Pokémon sword and shield released to a surprising amount of success. Not a surprise to most obviously but it was to me. Such is the thinking of a disenfranchised fan as myself. Quite frankly I can’t understand why anyone who grew up with Pokémon can actually still be into it or rather I find that notion absurd, ridiculous, incomprehensible… ah but we’re not here to rant about Pokémon are we? Oh no no no, we’re here as appreciators of squish to appreciate the splendour that is Moreo Crystal H for the Nintendo Switch.
This p-life monster collection JRPG dips a toes in the pond that series Pokémon created while at the same time carving its own twisted streams. Moreo Crystal H is the sequel to Moreo Chronicles for the PC and Switch but you need not play that game to play this one. Similar to Pokémon, both games exist in the same universe with most of the same systems yet they are independent of each other. Moreo Crystal H has a new protagonist, new dungeons, monster girls and some improvements. It retains the same battle system, leveling, hub and of course Otton – the literal embodiment of a phallus + seal.
This aversion to subtle innuendos perforates throughout this entire experience. From the returning boob UFO to a literal jiz tissue monster, it’s all all here and it’s all unapologetically mature. Even the dialog – though not always perfectly translated – is littered with just enough lewdness to make even your grandmother blush. Each of the 86 monster girls has her own unique personality, design and story arc outside of the main plot. Making them much more than just eye candy for the player’s enjoyment. They’re obviously not real but similar to a good joke, it’s that little bit of realism that makes it oh so much better.
A good example of this is that one of the monster girls named Kentauros is only interested in other monster girls and only joins you to be closer to them. Most of her dialogue centers around her attraction to her own kind and how much she desires to protect them. Another example is Vampire. She’s, well, a vampire but likes garlic and other stuff vampires typically don’t because she’s spent time building her tolerance on them. These characters essentially exist outside of the confines of the players perspective. They have goals, fears, even insecurities. Sometimes you’ll walk in on two of them having a conversation about a completely foreign topic and it’s oh so sweet.
Oh and did I mention Moreo Crystal H is all voiced? FULLY voiced in Japanese
From the perspective of a connoisseur of mature content it’s difficult to not appreciate most of what Moreo Crystal H has to offer, especially when viewing these spectacular character designs by the team at Compile Heart. However, there will be those who will find issues with the character designs. These primarily involve folks from two camps. Those are those who “think about the children” when this is a game not meant for children in the same way Deadpool the movie wasn’t meant for children. Let’s call this group – Irresponsible parents. The second are those who’ll claim the characters are too young – The Pedo warriors. Sighting things like these sorts of games insight pedo acts while at the same time not seeing any issue with games like Call of Duty because that’s fiction… mhmm. That game looks more realistic than this though, unless of course if you’re a real life anime character then yea, depictions of our world are fiction.
Oh and to go even further on debunking these critiques. There are adult females who have more petite proportions who wish to be viewed as desirable as voluptuous ladies. Just take an afternoon and type in Lolita or petite into everyone’s favorite adult site and check out the proportions of most of those blue checkmarks on there. My basic point is that these characters aren’t real and even if they were, there are real women with those inherent body types.
What’s more accurate is that some of the characters make you uncomfortable and to that I say just don’t play the game or if you do just don’t capture those characters. I did that with Azuki Arai. Saw her character design, said; “nooope, not bout that life” and left her right there. If that’s too much then this is not a game for you and that’s fine. There are many other games out there for you to play, just don’t go shitting on other folks’ enjoyment because of your personal discomfort. It’s that kind of thinking at Sony why this and many other Japanese games like it have flown the coop for greener pasture on more accepting platforms like the Nintendo Switch, Steam and surprisingly the XBOX.
From a gameplay perspective Moreo Crystal H is a simple first person dungeon crawler. You purchase items in town, select your characters, outfit them with equipment then enter dungeons. Each dungeon has about floors 6 to 7 floors to begin with, including hidden floors. Once you complete the main campaign an additional 4 or so floors will be unlocked for each. The main floors contain two recruitable monster girls per floor along with a boss character on the final floor. Recruiting the boss unlocks the next dungeon while also advancing the plot. As mentioned before it’s a simple process and thus doesn’t require much grinding.
When you add a new girl to your team you’re able to either immediately add her to your active party or send her to a room at the inn. There you can talk to her to advance her individual subplot, give presents, change her outfits as well as play two mini games: doki doki shooter and love scratch. By giving them presents or performing love scratch their intimacy toward the MC will increase – unlocking new moe traits and special events.
While most are returning systems, the doki – doki mini game is a new one played similarly to a simplified bullet hell shooter. Your craft – a cartoonish phallus shoots two types of shots. The first destroys enemies while the second does the same to clothing. This second shot can be charged for more effect and is the key to this mode. Destroying the right sections of each girl’s outfit reveals hidden gems which unlock hidden dungeons within them. When completed the girls will unlock new traits, extra intimacy hearts and the ability to mix outfits. There’s even a hidden secret cutscene in each of their heart gem dungeons.
This was of course a replacement of the egg system from the previous game and it’s much more appreciated since it adds an additional 3 dungeons for each girl for a whopping 258 extra dungeons.
There’s also a new roommates system and companions have been changed for the better. Now you can select two monster girls to accompany each girl in your party. These girls will support them with extra attacks or buff their stats. Their friendship levels will begin to rise the longer they remain together and once it’s at three stars they can become roommates. They can then benefit from the perks of the room together. Each room can be upgraded multiple times to offer more EXP and intimacy. Upgrading them requires building material via doki – doki and secret area shops. This material is unique to each girl, requiring completion of their individual hidden dungeons to fully upgrade their rooms.
Putting monster girls together also presents the possibility to perform duel love scratch for special equipment. These and all other equipment can then be further enhanced via the Soul Temple using five different types of souls. Souls collected upon the defeat of enemies. Once you have enough souls of the required types you can buff their stats a total of 9 times. The rarer the equipment the more the stats will raise when enhanced. It’s also possible to further enhance these items using souls. By releasing seals – special buffs, the player can bestow new abilities to their equipment. For example; Greater EXP or decrease specific aura damage.
Along with that you also have resting places which temporarily buff stats for money. Essentially love hotels that you can take either one or more monster girls to. There you have the option to select a single stat to buff per girl or stay the night to randomly buff numerous stats.
Outside of that you have the training center for battling your monster girls, practice love scratch and of course unlock monster girls captured in crystals. These are one of the biggest new mechanics and also a significant shortcoming.
Crystals are obtained via the shops for a significant amount of gold, much more than you’ll have during the early sections where you may most wish to use them. Instead you’re likely to circumvent the whole system by holding one of the strafe buttons near a wall. This allows the characters to attempt to move while remaining stationary. Thus counting as steps towards the cooldown of the respawn time of the monster girls. Had the crystals been cheaper they’d be a much more viable tool but instead they’re just a feature only applicable during the post game for convenience.
Other issues include too many menus when more functions could be done with less, all mechanics not being explained resulting in lots of guess work, and lack of attack variations and flexibility. This last one is tied to the pantsu system which has fixed attacks tied to each girl via the outfit she’s wearing. It’s a cool concept that I like although it would have been nice to have some variation in the attacks. Each of the girls have an element, and each element has a particular set of attacks and moves. You can’t change or learn new moves that the outfits don’t already have.
So with a character like Lindwurm using her main outfit, you’ll have Aura Attack Earth, Protect, Weapon Break, Cheering, Heal, Earth Gain, Aura Impact Earth and Protecting Shell. They’ll each unlock sequentially from wearing the outfit but none of those moves can be altered in any way. To make things worse every earth aura character will have one or more of the exact same movies. Resulting in a battle system that becomes boring much quicker than it should. It also means that though you can mix and match outfits now, you’re basically stuck using outfits you may not want.
The biggest improvement to the battle system is the combo attacks, but even those aren’t enough to alleviate the impending monotony. Something I presume the devs knew because most of the game can be played automatically once your characters are of a high enough level. If the battle system was good, such a feature would not be necessary.
Nonetheless this is still a fun experience that was held together by its healthy use of unapologetic fan service, great voice acting and lite storytelling. Similar to Moero Chronicles we have a new male protagonist on a quest to save all the monster girls from darkness. This time around he’s a bloke named Zenox initially searching for his missing father. After meeting the monster girl Luanna and being presented with the unfortunate reality of the world coming to an end, he puts his needs aside to save everyone. With the help of Luanna and Otton – The Roaming Panty Hunter, he pursues the new antagonist, Dark Ottonias – an Otton lookalike with a dark colour pallet, shades and a cape. Everything is set into motion when Dark Ottonias steals the Bra of darkness and sets out to infect every monster girl he can find with its power.
It’s fun, colourful and most of all provocatively sensual. Where it lacks in complexity, makes up for it with charm and humor.
Moero Crystal H is not a game for children (period). It’s a smut filled rendezvous filled with a myriad of cute and sexy anime girls placed in questionable situations for the carnal enjoyment of the player. If anime shiggle makes you uncomfortable then this is not a game for you. It wears it’s M/PEGI 18 rating as a badge of honor for those who’ve always supported tiles like this.
Though not as direct as per say Metropolis: Lux Obscura, Crystal H succeeds at stimulating much of the same itch. That being said, it’s more of the same when compared to its predecessor. Not much has been done to improve the battle system and most other aspects of the gameplay loop. It’s basically Moreo Chronicles with a new story, extra waifus and some minor changes but… I’m not mad at that.
The copy of Moreo Crystal H used for this review was provided to us by its publisher.