Over my years playing adult games 5 games have really been able to grab my attention and keep me using all my spare time to play until I beat them. The first 3 are “The Last Sovereign”, “Kamidori Alchemy Meister”, and Sengoku Rance. The other 2 are both in the Sunrider series. What makes these games so good? It’s a combination of fun gameplay, an interesting story, and decent CGs.
For starters, this game is actually free on steam. I’ll toss a link up at the end of this but I’ll summarize this review now in case you’re bored and impatient. Play it. It’s pretty good. The story is a pretty standard “Lone spaceship pilot from a destroyed fleet fights the evil empire on his own (waifus don’t count as aid)” but with some interesting additions. For one, you aren’t part of the “good” faction fighting against the evil one. You’re a neutral spaceship from a neutral world intent on preserving independence while on your mission to defeat the big bad. Along the way you’ll recruit space waifus to pilot big anime sword mechs so they can kill for your amusement.
Gameplay consist of you and the enemy team taking turns moving around and attacking on a 2d grid while buffing your team or using special abilities you use by getting points from killing enemy ships. All of your various ships and mechs have different weapon types and abilities. Some have melee weapons and can enter stealth and some have the giant mech equivalent of a sniper rifle. Weapon types include energy weapons which pierce through armor but are mitigated by shields, kinetics which pierce shields but are mitigated by armor, missiles which are mitigated by flack guns, and melee weapons which pierce both but can only be used on mechs. Everything your mechs do, from moving to shooting to using abilities takes energy from that specific’s ship’s pool. For the most part, how much you can accomplish depends on how much energy you have to spend and how much your abilities cost. Also, I’m mentioning this here because I can’t find anywhere else to stick it; The music is really good. And there’s quite a few really good tracks. Unfortunately it plays a different track whenever the enemy gets their turn and then starts over your track after they’re done. This is only slightly less infuriating than it sounds. Really there are 2 big challenges in this game. The first is deciding how and where to move your ships. Obviously if I move my shjp closer I’ll stand a better chance of hitting the enemy but they’ll also stand a better chance of hitting me. If I move in my stabby mech to take a stab at that pin cushion mech then will I have enough energy to get back and hide behind the tanky ships?
The other hard part of the game comes in the form of managing aggro. See, the game never tells you this but what ship an enemy decides to attack is actually controlled by a few variables. Your own ships can draw aggro by being close to the enemy, getting kills, being isolated, or being close to death. This means that to play optimally you have to ensure your babby glass cannon ships dish out their damage but don’t actually kill. Then your tanky bullet sponge ships come in to finish the job and piss the other guys off. Alternatively you could have your lightest fastest ship land the killing blows and then pull it way back away from the enemy before ending your turn. The game’s AI will then decide that the ship on the other side of the map is the biggest threat and waste it’s turn taking missing shots at it. Really though. This is a hard game. 6 difficulty levels and really only the first 4 are playable for me. I can only reliably beat the game on the first 3. Admittedly I am an idiot though.
This difficulty is compounded for me by the fact that the game uses my least favorite kind of upgrading system. Small incremental stat upgrades. I’m sure there’s nothing inherently wrong with this kind of system but I just don’t have the head for it. I’m fine choosing between different upgrade trees for things in games that allow me to and even in this game I can sometimes set a goal like “I want to be able to fire my kinetics twice in a turn so I’ll increase my energy pool and reduce kinetics cost until I can do that” but after I do that I’m left clueless as to what to do next. Towards the end of the game once you’ve unlocked all of the ships you have 86 (I counted!) different stats to choose from to dump your money into and the choice can be a bit daunting. There is a store in the game that does a method of upgrading that I like much better. I can go and buy a new ability or overhaul for one of my ships for a large amount of money but there are only about 10 things to buy there before I’m back to purchasing very small stat increases.
And finally, we come to the porn. Is it any good? Will you like it? Well do you like the image above? That’s it. That’s one of the two scenes in the game. This and a vanilla ass (no literal ass) sex scene about 25% of the way through the game that I didn’t even save because the character involved had yet to ascent to Eyepatch Lord and I expected there would be more better ones later. This is what I installed my adult patch for. Reeeeeee. Admittedly the second and third games have a lot more porn but if this is all you can offer me than should it really be called a porn game? I’m not just being an idiot and missing anything either. I dug through the game’s CG folder. Those two are the only erotic looking scenes in the game.
Should you play Mask of Arcadius? Yeah, you should. It’s combat is a lot of fun, the characters, while a big collection of tropes, are interesting and likable, the music is great, and it helps set up the story of the sequel. Are you going to get off with this game? Most likely not but is this game worth the price of absolutely free? Totally.