The Caligula Effect is one of those games that you begin having high hopes for as the start of something amazing. Probably because at first glance the gameplay makes you think of the beloved Persona series that we all fell in love with. Persona has such an amazing cast of characters and great storyline that makes you never want to stop playing the game. Of course our hopes also were high for Caligula because of the fact that the writer for the Persona series is the one behind this game. Now obviously this is not Persona but due to the close similarity of the two games it was needed to be mentioned that when playing this game if you compare it to Persona the entire time you will be upset with the gameplay and character development because again, and I can’t stress this enough… this is not Persona. Read on for our full The Caligula Effect review.
Title: The Caligula Effect
Available On: PlayStation Vita
Reviewed On: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Game Provided by the Publisher for the Sake of This Review
The Caligula Effect takes place in another dimension that was created by a popular VR star. I saw a lot of people give the example of if Hatsune Miku wanted to create the perfect world with no problems of the real world and sucked her fans in by listening to her songs. Hopefully this helps explain the game somewhat. The game starts off right away showing that you are now aware that something is wrong with the world and freak out. You are then somewhat informed of what is going on and are placed straight into battle to defeat the first enemy. While learning the battle system, it was extremely easy to understand and fun to actually do.
You later meet the President of the Go Home Club where you are informed that you are in a virtual world Metaverse and the virtuadoll creatures (µ) and Aria. As a student who is now aware of what is going on you begin to work with your classmates to try and save everyone and go home. There isn’t an actual dungeon because the whole world is pretty much one surrounded with enemies who were under the influence of the Ostinato Musicians and µ music. The battle system was the best aspect of the game. It was basic turn based RPG style but with all the choices you have and being able to customize every move you make and getting a preview of what might happen with your choices during battle to try and defeat the enemy as fast as possible was great and fun. You did not have to take battling as seriously while you are going against enemies who are way under level as you and when you would get to a enemy who was a little tougher you had to do some changes so that way you wouldn’t lose. With this if you were trying to grind to level up it helped make it not so boring.
One thing I noticed while trying to grind and level up was the EXP you gained didn’t have a difference no matter who you fought except for the boss battles. So you could go back to the school and do multiple battles with enemies and get just as much EXP as if you fought enemies close to your level. So I mean it was nice but at the same time it kind of sucked that if you had a harder battle you didn’t gain as much EXP as you would of thought and hoped.
While exploring the world of The Caligula Effect and unlocking more destinations along the way you will realize the great soundtrack this game has. At first the music is great and catchy but you soon realize whichever area you are in, it is a short track that is on repeat. Plus there are lyrics to the song so eventually if you are paying attention to the music and are like me you will catch yourself singing along while playing.
I found myself enjoying The Caligula Effect more than I thought. The game offered a great soundtrack, fun battle system, and as you become better friends with the students in the Go Home Club, you were able to unlock character episodes to know more of their story, much like social links in the Persona series. The game fell flat at times and I wish they would’ve spent more time on the characters all together to help make the story a little better. With all the flaws present, you could still find yourself enjoying a game that others may question because of the slow yet fast paced of everything and the way it doesn’t really tell you where to go exactly. You’re forced to just explore every single section of the area you’re in to get to the next point in the game. All in all, The Caligula Effect is a fun game but it could’ve been better.