Thanks to Idea Factory International for the review code
Title: Moero Chronicle Hyper
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 04/26/2019
In this riveting adventure, you take control of Io and his friend Lilia, who must investigate why a whole bunch of monster ladies are suddenly going feral, growing hatred for humans and wanting to destroy them at all costs! Along with that, is Io learning to conquer his own weird thoughts, and the two meeting a very peculiar, horny otter…
Yes, this all sounds like something dragged out of the Lemon section of internet writings, and for better or worse, that aspect is the main gimmick of this dungeon crawler.
This is where I’d usually repeat myself by going “as is usual for a IF dungeon crawler”, and while a lot of UI/presentation elements are familiar if you’ve played their other dungeon games like MeiQ or Mary Skelter, this game honestly doesn’t seem to care about the core dungeon crawling loop: what’s here works and gets the job done, but it’s also very, very basic: battles against enemies are with static, barely moving drawings over generic backgrounds, and the boss battles, while using better artwork, still don’t come off as all that impressive.
Yet once you need to go and snap a boss back to their senses via the weird minigames? Oh, there’s the budget: yes, these segments where you can rub and find their uh, good spots have a super high quality bump in artwork, and it absolutely is apparent that these scenes is where most of the eyecandy, high budget portions of the presentation is focused on. Considering how stuff gets suggestive awfully quick here, this game knows who it’s made for and damn it, it’s going to hog up all the attention from the other aspects of the game!
On the audio side of things though, it’s pretty inoffensive. You have music that is neither memorable or irritating, and solid Japanese voice work, as is expected from a game like this. Of course, said voicework can be really weird or exciting depending on your mood during the spicy moments, or just utterly obnoxious.
Moero Chronicle H is a first person IFI dungeon crawler: you know the usual drill, do into dungeons, progress the narrative, explore and find optional secrets and objectives, all while continuing a gameplay loop that’s both familiar yet subverted. I really don’t need to explain the combat much, since the first-person dungeon battling is pretty easy to get adjusted to, though this game has Io as an observer who stores and releases energy, which can be used to power the monster girls in your party and give them a skill buff, since they’re the ones who do the actual attacking. (basically, what Jack does in the Mary Skelter games, as a commander of sorts)
There’s a weakness chain and the like here, and it’s all pretty easy to understand stuff. Like with most IFI games, you can change the difficulty on the fly to your liking, meaning you can either breeze the game with auto battles on easy, or actually have to strategize on harder difficulties, so that’s at least a good standard to see return. But otherwise, this game is more of the same… At first.
You see, the main gimmick in Moero are the sheer insanity of the lewd moments and weirder aspects: enemies can get very bizarre, dialogue is weird, (though thankfully the characters are very self aware that everyone is crazy, hence why the main goal of the game is to snap monsters out of hating humans!) the whole game radiates horny energy, and the mascot character will make damn sure you know that. Now and then you’ll end up finding a boss encounter, which acts as a pseudo puzzle of sorts in order to recruit said monster boss into your team: basically, you have to get an excitement gauge in the top-left maxed out (usually by attacking specific clothing parts with their weakness) and win the battle to move onto the next phase, where you liberate the boss from their insanity by rubbing them enough to excite them and purify them with your love!
I am not making any of the above up. But yes, these rubbing portions are by far the weirdest part of the game, but also what is the most likely to sell you on this game or not: basically, you use the touch screen or the right analog stick and rub all over the boss’s body, finding their sensitive parts to make the purify meter fill up before time runs out: if you manage to do a really good job, they’ll do a Nude Flash and turn into a borderline AO entity, allowing you to go hogwild and raise the meter more. Successfully complete this, and you’ll have a new party member!
Of course, you can build relationships with your current party members back at base camp: you can do the Bumping Scratch rubbing game again, or help them out with favors and spending time with them, but I honestly couldn’t care less about that, since I was more focused to see how the main dungeon crawling game part held up! Well, it works, but is fairly basic and honest to god feels like a cookie-cutter afterthought, with the weird recruitment and boss fights feeling like they had more of a focus put on them than the actual dungeon exploring aspect: I’m struggling to properly convey this, so to shorten it up, Moero Chronicle feels less like a game with lewd elements as a compliment, and more like a bunch of lewd elements with a game’s blueprint tying it all together. Having played my fair share of lewd games/VNs in the past for my enjoyment, I definitely have learned to sense out when a game is more focused on the horny than the core gameplay, and unfortunately, Moreo Chronicle is in that category, not really having much exciting to note for the dungeon crawling aspects.
On the plus side, if you’re a really big fan and just want to skip to the lewder stuff, congrats, since this game is so cookie cutter as a dungeon crawler that you can go wild and have your enjoyment with those aspects: but if you were hoping for this to be like MeiQ and have some fun level design and combat to go with the lewdness, then unfortunately you’ll end up being disappointed by an underbaked, unengaging gameplay experience.
Let’s be utterly blunt here: if you buy this game, it’s almost certainly not for the sake of the core gameplay loop. Either it’s to complete your collection of IFI ports, dungeon crawlers, or just fully embracing the insanity of the lewd, thin story in this game. Unfortunately, Moero Chronicle doesn’t exactly have much merit to it outside of the eye candy, with the dungeon crawling feeling very, very shoehorned in and everything but the suggestive parts seeming like the afterthought here, and I could only stand around two hours before I realized that there wasn’t much of a enjoyable game here.
Considering how IF has made many other dungeon crawler games, some with suggestive elements that don’t overdo it like this game does, with better level design, combat, and gameplay loops, I can’t really recommend this one much at all: there seems to be another game on Switch that’s shinier and newer than this, so if you still feel urges to pick up this, you might as well grab Moero Crystal instead. Or you know, one of the better, more game-y dungeon crawlers on Switch. Still, being that this is a switch port from IF that runs super well, and the core gameplay is functional, I can’t really knock it too hard at the current asking price, there’s just not much exciting about this game, besides the obvious.
I give Moero Chronicle Hyper a 5 out of 10.