A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Period: Cube- Shackles of Amadeus plays out like an interactive Japanese graphic novel, where the player can make decisions to see how the different paths turn out. The game's still drawings are animated, and with slashing sound effects, it implies violence with swords and other weapons, with blood occasionally seen on-screen. Women are often suggestively dressed (low-cut blouses with cleavage), and there's suggestive, sexual language, as well as one scene that suggests incest. The game has moderate profanity, including words like "s--t" and "ass."
What's it about?
PERIOD: CUBE – SHACKLES OF AMADEUS is an interactive graphic novel that slowly lets the player take more control on the direction of the story through multiple-choice decisions made for the character's actions and dialogue. The game is in Japanese, but with English subtitles. You play as a female high school student named Kazuha who hasn't heard from her brother, Shiki, for some time. After a lifelike dream sequence, Kazuha and her classmate decide to search her brother's apartment to find clues of his whereabouts. Without giving away too much, Kazuha stumbles upon a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game called Arcadia, which may have something to do with her brother's mysterious disappearance.
Is it any good?
This interactive graphic novel is engaging, but its slow pacing, limited platform, and mature content makes sure that it's certainly not for everyone. Not only does the PlayStation Vita have a limited number of users in the Americas, but Period: Cube - Shackles of Amadeus is a Japanese game with English subtitles, which might not interest a large audience. Not to mention that the game is a graphic novel with tens of thousands of lines of dialogue to tap through. For all these reasons, many gamers won't want to spend their money on it. That's unfortunate, because of the story (despite the overly deep, dramatic comments or "lost in translation" moments that might make sense in Japanese but not so much in English) and the fact that your actions can in fact alter the direction of the story. Along with branching narratives, the game offers multiple endings to help you shape the way you want the story to go. There's a lot of content, too, with more than 30 hours of gameplay to this single-player adventure. The beautiful artwork and orchestral music are also worth noting, to help draw you into the tale even further.
The action is limited to you deciding how and when to attack (or flee) when you're prompted with making a decision from the list of options. The slow-paced, turn-based, and dialogue-centric combat won't appeal to twitch-happy gamers, but more mature fans of graphic novels will find some meat on the bone here. PS Vita owners who love Japanese manga might get something out of this unique game, but just make sure you know what you're signing up for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexually explicit content in games. Is the mature content unacceptable because of the objectification, suggestive lines of dialogue, and imagery, or is it OK because the cultural tolerance of this content is radically different in the West than in Japan?
Talk about interactive graphic novels. Do you think this form of telling stories should be used in more games, or does it detract from the gameplay?
- Platforms: PlayStation Vita
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Aksys Games
- Release date: June 18, 2017
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence
- Last updated: August 11, 2017
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.