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Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

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  • Summary: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is a grand tale that will enchant the hearts and minds of players as it takes them on an incredible journey. With a beautiful visual novel story experience, intriguing characters, fast-paced SRPG combat, world-class soundtrack, and more, the game is theUtawarerumono: Mask of Deception is a grand tale that will enchant the hearts and minds of players as it takes them on an incredible journey. With a beautiful visual novel story experience, intriguing characters, fast-paced SRPG combat, world-class soundtrack, and more, the game is the perfect escape for adventure gamers!

    Mask of Deception begins atop a snowy mountain where the protagonist awakens in an unfamiliar wilderness, surrounded by deadly creatures, with nothing but a hospital gown and a splitting headache. However, hes rescued by a beautiful girl named Kuon, who sports both adorable animal ears and a beastlike tail. Finding that the hapless man has no memory of anything, Kuon decides to take the amnesiac into her care, naming him Haku. As their journey takes them across the land, Haku will encounter colorful characters, build deep relationships, battle ruthless enemies, and find himself inexorably dragged into the political machinations of the mighty nation of Yamato.
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Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception - Announcement Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 90
    It's quite unfortunate for the sake of the game that Utawarerumono just happens to come out in a rare period when there are a lot of tactics RPGs to choose between. Fire Emblem and Disgaea both have far higher profiles, and those respective games will get the bulk of the attention, but for something a little more beautiful than Disgaea, a little more humorous than Fire Emblem, and genuinely focused on the narrative, Utawarerumono is my pick of the bunch.
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    80
    While reading off of my TV for forty hours took some getting used to, I’m glad I read Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception. The characters are well-written, it’s beautiful to look at, and I can’t wait to see where it’s all going.
  3. May 22, 2017
    78
    Veterans of the genre, therefore, may not receive great satisfaction from this particular title.
  4. 70
    Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception features an interesting story and great cast of characters coupled with excellent 2D visuals and voice acting, making it an easily entertaining experience in spite of its few shortcomings. While those looking for a complex and deep tactical RPG experience may find themselves disappointed, fans of the visual novel genre and the Utawarerumono series will definitely enjoy Mask of Deception and will end up looking forward to Mask of Truth.
  5. May 23, 2017
    67
    While there are interesting turn-based battles to experience, there isn’t any depth to them and merely gives you a ‘feels good, looks great’ experience without any challenge whatsoever. It’s a streamlined experience that you should sit back and mindlessly enjoy, but nothing more.
  6. Jul 17, 2017
    60
    Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception tells two different stories—one serious, one sexy—that are so at odds with one another that it loses itself in the process.
  7. May 25, 2017
    35
    Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is a text based adventure that masquerades as a tactical RPG. There are hours upon hours of low-grade, simple cutscenes with countless lines of text that you’ll be reading instead of playing a video game. There are elements of this title that shine through the darkness of boredom, but there are few who can stomach the ride finding them.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Jun 1, 2017
    10
    First, let's get this out of the way. This "game" is a probably 85% Visual Novel and 15% SRPG. People who are expecting more gameplay andFirst, let's get this out of the way. This "game" is a probably 85% Visual Novel and 15% SRPG. People who are expecting more gameplay and have less patience for a good story should stay away. I believe this misconception is akin to someone dressed to play soccer but walking onto a basketball court and being sorely disappointed causing lower review scores.

    That being said, for what it is, this "game" is a wonderful experience and has the magic of a good book. I've never heard of Utawarerumono before and had no idea what I was getting into. My main focus within any game is Story and Utawarerumono doesn't disappoint. There's definitely something to be said about the loss of storytelling quality going from a book to a movie or game in this day and age. Many subtle insights are overlooked as we get into cinematic territory. With the approach Utawarerumono takes, every little thought or feeling the main character experiences are conveyed thoroughly through inner dialogue and immerses the player in a way that no cinematic or gameplay can.

    The story is definitely a grand adventure with memorable characters. Every story nowadays is a recycled form of an older story but Utawarerumono mixes, matches and interweaves different parts of a story and this makes the overall shine!

    The Voice acting is all in Japanese but the actors convey emotion well through tone. Questions, Surprised reactions, embarassements, etc. are all well acted and it's nice to hear the voice of a character. It helps to distinguish different characters and push away the monotony of just reading dialogue.

    Gameplay is few and far in between but that doesn't affect my outlook towards the game at all. it was actually refreshing to just simply be immersed in an enjoyable story. I was kind of sad it all ended once I beat the game but that's just how it goes. All I know is that if I felt that way at the end, then it was a good Experience through and through.
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  2. Aug 12, 2020
    10
    This game is mainly a visual novel, most of the game is story based but there are strategic battles here and there in the game. The storyThis game is mainly a visual novel, most of the game is story based but there are strategic battles here and there in the game. The story itself is fantastic and the gameplay is fun, it is an overall great experience. There is no english dub for the voices though so you will have to read the story. Expand
  3. May 23, 2017
    10
    I will be honest. I am a little biased when it comes to this game having found the original Utawarerumono interesting since it came out over aI will be honest. I am a little biased when it comes to this game having found the original Utawarerumono interesting since it came out over a decade ago. I'm a lover of SRPGs and great visual novels (VNs). This is one of the best there is in both genre. Some critics (and players) are going to come into Utawarerumono with different expectations than one would need. This can cause unfair review scores simply because this is not your average first person shooter, open world sandbox, etc. This game is heavily and foremost a visual novel. Most of the "playing" will be done reading the story. However, the story is great and if you like VNs, it is a real treat. Lovable main, side, background characters. Great lore and world building, the works. The SRPG parts (around 20 or so) are great in comparison to other games in the genre. If you like SRPGs, you'll find a nice challenge with this on hard.

    I also have the benefit of playing Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth before they were localized in English. Let me tell you now that this game is a first half to a story where the second half unfolds in Mask of Truth. Mask of Deception ends in a cliffhanger, so do not be too alarmed, there will be more. It is possible to play these two without playing the original Utawarerumono game (or watching the anime) but if one wants to understand why the Utaware world is the way it is and the appearance of some original characters in the two sequels, it would be best to get knowledgeable about the original. The original Utawarerumono anime is a great adaption and can probably be found on streaming sites. Highly recommended game. VNs as good as this do not come around often.
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  4. Dec 8, 2018
    8
    The dialogues are super long, but if you have the patience its very enjoyable. But its not like there arent any other RPGs that have longThe dialogues are super long, but if you have the patience its very enjoyable. But its not like there arent any other RPGs that have long scenes, but usually they offer a option to skip and provide a summary.

    But this game is different I have to say, you will be getting a very different experience if they offered you an option to skip. But with the slow pace, its a farcry from the usualy PS4 games.

    Nevertheless, its a great game with one of the very best plot, dialogues, characters, art, music, voice acting and game play.

    Note that game play is turn and grid based - what they call tactical style.

    Cant wait for to play the sequel and Zan!
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  5. Jun 9, 2019
    8
    Good visual novel with a perfect execution and plot, though it lacks replay value and there's no scene viewer.
  6. Aug 30, 2020
    7
    Most negative reviews for this game come from people who have only shallow knowledge about anime/manga related stuff and have no idea whatMost negative reviews for this game come from people who have only shallow knowledge about anime/manga related stuff and have no idea what exactly a visual novel (short, VN) is. A VN is not an usual 'game', but more a book accompanied with still images and music. If that doesn't appeal to you, this game isn't for you.

    This game is mostly VN, accompanied by a small part of SRPG (Strategic RPG, usually tile- and round-based; see Disgaea games). Expect a lot of VN content. Sometimes, between two SPRG battles, there lies more than 3 hours of reading text. So the enjoyment of this game comes mostly from the reading part, while the SRPG part should really be seen as a bonus.

    For this review, I will expect that you know that this game is a sequel to the original 'Utawarerumono', a visual novel which also got an anime adaptation. This sequel has completely different main characters and can be enjoyed without knowing the first game, but several characters make cameos, so watching at least the anime of the first game is highly recommended. Btw, this game (Mask of Deception) also got an anime adaptation already, which does differ from the game though in various details.

    So, how is the story? First of all, pretty...'anime'. You have lot of the usual cliches, from stereotypes over fanservice to demonized, one-dimensional villians. You'll definitely need a certain 'tolerance' for those things if you want to enjoy this VN.
    On the good side, certain other aspects are handled quite well: Most of all, the world is quite fleshed out. The game comes with a glossary where lot of details about the world, it's culture and food are included and also in the story, various side stories revolve around the game world's various aspects and details. These side stories, which have a slice-of-life character, are pretty humorous in nature and bring the characters closer to you. Much later in the game, there are more serious parts, which work pretty well, since the characters grew on you in the previous segments. At the end of the game, I really liked all the characters and really wanted to know how it continues - exactly, the story is left unfinished, but it is already known that it will be completed by another sequel named 'Mask of Truth', set for release in Sep, 2017.

    The SRPG part is also surprisingly well made. It isn't as complex as other games in the genre, which is actually rather beginner-friendly. After the 17 battles in the main story, which can be played in 'normal' or 'hard' mode, an extra 16 battles await the player in post-game. These are much more difficult than the main story battles, but can be beaten after understanding the game's mechanics and tactics well.

    Graphic-wise, the game isn't anything special. The japanese version actually appeared for the PS3, and even for PS3 standards, the graphics can be described as 'functional' at most, though, honestly, it could have been much worse. The attack and character animations actually look nice. Outside of the SRPG part, the VN parts look pretty good, of course, coming with a bunch of great-looking CGs.

    The physical copy of the game (at least, the german version) comes with an additional art booklet. It's the same size as printed manual booklets (remember those?), but filled with artworks and infos to the characters and the world. This was a great addition and again showed the love to detail.

    The western version of the game is kind of censored, as one certain CG is altered a bit. This change was pretty minor though and can be tolerated, in my opinion.

    The trophy list of the game is quite easy and if you've beaten all of the game including the post-game battles, the platinum should easily pop up. So yeah, easy platinum here.

    All in all I can recommend the game to every anime fan, especially fans of the first anime or the existing anime. Don't except an epic tale, but expect a fun journey with loveable characters and a story that gets quite interesting towards the end. And be prepared to buy the sequel, lol.
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  7. May 24, 2017
    3
    I'll be honest, I haven't finished the game. I'm about 6hrs in (at the pace of the game's auto command for moving through the dialogue).

    I
    I'll be honest, I haven't finished the game. I'm about 6hrs in (at the pace of the game's auto command for moving through the dialogue).

    I understood it's be a VN, with RPG elements. I didn't realize to the extent how much dialogue that would include. It took nearly 2hrs before your first "battle" (the only time you have any real input into the game). Nearly 3hrs before your first "choice" (Which was basically click 'X' because you only had 1 option). And in 5hrs I've had 3 battles, and just came across my 2nd (though actually 1st) choice.

    I think the art works is beautiful, the voice acting (Though in Japanese) is magnificent and the music is soothing and creates the right atmosphere. But sadly, this game needs 1 thing - 1 simple thing - and that's English Voice Acting.

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer Japanese voices at time - but that's when not-so-much reading is involved. But with the amount of reading, and the poor displaying of some of it... it'd be nice to just listen to the story. Because there's too much text. I'd honestly prefer this entire story in book format.

    But a lot of the dialogue is unnecessary chatter, or over explanation of events. Which is the oddest, and brand new form, of 'fluff' I've come across in gaming.

    Honestly, regardless of what die-hard fans will say (the sort of people who would jump on the hype for this VN) I'd recommend the anime for anyone wanting the story in a more immersive and easy to digest manner, which - itself - is still a masterpiece. Granted, there are changes but I personally prefer the anime on that basis alone.

    If they ever bring of English VA's (which they likely won't) then I'll pick it up, but we're not getting the experience as it was intended because - unless you can understand Japanese - then this is just a pretty digital book.

    And yes, I love VN's. I've burnt through a few, most are short and sweet - and some are lengthy - but this "game" takes the biscuit, and the RPG elements may as well not exist. It's not deep, meaningful... it's entirely unnecessary to the 'experience'.

    3/10. It's good, it's just hard to digest - and for anyone with dyslexia, or difficulty reading for long periods of time... it's going to take forever to get through this game, English VA would have helped appeal to a wider audience. It's a shame, I was hoping to fully compare it to the anime - and thought it would have much more of a game to it, in term of it's RPG elements, and didn't realize the issue of lacking English VA. But now I know, and that was a risk I took when buying the game - and I hope I inform people who don't make a similar mistake.
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See all 10 User Reviews