Caligula Effect 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Eric Ace 06.01.2022

Review for Caligula Effect 2 on Nintendo Switch

A continuation of The Caligula Effect where students found themselves in a virtual high school setting that was a false reality they became aware of, the second game continues this avenue with a new group of people trapped in a reality designed to help heal them of their regrets. Based heavily on 'idol' culture as well as drawing heavily on Vocaloids - artificial entities that sing songs - the story often delves into darker themes. Developed by FuRyu, it dives into situations that most JRPGs stay far away from.

Caligula Effect 2 opens up with a really powerful introductory story. The character appears to be in some heaven-like area where they are promised a new life free from regret. Thrown into a high school, the player starts to see frays around the edge of reality; when they are on their way home they met one of the main characters of the game, a strange girl name 'X' (said "Key" in the game), who is an AI entity who possesses your body to try to break down this false reality. Whew…

All this being said, it actually is really cool. This reviewer specifically loves Sci-Fi stories, fake realities, 'Matrix' themes and so on, making this kind of concept feel really novel in the field of JRPGs. One other notable thing at least in the beginning of the story is how realistic the characters act, and actually make logical leaps. It is entirely refreshing to have characters that are genre savvy in a story like this, so when characters are asking X if they can trust her, or why should they want to leave a paradise they came to willingly, it was entirely enjoyable seeing them ask hard-hitting questions.

The first hour of story sets a very high bar, but unfortunately the game grinds to a halt very soon after. The first game had a very critical flaw of how grindy and long-winded everything beyond the core experience was. This game does not fix this issue. While the first game the dungeons were very boring, the dungeons are slightly more interesting in the second, but the critical flaw of being too long continues to exist. For example, the first dungeon is a train station, and while it looks good, it is not a joke to say you are in here for multiple hours. The pacing grinds to an absolute halt. This is unfortunate because as stated above, the plot is really good. The battle system is not bad, as will be discussed below, but being subject to it for so long takes away a lot of the overall package. What is worse is that even after the first dungeon, the plot doesn't pick back up, as players are thrown into a different 'slice of life' segment of a huge city, then a school.

Screenshot for Caligula Effect 2 on Nintendo Switch

Both a huge city and a high school are the main locations where the game takes place, and that is another spot where the game drags. Understandably, the game attempts to re-create the false world the player finds themselves in, that means the school and the city are made to be walked around in their entirety. Caligula Effect 2 has hundreds of people walking around both locations, with easily one hundred or more that can be talked to, obtain quests from, and have friendship points to raise. Purely on a quantity point of view, it is mind blowing how much content is there. The problem is that none of this drives along the main plot, and many players will simply run through all of this, trying to find the next thing to activate the story.

To further illustrate this, the game also includes a type of texting system where EVERY character met can be texted. Complete with a range of questions of their favourites, their dreams, their hairstyles and so on, it is impressive how much detail went into these little things. Again though, it is detail that largely goes unutilised. None of it really matters in the slightest, though, maybe in some fourth-wall breaking, the point is that texting NPCs is ultimately pointless?

Battles take place in a turn-based time-elapsing fashion. When a character's turn comes up the player will select from a wide range of abilities that have different time delays of when they activate. One of the key points is that the battle has a type of 'future vision' where it shows the characters attacking as things are currently forecast to happen. This allows players to set up big counters and dodge out of the way which makes combat far more tactical than it might otherwise be. Often times it is unnecessary as fights are pretty forgiving.

Overall the game shows a lot of improvement over the first. FuRyu comes up with really dark stories, which is tremendously appreciated, however, this company seems to have serious problems with their games being far too bloated which decreases the core experience. This is a sad point because often their games and main story are really good, buried beneath tons of content that game would be far better served if it was cut.

Screenshot for Caligula Effect 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

If there is one problem with Caligula Effect 2 it is pacing. The beginning hits incredibly hard, with great characterization and drawing the player into the plot. The hours-long plodding dungeons and 'slice of life' sections kill what otherwise is actually a pretty cool story. Much like the first game, the core experience of fights and story is solid, but it is absolutely buried in detail which is unfortunate as it makes it far less accessible.

Developer

Historia Inc.

Publisher

Nippon Ichi Software

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Ofisil

There are 2 members online at the moment.