G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String (PC) Review

By Luna Eriksson 29.11.2015

Review for G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String on PC

Taking parts from psychological thrillers, adding a good collection of classical music remakes, and then mixing them with a dose of tricks and references to tropes of classical literature, is a great recipe for the creation of something that feels fresh and familiar, and which, at the same time, provides echoes of the greatness that the cultural treasures of Europe has left behind during the second half of the previous millennium. The end result is a wonderful mixture of modern and classic themes that creates something fresh, yet very familiar - has G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String succeeded with that, though?

Yakuza, terrorism, school life, love, hate, and family, all terms that are used as core subjects in G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String, the psychological thriller that was recently released to the west. Strong themes that are will surely make everyone sit on the edge of their seat during the action - the ones with the glorious sound of remixed and modernised pieces of classical music playing in the background. What can possibly go wrong with a premise like that?

The story focuses on a young man named Kyousuke Azai who lives a double life. During the day he is an ordinary high-school boy going to a high class school for the rich and talented, and at night he is a member of one of the strongest of the Yakuza families. A hectic and stressful life that has taken its toll on his mental health, shaping him into quite an odd choice for a protagonist, as he is initially very difficult to empathise with. A strange girl appears on his school; a girl after a very dangerous criminal who calls himself Maou (The Devil). Short thereafter, it becomes obvious that this "Maou" has the Azai family as a target, and Kyousuke is given the objective by his leader to hunt that man down, starting a dangerous game of tag where the stakes are steadily increasing.

Screenshot for G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String on PC

The initial setting could not be more genre-typical than that, yet it soon starts to separate itself from other visual novels, with a unique style that is partly defined by the theme of classical music, as well as extreme rudeness and political incorrectness. Many people risk being turned off by the game, initially with club activities involving dressing up as KKK members and plotting revenge against people for things like cracking a CD-case, or characters planning to take down UN during class. However, if able to endure the initial shock, a good and intellectual read lies ahead, filled with humour as dark as the night sky, and psychological games that are sure to wonder, as well as thrill the reader.

G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String carries a lot more than just this, sometimes juvenile urge to shock the reader and the wonderful classical music that goes with it - it's a psychological thriller after all; a part that is played extremely well, especially the psychological bit. This is done very skilfully, first, due to the main protagonist, who is all but an emotionally stable person himself, second, by a cast of other equally broken people, and, finally, because of a mysterious and playful character who calls himself "Maou." In other words the reader can be certain that things are going to turn quite deep and dark.

Screenshot for G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String on PC

Everyone in this adventure hides dark secrets and emotions that drive them, and G-senjou no Maou does a wonderful work exploring all of them throughout the story in the most macabre of ways possible. As the plot moves forward, mysterious crimes start occurring to those surrounding the protagonist, forcing them to rethink who they are, and to meet their inner darkness - all in favour of Maou's playful mastermind plot. While the storyline is extremely interesting, with an exceptionally strong start that is sure to put curiosity (or disgust), into the mind of the observer, and a finale that, thanks to the complexity the story offers, is one of the most powerful ever written, the middle part of the game is, at parts, too outdrawn for its own good. The greatest weakness of a novel is usually the middle part, but that is rarely as obvious as it is here, where some parts overstay their welcome, turning into detailed reads of some uninteresting matters that take away the suspense that the psychological-thriller genre is supposed to deliver.

It is too easy to stop reading during some sections and to drop off entirely, and, therefore, never being able to reach the ending. That is due to the fact that this is actually a 40+ hour VN. It is not all too uncommon in the genre, but in those cases a title is either separated into several episodes and/or several stories/parts with slight connections that are still enjoyable to read, or everything takes place during a long line of different events, more so than in this case. While in here the game is divided between chapters, they are still a bit strongly connected to each other to be enjoyable as separate entries. When it comes to such a lengthy novel, the goal should be to try decreasing the number of words, and not increasing them by adding weird, and sometimes completely unrelated parts to the story; parts that rarely add to the characterization or plot.

Screenshot for G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String on PC

Beside the storyline, another really strong aspect in this VN is the music. Visual novels are usually known for featuring great music, but that's rarely as well-done and focused upon as it is here. The protagonist is a fan of classical music, and that shows throughout the game. Most of the tracks are skilful modern reconstructions of ageless masterpieces such as The Erlking, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, or Marche Slave and O Fortuna, something that creates a wonderful repertory of powerful mood-setting tunes for several different occasions. This adds both to the personification of the music loving Kyousuke, as well as the overall atmosphere of the psychological thriller setting presented, and in such a way that it goes almost unrivalled in both the genre and video game industry as a whole.

If able to bypass a sometimes outdrawn story, or a humour that is quite macabre, G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String is an excellent, highly intelligent visual novel, and likely one of the most enjoyable ones on the market. The endgame is extremely powerful, suspenseful, and emotional, although the ride towards that part can, at times, lose all the feeling of suspense and anticipation that drives one to flip the pages of a thriller novel. However, under the glorious sound of J.S. Bach and Richard Wagner, even the most herculean acts manage to become highly pleasant!

Screenshot for G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

At the parts where it shines at its brightest, G-senjou no Maou: The Devil on G-String is a wonderful experience, both emotionally and intellectually - with music that's almost in a league of its own (with glorious remakes of classical pieces), and the help of a highly complex, multi-layered story. While its strongest parts stand out, however, so do its weaknesses. A sometimes way too outdrawn storyline makes it occasionally difficult to remain interested, or feel the sense of suspense that the thriller genre is supposed to deliver to keep someone glued to the screen. 40+ hours is clearly too long a duration, and some parts could have been cut shorter to highlight those aspects that make this title shine. Fortunately, the quality of the experience as a whole makes up for those annoying segments.

Developer

AKABEiSOFT2

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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