Collar x Malice Image
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: A dangerous shadow organization launches a campaign of fear and violence in the city of Shinjuku, pushing society to the brink of chaos. As a young police officer tasked with restoring order, you become the target of an attack, and have a poisonous collar attached to your neck. With theA dangerous shadow organization launches a campaign of fear and violence in the city of Shinjuku, pushing society to the brink of chaos. As a young police officer tasked with restoring order, you become the target of an attack, and have a poisonous collar attached to your neck. With the situation spiraling out of control and time running out, five mysterious strangers appear to aid you in your quest for the truth. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Aug 21, 2017
    83
    If I were to offer a film critic style soundbite, I would say that Collar X Malice is a slick, stylish, and sexy thriller. The story and characters held my interest and the sense of danger kept me on the edge of my seat. It had its tropey "because anime" moments, but no more so than your garden variety summer blockbuster. If you enjoy visual novels, definitely check out Collar X Malice.
  2. Aug 3, 2017
    80
    Collar X Malice is a great visual novel that happens to also be an otome. The story is dark, stressful, and creates an atmosphere that forces the player to want to continue. True, there are many wrong paths, but once you see the end in sight you will understand what makes this game so good. I enjoyed my time with Collar X Malice and I’m eager to experience the remaining routes and endings that I missed, which could easily take 40 hours of accumulative playtime.
  3. Jul 28, 2017
    80
    There is a reason that Aksys website for this game doesn’t stress that this is an otome as the story is engaging for visual novel fans of all types. Collar X Malice is a well-crafted title that leans hard on its mystery and creates a sense of foreboding while keeping it from becoming too much. Idea Factory walked a fine line here and ended up with a cool, stylish experience for anyone that just wants to chill in an easy chair with a cool story.
  4. Aug 21, 2017
    80
    Collar x Malice is one of the best otome visual novels I’ve played with lots of things to shake up the formula for the better but some typos in the text sour the experience.
  5. 75
    While the writing leaves a lot to be desired in some regards, the story told is a compelling one, and earning the trust of the icy suitors was a more nuanced and sweet process than I expected.
  6. Aug 16, 2017
    70
    Collar X Malice is a well-crafted visual novel, with thoughtful aesthetics and elaborated plot. The story itself is deep with lot of possible interpretations. But this game also features all limits of its genre: dialogues are often too long and there are design limits that are not common to the contemporary audience. Those will be able to overcome these flaws will discover a deep story with great replayability.
  7. Sep 21, 2017
    50
    For that matter, I don’t know that I’d quibble too hard with anyone who looked at the damsel-in-distress and the obnoxious characters, shrugged, and wanted to play anyway. The game practically asks the question, What if Danganronpa were a romance novel? — and if you’ve ever wanted to see how that plays out, Collar x Malice offers an intriguing answer.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 21, 2017
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's an understatement to say that Collar x Malice is a well developed visual novel otome game. The artwork is stylistic and detailed, unique among Otomate's games. The story is immersive and addicting, in that it's enjoyable as a suspenseful mystery visual novel, and as an otome game. Each route provides a different perspective and ending to the story. Furthermore, each character is well written and dynamic--allowing audiences to run into dead ends and failure. As an otome game, it's rare in that the protagonist doesn't conveniently have amnesia. Not all of the men are clinging to the protagonist, and each romantic route develops in a different way. I could even say that the romance is only a third of the game, but the bonds built through the suspenseful and dark atmosphere makes the romance touching and even heartbreaking [rather than sickening].

    I would also like to point out, one of my past favorite bands Plastic Tree that has been around since 1993 composed beautiful opening and ending music for the game. It's surprising that they chose a visual kei band--a very well known one, and one that is even unique among visual kei for the vocalist's style to compose music since there's so much stigma surrounding visual kei. The game even lightly touches on the topic of visual kei. The developers could have chosen any other band that exclusively makes music for games/anime, but the fact that they decided to collaborate with a well known band really amazes me.

    Now to touch on the topic of why I didn't give the game a full 10/10. If I were playing the Japanese version, I would have given it 10/10 without any doubts. However, Aksys did a very poor job in translating this game. I understand that translating from Japanese to English is difficult(considering it's part of my job as well), and it takes creativity to transform sentences to seem natural while maintaining the characters' personalities. However, Aksys made huge mistakes in Collar x Malice.

    The biggest one, is of "Souko Yoshi tani"
    In Kageyuki Shiraishi's route, the protagonists illustrates a diagram with people connected to one of Adonis's crimes. One of those people is "Souko Yoshi tani and is written clearly as "Souko" in the diagram. However, in the text dialogue, everyone refers to her as "Misako Yoshi tani Despite the multiple times where the voice actors clearly say "Souko Yoshi tani," the text dialogue writes "Misako." There is never a "Misako."

    Another is when Takeru Sasazuka tells me to "shut up," but the name tag says "Aiji Yanagi." Although the voice actor of Takeru Sasazuka is speaking, Aksys mixed up the name with "Aiji Yanagi."

    Despite Aksys's claim to be strict and have a team that collaborates on making sure a game's themes and ideas are portrayed clearly and accurately overseas on their Japanese site, playing through Collar x Malice will show you that Aksys had a small group independently translate this game with no collaboration whatsoever.

    Happy 1 year anniversary to Collar x Malice. Let's hope that Aksys fixes the huge mistakes that they overlooked.
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  2. Aug 27, 2017
    7
    In this game, you play as Hoshino Ichika (name can be changed but if you leave it as it is it’ll be voiced), a rookie police officer with aIn this game, you play as Hoshino Ichika (name can be changed but if you leave it as it is it’ll be voiced), a rookie police officer with a high moral compass and determination to help others.
    She’s a very determined and stubborn young woman who suddenly finds herself the target of the malicious terrorist organization Adonis.
    Collard with deadly poison and threatened for her life, she finds herself having to team up with a bunch of mysterious ex-police officers investigating this terrorist group.

    In the prologue and the common route, you’ll find yourselves making choices that’ll determine who you’ll end teaming up with.
    That being said, at the first playthrough you can only find yourself teaming up with 3 out of the 5 characters – Enomoto Mineo, Sasazuka Takeru, Okazaki Kei.

    After finishing at least one of these routes (in a happy ending, that is) Shiraishi Kageyuki’s route will unlock.
    Yanagi Aiji’s route, however, can only be played after you finish all of the other guys’ happy endings.

    To get all CG’s (the art is extremely beautiful, by the way) you’ll have to achieve the good end and the blighted love end. To get all trophies, you’ll have to achieve all possible bad endings for each of the characters, as well. Here is a great walkthrough for all the good & bad endings possible for each character (http://www.kaleidomint.com/category/walkthrough/).

    Recommended character playthrough: Mineo – Takeru – Kei – Shiraishi – Yanagi.
    I, however, played Shiraishi before Kei and I found it to be just as great (:

    I highly recommend you play this game blind at first, see who you naturally team up with, and later on maybe follow the walkthrough.

    Personally, I try to achieve the Happy Endings on my own without a walkthrough, since it’s the most fun. Later on, I usually follow the walkthrough to get the normal and bad endings. If I’m unsuccessful in achieving a happy ending, I’ll usually look for hints in the walkthrough to see where I went wrong, but it’s usually easy enough to figure out since either the trust or affection levels will increase with each ‘correct’ choice. There are, however, choices that don’t trigger any of those scales, so you should be careful with them.

    One more important thing that confused me to no end in the beginning is the Trigger Mode.
    I honestly thought I was going crazy when it didn’t work out for me the first many times.
    I didn’t know what to do, but then I read some reviews online, and it cleared it up pretty well.
    Basically, you need to wait until the circle comes to align itself with the circle around the gun. If you succeeded, the light will turn red. If not, the light will turn gray. Either way you’ll know by whether you missed (failed) or hit (succeeded). The point is, naturally, to hit the target.
    If you don’t manage the first time, don’t worry and just go back and try again and again until you do. That’s what I did and eventually I got the hang of it and it was pretty fun (:

    The characters:

    Enomoto Mineo: Old fashioned, enthusiastic, and extremely self-conscious around women. Ex-police
    officer.

    Sasazuka Takeru: A genius hacker with a knack for sadism and calling others ‘idiots’. (Aldo ex-police in the cyber division). He does not trust easily.

    Kageyuki Shiraishi: a genius profiler with absolute lack of social skills, tact, and delicacy. He doesn’t know how to treat or interact with others, thus always makes them end up hating him. He has a very difficult personality to deal with, and he doesn’t seem to care what others thinks of him. He’s only ever interested in what he wants, the rest be dammed.

    Yanagi Aiji: The ‘big brother’ or ‘father’ figure on the group. Responsible, smart, and dedicated, Yanagi will do everything to help those in need.

    The plot:

    As you team up with one of the five guys, you peruse the X-day cases that have been terrorizing Japan for months to no end.
    Each route is unique and things rarely repeat themselves (aside from the common route, that is).
    As you try to figure out who put this deadly collar on you and to what end, you slowly gain the trust – and later affection – of the guys you’re working with.

    Features:

    You can high-max the skip read feature for easier skipping (it really does help when trying to achieve all endings and repeating the common route).

    My thoughts:

    This was a fun game.
    I enjoyed it a lot.
    From beautiful art to stressful action scenes, this game had it all. There’s romance, there’s blood, there’s justice, there’s vengeance. This is a rather dark game that puts a lot of focus on the thin line between vengeance and revenge, good and bad, right and wrong, victim and assailant. I found it to be a very thought-provoking game, and at the same time also clearly otome. Which basically mean, don’t worry, there’s plenty of wonderful romance to go around with all the darkness (:
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