After a long and (not so) painful wait, I finally got my hands on Nitroplus’ new game, Gekkou no Carnevale (Moonlit Carnival). And I got to say that this game is really sweet. It really worths all the wait. So far, I’ve only finished one route but I will stop for a while to write the review about this game so you can get the general idea of its awesomeness.
The game takes place in fictional Italy. Italy is famous for its famous Automatter, an antique style of android that can act like a normal human (similiar to the tale Pinnochio). The main character is Romeo, a taxi driver that’s living with his Automata, Ana. Romeo is a former member of notorious mafia gang, the Orma Rossa, where most of its members are werewolves. As a werewolf himself, Romeo possesses a great fighting ability which can be considered as a benefit for Orma Rossa. After quitting the gang, Romeo was expecting a happy and peaceful life but one day he accidentally got caught in a fight between a girl and a member of Orma Rossa. Because of his action, he was considered as a threat to Orma Rossa. Then another mafia gang, the Luparia, emerged from shadow. It’s a mysterious group led by a man with stigmata, Pius. What makes this group special is how all of its members are Automata. And it seems that Pius has an interest in Ana. Throughout the story Romeo must strive through the battle between Orma Rossa and Luparia and at the same time he must unravel the dark secret behind Ana’s past and the mystery behind Automata technology.
As you can see, this game really has an intriguing storyline that mixes mystery and horror elements. There are four routes in this game and they’re Ana, Rebeca, Noel, and Lunaria. So I can say this game is quite long. The atmosphere of the game is also great. Nitroplus did a good job on making the player feels like they’re in Italy. And if you’ve already seen the cg, you can see how beautiful the graphic is. Nitroplus boasts this game as Gothic Noir ADV and they really did a great job on that. The coloring really makes this game has a noir feeling in it. Urobuchi Gen is also a great storyteller. Sure he doesn’t use strange words and paraphrasing like Nasu does but he has his own way of making the story comes to life. The game also makes many references to old European fairy tales. The most noticable ones are Pinnochio and Little Red Riding Hood.
And just like most Nitroplus games, this game is accompanied with great soundtracks. It has some Carnival-ish music and several BGM that has the feeling of Italian folk music. But for the battle scenes, it uses upbeat rock and metal music. The opening theme is Nageki no Ningyou sang by Yoko and it surely does have that eerie noir feeling in it. But the OP scene is a bit strange. Sure it fits the theme of the game very well but somehow those blank-eyed mechanical dolls are a bit scary to me (or I’m just a big chicken).
So far, I can say that this game really delivers. Many people said that Urobuchi lost his touch after Demonbane but this game really proves otherwise. This game is filled by everything I like to see. Ass-kicking characters, badass battles, European style story, cute girls, good H-scenes, and a psycopathic villain (Pius FTW!) I’ve only finished Ana’s route so far but I’m already hooked to this game. Can’t wait for Lunaria’s route!