Compile Heart is a developer that can make good games, but often settle for half-baked releases that rely on good character art and fanservice, instead of interesting gameplay. Moero Crystal H is certainly full of fanservice, and the artwork is nice, but it also offers up some surprisingly deep mechanics and engaging dungeon crawling. Unfortunately, this English release also has one noticeable issue that is hard to ignore.
Saving the world, one monster girl at a time
If you’re familiar with the Genkai Tokki series, or have even just seen screenshots for Moero Crystal H, you probably have a decent idea of what to expect. The game’s story is, for the most part, incredibly goofy, mainly existing as a justification for the copious amounts of fanservice that you’ll encounter throughout the adventure. The long and the short of it is that the Bra of Darkness and the Panties of Light are two relics that protect the world. The bra’s theft ends up triggering the end of the world, with unwitting bystander Zenox being tasked with finding the bra before it’s too late.
It’s little more than a thinly veiled excuse to go around various lands, collecting monster girls along the way. At the very least, everything is fully voiced (in Japanese) and the absurdity of some situations can be amusing at times. Moero Crystal H is also chock-full of side events and optional dialogue with each of the monster girls you add to the party. The amount of events crammed into this game is actually quite impressive, and it does a better job at characterising the monster girls than the often heavy-handed fanservice.
This is also where the “one noticeable issue” I mentioned at the start comes into play. You see, the English versions of Moero Chronicle had a fairly mediocre localisation, full of stilted lines and typos. Moero Crystal H is an improvement on this, but there’s still something off about a lot of dialogue. It’s all perfectly understandable, just not what you’d hope from an English release nowadays. Voice lines that play during things like the touching minigames are also not subtitled, which is odd considering how often you’ll be doing them.
Flawed fanservice, decent dungeon crawling
Speaking of the touching minigames, these are one of the main ways Moero Crystal H shoves fanservice into general gameplay. Recruiting new monster girls and increasing your bonds with them requires a lot of touching, and it isn’t particularly exciting. It usually just involves finding the correct parts of each girl and then mashing on the touch screen enough times. Not exactly titillating, and the time limits kinda get in the way of the fanservice in the first place.
Thankfully, the dungeon crawling segments that you’ll be spending a lot of your time on are actually decent, if a little simplistic at times. Dungeons are grid based, filled with the usual things like item scavenging points, traps, and the occasional roaming enemy. Each floor is usually a decent size, with dungeons increasing in complexity as you progress. You can also often find underwear scattered throughout the dungeon, which acts as a class system in Moero Crystal H. It makes exploration more rewarding, as collecting new underwear opens up opportunities for different party compositions and strategies.
Battles are what you’d expect from a dungeon crawler, generally following in the footsteps of other turn based games. Zenox acts as support, mainly boosting the stats of monster girls and using items. Otherwise, each monster girl can use attacks and skills to defeat enemies. Elemental weaknesses allow for bonus damage, and using certain combinations will result in extra attacks. Simple stuff, but when you factor in the large cast of monster girls and classes, you have a lot of control over your party composition.
Moero Crystal H review verdict
As a solid dungeon crawler, Moero Crystal H is often enjoyable. Filling in the map of each floor, gaining levels and skill, adding your selection of party members; it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be. As for the fanservice, it often just gets in the way of everything else. The touching minigames in particular are repetitive, and seem counter-intuitive to actually delivering fanservice. There is a lot to do in Moero Crystal H if you’re a fan of the genre, as long you’re fine with the premise — and the less-than-stellar localisation.
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