Otome Yusha (オトメ勇者) released back in December 16, 2017 and because I was overseas when this happened I only started playing it around January this year. So after fiddling around with it for about a month I decided it was about time to review this mobile game.
I also wrote a previous post on Otome Yusha where I gathered information from the website before it was released and speculated what the gameplay would be like. I also translated character profiles so check it out here.
To start off this review I’ll go through different aspects of this game and giving my thoughts/criticism/praise on each aspect. If you want to see my overall thoughts where everything is tied up together just skip to it by clicking here.
— Story —
The main story is pretty basic “hero and friends journey through different countries to get to the demon lord and defeat/seal him for good”. As I stated in my otome watch post, a demon lord has awoken from his slumber/broke free from his seal and has taken away light from the world (though there’s still sunshine and light in the story as told through the backgrounds so I don’t see what’s the big deal other than the monsters/demons trying to take over).
The heroine, whose default name is Astelle (アステル), was chosen by the goddess the reigns over this world to become the next Hero to seal that meanie demon lord. The goddess basically says that the only way to defeat him is through love or something and that only the Hero and a chosen slayer’s love is good enough…
The main meat of the story is at the start and at the confrontation with the demon lord, the stuff in the middle doesn’t mean much when you already know a bit about the other slayer’s backstories (e.g. Larkam being cursed, Laith and Muscluca no longer having a family or a kingdom to rule over etc), though it does go into a bit more detail.
The main story is unlocked through defeating each boss for each chapter and the only way you can go up against the demon lord is to have a slayer with the title of “grand slayer”–which you can achieve by clearing a slayer’s set missions that unlock in every few chapters or so. So the intimate story of a slayer that you unlock from clearing their missions and the main story sort of intertwines at the end when you go up against the demon lord, which is pretty neat.
I made Kin’caro my first grand slayer and went up against the demon lord whose design is too gotdam swexy, and then I got my happy ending with Kin’caro because I stayed on his ‘light route’… of course, the heroine doesn’t have eyes in the happy ending CG despite having eyes in the key visual (the heck is up with that?).
Also spoiler: Even when you defeat the demon lord you still get more maps to clear before going to the final boss arena lol.
You can redo the boss fight with the demon lord with any slayer that you’ve promoted to grand slayer so you can get their endings too. There’s also ‘light’ route and ‘dark’ route depending on how much dark attribute items you feed your boyo. All slayers start off as ‘light’ but if you want you can make them ‘dark’ which changes their story in the later chapters, you could say this gives you a bad end considering I heard a lot of dark stuff going on in a couple of other slayer’s endings. I’ve yet to get this myself because your slayer can revert to being ‘light’ after going through a lot of battles against the monsters/demons because they’re doing the good thing by fighting evil, so be sure to feed them a lot of darkness if you want to pull off this ending.
As for the demon king, I think you get another encounter with him after the first battle against him. I’ve seen screenshots of him without his mask and gotdamn, what an ikemen. For now I can only bask in his gorgeous design with the mask…
My only theory as to why the main story was kind of empty in the middle might have something to do with the delays and that they had to cut some bits in the middle or something, either it was the story or the gameplay that made it delay so much 😆 Who knows, really.
— Characters —
The character line-up in this game is spot on. With 24 characters with specific tropes in mind, it’d be hard not to find at least one character that fits your type. Even after playing this mobile game, I became too attached to characters that I didn’t think were my type lol. Particularly Darryl because his personality is like a breath of fresh air with his lazy attitude and just speaks his own mind despite always getting on the heroine’s bad side by going “Aw man, I was expecting the Hero to be this big boobied lady but she’s just a kid, what a shame” and isn’t overly infatuated by the heroine like a couple other characters. I like your attitude, despite it being problematic 😆
The heroine has her ups and downs though. For the most part of the main story she’s there to provide support by buffing up the slayers, I don’t even think it’s implied she even fights despite having a sword and shield in the key visual. Sometimes she provides some input in the chapter at least once and sometimes she’s ‘kyaaa’-ing like in a 90s shoujo manga and I’m just like “boy I wish they wrote her with more conviction”, but hey I guess that’s just the way her personality is. She does get to shine when she has one on one times with the slayer’s in their intimate stories, sometimes being assertive with characters and stuff like that which makes me wish she had some of that pizzazz in the main story.
— Gameplay —
Gameplay, in my opinion, is very well thought out and has lots of layers to it. You’ve got the main gameplay of ‘racing’ other NPC slayers while defeating monsters, which then in turn has RNG elements like the chances of getting into a bonus stage mid-race where the gameplay is entirely different and is a way to grind for “crimson points” which are used to awaken slayer cards, there are random generated items that will either help slow down your rivals or replenish HP or skill meters. There are also chances where a slayer will ask you to get a certain item to drop during a specific race (it’s a timed mission) and in return they’ll give you something, if you successfully clear their fetch quests they’ll give you a bonus item that is unique to their character (you can’t use it but it’s a collectible item).
I also happened upon this feature where if you grind enough on a race map you will get a bonus boss upon finishing the race called “Judgement” that will test your bonds with a slayer of your choice from the party you went out with. This boss fight is timed so if you don’t defeat it in time you’ll get a game over (unless you fork over some orbs to restart the fight), if your slayer loses all his HP you also lose. In certain events if your bonds are truly strong, Judgement will land a fatal attack on the both of you, which your slayer will shield you and prolly turn to stone, but don’t worry you can heal him by giving him a kiss 😂
You’ll get a bonus alt costume for your slayer if you do wake him up from his stone slumber. Your slayer may also get this counter on his profile (which looks like a rose with chains and a number on top) but whether or not that number increases each time you have a fatal encounter with judgement is unknown to me because it’s usually by chance that the slayer sacrificing himself event happens to me, seeing that I didn’t have Larkam on high affection rank or anything.
Anyway there’s just so much going on with this game that I bet there’s a few things I have yet to discover even after playing it for a good solid month or two. When I first played this game I was addicted like hell because I wanted to find out what every function and feature this game has to offer, plus there’s a lot of slayer building to be done like giving your slayer strong weapons and armor, then getting strong reliable cards and then boosting up his rank (which I think is also based on affection?) and there’s just so many ways in improving your slayers rank its never-ending. There’s so much to do in this game that it makes it sort of justifiable that it’s a mobile game seeing that they do update it with different feature, the latest feature to be added is a tower where you can grind/climb up each floor for special items and clearing challenges.
One thing though, is that the game gets really easy once you get a 4 star card or two because they can be OP especially when the highest monster level is about 25 in the normal mode, but thankfully there’s an option to switch to hard mode once you complete a map/town. So yeah, once you get a 4 star card and max out it’s level and grind the slayer’s rank you can just breeze through the main story maps while on auto mode–which I do often and helps me to multitask while grinding so it’s the best solution.
Of course, if you want to clear challenges and missions you’ll need to turn off auto mode and use some good old strategy to get the best results because while the auto mode is pretty reliable it does not block incoming attacks nor does it swap out slayers who would be better off fighting the current enemy you’re attacking. Auto mode also doesn’t cover the bonus stages where you can grind for crimson points nor does it use items so it’s kinda like a double edged sword for when you want to be multitasking lol.
Overall gameplay is a good balance of ‘easy for beginners’ but also ‘gives you a chance to be strategic and may challenge you’ based on its difficulty modes. It doesn’t necessarily dumbs down gameplay because it’s for girls but allows enough player input where you can either play it actively or passively (e.g. auto-mode).
Honestly there’s so much to go in depth about the gameplay but then I’d be writing a breakdown post instead of a review haha.
— Gachas & Card Collecting —
There are about three (3) types of gachas in Otome Yusha (well 4 types if we’re going to include event exclusive gachas). There is the coin gacha which uses currency that is very abundant in the game and do not need to be purchased, coin gachas have a chance of spitting out a 3 star card (second highest rarity of card) as well as low rarity cards and gifts/items to give to slayers.
Then there is the weapon/item/gift gacha where you use orbs (premium currency that can be purchased with real money or gained through the game) to pull items, be it weapons or gifts ranging from low rarity like 1 star or 2 star items to high rarity like 3 star or 4 star items. If you use 50 orbs to pull 10 items you have the chance to get one 4 star item.
Next is the premium gacha where you also use orbs to scout slayer cards (or ‘spirit’). 10 pulls cost 150 orbs and you get the chance to pull one 3 star card or higher. The highest card rarity you can get is a 4 star card. You can pull 2~4 star cards in this gacha.
And finally event gachas is where it’s at. When there’s an event there is also an exclusive limited time only gacha that contains new cards and new weapons. The weapon event gacha works as a usual gacha, however the card event gacha has a neat twist to it: if you do 10 pulls eight times you will get a guaranteed 4 star card (presumably on your eighth roll). However, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the event 4 star card on the eighth roll guaranteed because I did the eight rolls and I got a non-event exclusive 4 star card. Either way I got a 4 star card (and I already got the exclusive event card on the previous rolls).
Orbs can be really easy to come by especially when you blaze through race maps like you’re crossing the street, in fact I’ve probably gained more than 1,000 orbs in about a month because I was going through all the maps and clearing race missions as well as reading stories.
Cards not only allow you to have a stronger team, but they also have stories to unlock. Usually once you awakened a card you unlock that card’s story. Sometimes 4 star cards from event exclusive gachas will have a fully voiced story. Awakening cards also help boost the strength of it so go nuts, it’s pretty easy to awaken cards if you grind a bunch for the materials needed. Also the card’s graphics looks great but I’ll comment on that later.
— Events —
So far there are two types of events that Otome Yusha has. There is the “team event” where every player chooses a team they want to be on and collect items in the event’s race to add to their teams total score. You can gain items and cards through this event by collecting X amount of Y items and claim the rewards and by the end of the event you and your team will be rewarded with various items (no cards though).
Then there is the “ranking event” where you are working on your own against every other player participating in the event and you gain event points depending on the race’s difficulty, if you placed first, second, third or fourth in a race, time bonus (if you go over time limit then you get 0 points) and card bonus where you get bonus points if you have an event exclusive gacha card in your party. You’ll get a certain amount of cards in the point rewards but in order to max out the copies of a card you need to have a high ranking at the end of the event.
Events are good for when you need certain items like golden and rainbow/platinum hammers to level up your weapons and armor or material used for awakening cards, as well as just grinding for slayer ranks. The only downside to events is that if you only focus on grinding and using all your AP/Energy on event races then you won’t have time for daily races that give you higher drops and completing main story races. Another thing is that in event races there is zero chance of getting replenish items/rival sabotage items when you’re in a race, nor can you be sucked into the bonus crimson points stage (which is a pain when you’re low in crimson points but you want to focus on the event) and neither can you get Judgement to pop up at the end of an event race, which is fair I guess.
— Graphics —
Graphics are pretty good. You’ve got Chinatsu Kurahana as the character designer and prolly provided illustration for character sprites, where said character sprites have live2D to them which is done pretty well. Card illustrations can waver between really gorgeous to “uhhh, this looks kind of off”.
Big note: both of these are 4 star card illustrations.
Illustrations of the chibi characters used for the race is pretty good. The monster designs however are kind of a “been there, done that” in terms of design, like, they’re pretty basic monster designs but they’re not exactly terrible. Boss designs are ok, though Demon Lord-kun takes the cake especially when he’s ridiculously tall compared to the slayer it’s hilarious.
Another weird thing is that sometimes they draw characters in a fantasy setting with modern things like inner tubes and soda drink bottles which kinda breaks the immersion of “a time before electricity”. Like, Laith is straight up holding a Mountain Dew™ bottle here.
Other than the above complaints I really do like the graphics of this game, it’s nice and polished as expected from a company like Level-5, this ain’t their first rodeo when it comes to making games.
Also my final complaint: I wish they gave out outfits for the chibi characters to wear like costumes based on event cards and stuff because I would be more than glad to rank/work hard at an event if it meant I’ll get bonus outfits for my chibi slayer to wear when in a race.
— Music —
Music is exactly what you’d hear from an RPG, it’s kind of reminiscent of the Fire Emblem games, especially in certain background music like how the blacksmith/refinery/facility screen reminds me of Fire Emblem’s shop BGM.
The music isn’t too distracting, though sometimes you hardly know its there if that makes sense lol. There’s nothing much to complain about the music in this game so it gets a pass.
Overall I think its a very competent mobile game and it’s a bit surprising how much effort was put into a mobile game aimed at females haha. I guess it’s not that hard to make a josei-muke game huh, Square Enix? Anyway, enough shade thrown onto Squeenix for their poor handling of Kimikiri, I still think there’s a bit more room for this mobile game to grow and improve. I kinda wish that there might be a bit more English speaking players that are into this but hey, at least ranking is much easier when there’s not a lot of people playing it.
I look forward to seeing this game grow, I have a lot of fun playing even though most of the time I’m playing in auto-mode so I can multitask lol. I would recommend people to give it a go, though I have a feeling this game isn’t for everyone. Maybe one day there will be similar games like this for the female audience but on consoles and hopefully with more challenging but fun gameplay but that’s just my pipe dream.
Edit: I forgot to mention that the only setback with this mobile game is that it can really heat up your mobile device and drain it’s battery like crazy over long periods of playing it. So be careful!
Thanks for reading! Maybe I’ll make a breakdown/guide post in the future, it depends if I can discover all of Otome Yuusha’s secrets.