The Caligula Effect Review

Site Score
Good: Intriguing story, Anime cutscenes are welcome
Bad: Overly complicated, No English voice acting, world feels dull, So so graphics, Cuttered menus
User Score
(3 votes)
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GD Star Rating

Games can be exciting for a number of reasons. Some come from an established franchise, where as others look to do something different. In the case of The Caligula Effect, it’s a bit of both. With the writer of Persona and both Persona 2s’, an interesting premise and more, it’s easy to be hopeful. However, will that hope lead to an amazing experience or one that fails to impress?

The Caligula Effect has a story that feels like something out of the earlier Persona titles. The story takes place in a digital world ruled over by a virtual diva. Some people who knew the diva prior to winding up in the world realize the place they’re in is digital and band together to find a way to go home. From there the story covers a number of interesting points and tells a story that is morally grey.

A big part of the digital world is a way to escape the misery found in the real world. This is told a number of ways, be it someone finding the appreciation they sought in the digital world or being free of their troubles. Main characters also have additional episodes that add deeper insight into them and the world. There is more than enough to keep someone interested, though that doesn’t stop the gameplay from trying to discourage would be players.

The main issue is the combat system, which is needlessly complicated and tedious. This is a shame, since the basic premise isn’t bad. Add a dynamic system where you can launch enemies in the air, beat them where they stand or knock them down and then add a variety of characters that cater to different roles and situations, to make a fun and thrilling system. However, it makes fights take a while and adds a lot of needless details to portray a simple concept.

When playing Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers, the game will show you how much damage you’ll likely do and you can gauge the best way to use your attack points. In The Caligula Effect, you’re shown what will likely happen via a short video. Here you can see enemies losing health, getting knocked down, when they’re going to attack, heck, it even tells you whether or not you’ll escape from combat. With so much data, you can construct the perfect attack, learn which attacks will likely counter the enemies attack, know how if the trajectory will change and so much more.

Based off how each character fights, you can change when their attacks will take place. If I tell character A to uppercut the enemy and that sends them in the air, I can tell character B to use an aerial attack for additional damage at that point in the sequence and so forth. However, the problem becomes, who wants to invest that kind of time every fight.

Most fights can be won by inputting a lot of attacks and not changing the trajectory. If my attacks won’t miss, there is no need to watch the video and maximize damage, especially since most enemies can be killed this way in a single turn. For this reason, the whole system seems pointless. Why spend a minute or more devising an attack if you can win in 10 seconds using the same attack.

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The Caligula Effect Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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