[Disclaimer: As of Sep/2/2017, some complaints may not be valid as they have been addressed by a patch. Your mileage may vary.]
Moero Chronicle is a port of a Vita game of the same name that has previously only released in the Asian region. It is a comedic fanservice-laden DRPG with an emphasis on monster girls. In it, you take on the role of Io, which despite his “cute shy” appearances is, in fact, a closet pervert. The game is set in a world where monsters & humans, in general, coexist peacefully each in their respective areas of the world. That is until a rather recent oddity has started affecting monster girls, turning them violent against humans with only a single city in where they are seemingly unaffected from this madness. Thus Io’s adventures begins, as he is unceremoniously “volunteered” by the town elder to go “save the world” or whatever, anything to not see the sight of him anymore.
Now to the major point of the game, the monster girls. How does one recruit them? Well, I’m glad you asked, firstly you have to find one. Then strip them of their clothing & give them a rub down. Easy. Ok, long explanation is after finding the MGs, either roaming about in an unavoidable battle, & engaging them in combat, you have an option of either targeting their clothing or them directly. Attacking directly lowers their health bar, which as you get along in the game have multiple stages much like a fighting game. Lowering it by one stage drops them into a faint stance, leaving them exposed for further punishment, though be aware that flat out killing them will end the battle though with only the EXP/Cash benefits but have no fear as they quickly reset free for you to retry.
On the other hand, attacking their clothing directly, each piece having their own 1 stage health bar, destroys them leaving that spot exposed (no benefit from this, just a means to an end). Strip them completely & our friendly Otton will shower them with cash… don’t ask. At this point comes the Bumping Scratch, the “rubbing” part of the monster “catching”. Poke, prod, touch & rub your way through a scantily clad picture of the MG all the while trying to find their “weak spots”. Stimulating just the right spots enough will fill Otton’s excitement meter & success, you’ve have freed the poor girl from the strangeness that made them hostile & they, in turn, join you on your forced world-saving quest. Be aware that failing these will have either the girl fleeing or coming back to punish you.
The Crawling aspect of DRPG is on the basic side. You’ve got your standard gather points in which you either get panties used in the Egg System a crafting mechanic in which you give up said panties & an H-Monster for a random item, equip, etc., consumable items or equips for your MGs. Sadly, there isn’t much in the way of traps, the most I saw in my 20 or so hours were some damage tiles on an optional floor of the 1st dungeon & a 1 one-way door on the 3rd. There will be the occasional Save Point, often before a boss fight. This will recover your HP & MP (though oddly not heal status effects). I highly suggest you use these at any given point & often.
The Town which serves as your central hub is where you will find the Shop & Inn. The shop once again is standard, and I had little reason to visit it often as consumables & equipment are decently common from monster drops or gather points, ultimately leaving you with plenty of cash in your pocket, most of which will be used on the Inn, to upgrade the girls’ room which confer a higher bonus to passive EXP gain. Here is where you will manage your girls. Their events, H-Monsters, costume changes, raise affection, reset their levels, etc. Costume changes are a bit more than what it sounds like, while it does change appearances it also changes the MGs’ class & with it, her skills & stats. In essence, it is a job system unlocked through some work. Occasionally you will find after defeating enemies or from gather points, panties, aptly named ‘Job Panties’ these are girl specific & each have 4 to collect. You give these to the specific girl at the Inn & after raising their affection meter up to 1 full heart through presents (these panties count as presents too) you will be given the option to change their costume/jobs.
These costumes cannot be mixed & matched with at least 2 for each character being lingerie, which while 10/10, it does mean you are limited in options if you happen to like a particular set of skill but not the clothing… or lack off. Artwise, the game definitely has it. I don’t find Io’s art particularly fitting to his shy/perverted nature. The girls are all sexy variations of common trope monster, enjoyable for the most part though some I just found funny as in the talking section has them facing you ass first, not that I am complaining. Sound is serviceable, having not found music that was particularly memorable. The writing is not out of this world, works well enough to tell its story, most events tended to be funny & while some typos here & there, nothing will make you doubt what you just read.
Here is where I have to talk about the flaws, while the DRPG aspect, for the most part, is workable & some of the bad are inherent of the genre, it is mostly on the porting quality that its biggest flaws lie. The difficulty is lacking or rather the challenge aspect of it, as the game does feature four difficulty modes, these changing the amount of damage enemies dish out. It took me until the 3rd dungeon to have enemies that made you put some thought into how to handle them because at which point some start using status effects or healing with the two dungeons before it able to be easily conquered with basic attacks. The bosses & with it the MGs you have to rescue also have little in the way of attack routines, often times using single a basic attack or a somewhat damaging AoE a few turns in & then sitting there while you wail on them. Only two girls I’ve found to be more varied, spicing things up by having to use a ‘Faint’ mechanic to stop a nasty attack, but often simply going for the clothing to quickly get the battle done is all it took. With the amount of girls to be found in Moero Chronicles, I didn’t expect something out of this world in the attack routines but this is just stretching it.
The ‘Bumping Scratch’ mechanic is not particularly enjoyable with controllers, with the ‘nude flash’ portions making me feel like I am grinding my analog sticks to dust (sadly, not an innuendo). Would that I could use a mouse in these sections to replicate the Vita’s touchscreen inputs, but the game does not detect both the controller and mouse simultaneously at most points, this being the biggest. I honestly suggest using a guide for these portions, & good luck on changing inputs because that option doesn’t work. For those that find the Japanese ‘O button is confirm & X is to cancel’ annoying, that option doesn’t save upon shutting off the game, so you have to redo it every time you boot it up.
You will be going through a lot of menus in Moero Chronicles, an annoying product of the genre but some things were unnecessary like some of them not letting you scroll using the bumper buttons while others allow it. Some things have a menu of their own when honestly they would have been far more easily manageable if merged into one screen. For example, equipment screen & the status screen, one can move the cursor in the status screen so why not just let me change equipment/H-Monsters straight from there? These were small annoyances that added up.
Now how was the port handled you ask, well I am afraid that it’s not exactly all that great. I have tested the game in both a sup-par laptop with integrated graphics & a far beefier one with a proper graphics card. The sub-par one handling it relatively well, despite the store pages’ in my opinion, questionable recommended specs compared to recent Vita ports on the PC. An odd issue was major framerate drops which only occurred during in-dungeon cutscenes, outside of that it was a decent experience though ultimately I don’t recommend it for people with low-spec machines. There is little in the way of graphical options, only a resolution scale which I honestly think does not work at all as changing it did nothing. The only result I got out of it was in Windowed mode where it only changed the screen size without actually changing how the game looked. It also never let me choose my new monitor’s resolution of 1920×1080 after moving to new hardware & Steam’s Cloud sync doing its thing, instead opting for my old one’s 1366 x 768, though again I don’t even know if it would have mattered at all. UI can at times fail to load and be non-existent. I experienced this one after making a new save to take some early game pictures, closing the game & restarting solved this but your mileage may vary. Last but not least, there were a few crashes on both machines, this normally happened when switching floors in a dungeon which as you can imagine does put a major damper in your enjoyment.
All in all, I’ve got to say that I couldn’t finish the game, something I strive for in my reviews. I can stomach the lack of challenge & the annoying menus, I’m no stranger to those. I certainly enjoyed the art, the plot wasn’t engaging but Otton, the interaction with the girls & it’s overall humor had me coming for more. I could handle the weird control scheme, though to be fair on this one, it was how it was handled on the Vita & even the rubbing sections that didn’t translate very well to PC. What ultimately killed it my will to carry on was the Russian Roulette that was the frequent crashes, having your work constantly undone by something beyond your reach is simply off-putting. In its current state, I cannot recommend Moero Chronicles, time will tell if it stays this way or it becomes a game that I can honestly recommend to DRPG & perverted fans alike.
For a look at the Vita version & another opinion of the game follow this handy link: Moe Chronicle (Vita) review