Friday, 12 May 2017

Otome Review: Mystic Messengers First Impressions


Game Description:

You were looking for an app, just to kill some time, and stumbled upon an app called "Mystic Messenger". It sounded interesting so you downloaded it. 

Once you opened it, you found yourself chatting with someone nicknamed "Unknown". They persuaded you to go to some studio apartment. 

As soon as you walked into to the apartment, your app is suddenly connected to a mystic group chat with attractive guys!? After a long chat, they ask you to join their secret party planning association called RFA...



Title: Mystic Messengers
Route:  Casual routes ( Zen, Jaehee and Yoosung)
Developer: Cheritz Co. Ltd
Genre: Romantic Sim, Slice of Life, Mature YA, NA, interactive adventure, Party Games
Platform Played: iPhone/ iOS
Official Website (Click Here)

Avalable for download on : iOS, Android

Disclaimer: CGs/SS/IMAGES belongs to Cheritz Co. Ltd.

Hello people of the interweb! I'm back with a brand spanking new otome review after a LONG time blog! So recently I upgraded from the iphone 5s to the iphone 7 plus and one of the things I was excited about was the fact that this new phone have a heck load of storage space ( its exciting upgrading from a 16GB phone to a 128GB! no more storage shortages and constantly have to transfer my photo album to the computer!!!). So one of the games I first download was Mystic Messenger as its the game that blew up everywhere! Tumblr, twitter, Instagram heck even Kotaku was talking about it so I finally let myself play Mystic Messenger since my new phone can handle the game and the memory space. 

Yes do note that if you are planing to play this game it requires a hella lotta memory on your phone.

Game Plot

The game starts out with the MC ( AKA. you, the player ) downloading a mysterious yet interesting app from the app store of your choice (it can be Apple or Google Play your pick^^).




Upon downloading the app the MC finds a chatroom and is lead by 'Unknown' (yes the person you are communication IS named 'Unknown' till its known) to a apartment owned by Rika (who unfortunately passed away prior to the events of the game) the founder of 'Rika's Fundraising Association' aka R.F.A. which is a charity organization run by her and her 6 friends.


The MC interacts and befriends with the the existing members through the R.F.A. portal and chatroom, text messages and calls and is tasked to invite guests to the party through emails. As the game progresses the MC gets to know her 6 new acquaintances, learning more of the R.F.A. and maybe developing a relationship in the process.


Characters

Like your typical otome game this game has a diverse cast of characters in terms of personality and background though what surprised me was that there was a female option in the game. I like the cast. You can tell they are close and that they care for each other like family and even if they have conflict, they will find a way to resolve it.

Now the characters are split into two types:

1) Casual Route (Zen, Yoosung and Jaehee): Where advice to start here as the characters are introduction characters to the story.

2) Deep Mode (Jumin and 707): where its advice to wait till after you complete the casual route as their stories not only reveal more of the mystery of the game but also it's gonna cost you 80 hour glasses to unlock each route.

And the advice is to unlock/play the character in the order of:

Zen >>> Yoosung >>> Jaehee >>> Jumin >>> 707

As for writing this I'm giving my thoughts and first impressions on the characters based of what I've played so far which are the casual routes (Yoosung, Jaehee and Zen's route). 

Jumin Han


The heir of C&R International, he is the son of a wealthy business man and is usually away on business trips through the routes. He's usually very cool headed and mature however due to his very pampered upbringing, he views the world differently which makes him butt-heads with Zen. I don't really know what to think of this guy as on one hand he is amusing to read about especially when it have to do with 'commoner labeled' things or regarding his cat Elizabeth 3rd (like the dude spams mostly uploads cat pics in the chat) but on the other hand I find him kinda meh and mysterious so I guess I'm gonna have to eventually read his route (and hunt for 80 hourglass) to figure out this guy.

Zen



Up and coming musical actor and an A-class lovable narcissist. HOLY MOLY he is basically the Mystic Messenger's version of Tomaki from Ouran High School Host Club!

 

There are moments that I'm sure the developers threw in for fan service (not that I don't mind ^^) where he spams the chat with selfies and there was this one moment in Yoosung's route where he reminded us of his raunchy jalapeno stage play! Even so I like his character. I especially like his interaction with Seven, Yoosung and Jaehee (especially in Jaehee's route! its where their friendship shines).

His route to be honest is kinda meh. Its something you should not take too seriously as the choices he favors are all to boost his ego and make me gag as they sound too lovely dovely fangirling. But he does have a decent back story of how and why he becomes an actor as well as we learn about the relationship with his estranged family. One thing to note is that his route is very different from the others as its the only one where he meets and interact with the MC before the Party (as the MC is not allowed to leave the apartment due to multiple issues) but also he has A LOT of visual novels and its the only one so far I've played where you get to make choices while playing the visual novel moments. 

In a way I can see why they recommend to start with his route as it's probably one of the lighter stories with a lot of drama, fan service and excitement.

Jaehee Kang



Personal Assistant to Jumin. She's serious and professional most of the time but the best part of her is when she let her emotions slip and fangirl about Zen. I like her more than I expected especially since its nice to have someone in game to fangirl and die of nosebleed with over Zen sometimes ridiculously sexy fan service pics. Also in Yoosung's route we learn a bit of her past which is covered in detailed in her own route.

Also she's kinda overwork cause of the nature of her job and her super demanding boss so poor Jaehee is stressed out through the routes i've played especially her own. Jaehee has a really sad back story and its lightly touch upon in other routes but of cause goes in deep in her own route where we learned that she lost her parents at a young age and while taken in by some relatives she learned to be strong an independent so that she does not have to rely on them. 

I enjoyed her route more than I expected and though do note its not a yuri route (girlxgirl) but more of a BFF route. Otome is weird I know.  I also like how even though Jaehee is strong and independent she learns as the route progresses that its okay to be vulnerable and relax and to let others help her when needed. 


Yoosung Kim


A college student studying medicine and addicted to playing a game called LOLOL. Shy and sweet he's a happy go lucky guy on the outside but in the inside he is lost with what he wants to do in his life as he is not doing well with his studies and have joined and given up on multiple clubs at his school. Also since the loss of his cousin Rika he has been playing more of LOLOL in order to cope with the pain and grieve of losing someone he love and admire.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE GUY IN THE GAME!! I adore this guy to bits partly because he's the character type i tend to gravitate towards more when playing otome games. Through playing his route he's that junior that you can't help but want to look after and save from his demons! Its hard to talk about his route without spoiling the entire wtf moment of the route so I'll get more into depth on his character if i get around to playing all parts of this routes and reviewing it but do note its very heavy and I'm kinda wondering why didn't they classify his route as the deep route... 

707 aka Seven



Or also could be called Seven is a hacker THE GAMES OFFICIAL POSTER BOY and is the one in charged of the the security and the RFA portal that we are playing this messenger game on.

He's playful and jockster personality makes him instantly likable which explains why he's the poster boy for the Mystic Messengers. Nothing much is known about him apart from the fact he has a very unhealthy lives off Honey Buddha chips (i want to try this!!!) and PH D. Pepper Coke. All i know is that its advice to play his route last as that's where all the mysteries of Mystic Messenger unfolds from.

So far from all the routes I've played I can see why people are tempted to jump straight to his character. He's a cool and easily likable from his sarcastic sense of humor yet he's very caring towards his friends especially Yoosung (though he tends to also mess with him and his innocence lolll A LOT) and Zen (who he tends to tease him through the game).

Game Play

Your aim is to established a relationship with one of the five romancable characters by raising heart levels with interacting of choosing choices in the chatroom and visual novels. 


As the game is formatted like a messenger app  its called mystic messenger duhhhhhh the game play/ character interactions comes in the form of chat rooms, phone calls, emails and text messages along with the typical visual novels and CG cut scenes you would expect in an otome game.


What's really unique about Mystic Messenger is that it follows the internal clock of your phone/devices so the characters will come to the chatroom ever couple of hours more or less to interact with you. Also if you miss a chat you can use hourglass to 'buy back time' to interact with the characters in the chatroom since they are programed to not sleep and be up at like 3/4am when a normal human will be sleeping unless you are up at that time then power to you! I like my sleep so i spend a lotta hourglass for that.
 

Each round routes last for 11 days. It starts with a 'Common Route' for 4 days before branching out into the character route that get the most heart affection. So let's say you're aiming for Yoosung's route try and choose choices in the Common route that are more favorable to him over the others.

As for playing the game I've encountered both the good ending and the normal ending but not any of the bad endings (there are at least 8 bad endings in the game). The endings are affected by the amount of heart affection you build through the game when interacting with the characters in the chat rooms.

 

Once you're done with a route there is an 'After ending' where its basically and epilogue of you and the character's life after the good ending of the game. I've only played Yoosung's and Zen's After ending! Need to get the other routes but its gonna cost me another 20 Hourglass which I'm saving for the deep route. 

Also there are a few DLC events in the game to commemorate celebrations like there is one for Christmas, Valentines day (as seen above) and April Fools day. Its not a priority to unlock them unless you have the hourglass but it is advice not to play them till you unlock all the routes so that you won't spoil the story. Similar to why you should not unlock the DEEP ROUTE cause SPOILERS!!


Don't worry if you miss a call or mess up a text as those are just extras thrown into the game to make the interactions more lifelike experience and won't affect the heart affection level or the ending.


A big part why I don't want to miss a chatroom is because of THIS!!! Party guests! One important elements of this game is to invite guest to the party at the end of the route. Its your responsibility to answer emails from the guest to convince them to come to the party as it effects the ending of the game. You'll get the normal ending if you invite less than 10 guests and the good ending when you invite more than 10 guests.

Recommend using the email guide on OtomeObsess and I rely on this heavily when playing the game cause I'm shitty with making decisions and perusing guest to come to the party lolll.


You can play this game without spending a dime and its also easy to earn those in-game currency which are:

Hourglasses: The premium currency and can be purchased with real life $$$ via your device store account or exchanged with the hearts you earn in-game. 100 hearts = 1 hourglass.

Hearts: you earn them from not only participating in chats/text messages/visual novels when you answer a favorable answer towards a character/characters but you can also    as well as looking out for Seven's spaceship and hoping that it gives you some hearts. You get hearts and occasionally hourglass in chat so all you gotta do is just keep earning those hearts to exchange for the hourglass.

Look/Sound


I really like the interface of the game and that it's set up to look like a chat portal. Its easy to play around and get used to the features of the game. The closest IRL counterpart of this app I can think of is LINE. 

The game is partially voiced so you'll hear the character here an there in the chat but you'll also hear them talk on the phone call and sometimes the visual novels. 

The voice acting done in this game is all in Korean but with subtitles and I actually like it. I don't know or understand Korean, not immersed in it in any ways since I don't listen to K-POP or K-Drama but I enjoy the voice acting especially for Yoosung Zen and 707. 

The opening theme song 'Mystic Messengers' is really catchy and sucks you in excited for the game! If you go to the Cheritz youtube channel you can listen to the English version of the of the song as well as some behind the scenes of them recording.


Also the end credits theme is 'Like the Sun in the Sky' is a beautiful but bittersweet ballet that gives me a lotta feels whenever the credits roll. 

Narration/Writing

I like the writing in this game! Its hilarious the interaction among the characters as they banter about or tease Yoosung. Its also very character emotionally driven as we learn more about the characters and their troubles. Its fun uncovering more and more chat rooms, getting to know the characters and the mystery of the story. Also what's great with this game it its very self aware and makes fun of itself and the whole otome/reverse harem genre but also reference a lot of pop culture and in real life companies/people.

The choices were well done especially when given a choice to be sassy/snarky. My only complain is for Zen's route where I really was not a fan of being all lovely dovely heart eyes at Zen during the choices. I felt really stupid making some of the ego boosting decisions in his route made me CRINGED! *sigh the things I do just to raise heart levels and not end up with the bad ending But his swoon worthiness during the talky bits made up for it. No correction actually the dude who made me swoon more during the talky bits is Yoosung's! Seriously the guy is so sweet especially with the way he ask the MC out its just heartwarming!!!!! Also I will have post Screenshots of how he ask the MC out but I don't want to spoil you guys or get in trouble with copyrighted

Of the routes I've played, Yoosung's the best written but also the most emotional while Jaehee is the most exciting and unexpected route that I grew to love. 

Overall

Its a good game... but I don't recommend this to everyone. *I'm gonna hide* 

While this is a a great refresher from the traditional Japanese and Voltage Otome I've been play non stop for the last couple of years since discovering the genre I was not a fan of how I have to babysit my phone just so I don't miss a chat or phone call (and if any of you guys don't already know from the style of me playing games, I'm kinda a perfectionist and MUST achieve 100% everyday for the chats) every couple of hours for 11 days straight. 

This is not a game I'll recommend especially if you are new to otome (maybe play this game after playing a voltage style romantic novel otome games), a student who is not allowed to bring their phones to school (this still exist in my home country so its why I'm mentioning this) or someone with a demanding job that you can't use your phone through the day since you'll miss out a good chunk of the chat rooms as the game is just as tedious and demanding as those 90's tamagochi. 

I'll recommend if you love otome games to give this a go if you have like a long vacation or if your life is flexible trough the as its a unique take to the otome genre, have a likable cast of characters with really good voice acting and CGs. Also if you like K-Drama/entertainment and want to hear a beloved Oppa whispering sweet nothings into your ears during the phone calls this is the game for you.

Rating:


Let me know your thoughts on the app I mentioned. Also follow me on tumblr (rotantrm) and the hashtag  #row plays otome for more of my otome rambling/ game play commentary.

Also Check out the Otome Games section of this site for more otome games recommendations and just to see how trash I am for the genre. 

Now if you'll excuse me...I need to earn more hourglasses for the deep route and romance with 707 and his Honey Buddha Chips xD

Till Next Time










 

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