Today it is fashionable to make games in the spirit of different decades - the 50s, 60s, 70s and especially the 80s. But the authors Desura of Orangeblood decided to plunge us into the atmosphere of the 90s. Apparently, that's why one of the four main characters is a DJ and never parted with her boombox - almost like the hero of Disco Elysium . Only, unlike him, these groovy girls prefer the powerful cry of arms to the power of words, since there is definitely no shortage with him.
So, the action of Orangeblood takes place in Japan, on the man-made island of New Kosa near Okinawa. The authors themselves describe it as "a place where debauchery and exotic have long since become nowhere more familiar." And indeed, New Koz resembles a sort of pirate free-rider, full of colorful personalities and criminals of all stripes.
The developers tell an alternative story in which, even in the late 90s, the tough confrontation between the largest superpowers did not end. Therefore, the CIA and the KGB are constantly mentioned here. And our heroines, typical dressed-up anime girls, are either mercenaries, or spies and even double agents - in the beginning it was specially made so that nothing really was clear, but that was only more interesting.
In any case, they have to perform different tasks for money, but first you need to beat off the bandit’s favorite club, which will become the base for the girls - you can sleep there, save, and from there they will drive their cars to different parts of the island. In the process, that same “DJ” with a boombox, naturally, gets up to the console and cuts the music to the full.
That's the whole Orangeblood- A combination of peppy music, drive, cute, but at the same time lively, not rushing into the pocket of girls with assault rifles, aggressive robots and cute dogs, one of which can be found on the streets of the city, brought to your club and named by any name. In general, a typical hardened hodgepodge typical of many Japanese games - especially considering that it is allowed to visit eateries here at any time in order to buy lunches bought there (first pay, then take food and sit down at the table!) To correct the girl’s health shaken in battle.
In addition to eateries, there are many other places, including a gun shop and even a black market in the subway. In my car, I repeat, we are free to travel to any accessible point of the island at any time. True, first a car will have to dump a rather large amount. But you can get a discount if you complete a side task and teach a lesson to one man hiding somewhere in the gateways. In the process, it turns out that he stole from our customer the cool clothes “+6 strength” in an online game - the authors are all right with humor.
The gameplay itself is also typical of JRPG - we’ll explore the territory, save keys to open chests, complete tasks, take part in step-by-step fights and clear multi-level “dungeons”, where in the end some huge boss robot is waiting. Plus, of course, we do a lot of grind to defeat especially strong enemies. Characteristics of the heroines are automatically pumped up as a set of levels, but it is better to pick up equipment personally, although there is a function of auto-equipment, there are a lot of objects, each has unique characteristics that also affect each other. For example, if you choose a girl an automatic rifle, then it makes sense to put on her shoes or armor, which just give a bonus to the damage from rifles.
In general, each type of weapon, as a rule, has its own interesting effects - one shotgun sets fire to enemies, the other with a certain probability immobilizes and weakens them for a while, the third can cause double damage, but at the same time immobilize the shooter. There is even a berserk machine, taking which your ward will get out of control and will decide for herself who and how to attack. The probability of a particular effect (as well as a hit) being triggered is determined randomly - in one move you can miss everyone, and at the other time you can “stop” everyone. On the one hand, it’s not entirely honest, on the other - intrigue and the need to constantly be on the alert.
At first, only two heroines are available, then two more girlfriends join them. Each has its own role in the battle. One, for example, cleverly shoots with pistols and machine guns, the other is a kung fu master and deftly scatters enemies in close combat, the third is ideal for supporting allies.
The battles in mechanics themselves are quite simple and do not flaunt particularly sophisticated mechanics, which you won’t understand without Japanese and a bottle of vodka. But here there are some highlights. It is very important to correctly use the skills of the characters, which often allow you to destroy almost all opponents in one move. At the same time, energy for their use (SP) accumulates directly in battle, as damage is done. You can’t restore it in almost any other way - after the victory, it’s important to shoot another enemy approaching you in time, immobilize him and initiate the battle yourself, because in this case the accumulated SPs will be saved for a new fight, and not reset to zero.
Orangeblood does not offer interesting new mechanics, but overall it is a fascinating and varied Japanese role-playing game, which puts primarily on the atmosphere, mood, unique surroundings and charismatic heroines. Of course, not everyone will like it, but if you are unevenly breathing in pixel JRPGs, then you should try.
Pros: interesting plot; non-trivial surroundings; colorful heroines; unique atmosphere with humor and references to the 90s; peppy battles; bosses are challenging; many types of equipment with interesting effects; free study of locations; nice picture and lively music that does not bother, despite the constant repetitions.
Cons: technical flaws; almost no ideas and unusual mechanics.