Visual Novel Review: Long Live the Queen
Synopsis: Being a princess is not an easy job. Being a Queen is even harder. Especially when you’re only fourteen years old, and the reason you’ve inherited the throne is that your royal mother has just met an untimely end.
Now power is up for grabs. You may be the official heir, but much of the country’s nobility would love to steal the throne for themselves. Aggressive neighbors will take advantage of any weakness to enlarge their boarders at your expense. And that’s not even mentioning the magical dangers which are lying in wait…
Can you survive long enough to reach your coronation?
“Long Live the Queen” is a life simulation game that’s reminiscent towards games like “Princess Maker” in Japan.
Primarily, the main goal is to have Elodie, the princess that the player has to “raise” and help her survive wars, potential threats, and ward off unwanted suitors before she could become queen at fifteen years old, who is considered as a legal adult in this time period.
There are different classes Elodie could take – such as, conversations, royal demeanor, animal handling, history, economics, faith, military, athletics, agility, and much much more! The more her skills rise, the better she can understand certain conversations to progress the story along. Of course, it’s completely up to the player on what kind of queen Elodie could be just based on the choices made alone. There really isn’t an end to the choices to choose from!
One of the main things that brings people to this game is not just what kind of queen she would be but if she’s going to survive long enough to become a queen. There are various ways to die in this game and each one is actually part of the achievements – which is a unique thing about it since most games would try to prevent that from happening.
There is a way to avoid dying, of course, but the player has to make sure that her skill set for certain actions are pretty much almost completely filled up.
Another unique thing about this game is the mood system. For every mood she is feeling, there’s a penalty and there’s a bonus. Certain moods help boost skills for whatever class the player chooses for her and others, well, not so much. There’s actually a penalty if the player makes Elodie take the wrong classes for a certain mood she’s in.
There are outfits the player can unlock, so long as that particular subject is pretty well-balanced. These outfits help boost up that particular subject, especially if it’s in a war, a tournament, or at the gala, although more often than not, they’re just there to change up from her boarding school uniform.
If Elodie does manage to survive to the coronation, there are epilogues afterward based on the choices the player makes. They’re the literal result of what happens based on the player’s choices and decisions as a young fourteen-year-old girl trying to become a Queen.
Not only does the epilogues come in with what happened to Elodie and her subjects (if they’re involved at any way), but they come in with beautiful drawings that’s similar to the stained glass on the castle walls.
But what do I think of it? I really enjoyed it! It’s a lot of fun and it’s fun to try to get the different endings and different deaths. There’s actually a checklist within the game itself to try to get all of the achievements, deaths, and different epilogue stained glasses to try to vary the game experience up.
While it does seem that the endings are endless, there are a few problems.
Going over the game over and over, eventually, it starts to become extremely repetitive. Sometimes, new menus and new choices pop up which could lead to different endings/results, but eventually, the player might have to pass by that same choice and those same scenes again just to get to the choices that the player has to deviate from.
It’s a little bit of a bore but there is the option to skip the text so it’s really not that bad. Once new text pops up, though, it stops for the player to read it. There is the option to go back and re-do the choices but it doesn’t work all the time, so be sure you know what you’re doing in terms of choices.
The writing for the political intrigue is pretty basic for a life simulation game, but, honestly, I’m not sure if that’s really a complaint or not. On one hand, the player would know exactly what to do in a situation such as that and it’d seem exactly as it is: too easy to figure out. On the other hand, it does give the player an opportunity to go back and do the other choice just for the fun of it and just to see what happens. It’s not really hard to get invested in what’s going on in Nova, the land this takes place in, but it’s just as easy not to.
The art is a hit or a miss for me. The character designs are simple, but one of the characters, Julianna the Duchess of Ursul, reminds me almost completely of Sailor Mercury from “Sailor Moon”. It’s a little distracting.
The backgrounds for the game are fine, but again, tend to be simple since the backgrounds didn’t seem the change that often. There are places Elodie can go during the weekends, but there’s not a real immersion factor although I’m sure that’s probably not intended.
Often, it’s hard to determine how old the characters are (especially the older gentleman who sends Elodie a necklace, customary for betrothal in this land) but it’s clear when they’re supposed to be young though it’s hard discerning whether they’re a teenager or not, if one isn’t paying attention to the dialogue.
More often than not, there’s almost an unfinished feel with it. Granted, this game isn’t really meant to be something completely serious and, again as I mentioned before, it’s easy to not get as invested in it since there are achievements for deaths. If you didn’t get the ending you wanted, it’s not like the game’s going to punish you – you’ll probably get an achievement out of it instead which could be beneficial if that’s what the player wanted.
The music for the game fits although maybe not the splash song. It’s a piano version of “God Save the Queen”, the British national anthem, but the rest of the game’s music is fine. Of course, if the player doesn’t want the music, they could always turn it off in the preferences.
As for the intrigue of Elodie’s mother’s demise, it’s pretty cut and dried. Based on the story itself when I got there, it’s so throwaway that her mother being dead might as well not have mattered. From the way they alluded about her mother’s death, I thought that this would finally get into some deep stuff about the Lumens and why this world is the way it is (sort of modern but still fantasy/medieval) but it didn’t really end up that way, so that was disappointing.
Perhaps it’s best that way though – if the entirety of the game is simple, there really isn’t any rhyme or reason why anything else would be more important than getting her to the coronation. If there is any real intrigue, it’s about some preferences of the dukes and duchesses have for their company. Other than that, there’s no real intrigue. As mentioned over and over, this is pretty cut & dried. It’s a simple story for a simple game about simply raising a princess named Elodie who may or may not become queen.
It’s a fun ride, despite it all, and it certainly does have replay even after the 100% achievements (epilogues, deaths, & achievements) have been unlocked. It’s not too deep and the art is cute although some people probably wouldn’t like it too much if they’re looking for a simulation with some depth to it. It is a fun game, though, and I’d recommend this to those who just want to try different things without worrying too much about the princess they’re trying to raise.
This is a repost of my original post on Nendoroid Cuties – I am merely transferring over from one blog to another. If you enjoy these reviews, you can support me through ko-fi!
Posted on November 21, 2020, in ★★★☆☆ – 3 Stars, Book Reviews, Oneshots, Visual Novel Series and tagged english otome game, hanako games, indie, long live the queen, otome game, ren'py, review, visual novel review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.