Another anime visual novel review for ya. The unusual Long Live the Queen. Enjoy.
Bit of a tricky review because I don’t think I’ve reviewed an ok game in a long while. Usually I have a pretty strong opinion one way or the other.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Long Live The Queen. Long Live the Ok Game.
- Genre: Anime Visual Novel RPG/Choose Your Own Adventure.
- Developed and Published by: Hanako Games
- Platform: Windows, MacOSX and Linux
- Business Model: Base Game
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Overall Gameplay Thoughts
Playing as Elodie, a young princess who suddenly lost her mother, you’re tasked with training her to become the next queen of some kingdom. She only has to survive politics, assassinations, her ineptitude in life/court and her own poor decisions to make it to the throne. Long Live the Queen plays like an anime visual novel but has some RPG aspects to it. It’s a choose your own adventure game of a sort. A somewhat complex tale that rarely has the same ending.
Every day you’ll need to decide what two attributes out of 42 different ones she’ll be studying. How well she’ll study each depends on her mood. If her mood is appropriate for the skill, she’ll get a bonus that day. If it isn’t, she’ll learn nothing. After a day of learning, she is confronted by a problem(s), solves/fails it based on her skills which will affect the story. At the end of the day, you’ll get the chance to change her mood by visiting a room which changes her mood’s stats in a way that might be more preferable to her training.
You can never be sure if you’re doing the right thing each playthrough and the 42 traits makes this more complicated. Some skills may be seemingly worthless might actually cost you a playthrough. Sometimes, the game will adapt for bad decisions or skills she lacks. However, even her luck will run out if she lacks the skills and/or makes poor choices. How she dies varies from eating an obvious poisoned box of chocolates to slipping on a window sill to being assassinated by a snake. Its very trial-and-error gameplay, so expect to repeat the story over-and-over again until you can figure out a solution. There’re many solutions as well as dead-ends to this story. But even those death storylines might grant you some information about Elodie or the kingdom she’s attempting to rule. So, it does reward you in a small way for making the effort.
One of the things that will probably bother you are some seemingly easy & straightforward decisions she can make but she won’t make them because she lacks the knowledge and says something along the lines of “we’re not interested at this time”. One particular example is a proposition brought to her to fund a hospital for her subjects. But unless she has medicine trained up, she’ll reject it out of hand. From a gameplay aspect, it’s fine because its following the rules. But from a story and character aspect, it made me wonder how much of her blond hair infected her brain.
PC Settings and Multi-Platform Support
A not so great settings menu is here. LLTQ is locked to 1024×600, 60FPS. There’s options to change the preferred renderer as well as setting in windowed and fullscreen mode but that’s it. I can let go the lack of visual options because this is more-or-less a visual novel but the lack of resolution options is unfortunate. I ran this game mostly on Linux which worked just fine and let me expand the game to fill up the screen in windowed mode. It even has limited controller support that works pretty well, though you’ll need the keyboard for saving. There’s the usual settings for anime visual novels here: text speed, auto delay, skip button on/off and transitions on/off.
There’s music and effect volume sliders which you’ll need because the soundtrack is awful. One of the worst I’ve encountered in a while that made me mute it within 15mins of playing LLTQ. It’s mostly a piano solo that repeats the same small amount of notes constantly. Its repetitive enough to drive anyone insane. The visuals aren’t too bad, a mostly standard anime affair with fairly detailed, if static, backgrounds. The UI can be a bit intimidating but its functional once you figure it out. I didn’t have any crashing or major bugs during my playthrough.
I’m ok with Long Live the Queen. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. The gameplay of dying, trying a new strategy over and building up numbers can be engaging but there’s just not much to pull me in. It’s also too much trial-and-error for my taste. Repeating the same story over and over again to get a different outcome can be interesting but the characters are pretty one-dimensional and the story isn’t anything all that unique to keep me interested for long. The gameplay itself is mostly just “choose skill -> choose choice -> choose mood modifier” and see if anything different happens. It’s not bad but again, it’s just ok. Still, the game works and for what they’re selling, it’s a decent time. I’d just temper your expectations before you take on this queen’s journey to the throne.
Thanks for reading!