When it was announced that Sekai Project/Denpasoft would be translating “Re;Lord 1 ~The witch of Herfort and stuffed animals” (henceforth just “Re;Lord 1”), a year or so ago, it was a bit of surprise – Firstly. It’s definitely not Escu:de’s first visual novel, secondly it’s the first part of a trilogy and thirdly, despite the base game being defined as “all ages”, it is most certainly not suitable for minors.
The story mainly centers on Wilfried Heisenburg (although occasionally the viewpoints of other characters are used), who decides to fight back against three witches that have invaded and partially taken over his country of Saarland, after being ridiculed by his peers and driven by his nationalistic pride, with his first target being the witch and her attendant in Groesen.
The game can be split into two separate parts – RPG/Fighting section, and the visual novel parts, which are further split into three chapters (and one intermission). With the RPG Section, you need to place blocks over a given layout in the prerequisite number of moves to reach a set objective. Fail to do so, and it’s game over. Completing the objective, and you move onto the next part of the story. There are a large number of blocks, and more are given with side quests or opening chests.
Moving onto an enemy shape starts the action sequence, where you use either of your weapons (fire or wind) to return various stuffed animals to their senses. The two weapons do have some differences: Fire is generally more powerful, but can only be used horizontally or vertically, whilst wind can be used diagonally as well.
And, all the while you are fighting stuff animals, your enemy (which can be anything from hooded cats to teddy bears in wizard cloths) is attacking you with weaponry that ranges from homing missiles to rocks and claws.
Deal with all enemies within the allotted time and you can progress with the story. Furthermore, at the end of each chapter you face either the witch or her attendant (you fight each twice), whom you can strip the clothes off, the state of which is carried over into the “after battle” section if you have the DLC.
As for the visual novel aspect of the game. Well, that’s where you’ll spend most of the time. The story is very engrossing, and you would be mistaken to think it is comedic throughout – which it isn’t. Once the half-way mark is past, you find the comedic parts are few and far between, and the dark nature of the narrative takes over.
Initially, you will probably like Wilfried, in much the same way that the first appearance of the witch will most likely make you dislike her. However, as the story progresses (and especially after Wilfried states what he’ll be doing to the witch and her attendant), feelings towards these two characters will change.
So, what about the lewd content in “Re;Lord 1” then? Well, the adult scenes in the DLC are nicely drawn. Sadly enough though, they are censored. Furthermore, the scenes aren’t animated either. However, the adult scenes do add an extra dimension to both the story and characters, making Wilfried even less sympathetic than without the DLC.
So in overall, “Re;Lord 1” is a truly interesting and a fairly unique +18 lewd anime-like strip battle RPG/visual novel game =) Both from the narrative and game playing angles, and is well worth picking up as it’s very enjoyable to play. In other words, if you’re into visual novels, lewd content and RPGs. Then you might want to give “Re;Lord 1” a go.
+ Character graphics are highly detailed and expressive, especially during the boss fights
+ Very immersive and interesting story, that can be very funny and troubling too. Occasionally, you continue the story from another character’s point of view.
+ Music is great and changes with what happens in the story
+ Block placement is easy
+ Action part is fun, and steadily gets harder as you go through the game, requiring good timing and use of your friend’s abilities
+ Multiple difficulty levels, with more available after completing the game
– The option’s menu is messy
– Graphical options are limited to only running the game in a window or full screen
– Once completed (and you have performed the required achievements). The voice cast interviews are available, but unless you know Japanese, there are no transcripts
– The story may not be to everyone’s taste
– Only one weapon is really needed
– The only real reason to replay would be for the achievements (or to get all the CG pictures)
Sound and music: 4/5
Replay value: 3/5
Despite the very adult and dark story, “Re;Lord 1” is truly enjoyable to play (and read), and quite often very funny – at least initially. It can also be uncomfortable at times, especially as the girls do suffer at the protagonists hands a lot. Would no doubt be popular with people who like cape jokes or long diatribes about them. Well worth getting, especially as it’s very reasonably priced.
Title: Re;Lord 1 ~The witch of Herfort and stuffed animals~
Developer: Escu:de/Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel/RPG/Action
Resolution: 1024 x 576 in Window mode or desktop resolution in Full Screen mode
Release date: 2018-03-09
Difficulty: User selectable
Spent time: + 15 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +16
Price: 8.03 Euros via Steam
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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