Genre: Adventure, Casual, Simulation
Developer: onomatope*, MiKandi Japan
Publisher: onomatope*, MiKandi Japan
Release Date: Jul 21, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger
How often does a visual novel have both beautiful looking and sounding characters that amaze us in an audiovisual way as well as very deep and developed characters with a very nice story? Usually, it’s one or the other that dominates, like in the case of the Sweetest Monster with a great story and characters but without any focus on sex and how cute the characters were or like plenty of neko VNs that have extremely cute looking characters with voice acting on par with the visuals but without that much focus on the actual story or the characters’ personalities. Libra of the Vampire Princess is one of those visual novels that manages to do both.
The story is about Shuma, an ordinary guy who is turned into a vampire and just so happens to be the son of a vampire progenitor that died and is thus the new progenitor. Yes, the story is a bit cliche and tropey and it is easy to predict what will happen next or even how the story will generally play out. Despite that, it is told in an interesting way, so the tropeyness of it can be overlooked. It also does have some genuine surprises in store, managing to go beyond, but also subverts our expectations at times.
The main character Shuma is alone, as both of his parents passed away, even though he’s still in high school. He used to live with his mother who died a month before the start of the game. His father seemingly abandoned him at a young age and it comes as a surprise when he finds out he was a progenitor. The most important, although not the only, characteristic of this character is also a bit tropey; he denies being a vampire, fights against it, tries not to drink blood or do any of the vampire-ish things. It is not very original but the way he develops as a character, from someone who doesn’t want to be a vampire to someone who accepts his role as a progenitor, is very cool and interesting to read. He is a layered character despite the lightheartedness of the game, as is every other character.
I will not spoil the girls here too much, but I do have to mention some of them. Mari is Shuma’s new maid, but she is also a werewolf and, just like in every anime and visual novel, she is a cute sort of werewolf in the same light as most nekos. Instead of meowing and such, she barks and talks with actual dogs which exist in the game. Lycoris and Aoi go hand in hand, one of them, Aoi, being a vampire hunter in the service of the Pope and God, and Lycoris her best friend. Both human, that doesn’t make them any less intriguing as characters, as their backstories are amazing. In fact, all of the girls the player can go with are very great characters with amazing backstories. All of them start, just like the main character, from a trope but actually get a lot of development as the story goes on.
There are three main routes and each of them is written consistently in quality and varies slightly in length. On the store page, 50+ hours are promised, and, while that depends on how much time you take to read through it and whether you listen to every voice acted line fully, dawdle looking at certain scenes and such, I can see all three routes taking an average player over 50 hours.
As already stated, the voice acting and the look of the characters are super cute, as they should be. Backgrounds and other bits are also well done, but nobody really pays much attention to them in a visual novel such as this. I must say that the action scenes are nicely animated and sound effects are on point. They do create tension and excitement, which is part of the reason that Libra is so fun, aside from the story and cuteness. All of those fight scenes have one goal, one conclusion, of course. That goal is getting naughty with the defeated girl. I played without an 18+ patch and, from what I can tell, it’s not out yet except for the kickstarter backers. Even without the patch, the erotic scenes are still sexy and well written for the most part and especially well voice acted.
Despite the story, character development, fight and erotic scenes and everything in general being well written, there is a definite, albeit small, issue with the writing. As Libra was first written in Japanese and later translated into English, there are some awkward translations here and there that made me do a double take to figure out what they meant and what was going on. Nothing too major and serious but still worth a mention.
Last thing I want to talk about is the music. It is well put together and, even more that just that, it’s incredible, ranging from lighthearted rock-sounding themes for most of the game to organ music made for some “scarier” scenes. I realize that organ music is cliche when it comes to vampires, but it fits well with them so why not use it occasionally?
If you’re into vampires and want a visual novel about them, want a generally great story and characters but also a cute look and sound, you should definitely get the game for yourself. Keep in mind; the price is a bit steep, so unless you’re ready to pay such a high price for a visual novel, I would wait for a sale. Despite that price, I do recommend this game to any fans of visual novels with adult themes. We need more visual novels about vampires.
- Deep and interesting story
- Well developed and layered characters
- Voice acting is amazing and cute
- Visuals are also extremely cute
- Despite being deep and interesting, story is a bit tropey
- Characters also start out from different tropes even though they overcome them
- Some weird translations from time to time
Faris gives Libra of the Vampire Princess a Drastik Measure 8.9 out of 10 (89)
Libra of the Vampire Princess is available on Steam for $39.99 (USD).