London Detective Mysteria is the latest otome visual novel to hit the market, and it very much reminds us of the extremely popular Code: Realize. Fans of that franchise will find themselves extremely happy upon getting into this one. You play as Emily Whitley, the only child of a noble family. Through the heartbreak of losing her parents, Emily is cared for by her trusty butler Pendleton. Not only is he good looking, but he also seems to be perfect at, well… everything. Remind you of someone? This character will strike a chord with fans of Sebastian from Black Butler, we assure you. Sadly because of the vast age difference and him being more of a father figure to Emily, he is not a romance option. But fear not, as there are five great love interests to choose from. We have Herlock Holmes, William Watson, Jack Millers, Jean Lupin, and Kenichirou Akechi.
Title: London Detective Mysteria
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: Karin Entertainment
Available On: PlayStation Vita
Reviewed On: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Game Provided By XSEED Games for the Purpose of This Review
The game begins with Emily being invited to the Queen’s party, where she will begin on a journey to a new life and learn how to be a great detective. The Queen asks us to assist Holmes and Watson on a case to find her beloved lost cat. After succeeding in the case, the following day she will gift upon you a ring to assist in becoming a great detective. Plus, she enrolls Emily into a proper school, and thus the events of London Detective Mysteria are well underway.
Lucky for us all of the love interests happen to be in the same class, which helps tremendously. Now, let us say that in the beginning, it took awhile for the romance mechanics to click, as they work slightly different than in previous visual novels. We even restarted the game because we felt as if we were doing something wrong, but we actually weren’t. If you find yourself in the same situation, don’t stress it too much and just continue forward. Things will click as you move through the narrative.
What we discovered was that each chapter in the beginning was done solely to assist Emily in building up her skills. When you hit “select”, you are able to see the love interests and how far the affection meter is at the moment, plus you can see your score as a detective. How you answer to a few questions that Pendleton will ask before attending school for the first time will determine how good of a detective you are. The questions are rather simple, but if you do end up choosing a wrong answer, you can easily reload to get the best score. Answering correctly will start you off with a rank of E, and choosing everything correctly throughout the campaign will eventually get you up to a rank of A.
Emily’s sole goal is to find out what happened to her parents, and each night Pendleton will come into your room to give you small pieces of information on what happened. We enjoyed this genuine father-daughter relationship that was being presented, and made it relatively easy to connect with each character. But even though the love interests are extremely handsome, and the scenery and art palette is beautiful, London Detective Mysteria is a darker visual novel. You wouldn’t think so at first, but as the game continues on, Emily finds herself in some horrible situations. The whole “damsel in distress” aspect will come into play a lot, but luckily she still is a stronger female lead character, especially considering her age.
Because of the rather slow start and intense ending, there is a lot of great opportunities found throughout to truly develop each one of the characters. You will slowly learn about your love interest and develop a deep trust in them just as they do with you. The two of you will go on to work cases together, such as solving the mysteries of Jack the Ripper, finding out who the Gentleman Thief is, saving the Queen, and a lot more. Emily plays a big part in finding the truth and solving each case, so maybe playing the damsel in distress isn’t so bad if it leads to a good ending, right?
One thing we felt this otome did wonderfully that we hope to see more of in the future is the ability to also play the male character during the story. This allowed for a more in-depth look on how they too were feeling, what they were going through, and hear their personal love for your character. It’s a great idea that we will now forever enjoy because it then becomes both of their story instead of just presenting one side of it. Upon finishing the good ending of your love interest, a mini-story will unlock that provides the extra cherry on top and allows you to have a little more to look forward to. Plus, more pictures! Who doesn’t love more pictures?
We definitely feel like London Detective Mysteria lived up to the hype and gave fans an otome visual novel that we can appreciate for some time to come. A great cast of characters, intriguing narrative, and several twists and turns will keep you engaged from the slower beginning to the exciting endings. This will be going in our personal top ten favorite visual novel list for sure, as it continues to get better and better with each subsequent playthrough.
8.5 / 10