We otome fans have got a jam packed couple of years ahead of us, and out of all the titles to look forward to, the one that’s reaching us soonest Voltage Inc.’s first ever console exclusive: even if TEMPEST. Mark your calendars and get ready to fling your purses open with no remorse whatsoever when the game releases digitally on June 9, 2022.
What’s that? You need a little more convincing? I think we can probably help with that. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons why it’s worth taking the plunge!
The director and scenario writer is Ayane Ushio
Ayane Ushio is a scenario writer from Idea Factory. Much of her work is in the fields of novels and drama CDs, but she’s probably best known in the otome sphere for her work on two specific titles.
The first of these, known as Juuzaengi ~Engetsu Sangokuden~ is still a Japanese exclusive at the time of writing, but it’s a highly rated otome by those who have experienced it. It originally released for the PSP, but was later ported to both PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch.
Western players are more likely to be familiar with her as the main scenario writer for Norn9. While we’ve only seen the first entry in the series — Norn9: Var Commons — localised to date, this game alone provides plenty of evidence of Ushio’s talent for worldbuilding, originality and imagination. It’s confined to the Vita for now, so be sure to nab a copy if you see it — it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to your collection. Hopefully we’ll be able to say the same about even if TEMPEST — it’s safe to say that we’re in good hands, though!
Strong production values
Ayane Ushio is not the only big name tied to even if TEMPEST. We also have Shunsuke Tsuchiya working on the music, including the main soundtrack plus the opening and ending themes; his work on the Black Wolves Saga series is probably the most well known. And those theme songs by Tsuchiya are performed by Shihoko Hirata, which will be a familiar name to fans of the Persona series: her vocal talents can be heard in a number of remixed tracks in Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold and Persona 4: Dancing All Night.
The talent behind the game’s art may not be familiar to many western players, the preview shots we’ve seen to date look plenty glorious in their own right, so background artist Minoru Akiba and character designer Norita are definitely names you should be keeping an eye on — as well as providing yet more evidence for how polished even if TEMPEST is.
The talented voices behind the pretty faces
While our heroine lacks a voice, everyone else in even if TEMPEST is fully voiced, and it’s worth noting that this is Voltage Inc.’s first release of an otome title featuring production values as strong as this.
We have a good voice cast in place, too, featuring Makoto Furukawa (Allan Melville from Cupid Paradise, Lugus from Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and Adage from Steam Prison), Kaito Ishikawa (Hikage from Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, Dante from Piofiore: Fated Memories and Il from Café Enchanté), Noriaki Sugiyama (Akito from Norn9 and Boris from Alice in Wonderful Wonder World) and Shunsuke Takeuchi (Zora from BUSTAFELLOWS and Gonta from Danganronpa V3).
Alongside this, we’ve got plenty of well-known names in the supporting cast, too, including Naomi Iida (Alexandrina Victoria from Code: Realize), Shou Nogami (Passy Montbrun from Code: Realize and Dromi from Café Enchanté) plus Tetsuya Kakihara (Shin from Amnesia, Victor Frankenstein from Code: Realize, Karasuba from Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and Isora Amari from 7’scarlet) plus plenty more besides.
As an aside, Kakihara’s role as the Witch of Ruin better be the hinted-at secret love interest, or we riot. Just look at the characters he has previously voiced and tell me I’m wrong!
The Red and Black Roses feature
Many otome titles feature some sort of mechanic to indicate which route you’re on, and in the case of even if TEMPEST we have the Red and Black Roses system. The choices you make throughout the game will dye roses red or stain them black, and the ending you reach will depend on what colour the flowers are by the conclusion of the story. As such, this mechanic should help steer you in the right direction towards a happy ending.
With this in mind, the choices you make in even if TEMPEST are of the utmost importance, both in terms of the game’s systems and plot progression. And there’s more!
The “Fatal Rewind” mechanic
From early teasers, it appears that even if TEMPEST will require you to reach dead or bad ends in order to reach the best ending, providing plenty of substance and reason to explore all angles of the narrative — very promising.
It might not sound quite as well-implemented as Raging Loop’s key mechanic, which remains a benchmark in this regard, but it lends a sense of legitimacy to the game by complementing the mechanics and story. It’s particularly exciting as a means of emphasising even if TEMPEST’s darker than usual premise; we get the real feeling that there are severe consequences for the main character and players alike in a story as fantastically wicked as this!
The Carnival segments
Speaking of Raging Loop, which unfolded as a take on the “Werewolf” formula by showing us different characters being the perpetrators of violence in alternative timelines, even if TEMPEST looks set to offer a similar experience in a somewhat more hands-on way, a bit like Gnosia did.
Over the course of even if TEMPEST’s story, five characters will be suspected of being a Membrum. A Membrum is a person warped by the antagonistic witch’s magic and given a thirst for bloodshed, which will result in the death of characters if you’re unable to figure out their identity. You’ll need to determine who the Membrum is before everyone is sentenced to death!
But that’s not all, as you’ll then have to gather up evidence and testimony to out the true threat. This is achieved by moving between different locations, speaking at length with certain characters, and dedicating an appropriate amount of time to the right tasks to help your investigation provide the results you need — before it’s too late.
Ace Attorney-esque trials
Once your investigation time is up, there’s a trial. At this point, the Sacrificia debate among themselves and have to convince both the judge and over 300 members of the jury of their innocence and validity. You have to be careful, though: making too many accusations puts suspicion firmly on you, while not obtaining enough evidence — or the right kind of evidence — can also lead to your own downfall.
You’ll need to think fast; you’re well and truly put in the driver’s seat here in terms of determining the main character’s fate. This sounds like an absolute delight in an otome title already full of macabre and deadly situations!
So there you have it! Eight solid reasons to be excited for even if TEMPEST. The game’s set for release on 9 June, 2022 as a digital-only title — keep an eye out on the Nintendo eShop for preorders, and find out more over on the official website!
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