Are you interested in Tears of Themis? Should you be? Find out more below!
Tears of Themis
未定事件簿 (Wèidìng shìjiàn bù)
Otome game / gacha
Release date: Summer 2021 (Global)
Android / iOS
Players take on the role of a rookie female lawyer as she gets swept up in the dark side of Stellis City. Together with four young men — including one she falls in love with — the heroine must gather evidence, draw conclusions, and present the truth to the court… and also spend time with her allies while also not neglecting her own personal development. The game launches this summer, and if 500,000 people pre-register, players will receive a Draw x10 bonus. In addition, the game’s official website offers a chance to earn an SR card.
I posted about Tears of Themis before, when a closed beta was announced. Now the game is preparing to launch, and with enough interest, all players will receive a bonus when the game launches this summer. Currently, the game is at about 35% of its target preregistration goal. So if you think you might want to play this game, boost that number by signing up here!
But maybe while you’ve read my original post, perhaps watched the trailer above, you’re still on the fence. Fair enough. Well, I was lucky enough to participate in the closed beta, so I can give you some of my impressions!
First, there’s no doubt the graphics are beautiful. There are a lot of big and small developers cashing in on the mobile market, and sometimes it’s hard to sift through the high-quality ones just based on a few screenshots. This one is as good as the pictures make it seem. Plus, there’s animation for the key characters on screen. And voice acting makes this a high-level release, and as I’ve said before, anime/otome fans will no doubt recognize some of the names!
The heroine can be named whatever you want. So you’re always “you”.
Anyway, upon loading the game, there are a few things you can do. Basically:
- Progress the story.
- Deal with your cards. (Pun not intended.)
- Develop your stats.
- Take a side trip.
The first is obvious. You just advance the game. Like most mobile games, the story is broken down into chapters and then mini sections. Some of these individual parts are more about the story and just characters talking, others are more of a mission. The mission chapters can be about investigating crime scenes a la Ace Attorney, finding connections between words reminiscent of Sweet Fuse ~By Your Side~, and then there are debates. Debates use cards, the main collectible in this game.
Cards each feature one of the four main love interests and have the typical ranking system. All cards have an element, and there’s a paper-rock-scissors relationship among them: Logic over Empathy over Intuition over Logic. Use the right type of cards with an opponent’s argument, and you can defeat them faster. Both you and your opponent have an HP gauge which goes down as you fling words (cards) at each other. So far, the antagonists seem to specialize in one of the three elements, although I imagine you’ll need a more rounded deck later. You probably assume all of these debates take place in the courtroom, but a lot of them occur just as the protagonist is out and about. One of my biggest complaints though is how shoehorned these are in the story. For example, one section ended with someone about to reveal some key information, and then the next chapter’s summary is something like, “Oh, the heroine saw someone trying to take flowers outside and went to go stop them.” And then you are thrust right into the debate in this next chapter. Like, who would notice such a thing in such a high-tension situation? It needed to be smoother, like mentioning just before they talked, the heroine spots a selfish person stealing flowers and rushes out. [Debate starts.] Then the heroine returns to listen to listen to the story. Or move debates around so they happen right before or after a connected series of events, as they are just inserted in weird spots.
So you will have to keep multiple decks, which the game allows you to do and save for later access. Cards level up as they’re used, and you can also improve them with materials you’ve gathered. You can earn new cards by drawing for them with a special item, which can be obtained occasionally in the game or by purchasing them. Then you can use items you acquire to upgrade your cards, including duplicates. At times, there will be events where you can increase your chance of acquiring better quality cards, but ultimately, it comes down to luck.
Instead of advancing the story, you can also spend time visiting the four men, replaying previous levels, or invest in your own stats by choosing options like study. Certain events probably only unlock when you have a high enough level in these various stats. Interacting with the guys will raise their affection. All of these are limited in how much you can do.
Tips show up when the game is loading, but they switch between them super fast. I get that a lot of the stuff should be refresher, but speed on this loading screen needs to be like 1/4th of what it is currently.
You can also make/find friends, and you can send them some type of item each day. Not sure what it was for though!
So basically, there are a lot of options in this game, and that means a lot of different types of collectibles. Like most mobile games of this type, you only have a certain amount of points to use to do the main story or train yourself. This I didn’t have much of a problem with, but I knew at the time I didn’t have much time per day to play. The bigger issue is the wide range of items needed for the cards. I focused on progressing the story since the beta was only for a limited time, but I was surprised at how fast the recommended card level was rising. Going straight through, I was underleveled, and even after replaying the debates a couple of times, I was barely reaching the minimum.
As for doing card mods and such, forget about it. I had a bunch of material, but everything still needed a lot more. It almost felt like an RPG Also, I can see another issue: decided where to spend these valuable items. I know whenever I play a game, I’m incredibly stingy with my items, but this case, I fear that it’s going to be even worse. Analysis paralysis basically, especially when you never know when a better card is going to be drawn or find out the upgrade wasn’t worth it. Tears of Themis is a high-quality work, and so to balance it out, the game appears to have a lot of ways to entice you to spend money. It’s the downside of not doing a full-game release and, say, having some DLC or a fandisk follow-up.
The game appears to have quite a story, but it’s likely not one that can continue forever since the whole idea is to uncover the truth behind the rise of strange cases and uncover a vast conspiracy. But I imagine a lot of players will want to explore other routes, and I’m not sure if there’s a way to do so without having to restart. So even if there’s an actual conclusion, this could be a game some will want to experience three more times to see each man’s sweet side.
I am basing this section on the Japanese speech versus the English text. And this is a localization more along the lines of the (previous, since the latest installment seems to be abandoning the English canon a bit) Ace Attorney games. Names like Stellis are kept, but most others are changed. Here are some examples:
YASUDA Keiko –> Winnie Cooper
NISHIHARA Kaito –> Pedro Brooks
Hiroto –> Peter
MeerCat (?) –> DeliCart
The dialogue needs some touching up. For example, one text box looked like this:
he can ”
make it all go away”?
In addition, some sentences that continued onto a new line had a space at the beginning instead of everything being aligned left.
Some of the text issues may be fixed in the final version, but I know it was kind of driving me crazy to hear one name and reading another.
As long as you don’t mind investing a lot of time (and maybe money) in a gacha game, Tears of Themis looks like it will be a delightful experience. Obviously, otome gamers are likely going to be the target audience, but the investigation and law aspects will appeal to a lot of players. But I imagine the difference between the voiced dialogue and the text is going to cause some disconnect for those who are bilingual or have a lot of experience with Asian media.