I am very into the whole Cyberpunk genre at the moment. Whether it be anime films in the shape of Ghost in the Shell or Akira. Or me waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 it’s a fascinating genre when done right. That being said maybe my expectations were set a little too high going into playing Orangeblood, then again it ticked a lot of boxes for me in theory.
Orangeblood is a turn-based RPG that is set in New Koza, an urban town located off the coast of Okinawa. It is based in an alternate universe sometime in the 90’s I think, I’m not sure as the game is very shy on explaining what is going on at times. Anyway, you play as Vanilla Vincent a cocky pink-haired anime girl that is on the wrong side of the law and has to do some off the books jobs for the CIA, think Harley Quinn without the charm and likability.
The city itself has been carved up by multiple gangs of various ethnicity’s as you find out straight away when you and you sidekick a DJ by the name Machiko land your flying car and run into and get beaten by some tough Russians (to be honest I would have been happy if the game ended there).
Welcome to New Koza
I liked the look of this game, the pixel art style along with the neon lights really helped set the tone of an alternative Japanese based future…or past..or whatever. The streets feel somewhat claustrophobic at times and are bunched together. I found this annoying at times and hard to get around or to your next location beacon.
Where the streets are felt full I just wish they spent a bit of time on the “indoor” parts of the game as they were sparse and a bit generic for such a setting even the main character doesn’t really care about the city so this game could have been based anywhere and I think that is a shame as I think the look of New Koza was the shining light of Orangeblood
Orangeblood, more final minutes than Final Fantasy
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted so much to like this game. It looked like an old school JRPG in the mould of SNES era Final Fantasy, it even had the same turn-based goodness and an easy to use battle menu but with all that, they somehow made a game that I honestly thought was created by two teenage boys. I am no shrinking violet but the language and some interactions in the game were very crude, to say the least. I don’t know if they were going for edgy but they missed the mark by a mile. It wasn’t funny or endearing and this is coming from a bloke that still laughs at fart jokes, I just couldn’t understand why as it wasn’t really needed.
This goes for the music choice as well. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind a bit of 90’s Hip Hop but my god did this ruin that for me. It was just generic 90’s bad hip hop music beats that didn’t really add anything to the game in any way other than to have some music there. Maybe the developers wanted to give a nod to their musical heroes of those days or maybe they think this is how the hood is but either way the missed the mark.
I try not to be too hard on games I review but it was hard to keep an upbeat positive attitude for Orangeblood. I’m afraid that it might not have been a pleasant experience but it was an experience and there will be people who will play it and like it but just not me.