Noel the Mortal Fate Review – Xbox One

It has been quite a few years since Noel the Mortal Fate debut in Japan as a free-to-play game. Since then, it has gone on to branch out to comics and novels and recently has become available as a paid experience on consoles. Developed by Kanawo and published by Playism, here is my review of the Xbox One version of Noel the Mortal Fate.

Noel the Mortal Fate is a mix up of genres including JRPG, visual novel, and action-adventure. The paid game version contains the story from the prologue through the seventh season and also includes a new bonus 3.5 season. The story is one of someone who puts their all into their craft but ends up not being good enough so they turn to underhand methods to pull ahead. The protagonist is named Noel and she is a wealthy young girl who loves playing piano. While she strives to be the best at it, she ends up losing a competition to decide the pianist for the city’s memorial ceremony to someone else which leads to Noel becoming very angry. This causes her to strike a deal with the devil who is named Caron in order to win the next competition but when you deal with the devil things don’t usually go well. In Noel’s case, the Caron ends up cutting off all of her limbs. Not only that, but it turns out that Noel only lost that piano competition in the first place because it was rigged by the mayor. What follows is a tale of revenge as Noel seeks retribution on those who wronged her.

The story through the seven seasons is really the strong suit of this game as I got to meet plenty of characters along the way that all get fleshed out as well as see Noel and Caron develop too. While they don’t get along so well at first, you gradually get to see Noel and Caron warm up to each other throughout the game. The game is also designed in a way so that you can enjoy it in spurts or enjoy it for the dozen hours it lasts or so in one go. It prompts you to save very often so if you just want to dive in and ingest a bit of the story and get out you can do that.

While the story had me wanting to keep playing, the gameplay is pretty much serviceable at best and nothing special to write home about. Noel has an isometric view when playing and you’ll be interacting with things, puzzle solving, and doing combat encounters from it. Exploring just involves moving around, picking up items, pushing boxes to open up paths and so on. The movement of the characters felt a bit off on the Xbox though so I can’t say it ever felt great to actually play. I ended up messing up several times due to the movement and had to restart some parts which thankfully wasn’t too big a deal. The combat is pretty simple too as all you do is walk into enemies to attack them. Much like in some other games if you strike them from behind you’ll deal some bonus damage and there are some other little tidbits you can do to get the upper hand but for the most part the combat system is pretty basic. Boss battles happen at the end of each chapter and while they are enjoyable they don’t really switch things up much.  I could really tell that this game is more about telling a story and the actual gameplay portions are just there to help it from just being a straight up visual novel.

The visuals in Noel the Mortal Fate I’m also a bit mixed on as some things about it look really good while others are somewhat dated. Things like the character portraits look pretty good and stylish much like a Persona game but the actual in-game visuals lack detail and very much look like RPG Maker. The music has a lot of electronic tunes and is pretty good but has some issues when the tracks need to loop. Achievement hunters will find 38 of them to unlock and it’s a fairly easy list to complete overall as you’ll earn most of them just by finishing the game.

Noel the Mortal Fate is an enjoyable action-adventure/visual novel but one whose strength lies firmly in the story. That story is what kept me playing to the end as I enjoyed the twists and turns and the character development along the way. The gameplay was just fine to me and the visuals also are somewhat lacking. In short, if you’re looking at Noel hoping for a great gameplay experience you should look elsewhere but if the storytelling is what you value then you’ll most likely be quite pleased.

*Noel the Mortal Fate is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Xbox One version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.

Noel the Mortal Fate

$24.99
7.5

Good

7.5/10

Pros

  • Captivating narrative that kept me wanting to see what would happen next
  • Good character development throughout
  • Character artwork is rather nice
  • Gameplay portions should be easy enough to get through for those who just want the story

Cons

  • Gameplay portions don't have much depth
  • Gameplay visuals are dated and lack detail
Written by
Editor/Writer/Reviewer here on ThisGenGaming.com. I've been playing games for almost 30 years now and play everything from AAA blockbusters to Indie games.

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