Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 01/10/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code
It is the end of the trilogy, but is this a game you want to sink 40 plus hours in to, or do you need to play the previous games to know what the hell is happening?
First things first, Mary Skelter Finale needs some background information regarding the other two instalments to fully understand what is happening. But it has you covered with the ‘Before Story’ on the main menu. This has the previous games cutscenes. This section will cover everything you need to know to catch up on the story so far.
The story revolves around the large party of teens that have been locked in a living jail filled with horrors and nightmares, finally escaping and moving above ground. But to their dismay, the world has been turned in to a killing field with dead bodies piled high and another jail suspending in mid air. Not to mention Massacre Pink, a group of super powered killers that enjoy murder and drinking human blood.
After fighting their way out of the last jail, the Maidens were no match for Massacre Pink and were almost killed before being teleported away to different parts of the jail. Now separated, they have to try to find each other and work out away to finally take down the jail and Massacre Pink.
That’s the story in a nutshell. It is far deeper and more happens. The story is fairly standard with a few twists and turns, but nothing that will blow your mind too much.
The trilogy is foremost a visual novel. There is a ton of story content and it is almost all voice acted in both English and Japanese. Both sets of actors doing a great job. The story is told in a typical visual novel style with 2D anime style girls talking to you the main controlled character while they explain everything in great detail.
Dungeon Crawling Jails
The next part of Mary Skelter Finale is the first person dungeon crawling and turn based battles. The first part suggests we are playing a dungeon crawler, with random battles and encounters on the map. As you explore the map you are in, there will be traps to dodge, locked doors, stairs up and down levels, and switches to flip.
The dungeon crawling is not as straightforward as it first seems. After being teleported to different areas, there were two parties sent to these locations, albeit different parts of the jail. While exploring, you will at hit a snag where you can no longer progress with the current party. This is where the Zapping mechanic comes in to play. Throughout this adventure, the parties will need to be changed to progress in each stage. Not only does this facilitate progression, it also adds more to the story.
Marchen, Nightmares and Blood
There is a lot of turn, based battling going to happen. However, it is slightly different to normal, as blood is the most important resource. From powering up your fairy tale Maidens, buffing them or stopping them from going crazy, you will need blood.
The battles, mostly, are as simple as attack and kill the Marchens in your way, while aiming for Overkills. Overkills will spray the blood of the Maidens and will power them up. Or can be licked off to grant a heal or buff. If enough blood is accumulated, then the Maidens will go in to massacre mode. This will increase the attack and defence of the Maiden and unlock powerful skills. If massacre mode is used to frequently, then the Maiden can enter Blood Skelter, here the Maidens are even more powerful, but you lose control over them.
But all is not lost as in most parties there is a Blood Youth, who has special blood that can control the Maidens going crazy and buff them with the use of a Mary Gun and their own blood as ammo. If you do not charge up shots, there is a higher likely hood that the Blood Youth will pass out and become useless.
While traversing the dungeons, you will encounter Nightmares. These are just right pains in the arse. Their purpose is to hunt you down and kill you. It is possible to defeat them if you get caught but only stun them, not kill them.
Hope you like tutorials
There are LOADS of tutorials in Mary Skelter Finale. I mean loads for a good 3 to 4 hours in to the game. I was still getting pop up tutorials. Most of them were so arbitrary they got really grating as they went on. So be warned.
Well, Idea Factory is known for their games not be winning any awards for graphics soon. I felt that this entry was by far the worst looking of the three. Some of the enemy models in the battles look horrid. In fact, the battles with Massacre Pink at the start, I thought I was playing a PS2 title. They improved a little after that, but not a lot.
Overall, Mary Skelter Finale rounds off a good trilogy. Even with the game not looking the best and not really bringing anything new to the table for the genre. I found myself captivated again by the characters and their struggles. Along with wanting to find out what was happening.
If you are a fan of the series, then it is a must buy to find out what happens. If you are not sure, I recommend playing the first two in the series before this one, as we need prior knowledge to get the best from the story.
For more reviews, check out The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition and Tales of Arise