Moero Chronicle

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation Vita
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Idea Factory International
Developer: Compile Heart
Release Date: Aug. 16, 2017


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PC Review - 'Moero Chronicle'

by Cody Medellin on Oct. 19, 2017 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Moero Chronicle is a dungeon-crawling RPG where you fight through dungeons, recruiting Monster Girls, and building relationships with them in order to solve the mystery afflicting the denizens of Monstopia!

Buy Moero Chronicle

If you've been following the exploits of Compile Heart and Idea Factory, you'll notice that they engage in two trends quite often. Their games pair up some solid gameplay mechanics with lots of fan service. The Hyperdimension Neptunia series has calmed down on this more recently, but recent games outside of that franchise often have a good RPG mechanical base dressed up with busty women and suggestive dialogue. Their games are often released on the Vita first and the PC much later, and PC fans are often getting a slightly better-looking version of the game. To that end, Moero Chronicle is different in that it was never released on the Vita in North America.

In Moero Chronicle, you play the role of Io, a teenager who's abnormally shy around girls. The only girl he can talk to is his childhood friend and monster girl Lilia, but he's afraid that friendship could break down since he's starting to look at her in a different way. One day, Io is thrown out of his village for being useless and tasked with discovering why the monster girls of the world are suddenly attacking humans. Against his will and with Lilia's pushing, Io goes on a journey to possibly save the world.

If you're looking for charming characters in this game, you'll be sorely disappointed. Every monster girl plays up to typical anime girl stereotypes with no character growth, and Io is such a sad sack that you hate him instead of sympathize with his plight. If you're looking for bawdy humor, the game delivers in spades. Just about every girl you meet unintentionally flirts with you or has a fetish. Everything you do has an amount of innuendo involved, whether it's the dialogue or your moves. Even the pink seal monster that accompanies you is on a quest for panties. Of all the games that Idea Factory has released, Moero Chronicle isn't shy about fan service, and the dialogue is funny, either genuinely so or because you can't believe the developers got away with it.

Since this is an Idea Factory game, a large chunk of it is comprised of cut scenes. They're the typical visual novel style, where character movement is at a bare minimum while mouth movement is less expressive. The game still has an auto play button for the scenes, so you can save yourself the trouble of manually advancing the story, but if you're the type who always skips the story, you'll have an agonizing time here.

The gameplay can be effectively split up into three different sections. Though the game is an RPG, it's really a first-person dungeon crawler similar to Legend of Grimrock or Stranger of Sword City. You move your party one square at a time, uncovering new parts of the map as you go. At times, you'll run across a treasure chest, but you'll often run into random battles against minor monsters. Your typical turn-based RPG battle system applies here, where you can target an enemy with a basic or magical attack or choose to defend, use an item, or flee.

What's different is that Io doesn't do any attacks himself. All of the monster girls in his party do the actual fighting, and Io hangs back as support. Normally, this means that he's useful for using items so the rest of the girls can fight or use his charm ability to weaken foes. Most of the time, players have him store up energy. Once any amount of energy is stored up, he can release it on one of the monster girls to buff up their next move. There is a risk with storing energy, however, as getting close to the breaking point prevents him from storing more energy until a cooldown period passes.

The issue with the system is its randomness. There are times when you'll be pent up even though you're below half of the limit, and those can be a detriment in boss fights if you're trying to save up for an attack. That energy also won't carry over to the next fight, so most of your battles have you storing energy so you can burn a turn and get to the girls' actions quicker. Despite the obvious innuendo of the act due to Io's grunting and the girls' reactions, it adds to an otherwise standard fighting system.

Moero Chronicle  follows the standard dungeon crawler rules where healing can only be done at save points, and the only way to escape a dungeon is to use a potion to create a quick exit, look for one on the current floor, or return to the first floor to find your escape. Once you're outside, you can shop or rest at the inn, where a number of things can be done. Lower-class monsters join your squad so you can assign them to monster girls to augment their abilities or give them special attacks. What you'll be doing the most is building relationships with the girls. Similar to a number of games of this type, you can talk to the girls to get to know them better and give them gifts to improve your relationship. Doing so will increase their stats and their reactions when you give them your pent-up power, so even if dating sim games aren't your thing, there's a greater purpose to it.

The final major mechanic may make this game notorious. In your travels, you encounter monster girls who need to be subdued in order to break the spell on them. Subduing them also means that a number of them join your party, so the game feels a bit like Pokemon since you'll catch them all and diversify your party. The trick to subduing them is to attack their clothes. You can target specific pieces of clothing, and some bras, panties, and skirts have weaknesses to certain attacks. Once all of the clothes are destroyed, your seal companion showers the stripped-down girls with coins and freezes them in compromising positions.

From here, your job is to touch the girls and fill up a meter to break the curse. There are certain areas where they'll be affected most, and you have a short time to vigorously rub the girls and fill up the meter. The challenge, aside from finding the right spots, is to fill up the meter in the allotted time of one minute. Success means adding the girl to your roster while failure means they'll escape and you have to hunt them down and restart the process.

On the Vita, this meant that you had to turn the system sideways in portrait mode so you can get a full view of the monster girl while you use the touch-screen. On the PC, this is rendered almost impossible due to the platform and hardware. If you're using a controller, the analog sticks are too finicky. Cursor movement is too fast and imprecise, and the various touch actions don't translate well. The mouse seems better suited for this, but you're restricted by the fact that you have to scroll the picture vertically, wasting precious seconds in moving the picture instead of finding the weak spots. It seems ideal to use both controller and mouse for the whole game, but you must choose a controller-only setup or keyboard/mouse-only setup.

The reliance on capturing girls and the failure to find an adequate replacement for the touch controls makes the otherwise standard game more difficult than it should be. Unlike what you'd find in the Vita version, it is nearly impossible to capture any of the monster girls on your first try except for Leche, the girl who serves as the tutorial. Thus, making any real progress in the otherwise long story is going to be a very slow process, and for a game with not much else going for it aside from risqué humor, this won't convince many people to try the title.

While Idea Factory is normally good at taking its Vita games and releasing an improved version to the PC market, this is the rare example of them dropping the ball. The game uses nothing but still images throughout, and they look pretty basic. There's also very little flash to your attacks. The PC graphical options seem to be buggy, as you can't go full screen and the resolution tops out at 1366x768 instead of a full 1080p.

Moero Chronicle has moments of being a decent dungeon crawler for those new to the genre. The basic mechanics are done well, and the idea of collecting monster girls as party members makes gameplay more interesting. However, the act of taming the girls is difficult enough that your interest will fade even if the humor is appealing. Until some of the issues get fixed, it's difficult to recommend this title.

Score: 6.0/10

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