Even if I won't play it, I'm glad that Monochrome Mobius' PlayStation release is coming to the west
Last year, I reviewed Shiravune’s PC release of Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten; but beforehand, I lamented that console players wouldn’t be able to experience the game in English. At the time, I thought that a lack of an announcement for a console release meant - considering many Utawarerumono fans would end up playing the PC version as their only option - no company would willingly release the PlayStation version after the fact. This, of course, didn’t turn out as I’d expected - and during (another) recent visit to NIS America’s offices, we had the chance to get a sneak peek at their upcoming release of the game.
First things first; Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten is the same game on PlayStation as it was on PC, and that includes the translation. This makes sense; much as Shiravune touched up NIS America’s translation of Prelude to the Fallen, NIS America got access to Shiravune’s translation this time around, as Aquaplus clearly owns the translations for their titles. Similarly, while my initial PC review complained about issues I ran into with my initial playthrough of the game, a patch that dropped about a week after my review fixed many of the problems that I had with the game. Anyone picking up NIS America’s PlayStation release at its launch will be receiving a better overall experience than those of us that played the PC version as soon as it was released - or, in my case, even beforehand.
Playing NIS America’s release, there wasn’t all that much for me to point to that was drastically different than the experience I had playing the game; the PlayStation versions are locked at 30FPS, but seeing as the majority of my PC playthrough was on Steam Deck at the same framerate, that doesn’t amount to much - and as a slower-paced RPG, it certainly isn’t a dealbreaker, even if the PS5 certainly could run the game at 60FPS if the original developers had chosen to do so.
Monochrome Mobius’ visuals have always been the game's strong suit, and even on Steam Deck I was surprised at the level of detail that was put into the game. Early on, especially while exploring Arva Shulan, it was very easy to get struck by the beauty of the environments; and it’s no different on PlayStation 5, from a glance.
I don’t know if I’ll go through the trouble of replaying Monochrome Mobius all over again on PlayStation 5, but that was never really the point of the article I wrote last year, anyway; PC is a great place to play Aquaplus titles, no doubt, and even with Valve’s disapproval of Dungeon Travelers 2 and 2-2 on Steam, PC is still the only platform that you can play (almost) all of Aquaplus’ modern releases.
The reason I’m happy that Monochrome Mobius is coming to PlayStation in English is that it affords those of us that started the Utawarerumono series on Sony’s line of consoles the option to play it on the same platform where all of our saves and trophies already exist. Soon, players will be able to have English copies of the Utawaerumono trilogy, Zan, and Monochrome Mobius all for the same platform; all on the same shelf. Even if it’s just the sentimental value, that’s still something worth cherishing.
Being wrong about something isn’t always bad; and when it comes to Monochrome Mobius’ PlayStation release, I really couldn’t be happier that my worries were ultimately unfounded. Sure, console players had to wait, but at the end of the day I never thought there would be an option for them to play the game at all.