Review: Virche Evermore Is the Most Traumatic Switch Otome Game
Image via Aksys

Review: Virche Evermore Is the Most Traumatic Switch Otome Game

Dark, heart-wrenching, horrific events can result in people coming together or maybe finding solace in another person. Virche Evermore -Error: Salvation-, the latest Aksys Switch otome, feels like it can rely on trauma bonding to ensure both the characters and the person playing the game connect. However, this does definitely limit its audience and appeal.

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Like past Idea Factory Otomate title Code: Realize, Virche Evermore stars a heroine who is a hazard to those around her. The whole island where Ceres lives is cursed. Anyone born there dies at 23, which means people have developed technologies that allow their consciousnesses to transfer to new bodies and existences before the effects of the curse begin to appear. However, anyone who spends time in the presence of Ceres will begin to display the symptoms of that curse early and could even die. Not to mention years ago, the orphanage where she lived experienced a massive fire, with her being the only survivor. When another explosion rocks the current orphanage where she lives and nearly drives Ceres to suicide, she meets “Death.” Because of this encounter, she gets an opportunity to finally be normal and loved, provided she find out exactly what’s happening at Arpechele. 

Image via Aksys
Image via Aksys

Simply put, Virche Evermore is a game steeped in despair. Ceres’ self esteem is low and she’s incredibly depressed, which is understandable. People despise her. The whole community is quite flawed, due to the system in place to mitigate the death from the curse at 23. We see firsthand in routes for characters like Scien, Lucas, and Mathis how devastating this is for people who are extending their lives or trying to find away around dying. Everyone is suffering in some way, to some degree, and the world around them is incredibly cruel. Otomate didn’t hold back when it came to the sorts of situations people are in, and people should know going in that there’s bullying, death, despair, murder, suicide, and countless other gory, graphic, and unsettling situations. People aren’t coming out of this unscathed. If I wasn’t playing this for work, I not only think I wouldn’t have played past getting a good end for Scien or Yves’ route, I may not have even played long enough to get the happy ending for either of them.

This is because you are forced to bear witness to all of the unpleasantness. The structure of Virche Evermore is such that you can’t get any “happy” endings until you’ve cleared the bad endings for Lucas, Mathis, Scien, and Yves. And they are depressing and bad. It was so demoralizing to have to go through all these situations. So much so that after I did it, I first needed to take a break from the game completely. Then, I really had to push through to go through the final act and start earning the good endings. (To be honest, I didn’t even find some of them really satisfying, which made it even more brutal for me.)

Which is a shame, because there are some elements here that are really well constructed and great! I loved the general worldbuilding in Virche Evermore. Finding out the truth behind the curse and what’s going on was more satisfying than some of the good endings. And that ambiance extended to the environmental and character design. It’s great at establishing a vibe, and I appreciated the “ah ha” moment once things started to unravel.

Review: Virche Evermore Is the Most Traumatic Switch Otome Game
Image via Aksys

I also appreciated that the characters in Virche Evermore are flawed individuals. With someone like Lucas or Scien, it’s very obvious. But even with a more heroic character like Yves, you can see it. Not to mention Ceres herself is suffering from depression and dealing with so much. But of course, everyone also does have their finer moments too. It makes it easier to appreciate them for who they are, because they come across as more realistic and understandable.

After going through a few Virche Evermore -Error: Salvation- routes, I feel like this is a Switch otome that could appeal to those who enjoyed games like Code: Realize or Piofiore and want something even more mature. It’s a darker and more visceral tale where it feels difficult to earn that happy ending. However, it is incredibly graphic and violent, which could turn some people looking for love off. What is here is intriguing, but it is a lot and not for everyone. Especially since the good endings are so walled off.

Virche Evermore -Error: Salvation- will come to the Nintendo Switch on November 9, 2023.

Virche Evermore -Error: Salvation-

In an island country people are born with a curse that leads to death at age 23. The people lament and oppose their short-lived fates. A watchman appears to the girl known as “Death” and guides her to uncover the mysteries that haunt the country – whether she likes it or not. Despair is the fate that awaits those who are loved by Death.

Virche Evermore is a Switch otome game that tackles some tough topics in an interesting way, but the walling off of endings is demoralizing.

Food for Thought:
  • Of the routes, I enjoyed the Scien and Yves ones most, though the Ankou one is most important.
  • The art is gorgeous for this entry, with some very impressive character designs.

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Image of Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.