The Caligula Effect: Overdose was a therapeutic experience for me that could not have come at a better time. It is the perfect game for a person like me at this point in my life.

(The below text is a series of notes I took that guided me through the video above.)

I finally finished school and I am ready to take on the life of a full-fledged adult. I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel a little nervous or even intimidated about this next step in my life. There were many times both in the past and in the present where I had a difficult time handling the stress and the workload. There are many times where I wonder if all of this of worth doing. Maybe it would be easier If I just gave up.

However, after playing The Caligula Effect: Overdose, my resolve has never been stronger.

Short Version

  • What is this game? It’s a Japanese RPG with dungeon-crawling and social elements. Also, it’s a complete revamp of the original Caligula on PS Vita.
  • A revamp?…so what’s new? Higher resolution, better frame rate, you can play as a girl now, there are brand new characters here that don’t exist on the Vita version, and many visual changes that make the game look beautiful, making the definitive version of Caligula to play.
  • Is it good? YES. Very good.
  • What can I compare it to? If you like the Persona games, it is very likely you’ll enjoy this too. Hell, even the art style looks similar, and one of the main writers worked on Persona 1 and 2 as well.
  • What the best thing about it? The combat, the story and the very clever way that it uses music.
  • What the worst thing about it? The game has a bit of a slow and boring start, the cut scenes specifically are not very polished, and NPC interaction is a cool idea, but it stops being cool very quickly.
  • Where can I play it? PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
  • Game of the Year contender? Absolutely.

Long Version

STORY

  • The story is about a place called Mobius. It is a fake world created by a virtual being being called Miu. She essentially controls people through her music so that everyone is brainwashed and can just forget about the real world. Because of this, no one realizes that the world is fake, until your protagonist character wakes up and decides that he or she wants to escape. You get together with a bunch of people, create a club and dedicate your time to find Miu, the creator of this world, and convince her to get you of here.
  • It’s important to understand that everyone is here because they couldn’t handle life and wanted to escape.
  • Miu wants to make people happy, so she grants everyone’s wishes within Mobius.
  • The opening of the game seems like something that would act as a twist ending for most other games, but this just the setup.
  • The story tackles some very mature themes. I don’t mean just sex and violence. I’m talking REAL stuff.
  • All of the villains highlight some facet of life that they couldn’t overcome. They are interesting in their own right, especially when you get to know them better in the “bad guy” route.
  • The characters seem a bit flat at the start, but they soon become very memorable.

GAMEPLAY

  • The game has a basic dungeon crawling RPG structure. After all the introductions and tutorials, you hit the ground running by taking on the many dungeons the game has. Obviously, you fight a boss at the end, get some story, go to another dungeon, beat the boss there, more story, rinse and repeat.
  • In between the dungeons, you can spend time with your classmates by getting to know them and what struggles they have, because remember, everybody in this world is here because they gave up on life and wanted a new start. This means that everyone has some sort of dark secret that they are hiding, and they will only tell you when you’re well acquainted with them.
  • The combat is incredibly good. There is a lot of strategy that goes into it, but only on higher difficulties.
  • You can become friends with 500+ NPCs in the whole game, and even have them in your party. It’s a nice and ambitious idea until they recycle lines and have stories that don’t compare to the main characters.
  • The way the music is implemented into the story is great!
  • There is New Game+, A new dungeon and a bunch more stuff to do after beating the game once.

CRITICISMS

  • Despite this being a remastering of the original Caligula on PS Vita, there are still many parts of it that feel clumsy and awkward to look at, and this is mostly found during the dialogue scenes. There are a lot of awkward transitions, way too many fades to black, and some flat out, terrible sound effects, if you can even hear them.
  • If you like hearing anime women scream off the top of their lungs all the time. This is game for you.
  • It’s a pain in the ass to talk to all 500+ people, one by one. They are also tough to track down. There is no easy way to find the people you want.
  • You can only do one request per person, which sucks when you have 500 people to deal with. Would’ve been nice to be able handle multiple quests all that once.

TL;DR – Just like how The World Ends With You was a coming-of-age story for teenagers, The Caligula Effect: Overdose does the same for adults.

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