Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 242021

Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly is another otome I picked up for my Vita (although it’s also out on Steam now), and when I started it, I expected to love it.

The protagonist is a young woman who wakes up with amnesia in a mysterious manor. Soon she learns that there are several others trapped there with her, as well as monsters that prowl the manor’s halls.

If they want to escape, they need to search the manor for the pieces of a broken kaleidoscope, as instructed by the manor’s mysterious master.

I love this premise. The eerie, monster-filled manor gave me almost a Resident Evil or Fatal Frame vibe, and the premise felt similar to something like Zero Escape – a group of strangers who may or may not be able to trust each other, trapped for reasons they don’t understand and given a strange task to complete to escape.

There’s even a combat mini-game, of all things, that rewards you with points you can spend to unlock short episodes, which we’ll get back to in a minute.

Psychedelica’s structure is a bit unusual for a game like this. Instead of branching onto character routes right away, you’ll play through the common route and get the main ending first. After that, you can make different choices to see character-specific endings and other alternate paths, some of which are locked behind seeing specific scenes, other endings, or certain short episodes.

Short episodes are small scenes that either show something from the characters’ pasts or an additional scene from their stay during the mansion, often with a slice-of-life focus.

This structure can be a bit confusing, but fortunately Psychedelica has what I love to see in a visual novel like this – a flowchart that lets you quickly jump back to any scene.

The common route and main story are pretty interesting, and I enjoyed learning the truth about what happened. The short episodes also have some entertaining moments, even if they do steer the tone a lot more toward slice-of-life than the game’s initial premise might suggest, and a couple of the character endings are interesting (especially for one character who is largely a mystery outside of his route).

But oh, the romance is bad. Some of the love interests are straight-up unlikeable, and even for the ones I liked, the actual romantic connection was pretty weak.

Click for Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly spoilers
And did they really need to use the “childhood friend had a crush on the protagonist” trope for four of the five love interests?

This led to a weird situation where my enjoyment of Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly steadily diminished after I finished the common route. That core story was pretty interesting, but after that I felt like I was trudging through a series of awkward and bland scenes just to see the full story.

There are definitely some good things in this otome, but ultimately this isn’t one that will stick with me. But what did you think of Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly? Share your thoughts in the comments!

If you want posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email in the box below to subscribe!

  2 Responses to “Celebrating All Things Romantic: Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly”

  1. Intrigued by the premise, especially the Zero Escape connection. Shame the romance didn’t live up to it, but I hope the whole game was still worth it even if the romance may not have been.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>