Release Date: April 25th, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
Publisher: Idea Factory International
Developer: Compile Heart
ESRB: Mature (Fantasy Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes)
This is a game that I never thought would see the light of the day in the west. This goes to show the actual usage of the ESRB as a ratings board, and how flimsy excuses of the past do not hold water when concerning the absence of western releases with titles such as these (Koei Tecmo I am looking at you). Despite this, Moero Chronicle Hyper is not for everyone, in fact it fills a specific gap in an already niche genre. First things first, the game is not for the prude or faint of heart when it comes to lewd or sexual content. The first box that was seemingly ticked during development was to appease the fan-service crowd through and through. Moero Chronicle Hyper does the fan-service content very well, but one must wonder if the game can do more than show scantily clad women and produce a more than questionable minigame. If you are at all turned away by the title’s forward use of lewd content, then please look elsewhere. This game will not appease you, and may even cause some offense to be taken at the content within. It is understandable the sexual content, even if lighthearted and used in a joking way, will make some people uncomfortable and take the game at face value. I am not trying to deny gamer’s feelings or taste, very much the opposite in fact. I just want to make it clear this game is fan-service before anything else. For those not turned away by this initial shock, please read on to find out if this beauty is more than skin deep.
Moero Chronicle Hyper follows the two friends of Io and Lilia in the land of Monstopia. The area is inhabited with normal humans and monster girls (Moe in this case). These monster girls being the anthropomorphic woman equivalent of an animal or fantastical creature such as a cat, orc, slime, giant killer bee etc. This Moe concept leads to some fun and interesting character designs within the creatures on display, of course dressed in a manner befitting of this genre. Something has happened in Monstopia that is causing the monster girls to become hostile and violent towards humans. This causes our duo to go exploring in a nearby forest to check in on one of their mutual friends to see if she is fine. Upon finding her, it so happens she is also afflicted with whatever is causing the murderous tendencies around the region. Unsure how to help her, a curious seal creature named Otton (with a handsome man face mind you) comes out and explains how he can help the Moe girl return to normal while also casually mentioning his quest to see the magical cloth triangles of the world…. panties in this case. Bear with me on that. These job panties are a good item to have, as they are necessary to the growth of your team.
The gameplay is focused on first person dungeon crawling and building your team of Moe girls using a turn-based battle system. Dungeon Travelers 2 on the PS Vita or the Etrian Odyssey series of games comes to mind when detailing the general style of JRPG. Moero Chronicle Hyper is closely related to the former given the lewder aspects of the title. Building your teams consists of scouring the many varied dungeons to find the different boss characters and defeat them, in order to add them to your selectable roster. Fighting these boss girls opens up another twist on the turn-based formula. The curing and swaying of these head honchos must be done by breaking their current clothing during a fight. These Moe roam around dungeons on a set path, allowing for multiple tries if you fail initially. The fights with the leaders are not done alone, as they bring the smaller H-monsters scattered about the dungeons with them to the fight. You must first break each part of their clothing which can be tops, bottoms, accessories such as handbags, you name it. Once the boss is down to their underwear, it activates the bumping scratch minigame. The player must use the controller or touch screen (touch screen being the easier option) to find weak points on the character portrait to fill up a purify gauge. Once filled, the battle is over and the girl can return to her normal self, in addition to being available to join the players team. As with everything in Moero Chronicle Hyper, the fan-service is the focus of this bumping scratch minigame. The attachment of this aspect hurts the game in the long run as it adds no fun value. In the Senran Kagura series for example, the touch minigames in the changing rooms were always an optional addition. Here it is completely mandatory and unintuitive at best, the fan service being the key defining factor of this minigame. This doesn’t add anything but a hinderance to the more thought out turn-based gameplay. The main male protagonist of Io can only provide so much help during battle, and takes on more of a supportive role for the most part. Io can encourage the girls (thus powering them up for a singular attack), use items and making the choice to run if applicable. The title plays how any JRPG aficionados would expect with different classes, skills, and team building ideas.
Being a port of an older PS Vita title, the graphics are nothing special, but are generally well done in the conversion to HD and look quite nice. Nothing much has been added to the port beyond that, but the biggest change for me was a welcome “auto-walk” feature added. Nothing was censored from the original release as far as I can tell, and as a player of the original game, the English translation remains the same. Some environment textures can look a little flat or muddy, but the smaller H-monster art, boss art and minigame portraits are all whimsical, funny and well done. Please take note that most of these portraits also have differing costumes, undergarments and breakable clothing. This contributes to an overall feeling of a polished experience in the art department. Music is chipper and bubbly, menus are well laid out and self-explanatory. The main hub area for the player is the town/inn area, where even more minigames and mechanics await the gamer in the rooms of each monster girl. The player can become closer with each monster girl on an individual basis through the use of presents, make items, upgrade their rooms, talk with them, etc. This is also the place to gift the job panties allowing for a change of costume, skills and traits for each set. Every girl has different classes they can obtain, each with their strengths and weakness, useful for building a versatile team. There seems to be many mechanics to come to terms within this game, but they are all simple enough that it never seemed to get bogged down in over complicated busy work. It provides a way to feel closer with your team and learn about them on a more personal level, allowing them to become a bit more of a well-rounded character than the standard tropes.
Overall, Moero Chronicle Hyper is an above average RPG in its own right, with enough mechanics to offer some level of customization, strategy and grinding for the standard JRPG player to enjoy. It is not overly difficult, but can be enhanced with the varying difficulty options. The aspect that holds the title back while simultaneously giving it most of its charm and wit, is all of the lewd, ecchi, and sexual content. Those aspects are simply not for everyone, which in turn causes the game to be put into a separate class, that only some will offer a passing glance to. Interesting enough on its own, and enough mechanics to stand on those merits, even under all of the guise of the adult aspects. It gets a solid recommendation from me, if your taste can align with all the fan-service and adult oriented content it contains. There is a solid game lying underneath all those panties. (Frank Granados, Gaming Staff Writer)
Review Copy Provided by Idea Factory international