Collar x Malice is an Otome visual novel on the PlayStation Vita that takes place in the city of Shinjuku. A dangerous terrorist organization known as Adonis is attempting the bring about the ‘rebirth’ of Japan through a series of crimes known as the X-Day incidents, where those they deem sinners are punished with death.
You play the role of Ichika Hoshino, a police officer tasked with solving the mystery behind the X-Day murders. One night, you become the target of an attack and have a poisonous collar attached to your neck which allows Adonis to monitor your every move and activate the poison should you reveal the incident. In order to remove the collar and save yourself as well as the city, you must investigate the incidents with the help of a small organisation composed of former police officers who have take it upon themselves to investigate the brutal cases.
Collar x Malice has a very interesting premise that draws you in instantly. Despite being an Otome game, the mystery is the main focus of the game rather than romance. There are 5 routes that follow each love interest, which all intertwine to form the overarching storyline, and provide all the pieces of information needed to solve X-Day as a whole.
The game is primarily a visual novel with the addition of a few extra features, such as crime scene investigating and quick time style events to shoot your gun. All of your actions as well as your decisions during the game affect your gameplay overall. For example, not only can making the wrong decision lead to a bad ending, missing a shot with your gun can also lead to your demise.
Collar x Malice has a really great cast of characters. They all have interesting backstories and unique personalities, each with their own motivations. It’s not just the love interests that are good – Even the secondary characters were memorable and full of personality. Each route is quite long, and it took me around 50 hours to play each route and see every ending.
One of the best things about Collar x Malice is undoubtedly the stunning artwork. It is the most gorgeous Otome game I have played so far, with plenty of beautiful CG’s and great looking backgrounds.
Not only is Collar x Malice one of my favourite Otome games so far, it is also one of my favourite games this year. If you are a fan of Otome games, you will not want to miss this one!