Say it with me: Ooh-tah-wah-ray-roo-mo-no. Now say that faster. Faster! Got it? Good. (I wonder if PlayStation.Blog gives out awards for “Most Difficult Game to Pronounce.”)
Get ready to dust off your trusty ol’ adventure boots and lose hours of sleep! Why? Because Atlus will be publishing the latest two of Aquaplus’ visual novel/SRPG epics, Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth (also known as The Two Hakuoro in Japan). The former will release this spring, the latter later in the year.
These sprawling epics are going to chew through time, as they have tons of story to reveal, but you won’t mind because the story is incredible, plus there are fantastical beasts to fight, powerful magic to unleash, political machinations to partake in, intriguing characters to meet, and mystical lands to explore. Heroes never rest! Especially since the fate of the world depends on you… so no pressure.
Mask of Deception follows the story of Haku, a mysterious amnesiac who awakens in an unfamiliar wilderness wearing nothing but a hospital gown and sporting a splitting headache. He’s rescued by a beautiful girl named Kuon, who sports both adorable animal ears and a beastlike tail.
They eventually team up, and Haku will (reluctantly) encounter colorful characters (yes, that means more animal people), build deep relationships, battle ruthless enemies, and find himself inexorably dragged into the political machinations of the mighty nation of Yamato.
The game is a grand tale that unfolds in a stunning visual novel format. Seriously, the magnificent art style and epic soundtrack (recorded and remastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and EastWest Studios) will make it feel like you’re watching a cinematic fantasy unfolding right before your eyes.
Except this isn’t a movie, it’s a game that you’ll be in control of on PS4 and/or PS Vita! What better way to pass the time during school/work than getting lost in a new world? Okay, don’t actually play the game during school or work, but you have my full support if you wanted to break out the PS Vita during break/lunch.
In addition to the story-rich visual novel aspect of the game, Mask of Deception boasts an SRPG battle system and deeply rewarding combat. You’ll need to defend Haku and his friends by engaging in intense battles with the various hostiles that populate the world.
Combat is an exciting mix of turn-based tactics and Attack Chain mechanics. Plus, unique features such as the rewind function, elemental affinities/weaknesses, unique character skills, and more add a layer of depth to fights. Mask of Deception is a 40-50+ hour adventure that sets up the story for a thrilling conclusion in Mask of Truth, and we’ll reveal more information about the final game at a later date.
The game will be launched in both physical and digital formats for the PS4, and digital only for PS Vita. Its direct sequel, Mask of Truth, will hit later in the year. Both games will have English text and the original Japanese audio.