DRAMAtical Murder Review (non-spoiler)

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DRAMAtical Murder by Nitro+CHiRAL rewrites your expectations of R-18 BL games. Don’t all their games do? I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game, but do note that this is R-18 BL so there is mature content. I don’t just refer to the BL sexual content, so if you’re interested do play with an open mind. This will be a non-spoiler review, and only CG I show is featured on the official website already. The rest are random screenshots of the OP, background etc.

The plot flows something along the lines of: our protagonist, Aoba, enjoys leading his usual and peaceful lifestyle till one day it’s disrupted by a certain conflict. ……Typical much? Fortunately, not in this case. We’re presented with a beautifully crafted world: from the luxurious Oval Tower to the common residences of kyuujuuminku, the tension between the Rhymers and リブ teams, the futuristic tools in what is supposed to be past Japan. In addition, we’ve the other seemingly unconnected characters all with stakes in the game: Koujaku, Noiz, Mink and Clear. In fact, some of the side-characters even have their own crucial stakes too – but of course the one with the heaviest stake is Aoba himself.

The game is tightly linked right from the first line. The narration is beautiful and captivating, with the occasional humour. The game starts off with the same common route, before breaking off into individual routes. The common route is important in getting you familiarised with the world, characters, and a fraction of the bigger plot. And the individual routes aren’t just routes to have Aoba romanticise with the chosen guy, no. The game is heavily driven by plot and characterisation – and has themes for crying out loud. It’s a game that allows you to interpret. While the secret route holds many answers, the previous routes aren’t just dummy routes. Each character’s personal background, interests, relationship with Aoba is given their time to shine – while dropping hints about the bigger plot which you may not necessarily find in the secret route. And the writers really took their time with each character, even these kids have their own profiles.

Surprisingly, I found Nao adorable. X3

I recommend playing in the order of: Koujaku, Noiz, Mink, Clear, Secret character – for numerous reasons which I can’t give away. I just recommend so, lol. I would say that each route is almost equal in terms of their length, with the Secret route being longer, naturally. You may not like all the characters, you may not understand them all – but I must give it to the writers for not short-changing any of the main guys in terms of details and writing. Special mention to Aoba for being a protagonist you can relate to and feel for, and to Clear for making me cry lol.

But it’s not just the details in writing, they did the same in terms of the implementation of the interface, effects, art. They use the CGs to tell the story, not just to “reward” you. The details in the background is crazy, I was just staring at that overview of the island. They implement effects to spice up the playing experience, such as the light effects. Or simply do day vs. night backgrounds. The interface is smooth and personalised according to the game. I personally liked the keyboard shortcuts, that it quick saves automatically at each game choice, and that when I load a save slot it doesn’t erase the backlog. I was impressed with how when you finish the secret character’s route, they then cleverly separated the gallery section for that character. Right, minor things that can make your experience more enjoyable.

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My only nit-pick would be that the backlog does not list the names of whose line is whose, and that you can’t jump back to that particular scene from the backlog. It does not hinder my gameplay too much, but if you want to replay a favourite scene of yours not found in the recollections (only sex scenes), be sure to make a save slot.

I loved the cast, especially Aoba’s voice actor. Having someone who can really deliver the lines does make a difference, I was just so captured by his performance in certain emotional scenes.

Be sure to not skip the credits roll, as that may affect whether the unique ending theme turns up in the media section or not. This would also affect whether you can get the bonus CG for completing and unlocking everything. And it’s really not that hard to not skip the credits roll. The staff took the time to have unique ending themes for all the bad ends and each one of them matches the bad ends really well. They even customised the credits roll so that you won’t be spoiled by the character names that appears in other routes not that in the one you finished. Many of the themes and soundtracks have an electronic feel to them and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of such music. Yet, none of them grated on my nerves. In fact, I love the OP. What is this, did the staff perform ****p on me.

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Usually when I get a bad end, I’m like “good riddance, now I can move on to get the good end” since I’m a completionist. And let’s face it, the bad ends you get in some of these R-18 games are…expected kinks? But the bad ends in DMMd are just so intriguing, I was gaping at some of them due to the narration and how they slowly unravel the, sometimes shocking, CG. Sometimes, the bad ends may also spoil a character for you even if you get to the good end. I just found the characters more fascinating. The game is full of juxtapositions and such, I had a delightful time thinking over what happens in each route and going back and forth in the game sometimes since I’m obsessed with details. It’s not the longest game out there, but it is indeed a quality game with a good volume.

After you finish the game, you get to access the Linear Notes by the staff and it’s very interesting to read what they have to say about the game. You can feel their quirky love for the game.

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I wasn’t 100% sure of what to expect from this game, since people seemed to have raised likes and dislikes for certain elements. But you know what, it’s best to play for the game yourself and make your own judgement. Personally, I ended up enjoying the game a lot, for certain mind-blowing plot details, interesting characters and themes worth pondering over. Hopefully everyone can find the “something” they love in this game too. I know some people may be hesitating over the “R-18 BL” tag. I won’t force anyone, just highly recommend the game. Like one of the staff linear notes suggest, this game is like an above 18km walk lol – awesome ups and downs included. And now I’ll be thinking of how to carry on from this journey.

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15 Responses to DRAMAtical Murder Review (non-spoiler)

  1. yuki-chan! says:

    I Would like to have the password of Dramatical Murder.
    Thank you for the help with your fantastic comment about the route!!
    I love your posts!

  2. vam17 says:

    thank you for writing this review!

    I hope my comment isn’t really a spoiler, but I’m wondering if you could help me a bit? I’ve finished playing the game, all the four characters, then the extra characters after that, but somehow there’s still CG left unlocked … it’s in the CG Library > Others > the last one (no.15) still displaying “No Data” … and in Media Library > the Immer Sie is still unlocked (displayed as “????”) … other than that, everything is unlocked

    I wonder why? Did I miss something? I mean, I played all the good and bad endings, all of them..

    • Yume says:

      Thanks for avoiding spoilers!

      The CG you’re talking about is the Congratulatory CG you get for completing everything. From what you described, I guess you may not have sat through the end of Clear’s bad end (since Immer Sie isn’t found)…? Or it didn’t register that you finished it. Perhaps if you’d made a save slot for Clear’s bad end, just replay it (on skip/auto mode) and sit through the ending song (Immer Sie). Hopefully the song will appear in your Media Library, and so will the last CG?

      Good luck!

  3. Mew says:

    Thank you!

  4. Mew says:

    Hi! I would like to have the password for Murder Dramatical please. My real language is French (I use google tradrution for writing this post …) and your articles really helped my understand what I did not understand. I had not finished reading when you put the password. thank you in advance!

    • Yume says:

      Hi, thank you for your comment! Oh wow, I’m glad to hear that my posts helped you to better understand the game. I hope my posts made sense. ;; And I’ll send you an email now!

  5. Tinnykins says:

    Do you recommend playing the bad endings alongside the good?
    Honestly, I’m the type that if it’s just so tragic and sad I don’t want to play bad endings at all hahaha

    • Yume says:

      Hmmm I guess personally I would recommend so? Mostly due to the fact that they’re very nicely written and executed too (and lovely accompanying theme songs). And if you play the bad endings first, playing the good endings afterwards can ‘heal’ you in a sense lol. I’m not sure if I can call all of the bad endings tragic. /o\ I think many of them would shock you at first (the CGs too). But when you think about them more and it sinks into you, some of them would appear really tragic.

      I’m not sure if I made sense. ^^; My personal recommendation is to go for it! But I wouldn’t want to force anyone. Perhaps you can try out one bad ending first and see how it is for you? (:

      • Tinnykins says:

        Ok, thanks for the recommendation! ^o^

        The only other Nitro+CHIRal game I’ve played is Togainu no Chi and it scared me a bit so I avoided the bad endings like the plague. I’ve heard DMMd is fluffier so I think I will muster my courage and just do it.

        thanks for all the reviews! your site is wonderful ~

        • Yume says:

          You’re welcome! ^^

          Oh I see. Hmm can’t quite call the bad ends fluffier but yup I’ve heard that DMMd has happier ends in comparison. I hope that you enjoy it! (:

          And thanks for the kind comment! <3

  6. Yukiru says:

    アジでメチャやりたいと前にも思っていたけど今はその999倍。
    Nonspoiler reviewありがとう!

  7. Ayala says:

    Thanks you for the great summary!!

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