Collar X Malice (Vita)

Outside of the Phoenix Wright games (which I consider to be more of a point and click adventure), I have never tried a game in the ‘visual novel’ genre.  So when Aksys sent me a code for Collar X Malice on the Vita for review, I decided I’d finally give this type of game a try.  In the game, a terrorist organization has already killed several police officers in a Japanese city, and now the government has quarantined the area and given all citizens over a certain age a gun so they can defend themselves.  This has put the whole city in disarray.  You read the story from the point of view of a female Japanese police officer.  Shortly into the story, she gets kidnapped by the organization and is forced to wear a special collar so they can monitor her actions.  If she speaks of the incident to the police, the bad guys could remotely inject a lethal poison from the collar into her.  She also finds a secret detective group who wants to help her, but with her life on the line, who can she really trust?  That’s what you’ll have to find out!

Most of what you’ll do in the game is read text.  There may be some pictures, limited animations, and Japanese voice acting to go along with it, but again, most of it is text.  You can view a glossary of important terms and characters, as well as check out case files, too.  Why would you want to do that?  Well, sometimes in the game you can investigate areas and make choices.  These choices may end the game abruptly or strengthen your relationship with one or more characters.  So you may want to save often and have multiple save files in case you mess up.  It’s kind of like those ‘choose your own adventure’ books I hated as a kid.  Sometimes you may even have to shoot your gun in a timed mini-game event.  But again, most of what you’ll do in this game is just read a lot of words.

I think I would’ve enjoyed this game more if there was a bit more gameplay elements spread out more evenly in the story.  Plus the subject matter didn’t keep me interested.  Too serious and heavy handed.  People who enjoy reading all types of mature Japanese manga comic books may still like this, though.  As for me, I’ll probably just stick with Phoenix Wright.


Kid Factor:

Collar X Malice is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Drug Reference, Mild Sexual Themes, Strong Language, and Violence.  Most of these descriptors are presented in still pictures and in the text only.  I really can’t imagine a kid being interested in this type of game at all.  Even so, it’s best for mature teens and adults only.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!