It’s not an otome game, but I have to rant.
I started playing Astonishia Story on PSP around a month ago. After a week I stopped, and couldn’t muster any will power to pick up and continue playing. I can’t remember much, so details will be blurry.
The main character, Lloyd, is a junior knight who’s going to do his first(…? memory a bit blurry here) big task. In the country there’s a holy staff that symbolises the country’s prosperity and their god/goddess’ protection etc. Now apparently every once in a while there’s a tradition where the holy staff needs to be transported elsewhere (to another country?). The holy staff gets transported in a convoy, guarded by knights etc, and the priests responsible for the holy staff come along. This year, Lloyd gets the honour of being one of the guard knights, something he’s really looking forward to.
In the middle of the journey, there was some ruckus/noises made by some goblins. The priests asked the guards to check it out. The captain of the guard (Lloyd’s boss) insisted that it could be a trap and that the guards shouldn’t wander off leaving the holy staff. The priests insisted, so Lloyd and the captain went. It was indeed a trap, and the captain died, but not before ordering Lloyd to return to the convoy and to guard the holy staff. Lloyd returned to the convoy to find everyone slaughtered and the holy staff missing. A guard managed to tell Lloyd what happened before passing away. The thief/enemy (a knight from another country, from the looks of it) showed up at this point. Lloyd tried to fight him but got beaten horribly. The enemy then left.
Lloyd then decided… to chase the thieves and retrieve the holy staff. It’s at this point my brain got too confused.
So you’re tasked with guarding your country’s treasure, it got stolen and you’re the only survivor left, you tried to confront the criminal but got beaten horribly, and you decided to chase the criminals…? …considering you got beaten up on your own, how about going back to your country and ask for backup…? No…?
My questions just grew from there. In this game you can’t backtrack, so once you left an area you can’t return there. I tried to return to the path I came from, and Lloyd just said that he had to retrieve the staff first. I kept on thinking, shouldn’t you report back to your supervisors and tell them what happened? Is there any reason why you couldn’t go back? No reason was given in the game. It would had helped if somewhere there’s a reason like “If I go back after I lost the staff they’d execute me. I have to retrieve that staff no matter what.” That two lines of dialogue would help make matters clearer… but 2-3 hours into the game still there’s no reason given.
Also, the criminals. They’ve slaughtered the convoy and stolen the holy staff. Why did they need to return to the crime site? Just so Lloyd could confront them and see the criminals’ face? Why did the major criminal leave Lloyd alive when everyone else was killed?
Also, why transport the holy staff? Where to? To what end? It’s a sacred relic; I thought the most sensible thing was to lock and barricade it somewhere safe in the country. So far I have no idea why they transport the holy staff. I have no idea either why it’s considered a holy relic. The game tells you that it is, and you just have to take it at face value. …I know fantasy stories are all about the suspension of disbelief, but I still think I need something to suspend my disbelief on. A ledge or something. Or maybe a truck. Dunno. Tree logs? Never mind…
…I tried to continue playing, just to give it another chance. Lloyd’s perfect-knight personality (patient, merciful, never getting angry, “in the name of justice” etc) then began to look more and more like saintly-doormat personality, and I pretty much gave up. Can’t say I recommend this game…