Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy (Nintendo Switch) Review

A predictable taste…
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Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy is a quirky visual novel title from Kikai Digital that’s centred around coffee as its main plot driver. If that sounds like something that’s up your alley then your interest might be piqued already. So does Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy leave a lasting legacy or is it a visual novel that’s as bland and tasteless as a watered-down coffee?

Caffeinated

In Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy, players will take on the role of Taka. As the protagonist, you set out on a journey to find out what happened to your mother. While on the plane towards her homeland, you end up falling out of the plane and landing mysteriously in the city of Victoria. Wait, is this an “Isekai”? Yup, it sure does seem like it.

The game’s onboarding process is a bit long-winded with an introduction that really takes a while to get going. Once it does though, you’ll be hooked because the plot and rich history of Victoria takes centre stage. Once you realize where exactly you are as Taka, certain plot elements start to fall into place and Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy expands upon its lore immensely. There’s a rich history that the game and its characters explain to you via conversations and your own internal monologue, and it’s remarkably intriguing at times – “at times” being the keyword though.

If you’re playing Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy in bite-sized chunks on the Nintendo Switch, it’s as if you’re going through an episodic anime and it works in the game’s favour. Being a visual novel, there are romance elements involved in the game but it largely takes a backseat to the worldbuilding and all the coffee talk. There are 4 romanceable girls in total that you as the player can pursue, and the game has multiple endings with 1 “true” ending.

Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy’s downfall lies in the fact that a lot of the writing ventures a bit too far down into the coffee theme. There are plenty of conversations where you’ll have to read through a tonne of information about coffee and, unless you’re an actual coffee hipster in real life, you’ll probably end up just wanting to skip past these bits of conversation. Not only are they inconsequential but they are rather boring to read through when the game’s mystery plot is sidelined. In fact, the game does a far better job of exploring mysteries, character details, and major plot details than it does explaining coffee brewing processes which are presented as walls of uninteresting text.

Decaf?

Unfortunately, even the good writing in Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy relies on tired anime and manga tropes. Much of the writing is predictable or cliché, and the game forces in some comedic moments at times which really throw off the pacing of the story – and this will likely annoy some players. The writing is inconsistent at best and it honestly feels as if different people were penning different parts of the tale, blended it together, and then didn’t look through it all to remove unnecessary banter or inconsistencies. The main character himself is also guilty of repeating himself and other information that was mentioned multiple times and it becomes incredibly annoying.

It’s also incredibly jarring how during a very serious conversation, the main character will start an internal monologue about completely unnecessary information that didn’t need to be stated to the player at all. Or that nobody asked about. It’s a baffling design choice and one that makes me wonder if more time with a story editor would have helped trim these moments down and streamline the story. Then again, so much of the writing is filled with anime tropes and is so predictable, we’re not sure if even that would help.

Graphically, Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy looks alright but, again, there is inconsistency throughout the game with character designs varying throughout to a noticeable level. Much of the character artwork also seems pretty inexpressive and very “cookier-cutter”-esque, if you will. Backgrounds, on the other hand, are quite detailed and there’s a lot to soak in. Unlike so many of its peers, Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy is partially voice acted and this does help elevate the game a bit. The voice acting gives more life to the characters but, unfortunately, not all text is voiced and this was a missed opportunity to provide a more cohesive experience. On the upside, the soundtrack is good and never gets annoying while you’re reading through all the text.

Final Verdict

Overall, Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy offers up a rather standard visual novel experience. Given its budget pricing, players will get their money’s worth but the slow pacing, inconsistent main story and visuals, constant coffee lore drops, and some weird design decisions turn Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy into a 25-hour long slog. A freshly brewed coffee that’s been left out for too long and is now cold and bland. If you were expecting a rich, full-bodied experience here, you’ll be slightly disappointed. This is a title that’s best played with no expectations and only if you’re a fan of visual novels and anime/manga media.

A review code for Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy was provided to gameblur by the publisher.

Caffeine: Victoria's Legacy (Nintendo Switch) Review

Caffeine: Victoria's Legacy (Nintendo Switch) Review
6 10 0 1
6/10
Total Score
  • Story
    6/10 Normal
  • Design
    5/10 Neutral
  • Soundtrack
    8/10 Very Good

The Good

  • Soundtrack
  • The partial voice acting
  • Coffee-based lore

The Bad

  • Trope-filled writing
  • Inconsistencies throughout the game
  • Lots of repeated information
Total
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