Indie publisher Ratalaika Games bounces between releasing traditional type video games and visual novel games. I got to check out their most recent visual novel game called Long Live the Queen from developer Hanako Games. Here’s what I thought of the PlayStation 5 version.
Long Live The Queen’s story revolves around a 14-year old princess named Elodie who has just recently lost her mother and now needs to work towards becoming the next queen. If only things could be simple but whenever a seat of power opens up you can bet there will be conflict and that is very much the case here. Neighboring nations want to take advantage of there not currently being a queen and then you have inside forces wanting to gain power themselves. Elodie has to work to survive until her coronation comes around so that she may take the crown.
What surprised me about this game is while it is a visual novel it has a lot of choices to make and things to manage along the way. Elodie has various skills that she needs to raise and to do this you’ll have to have her take weekly classes to raise them. Skills are sorted in branches with those being social, mystical, intellectual, and physical. Each of these four branches then has sub-categories like social having a conversation stat that is then further broken down into more categories like flattery and public speaking. The Physical category has sub-stats like weapons that then is broken down into archery or swords and Agility that is broken down into dance and reflexes. There are tons and tons more stats that I’m not even naming and to be honest it can be a little daunting at first looking at all of them. It really is up to you to plan your classes out and decide which type of stats you want to focus on raising. Classes are taken during the morning and evening each day and you are able to gain two points in total towards your stats each day. That means if you study weapons one day you can only gain a total of two points towards leveling it up.
Elodie also has a mood that you need to take note of with it not starting off the best given the tragic passing of her mother. Her mood will affect how well she learns in her classes so trying to keep her in a good mood is your best bet. You are allowed to take part in other activities at times and doing these can help you improve Elodie’s mood so make sure you are doing that in order to have success. On the other hand, it may be better to have her in a worse mood at times as it may help her learn a certain subject better. The game really is just about experimenting and seeing how different outcomes play out. The anime visuals in the game look nice and there is a nice variety of outfits you can unlock for Elodie. There isn’t much variety in the music but the piano track is rather pleasing and suits the atmosphere. Trophy hunters will find 14 trophies including a Platinum but unlike some of Ratalaika’s other visual novels you’ll have to put some time into this one to earn them all.
Long Live The Queen is an enjoyable visual novel game that provides plenty of replay value thanks to the choices and stat systems. You never know how Elodie’s tale will play out as she could end up killed if you didn’t raise a certain skill enough or end up taking her rightful place on the throne if played your cards right. It can be a little intimidating managing all the stats and those who don’t enjoy reading over gameplay won’t find this to their liking. For visual novel fans though I think you’ll find a lot to like about this one.
*Long Live The Queen is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.