Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 302022
 

It’s time to talk about another otome I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while now, Piofiore: Fated Memories.

Piofiore follows a young woman named Lili who has grown up at a church in Italy, not knowing that she holds special significance to the region that will soon draw her into a conflict involving the mafia.

The choices you make in the very short common route will determine the form this introduction of conflict takes, and which of the game’s love interests you’ll spend the rest of the route with.

With most of the love interests being criminals, it should come as no surprise that this is a darker story, with a lot of death and violence and other disturbing content.

One route in particular I saw less as a romance and more like a thriller in which I had to carefully weigh every choice to try to avoid death or worse. (Yes, I’m talking about Yang.)

However, I’m not so sure I agree with the general assessment that Piofiore is story-driven. A couple routes are more story-driven than others, and it has a finale that emphasizes the plot, but most of the routes are focused on Lili’s growing relationship with the love interest in question.

And that’s probably a good thing, because one of the plot revelations is so wild, so ludicrous, that I was just relieved the later routes didn’t address it again.

Click for the wildest Piofiore spoiler
What does it mean that Lili is the “Key Maiden,” and why is this so important? *deep breath* Because the Catholic Church wanted to hide the fact that Jesus didn’t actually ascend, so they put a special seal on his tomb that can only be broken when a special woman chosen by astrology has sex with the heir to the Falzone mafia family, after which their blood can be used to unlock the tomb, which has miraculous healing properties.

…………..what?

There were also some occasional character inconsistencies across different routes, which bugged me a bit.

As for the routes themselves, though, they were all decently enjoyable. I found a couple less interesting than the others, but there weren’t any I really disliked. At the top of my list are Gilbert, whose route was just pure fun from start to finish, and Dante, who has some of my favorite traits. …And then there’s Yang, whose route was certainly something.

Despite all of its dark content, it feels like an oddly romanticized view of the mafia at times. It’s like they didn’t want to show the love interests being too bad (except Yang), so it glossed over the actual criminal activities in favor of romantic moments and delicious food.

Ah yes, the food. Food comes up so often it deserves a special mention here. I feel like half the dictionary entries are Italian desserts. Playing Piofiore made me hungry!

But I didn’t mind the noble criminal approach to half the routes, even if it did feel a little silly at times.

In short, while it’s not a new favorite, I enjoyed Piofiore enough that I’ll eventually pick up the recently-released sequel. If you’ve played Piofiore, what did you think of it?

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