A private detective named Doe has been brought in, and now his life is in danger.
Luckily for him, an information broker named Nightshade had him swept away before he could be harmed. But now she wants him to do her a favor. He therefore leaves to investigate strange events taking place at the port. It is the premise of Mato abnormalitiesan intriguing JRPG coming to PC and consoles in 2023.
We got our hands on a short preview of Mato abnormalities, giving us a taste of its narrative, combat, and gameplay. And it’s safe to say we’re well and truly intrigued. Being introduced to the story through Doe’s eyes, it soon happens that forces are using alternate dimensions called Lairs to smuggle goods – in this case, a substance called HANDOUT. But these lairs are also filled with Bane Tide; monsters that feed on extreme human emotions. Needless to say, Doe ended up in a bad place, but luckily a mysterious swordsman is there who saves his bacon.
This is Gram, and he’s sworn to take down the Bane Tide. Otherwise, Jade Lion will appear in the real world. But what is the connection between HANDOUT and the Bane Tide? Why do those who distribute it use Lairs? It’s up to you to find out.
It’s safe to say that Mato abnormalitiesThe history is rich and complex. There’s a lot to master, and the demo we played only scratched the surface. Either way, we can’t wait to hear more. Playing Mato abnormalities means controlling Doe as he follows leads in Neo City. There are investigations to follow, each uncovering a more gripping narrative.
As for combat, you’ll instead take control of Gram as he fights through the lairs in an attempt to defeat the Bane Tide. Doe isn’t capable of fighting for himself, you see, and so he’ll be glad for Gram’s help. The combat is reminiscent of the likes of Final Fantasy; it’s turn-based, with actions and skills chosen from a list. You’ll need to employ tactics to emerge victorious in trickier battles, taking into account turn order and the fact that more powerful skills have cooldowns.
Along with the turn-based battles, there’s also a card game-style activity to get involved in. You see, Doe has a special glove given to him by Gram’s android, SkyEye, which allows him to hack into people’s minds. It involves selecting certain cards to defeat opponents, reducing their Mental Power. When this mental power reaches zero, you can hack their heads.
We’ve only had a taste of this card game, and hope there’s a better tutorial provided in Mato abnormalities‘ full version. It is, however, one of the many interesting elements that make up the game: it is the type of title that is difficult to classify into a genre. There’s a mix of investigation, old-school JRPGs, card battles, and visual novels, and they all combine to create a game full of promise.
We can’t wait to play more, but we’re confident Mato abnormalities is a game to keep on your watch list if you have an interest in JRPGs with a difference.
Mato abnormalities is set to release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC in 2023.