The Marauder Chronicles: Curse Over Valdria Review

Introduction

The Marauder Chronicles is a Visual Novel adventure, developed by the indie studio Mambo Dancing Shrimp and published by Gamuzumi. It came to consoles and PC on October 7th, 2021.

*Disclaimer: A free code was provided by the publisher for the sake of this review. This does not impact the review as my thoughts are mine and mine alone.

Review

It all began when big breasted woman with horns got mentioned. Then the screen fades in and there’s our plucky little story teller, by the name of Dayren, who is seen strapped to a chair by a lady who is interrogating him for reasons that weren’t quite told to me. How did he get here? What day is it? Who is this lady? Why is she part of an order that wears big thick armour, that doesn’t cover their breasts? 

This adventure is the first in what is meant to be a series that tells the full story. You follow the adventures of Dayren, as he works for an Empress, and does her bidding as her slave. In a world where women are in power, and a strange disease turns almost all the men in the land into hideous beasts. Mostly starting at a young age. Though there are a few who are resistant to the disease, no one knows where it came from, or how it started. Or whether it affects regions outside of the current Kingdom. I was hoping the game would dive more into this mystery, but I guess it will be saved for later entries.

For the most part the writing itself was kind of dull. It was even abundant with spelling errors. Sure there were some points that got a bit crazy, but a lot of those good writing seemed to come in the fast few minutes. The story itself also felt a bit slow. I understand that this is the first entry of it all, but there wasn’t much to get you hooked. The setting is all set in a high fantasy, which had me super excited. Heck the main character has a fox tail! But it never felt high fantasy. Even some story beats just felt out of place. 

Like the second scene of the game has you at a cottage in the woods with a “friend”. Doesn’t exactly explain why you went there, and for what reason. Not even a little blurb like “before I went off on my adventure, I decided to say bye to a friend!”. Then the only meaningful purpose felt shoehorned in at the end of it all. The game gives you a bunch of dialogue choices to choose from. Some of these made me chuckle, or started to become quite tense with the scene they set up, but quickly fell flat. As no matter what choices you make, you ultimately end up at the same ending. No matter what? Choose to cut this lady’s face, or leave her be? Well you’re at the same conclusion. Save the person being tortured, or leave them? Well I already gave you your answer as to what happens. It’s said that your choices will somehow impact the story “later on”, but I don’t know whether they mean in later instalments or in the game. As nothing ever truly changed in the long run.

The game was marketed as a kind of lewd adventure with beautiful women to seduce and romance! Except that’s a lie. Never once did I GET to seduce or romance anyone. If it was done in the game, it’s because the story CHOSE to. I had no part in it. You also don’t get to see anything lewd. The worst is some “tasteful writing”, but even then it isn’t even that sexy. There’s certainly a lot of innuendos. On the PC, you can download a patch to be able to see some breasts. But at that rate, they’re just there to be there. As opposed to being in sexy situations. Call me a pervert, but I mean, if you’re going to try and make a sexy adventure, you need spice and pizazz! This just misses a lot of things. But I’m really hoping the next parts are better written, and not such a snooze fest.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Mysterious Disease
  • Some Funny Innuendos

Cons:

  • Boring Writing
  • Pointless Feeling Story Beat
  • No Romancing Or Seducing

Summary

There’s not much I can say about this that I haven’t already said. If the series really picks up steam and becomes amazing, I’ll be happy. But it’ll always start with a boring opening. The writing is dull and filled with errors, no characters felt meaningful, and at the end of the day, none of your choices mattered because the story ended up in the same place every time. So unless you want some easy trophies, I can’t in good conscience recommend this. Unless you need to read it for later instalments!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Mambo Dancing Shrimp
Publisher Website: Gamuzumi
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £3.99/€4.99 Europe / $4.99 North America
Trophy Information: 14. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 10 / Silver 1 / Bronze 2

Images – http://www.gamuzumi.com/

The Marauder Chronicles: Curse Over Valdria Trailer (PS4/PS5, Switch, Steam)

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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