Hi folks, today I bring you my first Otome game review. For the ones who didn’t know, Otome is a genre of visual novels focused on love stories with male bachelors. I’ve found out about them thanks to Hakuoki Kyoto Winds, which was recommended to me as one of the best visual novels on Ps Vita. Piofiore: Fated Memories is an Otome visual novel, which came out in Japanese in 2018 as Piofiore No Banshou, and in English in October 2020.
The game is set in Burlone, a fictional town in the south of Italy, in 1925. This town is ruled by the Mafia, and the unique characteristic of the game is that your bachelors are (almost) all from the Mafia. You play as a girl raised by the church who is now helping the church by attending orphan children. Her life seems normal and calm, but suddenly she finds herself in the center of a mysterious situation, as for some reason everyone in the three Mafia families in town is looking for her… But why?
I really loved the jazzy music in this game, especially the track called “Esplanade.” The jazzy music was just perfect for this game and its location. It sounded laid-back and relaxed but could thrill you in the tight moments. Each of the three families’ residences has its own theme that reflects their fundamental differences. I would definitely recommend the most laid-back tracks for studying if they were actually easy to find. Right now, they’re only on SoundCloud as Piofiore No Banshou OST, but they could disappear anytime soon :).
Those exquisite additions
The game contains a few actual Latin sentences taken from various authors, which appear in various places for different reasons. This one here is a sentence that appears in the background in some scenes:“Calamitas virtutis occasio est. Audentem forsque venusque iuvat. Audendo magnus tegitur timor. Certa amittimus dum incerta petimus. Mors certa, hora incerta.” which means “Calamity is an occasion for virtue. Luck and beauty help the bold. A great fear is dismissed by being bold. We leave aside certain things while we ask for uncertain ones. Death is certain, the hour uncertain.”This quote was made by mixing various quotes. I really love these sorts of things as I’m studying Classical Languages / Humanities at university. There are plenty of other ones, and I would bore you if I translated them all, so I’ll tell you my favorite: “Dum spiro, spero” which translates to: “As long as I’m alive, I’m hopeful.” This quote is found at the end of all normal endings, which are not as good as the good endings and not as tragic as the tragic ones, so it fits the situation. Right now, things couldn’t be in their best state, but they might still improve.
Now, the routes:
He’s your cute womanizer type. He can be nasty sometimes, though. Nicola’s good ending was perhaps too unrealistic Mafia wise, but really cute. The normal ending was more realistic and probably even happier than the good one, in my opinion, but since not everything goes well, it was regarded as the second-best one in the game. The tragic ending was so twisted that, oh my, can Nicola even get so far? I am honestly worried about the protagonist.
He is absolutely not my type of boyfriend. The route was still cute, though. At least according to a Yakuza series fan, what is interesting here was that it delved more into Mafia-related themes, even the darkest ones. It might not be a route for everyone (they really do talk about drug abuse), yet it was probably the most relevant one. The normal ending was extremely and unnecessarily sad but enjoyable. The tragic ending was also extremely and unnecessarily tragic, but I loved the scenes in which they quoted Shakespeare. They were so poetic that they should have been in the good ending too, such a waste.
His route was the one that really started to delve into Piofiore’s lore, and it was excellent. Obviously, we got a massive amount of cuteness (this game is really half cute, half tragic), even though the character appears to be really cold at the beginning of the story. He really isn’t, in reality. He’s one of those characters you can easily sympathize with. The tragic ending was, of course, really dark, and something horrible happens to Dante. Poor him, and poor hearts of us. This route was my second favorite.
His route also delved deeper into the lore and was fascinating story-wise as it followed Yang’s gang a bit, which is not really seen in all other routes apart from Yang’s. I like Yang in this route way more than in his own route because he kept saying brilliant things. Did love blind him? We’ll never know. The good ending was nice, as it suggested a continuation of the peace at the beginning. The normal ending puts them on the run. The tragic ending reveals an interesting secret ignored in all other routes, which is really sad because many ignore the tragic endings. Still, this is not a tragic ending which you should take lightly, as it can be really disturbing at the end.
His route was definitely my favorite! He’s a hilarious and good guy, as he really loves Burlone’s people and truly wishes for their own well-being. This one was also more mafia-related, as it contained a trial for economic reasons. I really had a lot of fun during this one. It’s the one I would definitely read again soon. The normal ending finds you not knowing the complete truth behind the facts surrounding the trial. The tragic one is unnecessarily tragic, and I almost cried, as it was really heartbreaking. Don’t be mean to him folks, opt for the good ending :).
The Finale (it’s a route)
I have mixed feelings about it. The whole route partially follows Gilbert’s, but then, at a certain point, you go into this one (huge waste). It’s nice per sé if we consider the ending without the new love interest, as the route splits into two endings. It’s nice to see all the characters working together, but you sadly don’t get a love interest. Even if you do get one, it is so rushed and forced that it was definitely better without it.
The main character
Liliana Adornato (her default name) is surely one of the smartest main characters I’ve seen in an otome. She’s also really determined as she can survive all kinds of deadly situations without dying. She also deeply cares for others, which shows in her relationships with the character and kind of makes sense with the Finale’s love interest.
Overall, play this game. It’s amazing. It took me about 30 hours to 100% it (and yes, I used a guide, lol). You can find it on a website called Otomekitten.
Before you leave: a character in the game suggests milk plus cinnamon and honey when you’re sad. It’s terrific how much it works. Try it!
- Unusual story for an otome game
- Brilliant characters
- Little exquisite touches that make the game nice to look at
- The Finale route is a bit lackluster in both its endings
- A few typos here and there