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Yurukill: The Calumniation Games

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games

Mystery, anime, shoot 'em up and amusement parks in the new launch of Izanagi Games.

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Grab your chopsticks and get ready for a good ramen. Through this amazing thriller from Izanagi Games, we are going to travel to the land of the rising sun. Yurukill: The Calumniation Games will launch for PlayStation, PC and Nintendo Switch on July 8th, mixing mechanisms of pure graphic adventures and the most classic shoot 'em up action.

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games

The story is based on an indefinite land and world. There, a young man named Sengoku Shunju is accused of some murders he did not commit. The protagonist together with another five criminals will be moved to a land constructed as an amusement park where he will have the opportunity to clear his name and eliminate his sentence if he wins. The criminals will team up with the executioners, who will accompany them in exchange for all their wishes to be fulfilled if they win. In the Yurukill amusement park, Sengoku will have to accomplish every single challenge while he defends his innocence and competes against the other teams.

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A manga in motion

The main Yurukill characteristic we can tackle is its anime atmosphere. We can't deny that the game is made by Japanese creators, and its tropes and aesthetic overwhelm the story. And it is something that not only should not be hidden but becomes its greatest strength and symbol. The story runs like any other usual mystery manga from the cover to the dialogue boxes. The conversations between characters jump between flashbacks of their past lives, as well as the decisions and responses we will have to make in real time.

With Yurukill we are talking about an "anime in motion" because it is what it is. It isn't just the characters designs but the narrative structures, the theme and of course the scenarios aesthetic and design are closely related to the Japanese comic genre. The main story is made by the manga artist Homura Kawamoto, also known for its anime and manga Kakegurui. And if you like Japanese thriller styles, we recommend it. Yurukill explores the human nature, the forgiveness and revenge feeling. The character story arcs are all about their traumas and unsettled situations they have been going through their entire life to the point where they are now.

Yurukill: The Calumniation GamesYurukill: The Calumniation Games

That means that this game will be a prize jewel for the fans of Japanese culture and anime and manga consumers who love visual novels. For those who are not used to this format it could be a real discovery. Before anything else Yurukill is a graphic adventure, a mystery story Detective Conan-style with puzzles of moderate difficulty and confrontations with our executioner. We must constantly show to the game that we are following the story and using the knowledge we have been given to solve the puzzles and stand up for our innocence.

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Another very important fact that we must consider is that the game has not arrived with great localisation support. The dialogues are in Japanese (something quite immersive with the aesthetics) but the text is in English. Because in Yurukill you will have to read, a lot, this could be a handicap if you are not used to this language.

Yurukill: The Calumniation GamesYurukill: The Calumniation Games

A shoot 'em up in the purest Japanese style

Despite this, we can't slack off in the conversations and the puzzles, because in the story we will find ourselves obliged to face our own demons and worries even with the truth behind our case. Every concept and information discovered in investigations is then used in a system of questions against the clock where each failure will be punished by taking off bonus time and lives for the shooting phase. It is a similar format to what we have seen in the Phoenix Wright series trials.

In relation with shooter levels, we can split the experience into two different parts. On the one hand, the story mode where we can choose the difficulty depends on whether we want to focus on the main plot. I played in "Normal", and it was accessible, even easy to me. Considering that the better we perform in the phases of investigation the more lives and bonuses we will have to use in action scenes, the difficulty is very important, as in these phases there is no manual or automatic saving. This means that, if we lose, we will have to repeat the whole shoot and question phase, what adds up to an extra 25 minutes of gameplay, which can be very tiring.

On the other hand, the game comes with a specific game focused on the "bullet hell", where we can choose the pilot and the level (between the six available levels). Pilot choice is very important because each one has a slightly different shooting ability. The results of our games are uploaded to an online server where we can see our global position in the players ranking.

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games

The Jurukill Judgement

I had the chance to play Yurukill on Nintendo Switch. I have to admit that it's well implemented. The dialogue format is fast, and the search for clues and the arcade stages fit perfectly on a portable platform. Although it is true that I have suffered some frame falls in those phases where there were more on-screen movement during bullet hell moments and in the ship's flight animations.

In terms of appearance, anime aesthetics are well achieved and both the dialogue boxes that change depending on the tones that are used by the protagonists and their designs are spectacular. Specifically, the charisma and the exquisite design of the character Binko, our game guide and, maybe, the new Japanese Lady Dimitrescu, stands out. The soundtrack is amazing, incredibly immersive, and is worthy of any avant-garde anime series.

Even if the aesthetic and notes are spectacular, the game has its negative parts. It becomes very repetitive after the first few hours. Although we are moving among different puzzles and five unique stories, at the end we must do the same with each one. The fact that the level of the puzzles is not that difficult doesn't help to reduce this feeling of lack of variety, in addition to that we don't feel a real danger to die or not overcome the phase. The shooter system looks good, but it feels like two different games that they have tried to unite into one. Though its spaceships and shooting setting makes sense in all this manga world, we are not so sure if it fits with the oppressive and dense environment of the puzzle and thriller phases.

Yurukill: The Calumniation GamesYurukill: The Calumniation GamesYurukill: The Calumniation Games
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
Story and aesthetics. You really feel like you're inside a manga and you empathise with the characters.
Lacks localisation, which is a problem for a narrative heavy game.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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