The Caligula Effect: Overdose Review
A disembodied female voice asks you, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ You see a blurry figure in front of you. She then asks what your first and last name are, she then asks you some questions about yourself and why you wanted to escape.
This person finally comes into focus and she introduces herself as μ (pronounced mew).
Everything goes white all of a sudden.
You are now starting a new year of high school and the announcer is calling out the representatives for that year. You are then called to be the representative for second-year students. You have prepared several topics that you can talk about but can only use one.
You finish your speech and The announcer thanks you for your time. He then announces who is the representative for the first years.
As he is walking towards the podium you notice something, his face, it’s looking like it’s glitching, like a monitor just broke. A black mask appears over his face as he asked in a monotone, slightly menacing voice…
“Is there something wrong Senpai?”
You look at the crowd of students and many started to have the same glitchy heads…you turn to run and slam into the principal. You look up and his head is gray and glitching heavily. He reaches out to you as you run off the stage and out the doors…
Caligula Effect Overdose is an action RPG set in a world that was created by two AI’s that wanted to make sure no one felt lost, alone and unwanted. In this world, you can never grow old or want for anything as it would be immediately accessible to you.
The beginning of the game is a mixture of game-engine and fully animated and voiced cutscenes. The animation is quite well done and I currently wish there was more of them.
The story revolves you and the Go Home Club, a group was of students who can also see the weird glitches in the world. You get a glimpse of the main characters to the story during the opening scene.
The graphics are nicely done on the Switch, and while there are some framerate issues in some of the larger, more active areas, getting to sub-20fps at times, I never felt that the game was unplayable or ugly in any way.
The combat is quite deep if you want it to be, allowing you to plan how you want to attack. I just found myself mashing the A button, selecting the basic attack for the majority of the time.
With the combat, you have three attacks to select amongst your 4 party members every turn. In the beginning, one basic attack, one downed attack, and one air only attack. The downed attack is only effective when the enemy is knocked off their feet. The Air Only is when the enemy has been hit into the air.
You can effectively juggle the enemy in the air with attacks but it is quite hard to get the perfect timing down. Overall the combat is fun when you want it to be, and be quite quick if needed.
In regards to battle, you can actually set a specific difficulty if you want it to be really easy or extremely hard. With the extreme difficulty, you really have to do well-made combos and take advantage of every attack. You can change this at any time in the menus.
As I mentioned the graphics are nothing to write home about, but to note the textures on the characters are quite lo-res to make sure they don’t use too much memory. Most notable when walking around and looking at characters faces, and the outfits.
It looks like they are going for a more watercolor/cell-shaded look which lends itself better than trying to look like cutscenes. It can be a bit jarring which is probably the reason why they opted out of doing less animated cutscenes.
There is voice-acting in the game, which is Japanese only, but the performances are done well. The writing is pretty good as well. At first glance, this reminds me of a persona game with you unleashing the power that is inside you in the form of weapons unique to that person.
Including the fact that you are meeting new people, forming special bonds with them with the Causality Link system, and chatting with them via your phone via WIRE messaging app.
The menus are actually my favorite thing in the game so far actually (which I know sounds like a negative connotation towards the game, but it really isn’t). The stylistic approach of it, the mixture of character art and in-game models are nicely done. The character art in the menus are very nicely done and the small details are very welcome.
The one negative thing is that it looks like they have higher quality in-game models here than what you are using exploring the world and in battle. I say this because the textures, the shadows, and overall detail is better here.
But in the menus, you can learn new skills, chat with your party and others using WIRE, change your equipment and look at more of the lore of the game itself.
Overall this game is fun to play and can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. The character relationship system is fun and can yield some interesting scenes. From my experience, the choices you make in the game, don’t really affect the story all that much, just the reactions you would see. You still end up in the same place.
If you are a fan of the “high school student who gets powers and goes on an adventure to save the world” kind of animes and games, I say check it out. Otherwise, there are better games out there. I believe this is the first of its kind on the Switch so this might be a good filler until Persona 5 eventually comes to the console.
Fun Time Waster
This game was reviewed on a Nintendo Switch, in both docked and undocked mode.
The download code was provided by NIS America.