Cupid Parasite Review – Five Lovers, One Girl

    Title: Cupid Parasite
    Developer: Otomate
    Release Date: November 2, 2021
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: Idea Factory International
    Genre: Otome

The otome genre was graced once again with the western release of Cupid Parasite. It’s a western release that fans have been waiting for, and Idea Factory International has made it happen. So, let’s get started.

Cupid Parasite introduces its female protagonist, the goddess of love responsible for matchmaking couples, Cupid (or Eros, depending on which mythology you prefer). After an argument with her father, she descends to the human world as Lynette Mirror to prove that humans don’t need divine intervention to get married. Unfortunately, though, being in Celestia for thousands of years, Lynette lacks any sort of common sense on what is right and what is wrong.

Cupid Parasite Screenshot 3

Determined in succeeding, Lynette studies love psychology at Los York University. Following her graduation, she enrolls in the world’s most prestigious company: Cupid Corporation. A company focused on bringing lovers together down to their last vow or, in other words, marriage. One day, Lynette is summoned by the president and CEO, Shelby Snail, who promises that she will finally get the promotion of her dreams if she manages to marry a group known as the Parasite 5.

Parasite 5 is composed of five men, each with a different problem that prevents them from finding someone to marry. Gill Lovecraft, the Lovelorn Parasite who cannot get over his lost love. Monsieur Esse, a mysterious workaholic man, known as the Prestige Parasite who chooses work over love. Raul Aconite, a playful actor and mythology geek known as the Obsessed Parasite. Ryuki Keisaiin, a young designer, known as the Glamor Parasite, where looks and beauty are the only things that matter. And finally, Allan Meville, a rather audacious man known as the Thieving Parasite. Unless they manage to get over their quirky habits, they’ll never be able to truly get married.

Cupid Parasite Screenshot 4

You’ll have to take a love test for your first playthrough consisting of 14 “yes” or “no” questions. Depending on your results, this will affect which route you end on. You need to select at least one “Yes” to any of the questions. However, from around your second playthrough or so, you can utilize a feature in New Game+ that allows you to select any of the available types without going through the questionnaire.

Furthermore, you’ll also be asked to select one of the characters to go out on a practice date at another point in the game. Note that, on the first playthrough, both Raul and Allan are unavaliable and require New Game+ to proceed. During it, the beginning of the game’s story changes completely, and new choices are added. These are exclusive to the New Game+ mode and allow the player to select the locked routes and some new endings. This is pretty commonplace in some otome games, as specific characters and their routes may contain spoilers and information that might not make sense unless you know from information gathered in the previous routes.

Cupid Parasite Screenshot 1

During each of the five routes, including the “common route”, you’ll be given a series of choices that will affect the Love Level a character feels towards you. Thankfully, it is rather easy to go back if you think you’ve messed up and retry. Features, such as quicksave or the ability to rewind to a previous place in the log, are at your disposal. The game also offers a flowchart, but rewinding to a certain node will clear your log and it won’t change your Love Levels toward the character.

As of the time I’m writing this review, however, I encountered various issues with my third playthrough while on Ryuki’s route. Accessing the log would crash the game, and there were numerous spelling and grammar mistakes in the dialog. They didn’t make his route unplayable, but the consistency of the messages was all over the place. However, the publisher has acknowledged this and has an update planned to fix it.

Cupid Parasite Screenshot 5

There’s a customization option in the Settings that allows you to set your voice settings and change the font, which you rarely see in modern games without serious compromises. All of the four fonts you can choose from seem legible enough, but I went with the one that came by default.

Cupid Parasite is one of the most engaging experiences I’ve ever had with an otome game. From my second playthrough to my fourth, I found myself shaking in my chair, wanting to know what would happen next. Its comedic romance kept me up until the late hours of the night, and I haven’t had a game that made me feel like this in quite a long time.

Aside from affected routes, the translation work is solid, and I’m looking forward to the developer fixing the present bugs.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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