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Review: KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! — The series tries a new outfit!

Disclaimer: The reviewer received a steam code from the developer for the purpose of writing a review for the game.

Isekai is a subgenre of fantasy that anime fans are certainly very familiar with. And usually they either love it or hate it. The term is the Japanese for ‘another world’, and such stories feature protagonists from contemporary Earth (usually Japan) being transport to different kinds of fantasy world by a variety of means ranging from portals to suspicious device to the now memetic roadkill by truck (Truck-kun). These narrative devices are used to quickly shift the narrative focus to the fantasy world without having to establish specific plot lines. The main character has died and has been granted a second chance at life by some power in a foreign, other world. This is how Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! [KONOSUBA] starts out.

KONOSUBA is an Isekai Japanese light novel series released in 2013 filled to the brim with parodies of MMORPG tropes. Protagonist Kazuma Satou is reincarnated in another world after encountering an untimely death at what is apparently a truck-based roadkill, when instead the motor vehicle stopped just in time and Kazuma’s overwhelming fear was instead the culprit to the young man’s demise. Destined for reincarnation as a candidate for another world’s hero, he plummets upon the beginner-friendly city of Axel with the reincarnating Goddess Aqua in tow following a problematic exchange of opinions-cum-rule-bending (don’t ask). Although initially optimistic about his situation, he soon realizes that it’s not so easy being a “hero”, especially if your party of heroes is composed of dysfunctional people. He thus decides to attempt at making a living in the city instead.

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! is the second of two visual novel spinoffs of the series. It follows KONOSUBA’s anime adaptation, showcasing characters met by Kazuma during season two, along with referencing some of its events. Developed by MAGES. GAME and released in Japan in 2019 for both the PS4 and Nintendo Switch, the spinoff series will be available in English on February 8th 2024, with the localization handled by PQube Ltd.

Watching the first and second seasons of KONOSUBA is highly recommended for maximizing your enjoyment of the game, as it’s essential for understanding the relationships between characters and their interactions. With that being said, sit back, relax and get ready to accompany Kazuma and the gang through another hilarious adventure!

KONOSUBA – Love For These Clothes Of Desire! opens with the main cast finding a mysterious black tablet and a red gem laying on the ground during a quest. Upon closer inspection they find that the tablet can be operated to create clothes out of the materials held by the user. Although the party is initially happy about the finding, they find themselves at a loss when party crusader – and all-time masochist – Darkness, starts acting weird. Usually meek and considerate – unless there’s hurt to be had – she starts imitating Kazuma’s mannerisms, intimidating Kazuma, Aqua and Megumin with her strong personality and newfound thirst for dominance. And to make matters worse, prosecutor Sena from the city court comes in with the accusation that the party has stolen the tablet from a noble!

With execution looming over their head, our heroes find a way to cater to the noble’s outlandish requests for new clothes, to be made with the cursed tablet they have found. They must gather resources, earn money and collect materials to supply the required goods under tight deadlines. With no one extending a helping hand, Kazuma and his friends must work with all their might. Maybe they’ll get a chance to clear their names and break the curse?

It’s another fun-filled adventure with the gang in the city of Axel!

KONOSUBA – Love For These Clothes Of Desire! is structured around five-day phases where players must schedule the activities that will allow the creation of a specific item of clothing. Specific clothes advance the game’s story, with failure to do so resulting in a game over. The first three days in each phase revolve around doing part time jobs or quests whose completion nets players a certain amount of Eris, the world’s currency, along with the possibility to drop a number of materials. The gameplay loop revolves around optimizing the party’s schedule in order to make as many clothes as possible.

While both part-time jobs and quests yield Eris and materials, the way they work introduce additional challenges to scheduling resource collection. Part-time jobs are activities that you can assign to a specific member of the party, and as a result, usually indicate who’s more likely to do well in the activity and who isn’t. Quests, on the other hand, need to involve all the party members. They yield better rewards the more times you do them consecutively within a phase, making them a large time sink. Thus, they need to be allocated well-enough so that they aren’t detrimental to a playthrough’s progress.

The fourth day allows the party to rest, and players have the choice to go to a location, which results in an event, or to interact with one of the game’s seven heroines. If an event allows players to increase the level of affection between Kazuma and a heroine, the location will display the heroine’s icon next to it. If players want to avoid heroines for some reason, there is always the option to laze in your room.

Events which raise a heroine’s affection will usually require players to choose an appropriate response to a dialogue. Picking the correct choice will increase affection – the state of which can be checked from the pause menu. Affection with heroines is very important because it is the meter by which the game’s ending will be chosen. Players should choose wisely, as a wrong answer may cost them an entire run!

The catch to the whole system is that both part-time jobs and quest may feature bonus events and scenarios for the main heroines. While they do not increase heroine affection, they offer the possibility to unlock events which may lead to additional CGs. While it is actually very hard to miss quests because they are almost always required to progress them game, part-time jobs are another story, as unlocking them require a specific party member to perform the job for a number of times, without metrics or indicators. This turns into a frustrating grind and feels generally unrewarding due to the lack of proper feedback.

Another way players can raise affection is the fifth and last day of each phase, which is centered around clothing creation using the cursed tablet. While some clothes are required to progress through the game – as and marked as such by a star – most of them are free commissions, which should not be dismissed as unimportant, as each will increase affection with heroines while also granting a chance to unlock new part time jobs, which come with new rewards.

In order to aid in managing the whole ordeal, players may also access Wiz’s Magical Item Shoppe during a phase’s fifth day. Besides selling commissioned items, which advances the game to the next chapter, it also allows players to buy items they might need at that particular time. The Magical Item Shoppe is a creative way to add another layer of micromanagement to the game’s schedule-based mechanic, and allows players to weight multiples avenues of acquiring items and materials, focusing on activities that may drop more than one item while purchasing what’s missing. There are also special materials which unlock CG variants if used to create specific apparel.

These are the systems that players will need to know to progress thought the game. The variability of the phase systems leads to many emergent challenges as players try to manage their playthrough in the hope of unlocking as many scenarios as possible.

KONOSUBA has been very appreciated for its deadpan comedy, and its visual novel spinoff builds on its host media while also integrating its focus on fan-service into the plot. As the game’s heroines range from being being unironically useless to being able to get players to feel in ways completely unexpected, fans will rejoice at the opportunity to see their characters beyond the situations depicted within the anime. Add in the apparel-centered plot and what emerges is an incredible scenario where the cast is featured in never-seen before costumes.

The pout is amazing…

Because of this, the game’s story is nothing to write home about. It embraces the fanservice and doubles down on it. The outfit are all generally very embarassing and/or cringe (courtesy of Kazuma). The voice actors’ stellar performances and the snappy dialogue makes trying each new clothing a very entertaining experience. Honestly, being able to indulge in both the game’s systems and the fanservice is a treat, and it also feels like a fresh experience in the realms of visual novels.

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire!, being a visual novel with multiple endings, has some of its scenario ending up feeling very indulgent. This is one point of concern with spinoff games, as it often comes at the cost of the cast’s characterization. However, the way KONOSUBA handles its story paths surprises in a good way. While the sense of developing affection is there, also thanks to the game’s system, this is not rendered in through lovey-dovey interactions, but rather as an building up off the characters’ existing relationships. It feels accurate to the source material, which will make fans of the series very happy.

Thanks to its premises, the game also manages to not end up being a rehashing of the anime. For example, a curse that makes you act opposite to your own desires is a pretty creative way of making what-if scenarios without making it too awkward of a segue. Even Kazuma, which manages to be a level-headed protagonist sometimes, cannot escape from the resulting chaos. It’s very appealing for people who want to see more of their favorite characters outside of their usual personalities!

KONOSUBA – Love For These Clothes Of Desire! uses the anime, and not Mishima Kurone‘s designs for the light novel, as its artistic reference, and it’s a good thing. While the Light Novel art is beautiful, the kind of face-breaking expressions of the anime only add to the comedic value. Characters are cute, but the crazy expression come out at comedy time, and they do not disappoint.

The chibi sprites in the game are amazing too!

Each craftable outfit also comes with its own unique CG, with each heroine having four of them. There is a healthy variation of artworks to collect, all featuring heroines in different situations, and most of them feel very fulfilling to unlock. The game’s art retains the sense of fluidity of the anime and also managed to be charming in its own way. And it’s frankly shocking to say this of KONOSUBA of all things.

The game’s soundtrack feels JRPG-inspired, with each track being reminiscent of JRPG moments spent in towns or within shops. It’s a pretty relaxing listen and helps get into the mood to go questing. Another great thing is the game’s OP and ED songs: the former is sung by Machico, while the latter is performed by Sora Amamiya, Rie Takanashi and Ai Kayano, the voice actresses for Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness, respectively. Like the anime, the OP evokes an image of a happy and fulfilling adventure that couples well with the ED’s slow-paced, relaxing atmosphere that sees Kazuma and co. ending their day.

For the most part, KONOSUBA is actually a pretty fun game. It’s a bit grindy, yes, but with progression goals clearly stated and easily accessible, players are free to choose how much time they want to dedicate to the game. Non-completionists will be able to breeze the game’s story without much effort.

The unlockable scenarios that come with part-time jobs is where the game gets problematic, as some of the CGs are locked behind them. As you get closer to 100% completion, hunting for those last events feels increasingly like a chore. The random aspects of the game makes every playthrough feel somewhat unique in their own right, but it gets miserable fast as trial and error becomes necessary to unlock further content. Future installments using a similar system should implements better hints for unlockable content, as it would not only save time, but also reduce the frustration factor.

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! is a fun way of experiencing KONOSUBA‘s world from a fresh perspective. While it keeps the same cast of characters from the anime series, it feels unique enough in its new format. It is a bit like an OVA you can read, and its fan-service allows side characters to get more time in the limelight than they did in the anime. I’m looking at you, Chris.

The game’s management systems feels rewarding for most of the game because goals and progress are clearly stated. It is not, however, the case for part time jobs-related events, which feel more like a test of player patience, and clearer direction, similar to how heroine events are marked, would have benefitted the game greatly.

With this being said, and taking into account some bias towards the series, KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire!‘s score is as follows:

KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! by MAGES. GAME is published in English by PQube Ltd. If you’re interested in it, you can buy it on Steam or on the Nintendo Switch. For more information about the title, refer to their official website.

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A casual VN reader, terminally ill gacha gamer, financially crippled TCG player, and certified Enna Alouette simp. Likes to pretend he can write things with substance every now and then. Still trying to live happily.

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