Fanservice games aren’t that unusual a thing. Many dating sims rely on the concept to bring in players, since they are about finding a virtual character to form a relationship with over the course of the adventure. Koei Tecmo’s Ruby Party otome games definitely offer plenty of that. But when it comes to Kiniro no Corda: Octave, the concept heads in a different direction. Here, it is about not only giving people more moments with multiple love interests from Kiniro no Corda 2 and 3, but also to celebrate the series’ music.
The gameplay format in Kiniro no Corda: Octave is entirely different, for one. The game is split into two portions: Camp and Festa. Each one focuses on a different heroine from a different game and the love interests around them. However, unlike past games, it doesn’t have any simulation or school elements. It is a more straightforward visual novel with occasional musical segments. It is fairly easy to pick out time with the guys you like best and shoot for their ending.
The musical segments in Kiniro no Corda: Octave are designed to call back to the series by bringing up past music from games and character songs. A number are available right away in the main menu for people to play, with more unlocked as you go through the KIniro no Corda 2 Festa and Kiniro no Corda 3 Camp storylines. So, say, the Daichi Sakaki and Housei Toki song “Heart Killer” is immediately unlocked, but the Keiichi Shimizu image song “Hear in Heaven” would be unlocked in the Festa storyline.
The use of difficulty levels in Kiniro no Corda: Octave also feels like it is designed to appeal to certain sorts of fans. When a song comes up during the campaign, it appears at the lowest possible difficulty level. Someone wouldn’t have any issue passing it and continuing through the story. When you play tracks individually, there are four difficulty levels. While each one only has four lanes with indicators dropping to the bottom of the screen, the latter two levels have them appearing at increased rates and involve hold and simultaneous notes. The former is about inserting appropriate background music at the right times, while the latter is about challenging people who know and love these songs.
No matter which difficulty level you choose or where you are encountering the songs, there’s one common thread with Kiniro no Corda: Octave’s songs. After you get to a certain point in the performance, you start seeing CGs plucked from the original game. There are new CGs here, sure, but these are reminders of things that already happened and a way of looking back at the best and most memorable moments without the work. (Which can later be viewed in a gallery after being unlocked, naturally.)
Everything about Kiniro no Corda: Octave is about celebrating two specific installments in the series. The story segments are laser focused on the new situation. They make it easy to pursue the character you like best. The rhythm elements bring back both major songs from past soundtracks and supplemental image songs, all with CGs people had to work to earn in the past. And, with the way everything is organized, someone going through the campaign can casually clear everything. Meanwhile, someone who wants more of a challenge has that too. Koei Tecmo knew its target audience and ensured Kiniro no Corda: Octave would hit its mark.
Kiniro no Corda: Octave is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita and PC.