Do you know what everyone needs, especially these days? That’s right, another fantastic turn-based JRPG. To kick this off, let me just say that The Caligula Effect 2 not only follows directly on from the first game but it’s also a very hard name to say three times fast. However, if you wish to play the first game before moving on to The Caligula Effect 2, I suggest you may want to do that before reading this review. Now, as for the rest of us – we soldier on.
A Quirky, Yet Gripping Story
The Caligula Effect 2 kicks off with your character waking up next to a lady called Regret, telling you that you are now in a world called Redo and that everyone in this world has regrets. Basically, everyone in this world has a storied past where they have made mistakes and Regret is “freeing” them by creating a dream world. You start to investigate this new dream world and realize that Regret is seen as a Goddess, with her own henchmen and women called Obbligato Musicians.
You then begin to have dreams when you suddenly and coincidentally have an encounter on a train with a virtua-doll by the name of Kai. At least I’m guessing it’s Kai, as all you’re given is a greek letter. So, let’s just go with Kai for now. Kai tells you everything from some key points that occurred in the last game, to how she needs to stop Regret as people in the real world are falling into comas. You are told that all of this has happened before within a place called Mobius and that Kai broke her way in to help put an end to this fake world. You are then tasked with recruiting people to help you take on these musicians and fight your way back to reality as members of the Go-Home Club… Part 2.
This story, although quirky and corny in parts, is relatively fleshed out with some pretty good character progression as well. You are given little story missions with your companions to learn more about them and to help build your friendship. Not to mention, being able to do little missions around the (slightly) open world to befriend other people as well, with some expert scenarios created by former Persona writer, Tadashi Satomi. The story will keep you interested from beginning to end.
The Caligula Effect 2’s Intriguing Combat System
The gameplay for The Caligula Effect 2 is relatively straightforward, with a combat system that takes a little getting used to. It controls like any other JRPG, by giving you ‘dungeons’ to explore, with a boss fight once you reach the end. However, throughout the open world, the player can walk around and interact with other characters to make friends or recruit allies. One part I do love about this game is how many little side missions there are. However, you still need the correct passive skill to complete the mission, meaning a lot more time farming for XP.
While it can take a little time getting used to the combat system, it’s actually pretty awesome. Firstly, it works like any other turn-based JRPG with your characters taking turns. However, this time it runs along a set track. Meaning, however long the move takes determines how much time you have to wait until it’s that character’s turn again. Having the combat system work this way is pretty unique, especially when you consider that you get to preview what will happen in the next few seconds. This gives you the ability to set up counters which launch your enemy in the air, allowing for some good ol’ DPS.
Now yes, when you couple this with the fact that you replenish your health and skill points every battle, I am sure some of you are wondering “Where is the challenge? This sounds easy.” Just hold up… Stop… Let me finish. The Caligula Effect 2 constantly spawns enemies that are three times your level. Now although this sounds crazy, it is still doable – especially with The Caligula Effect 2’s preview system. You can see what move they will do or which character they are going after, and then react in kind. Now yes, it takes a very long time to be crowned victorious. And yes, if you become too aggressive you’ll find often yourself quickly chopped into little pieces for a monster’s lunch. But if successful, well let’s just say that it’s immensely satisfying watching your character level up three levels from only one fight.
A Same Old, Same Old World Design
As for the world design, it was pretty good. Everything looked relatively nice and worked well for the story. Kai’s train in particular was very well done as it spoke to her bold and flamboyant nature. If there is anything to criticize, the render distance is a little small in some dungeons and the quality at some points looks a little low. However, that could also be because I played this on the Switch. All in all, they aren’t reinventing the wheel but have still made a fun and vibrant world to explore.
The Caligula Effect 2’s Immensely Satisfying Soundtrack
Now time for the music. Oh, that music! Why is it that almost all JRPG’s have epic soundtracks? And from the mind of musical director Takuya Yamanaka, The Caligula Effect 2 is no exception. For this game in particular, music plays a massive part. For starters, you get your usual backing tracks in the open world and dungeons (which are incredible, by the way). However, when you initiate a fight in the dungeons, the instrumentals will suddenly kick in with vocals. You learn that each dungeon has its own unique track, and each particular song belongs to a specific boss or musician. The best part is that once you defeat a musician, Kai then learns their song that she can then use to perform as a special move. This basically allows you to pick your favourite track to continuously listen to, which is great because I haven’t come across a track I dislike.
The Caligula Effect 2 has a gripping story with quirky and funny jokes. The combat system is amazing, especially with how it implements taking on tougher enemies. It looks great, the side missions are hilarious, and you will have a lot of fun exploring the dungeons and world design of The Caligula Effect 2. Not to mention, there is so much more content that I haven’t even covered for spoilers sake. Honestly, any fan of JRPGs should give this a go.
The Caligula Effect 2 is another great JRPG. From investigating several different locations to exploring the challenging yet rewarding dungeons, there’s heaps of content here to keep you going for a long while. The combat system is brilliant, especially with its preview system and how it deliberately lets you take on tougher enemies. And to top it all off, the game’s backed up by one exceptional soundtrack featuring both outstanding instrumentals and vocals alike.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by NIS America. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.