Overview – developed by Idea Factory and Compile Heart, with publishing handled by eastasiasoft, Moero Crystal H is the latest entry in the sexy dungeon crawling franchise getting an updated HD release. Travel through weird and wonderful areas, encountering cute monster girls as you embark on a quest to save the world. This new version is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, links to the game and official website will be provided at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Moero Crystal H used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own. Please note, this is a mature rated release, with sexual themes, sexual content and is not suitable for younger audiences. Reader discretion is advised.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review, starting with the story.
Story – long ago, the goddess of the world created two sacred artifacts, the Panties of Light and the Bra of Darkness, which together brought harmony to the lands and protected the world. However, one day, the Bra was stolen by a thief known as Dark Ottonias, upsetting the balance and causing a rift to open above the land. If the Bra and Panties remain separated, the world will rise and become swallowed by the rift.
Now, Luanna, the guardian of the Great Shrine, Zenox, a boy who was involved by pure chance and Otton, a strange monster that is obsessed with panties, must work together to save the world. Using the Panties of Light to guide them, these three unlikely allies must track down the thief and recover the Bra of Darkness, sealing the dimensional rift and restore harmony to the land.
Gameplay – Moero Crystal H is a dungeon crawling RPG, with the majority of the action taking place in grid based dungeons. Each area has a unique theme, making them stand out from each other, with themes including a world of toys, a casino and a holy shrine. Now I will be talking about aspects of the gameplay with basic details covered in order to prevent spoilers.
Moero Chrystal H uses a system that is unique to the franchise, with the male protagonist Zenox taking a support role, with a roster of monster girls acting as the attackers in turn based combat. The player begins the game with two party members, Zenox and the shrine guardian, monster girl Luanna. During the course of the game, additional party members can be recruited, with some dictated by the story and others appearing during exploration.
Each dungeon is made up of several floors, with long corridors, open spaces and doors, both locked and unlocked. Scattered throughout the floors are items, chests and switches that players can interact with in real time. The items are randomized, with equipment, resources and special items that the player will be able to use with the roster of monster girls in and out of the dungeon.
As players traverse the dungeons, enemies will appear both randomly and at preset points, attacking the player and initiating battle. At the beginning of combat, the turn order for party members and enemies is determined by their agility stats. When the turn for each party member occurs, several options are presented, with distinct options for Zenox and the monster girls. The options in combat are as follows;
- Store – charge up Desire P, a special resource unique to Zenox that is used to fuel his other abilities. Charge it up, but be careful, if the Desire meter is over charged Zenox will enter calm time, preventing him from making a turn until the penalty meter is depleted.
- Release – send the stored Desire to a single party member, boosting their stats temporarily depending on the amount of charge that has been store.
- Insert – alter the order of combat by spending charged Desire. Move a monster girl up or down the turn order, allowing for deeper strategic possibilities.
- Item – select an item to use from the player inventory, with a variety of items that can mean the difference between life and death.
- Wait – skip your turn without doing anything.
- Escape – try to flee the battle, escape isn’t guaranteed so be careful.
Monster girl abilities (be aware I will be omitting some details to prevent spoilers):
- Attack – use a physical strike to attack an enemy, dealing damage to the target.
- Skills – use SP points to activate a character skill, with a variety of attacks, support abilities and more. Be careful to manage SP points as they can and will run out often (details on attacks will be mentioned below).
- Defend – take a defensive stance to try and reduce damage to the defending character between turns.
- Charm – the monster girl uses her charms to build up the Desire meter for Zenox, allowing for more in depth strategy.
In battle, enemies have weaknesses and resistances, with the classic elemental system of earth, wind, fire and water. Each time a weak point is hit, the enemy takes increased damage and a point is added to an Aura combo, increasing with each successful weak point strike. If another attack is used or an elemental strike fails to hit a weak point the combo will reset. The Aura combo is also tied to special features and rewards at the end of the battle.
When a battle is complete, the player earns rewards based on the challenge and Aura combo earned during the encounter. The rewards that the player earns are gold, experience points and a resource called Rub-P. The player can also earn items and accessories, with the quality of reward again based on the challenge and performance of the party in combat. The experience points earned level up the monster girls in the party, with boosts to the characters stats, additional skills and more unlocked over time.
The next part I want to discuss is the recruitment of additional party members. During both story progression and dungeon exploration, monster girls will appear, engaging the party in battle. In battle, the player can attack the girl directly or destroy her clothing. After dealing enough damage to the girl or destroying all her clothing, a special mini game occurs where the player touches the girl to fill three meters on screen.
If the meters are filled within the time limit, the girl will join the party, if not they will escape from the player but over time they reappear with another chance to recruit them. When all slots in the party have been filled, the player has the option to send them to the home base or switch an existing party member out. There are five slots in the party in total with a front and rear position, this affects the way combat works, with less physical damage received and dealt by that character if they are on the rear.
Outside of the dungeons, the player has several options in the home menu. The options are a shop, where the player can buy supplies, the soul temple with the ability to upgrade gear and the monster girls, a training mode and the room. When activating the room, the player is able to interact with the monster girls in the available roster, performing various tasks to increase their intimacy level, unlocking special interaction events and more.
Again, this is a mature rated game, containing a lot of sexualized content, including enemies that have features of a sexual nature, characters in their underwear and sexually suggestive imagery/scenes. Some monsters have elements that include breasts, condoms and names that allude to sexual acts. The innuendo and imagery is comedic in nature, however, it may push the boundary of bad taste for some. So with this final disclaimer, please use discretion when deciding to explore this game or not.
There are still many secrets that the game holds. However, I won’t be discussing these elements as I feel that they must be experienced firsthand. Now with the gameplay covered I will be moving onto the other elements of this release, starting with the difficulty.
Difficulty – there are four selectable difficulty options at the start of a new game (these settings can be altered later if required). The difficulty settings are EASY, with reduced rewards and easier battles, NORMAL, the recommended setting and HARD/EXPERT, featuring increased challenge in combat and greater rewards. There is a moderate difficulty curve, which all depends on the amount of time spent grinding experience/gold, with increased levels and resources easing some of the challenge.
Take note, there is a limited number of save points in each dungeon area, with some floors having none at all, so it is important to monitor the status of each monster girl in the party. If all members in the party are incapacitated, either by taking too much damage or status effect the game will be over, so ensure that escape is possible in dire circumstances as defeat can cause significant loss of progress.
Controls – the control method is very simple for this release, the left side of the controller and front shoulder buttons control movement and menu navigation, with the face buttons handling all interactions. Reaction times of the inputs are smooth and are comfortable in both handheld and docked play, using both the attached Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers. A final point to the controls is that some interaction events employ the touch screen when in handheld/tabletop mode. The touch feature is the optimal way to take part in these events as the thumbsticks can be a little unwieldy.
Presentation – the visual style for Moero Crystal H features a dynamic blend of 2D and 3D art. The Dungeons are made of rendered 3D models, with anime styled artwork for all other assets, the monster girls, enemies and backgrounds all look amazing with the new HD presentation for the Nintendo Switch. This aesthetic fits the game perfectly as the story is presented through visual novel segments, alongside full screen art for special events that occur during the game.
The majority of dialogue is voiced with the original Japanese voice over from the initial release, which works perfectly well and each voice actor fits their part perfectly. The music used is a mix of Japanese pop, rock and thematic compositions, with some featuring vocal tracks that don’t intrude or distract from the flow of the game. Overall, a great package in the visual and sound department, featuring the hallmarks of other Compile Heart/Idea Factory titles.
Final Thoughts – I had a great time playing Moero Crystal H, the pacing of the story and flow of gameplay was executed perfectly. The comedic touches of the monsters and fanservice elements were entertaining, without going too far and becoming ridiculous or breaking the flow of the game (however, this may vary from person to person). The gameplay systems are easy to pick up, starting off simple and building in complexity over time, adding depth to the combat and character progression during the experience.
This is another excellent release by the teams at Idea Factory and Compile Heart, improving on the previous entry in the franchise Moero Chronicle H, released last year on the Nintendo Switch (review coming soon). I can happily recommend this title to fans of dungeon crawling JRPG titles and the fanservice focused titles. The amount of content on offer, with the inclusion of all previous DLC in the base game as a bonus makes this well worth the time and effort. The only issues I found were slightly long loading times and minor inconsistencies with the thumbstick controls in touch events.
In the end, I give Moero Crystal H a final score of 4.5/5. An entertaining dungeon crawling JRPG, filled with comedic fanservice elements, an expansive roster of cute monster girls and challenging, turn based combat. Yet another great game by the developers at Idea Factory and Compile Heart, making their catalogue of standout titles on the Nintendo Switch even stronger. If you want to check this title out for yourself, a link to the game and official site will be below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)
Link to Official Site (HERE)