How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Visual Novel
Platform: PlayStation 4 (also available on Xbox and Nintendo Switch)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 05/02/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered is a visual novel set in the fantasy world of Eroolia, where humans live alongside a sort of hybrid cat-human species of beings called Luccretias. How To Take Off Your Mask was originally released in 2015 only on PC (Mac and Windows). The remastered version means that the game is now available to enjoy on consoles as well. However, is this port worth a try? Read my Rapid Review to find out.
Fantasy Entwined with a Love Story
The tale begins with meeting the two main characters, Lilia and Ronan – two childhood friends. They live in the city of Leezera, the capital of Eroolia. Lilia lives above (and works in) her grandmother’s bakery. Ronan helps out there too. You play from the perspective of Lilia, although you can change her name if you wish. It quickly becomes apparent that the relationship between Lilia and Ronan may become more than friendship. Most of the events in the game centre on the development of the relationship between these two characters and the evolution of their character arcs.
Despite not being a massive fan of the romance genre, I found that there was enough intrigue within plot events not related to the love story plotline to keep me interested. Although, I did find some parts of the romance aspect a little too cheesy for my taste. Overall, I preferred the fantasy element to the game’s story, finding this to be more complex and engaging.
Truly a Novel
Compared to a lot of the other visual novels I’ve played, How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered seems quite long. Despite having the word ‘novel’ in the genre title, other games in this style seem more like short stories in comparison. A longer game allowed for a more intricate, detailed and in-depth story, which I enjoyed.
Because of the increased length, I appreciated the inclusion of chapters. These created a natural opportunity to take a break if I needed. There was some variety in length, but most chapters took me a bit less than an hour to play through. This included reading the dialogue and listening to character audio (without skipping).
Audio, Visuals and Controls
The backgrounds were presented in a relatively simple style and contrasted well with the artwork for the characters as these contained more detail. Vibrant pastel shades were used for both, and this helped to create the feeling of being in a fantasy universe. I thought that the inclusion of animation for the eyes and mouths of characters prevented scenes from feeling static and gave the impression of forward motion throughout the story. My favourite aspect of the artwork was the eyes on each of the characters. I thought that they captured a variety of expressions and brought the images to life.
I found the music a little overpowering and repetitive at times (as it was often the same tune playing over) so I appreciated being able to turn it down. However, I loved being able to read the dialogue in English but still listen to the original Japanese voices. If you prefer, you can turn the voices off all together. In addition, there are options to adjust the overall and special effects volumes.
Navigating through the game was easy. I had the option to move through each scene at my own pace or to sit back and let things unfold with auto-play. In subsequent playthroughs, the option to skip is also available. The only interactions you must make are when a choice of answer is provided. How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered does not have an autosave function so if you play the game in more than one sitting, you’ll need to remember to save manually. There are multiple save slots available, allowing you to have several playthroughs going at the same time.
Back for More?
The game offers replayability in the form of different endings and storylines to discover. The different storylines and endings depend on choices you make. Each choice will push Lilia closer to either her human or Luccretia side. As the story progresses, depending on Lilia’s human/Luccretia leaning, you will unlock chapters which give the story from one or the other perspective. I enjoyed my playthrough but didn’t feel the draw to go back and play again to discover the alternate ending or chapters.
How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered provides a longer adventure than a lot of games in its genre. If you’re looking for a visual novel with a bit more meat on its bones, and enjoy a mixture of romance and fantasy, this should be right up your street. It doesn’t boast the most intricate of storylines but it’s a fun title that keeps you guessing, and the artwork is pleasing on the eye. For language lovers, there’s also the added bonus of being able to listen to the original Japanese audio. With a price tag of £11.99, if any of these features are what you look for in a videogame, it’s worth considering for your next adventure.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can buy How To Take Off Your Mask Remastered from the PlayStation Store.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.