple gameplay once you learn all of the components

Honey's Cons:

  • The story makes little to no sense
  • Gameplay becomes overly repetitive too quickly
  • Not enough ways to interact with characters
  • In game tutorial isn’t explanatory enough
  • Only fun on the harder difficulty settings

Honey's Final Verdict:

We really wanted to love Tokyo Tattoo Girls here at Honey’s Anime HQ. However, Tokyo Tattoo Girls falls short thanks to some rather odd gameplay designs that lead to it being more akin to a cell phone based game with very little interaction from the player. Though it’s not all bad thanks to some truly impressive artwork and simple—but fun—strategy gameplay that makes Tokyo Tattoo Girls a good game in small bursts. Have you brought Tokyo Tattoo Girls and have your own opinions to share? Comment your thoughts down below and remember to keep stuck to us here at Honey’s Anime for all your gaming reviews and news!

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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