[PS4] DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation Review

by Tracey

DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation is a collection of three visual novels on PlayStation 4. Learn more in our DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation!

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The first game in this trio of visual novels is called Rinne Utopia, and Arusu Install follows it. The last one is Rio Reincarnation, hence the name of the collection. If romantic visual novels are your thing, then this collection will offer a ton of content to enjoy on PlayStation 4. It’s a slow burner of a series with a lot of text to read – as is usually the case for a visual novel -, with different branches in the story, so there’s plenty of content to enjoy. Now, let’s talk a bit about each of the three games in this collection.

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Rinne Utopia

You play as Shido Itsuka, and the first game follows the friendship between him and a girl called Rinne Utopia. – Shido and Rinne are childhood friends. The story takes a good while to get into, so you need to probably play for around 30-40 minutes before you can see if the story is going to do anything for you. There are some supernatural elements thrown into the game’s story as well, and the whole thing is presented with a nice art style that helps each character shine.

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Arusu Install

After Rinne Utopia, you have Arusu Install. For this adventure, Shido Itsuka will become trapped in a virtual world, after agreeing to play a virtual reality game. He encounters an AI within the game named Aritsu, who he will interact with. Shido will find out that the only way to leave the virtual world is to show the AI Aritsu what the true meaning of love is. As you can imagine, this leads the story down a particular path you can probably figure out – the game does throw in some surprises here and there to keep you guessing.

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Rio Reincarnation

The final game in the collection is Rio Reincarnation. This one features an all-new story for the series while also helping to cover some of the gaps from Rinne Utopia and Arusu Install. While you can dive right into this one as soon as you load up the collection, I suggest that you first play Rinne Utopia and Arusu Install so that you can experience the entire story arc. If you do want to jump right into Rio Reincarnation, you can do so by first reviewing the story digest that will summarize what happened during the first two games in the series. Rio Reincarnation handles the romantic elements a bit differently, and it feels like a meatier experience.

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What is identical in all three games is the structure, which means the story of each game is played over a fixed number of days. Every day contains a certain number of events which progress the story along, and each day the events change up depending on what choices you make, so it’s difficult to pin down exactly how the story plays out because you need to make certain decisions to changes the course of future events. In games like these, there are often more than a few endings to discover, and Rio reincarnation will be no different. Each day will allow you to interact with a variety of characters during your free time between the different story events. You can bond with these characters/spirits, and depending on this, you will move towards specific endings for each game.

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DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation is a solid collection of visual novels with a lot of content to offer in a $49.99 package. This is a great one for fans of romantic visual novels, especially when you realize that the first two games in this collection were previously only released in Japan for the PlayStation 3.

This DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Idea Factory International.

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