Not much isekai anime interests me anymore, though one that did get put on my radar and I did enjoy watching was My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! When I heard that this anime about a game was legit getting turned into an Otome game, I had to play it. Luckily I was given a review copy to check it out and I was happy to have played it. How does this game based on an anime, based on a fictional game turn out?
Game Name: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance Platform(s): Nintendo Switch Publisher(s): Idea Factory International Developer(s): Idea Factory Release Date: November 28th, 2023 Price: $49.99
Warning: You absolutely should watch the series or have read the light novel if you want to get into this series before picking up this game. This is a direct continuation of the anime series. You have been warned.
Catarina Claes is a girl that is from a noble family. One day she has a big fall that bumps her head and she unlocks memories of her previous life as a girl who loved Otome games and anime. She realizes that there is a character in one of her Otomes games named Catarina Claes and realizes she is now the main villainess of that game. She has now geared her whole life to make sure that she doesn’t fall into a route that will lead to her death. This game follows the series where they are now graduating from school and moving on to the next parts of their life. Before that though, Keith, her brother gets called to go on a cruise in place of their noble family. Catarina decides to come with him, and then it gets revealed everyone else who is close to Catarina Claes is also coming with her on the cruise. It is at this moment Catarina Claes has a dream about the Otome game where Catarina Claes has a death flag meeting pirates. Once again Catarina needs to do all she can to not get caught up in this doom route.
Navigating the Waves
A lot of your time in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! – Pirates of the Disturbance – will be responding to situations in the game as they arise. It generally consists of deciding on who you can trust and when you can trust them. If you trust someone or distrust someone at the wrong time, it can cause you to reach an end you are not prepared for. There are 25 different endings in the game. Some can be difficult to navigate through. If you consistently trust someone like your brother Keith, then you will start up a whole route in the following chapters. These character-specific routes change the narrative and show a variety of different endings.
When you are in dialogue with a person, there will oftentimes be a book pop-up on the top left of the screen. These pop-ups add some more depth to the characters via memories. It is sweet to see the impact Catarina has on many of these characters in the game from their memories. If you get distracted by the visuals while going through dialogue, you do have a history menu that shows all the dialogue in the chapter you are in and have seen. History helps with choices as certain activities will show who you are siding with. A cool little visual cue in the game is the blossoming flowers after a decision is made. The color of the blossoming flower determines who benefits from that choice.
Designing The Seven Seas
One of the best parts of My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance- is the artwork. There is a lot of CG artwork that you get to see in this game. Not only due to the more dramatic scenes but even the comical scenes get the quality anime treatment. Overexaggerated facial expressions and even scenes with chibi sections. The creators of this game had a lot of fun with designing scenarios that let them make art for some fun scenes. This game is much more comedy-oriented than romance which is perfect for the property. Catarina is so much more focused on them as friends when the rest of her cast wants to pursue her romantically. You will get to see the romance scenes when you get moments of seeing the story unfold through the other character’s eyes, but overall the game is so much more focused on Catarina’s personality. She does love all her friends but her biggest passion is pushing them towards other venues for romance, mainly towards Maria. She is much more humble about her achievements and beauty which in some aspects is why her friends love being around her so much.
That aspect does tend to make some criticisms of how some of the more romantic endings occur. Overall the chapters You Choose to trust and Follow a partner and Try for a romantic ending, do exist but they tend to focus more on the plot and how more of the new characters fit in, than the relationship of the character you are pursuing. That isn’t a bad thing if you are interested in these new characters and how the new area of this world fits into Catarina’s life. If you are interested in a specific partner for Catarina though, you may be disappointed. The dynamic of the game however is extremely fitting when you compare it to the dynamic of the series and light novel. Throughout the series, everyone and their dog wants to be in a relationship with Catarina due to her charismatic and caring personality, though she cares more about her survival than anything. She is cautious with every decision when it comes to dealing with her supporting cast and makes it so that they have no hostility towards her in any regard. In that sense, this game captures the personality of the series quite well.
Another slight nitpick is that there is only a Japanese voiceover option. The voice acting in the game is solid either way. The music lines up well and the voice acting constantly sounds as if it was from the anime making you feel like you are just watching more of the anime. Which for this game’s purpose is good. The characters are exactly like the counterparts you are used to if you are a watcher of the anime or a reader of the light novel it takes inspiration from.
Surviving the Death Flags
Even with these small nitpicks in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance – I still had a blast with this game. It is a cozy experience but it was also just a comedic game with also making you feel like you were able to be in the anime. One could say it feels like a choose-your-own-adventure style for the anime. That is exactly how I feel about it at least. If you are someone who loves the series, this is a must-play title. If you are looking for a deep and enriching Otome game, filled with comedy, it’s also worth your time. If you want a dating simulator to get an intimate look into relationships, this is not the game for that.
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance- releases for Nintendo Switch on November 28th, 2023.
Review Disclosure Statement: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance- was provided to us by Idea Factory International for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! -Pirates of the Disturbance- is a must-play title for fans of the series. If you aren’t a fan of the series then you are fine passing on it. A sweet game that is very funny and has great humorous moments and impactful scenes.
Gorgeous CG Artwork
Fantastic voice acting
Not a lot of romance
No English voice option
Tons of replaying chapters if you want to get the 25 endings