REVIEW: Moero Crystal H (Switch)

Dec
01

REVIEW: Moero Crystal H (Switch)

Say hello to my harem army.

Released: Switch
Type: Single Player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler RPG
Developer: Idea Factory, Compile Heart
Publisher: Eastasiasoft
Release date: September 17, 2020

Moero Crystal H is set in a world where monster girls exist alongside humans. Everyone lives in peace thanks to their Goddess establishing the world they live in now. As the Goddess is taking a backseat, all they need to do to keep the peace is to work together and keep The Panties of Light (which were gifted to the humans) and The Bra of Darkness (gifted to the monster girls) together. The Goddess’ bra and panties can’t be separated or else. Well, if anyone was wondering what would happen if they were separated, it’s their lucky day.

You play as Zenox, aka the “Lucky Pervert”, who is a country boy venturing into the big city for the first time. He doesn’t really want to be there, but with his father missing, it’s his best bet to find any information on where he could be. Zenox heads to their local shrine to see if anyone there have any information, but instead he finds himself in the middle of a theft. He’s mistaken by the shrine’s guardian, Luanna, as the thief, with the real thief leaving with The Bra of Darkness. As Zenox was the only one that saw the thief, no matter how pitch dark it was, he’s asked to help getting the bra back by the shrine maiden. He accepts, partly since he does feel responsible for getting in the way and he can’t exactly find his father if the world is going to end if they don’t get The Bra of Darkness back before the land reaches the newly formed rift.

Before they have a chance of leaving, another thief comes running in. Instead of being into bras, this… seal is into panties. Known as Otton, he’s someone that has been trying to steal The Panties of Light multiple times. Being as cheeky as he his, he attempts to again in front of everyone in broad daylight. Though, as he puts them on his head, it’s revealed that it shines in the direction of The Bra of Darkness, and, as you find out later, will purify those that were corrupted by the bra. Welcome to the team, Otton.

And thus, your journey begins as you’ll be traveling through six different areas to catch up to the thief. Going into these different areas will bring you into the dungeon crawling gameplay. If you’ve played dungeon crawlers, or similar ones like Mary Skelter, you’ll already know the basics. Though, there are some unique mechanics thrown in. The dungeon consists of multiple floors, where the map is unveiled as you’re walking through, items laying around for you to find, event notifications to give you a heads up before continuing, holes to fall through, and an extra floor that holds stronger enemies. As you’re walking through, enemies resembling… particular things will randomly attack you. You battle with your monster girl team, but Zenox does take a turn as well. Zenox acts more of a support role than a fighter and he has unique actions. Every round, you can choose to use an item, store desire so in a future turn you can either release it to increase that monster girl’s power or insert to bring a monster girl up in the action order, pass the turn, or try to escape. Though, getting his desire to 100% will force him into calm time where he won’t be able to do anything until it’s back down. With the monster girls, it’s the usual actions, having elemental (or aura) attacks to hit weaknesses, and the added “charm” to increase Zenox’s desire or lower it during calm time. Your monster girls also have hidden combos, called the 48 Erotic Methods, that will give out an extra attack or support. You don’t know all of the 48 Methods, but you do get clued in on what action will activate one if it’s possible.

However, you only start with Luanna in your team. Where do you get other monster girls for your team? Well, from dungeons. Monster girls are special enemies in dungeons, with the leaders of each area being that dungeon’s boss, as they have their own icons and will play music to notify you that you’re in an area where a monster girl patrols. Every monster girl you’ll be coming across have been corrupted by The Bra of Darkness and the only way to get them back to their normal selves is to purify them with The Panties of Light. Though, they don’t exactly want to put them on, so you’ll have to fight them. Though instead of defeating them, you’ll be trying to raise Otton’s Excite gauge which you can do by destroying their clothes. Each piece of clothing happens to have its own health and weaknesses. You can, of course, attack the monster girl still, but they have multiple gauges so you can temporarily stun them.

Once you destroy their clothes, and Otton’s has max Excite, you’ll be put into a mini-game called Battle Scratch. This is the part where you’ll question whether or not you should play this game in public. You’ll essentially be tapping on the monster girl’s body to find one of three weak spots and tap them until the corresponding gauge is full (you’re technically called to rub them, but tapping works much better). Monster girls generally share weak spots, like the ears or boobs, and if they have a special animal part it, like a tail, a weak spot is generally there. There are the occasional tricky spots like the armpit. Once all three gauges are full, you’ll activate a nude flash, which is exactly as the name suggests, where you’ll rub them until their will to fight is gone and The Panties of Light can be put on them. However, you’re timed so you can possibly fail and will have to try again once they respawn in a minute or two of leaving their patrol area.

For this minigame alone, I recommend playing Moero Crystal H on handheld mode. This is the only aspect that does not play well with controller controls. Not only will it take longer for you to bring the cursor around to the scratch weakness spots (assuming you already know), but rubbing the spot takes longer as you need to rotate the analog stick to actually rub the monster girl. If they have a particularly small spot (like their armpit) it’s even trickier. Even when I knew where every spot was, it came down to a few seconds before I ran out of time where I would usually have more than enough time when working with the touchscreen. When you achieve a nude flash, it’s also weird as you’re supposed to rotate both analog sticks, but it barely registers it as rubbing, making it take longer. Which is not ideal if you live with others (I even panicked, hoping no one will come in wondering what that lewd noise was). If you must play in TV mode, maybe because you can’t save yet and you’d rather not travel through the dungeon again to where you were, I recommend investing in the monster girl capture crystals so you can do the Battle Scratch later in town and waiting on doing the boss until the Switch is fully charged.

Keep in mind that you really have to be careful when going through dungeons, or fight a possible habit of needing to finish a dungeon before leaving. While you can save anytime in town, you can’t while in dungeons. There are only three save spots in a dungeon and they are pretty far away from each other as they only appear somewhere at the beginning, before the boss, and on the extra floor. Not paying close attention to everyone’s health may lead you to having to redo at least an hour of progress.

When you’re not out in the dungeons, there are various things to do in town. The souls you’re rewarded when defeating enemies can be used to upgrade your accessories and unlock a monster girl’s seal to later set it on an accessory. There is a training area you use to get some practice in by battling recruited monster girls, be able to do their Battle Scratch again, and, more importantly, fight the DLC monster girls included in this game so you can recruit them. You can also buy stuff, of course, or have them rest to temporarily raise stats.

The place you’ll spend most of your time in will be the Inn where your monster girls are placed once recruited. Here, you can talk to them if they have an event and raise your intimacy with them with presents or performing a Scratch. If it’s high enough, you’ll unlock another mini-game called Doki-Doki Shooter where the screen will scroll up as you’ll be dissolving the monster girl’s clothing, with the occasional monster coming down, to find a hidden crystal that will take you to their Deep Reach dungeon. Deep Reach dungeons are just one floor, but each monster girl has three crystals. Beating the boss will either unlock their hidden skill, the ability to change their bra and panties separately, and unlock their 10th heart. Talking about outfits, other than their default, each one have three outfit (well, more like matching bra and panties) sets that you can find in dungeons. Changing their outfit not only changes how they look, but their stats and skills. Essentially giving each monster girl several jobs they switch into and having the ability to switch both clothing pieces individually gives you a lot of room to work with when you’re forming your team. Which goes even further as you can give each monster girl in your team two companions, with one being support and another having a chance to attack alongside them. As the companions are in more battles, their friendship level increases, giving them more of a chance to use their support/attack skill and even have them room together.

While I’m someone that doesn’t really enjoy jokes that are just “haha this character is perverted”, I surprisingly wasn’t really bothered here. After thinking about it, I believe it’s a mix of the game’s tone and how the characters are portrayed. Most of the game’s tone is silly and light-hearted, but when the game becomes serious, the game knows not to bring it in. With the characters, all of them are quite likable. For someone that’s labeled as a “Lucky Pervert”, I don’t really see Zenox as a pervert. He’s more of an accidental or forced pervert. He sure has a handful of moments where he (or one of the monster girls) falls to where his hand lands on their boobs and he is very apologetic to the monster girls he’s purifying (in fact, it seemed like he didn’t really want to do it to me). The other monster girls, as well as the regular enemies, has humor leaning towards innuendos and having a dirty mind (with some just being horny). The most you’ll get is Otton being obsessed with panties.

In terms of difficulty, it will depend on your settings but it rides on being easy and decently hard. There certainly is some weird balancing going on in certain places, with the most noticeable being a couple difficulty spikes in the Deep Reaches dungeons; while you can just have a team filled with your favorite monster girls, you can honestly just roll with the girls you get in the first dungeon for the rest of the game.

Is there any post-game content, I hear you thinking. Well, yes there is and it’s hinted at in the first dungeon. The post-content deals with the sealed areas within the dungeons where you’ll be going through a new, more dangerous, floors to recruit the monster girls there that were sealed long ago. Going through all of the sealed areas will unlock the true ending and open up a special town area where you can get an ending with a monster girl you have 10 hearts with. You’ll also have access to the 100 Scratch mini-game after finishing the main story, which is just to see how long it takes you to Battle Scratch 100 monster girls.

Verdict

Overall, Moero Crystal H ended up to be a good dungeon crawler with the added bonus of the 86 wonderfully designed monster girls that and humor that both fits well with the tone and doesn’t go too over the top. Despite some unfortunate moments in the beginning where I lost hours of progress (with one being because I was too confident in not dying… and then I did), I ended up enjoying this game more than I expected and it was a nice change of pace going to a more light-hearted, casual story. As long as you know what you’re getting into, I’d say it’s worth the price (otherwise wait for a discount if you’re not too sure or prefer more serious stories). I had a bit over 40 hours by the time I finished the main story (with my playtime including bonding with all of the monster girls in the first three dungeons and a touch into the post-game content) and I can easily see it doubling if you’re someone that would want to do everything.

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