Title: Jiangshi x Daoshi Episode III: Lady Hexers
Developer: Dendo Denkido
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Fruitbat Factory
Genre: Visual Novel
The Jiangshi x Daoshi series is a strange one with a release schedule that isn’t too typical in the west. The first two episodes are available now for free, with the third entry released as payable DLC. In case you want to know how we feel about the free titles, you can check out our review, and we strongly advise playing them before Episode III as this isn’t a game known to slow down for a second. For those ready to complete the adventure, let’s take a moment to unpack the experience that is Jiangshi x Daoshi Episode III: Lady Hexers.
Jiangshi x Daoshi Episode III: Lady Hexers stars the duo protagonist Luan and Ling Ling as they somehow stumble into a new mission. While watching TV, Ling Ling notices that an on-screen idol may be casting a spell on her fans to fall in love with her. The idol, named Taomi Nysanyan, ends up encountering the pair in a heated exchange where it’s revealed who the real bad guy is. As readers learn more about Tao’s situation, you can expect a few twists and darker themes to creep up, but ultimately there are some more significant foes to worry about.
Similar to the previous episodes, Lady Hexers is kind of hard to follow if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. The characters are very expressive and over-the-top, but they are also somewhat grounded in their respective responsibilities. This works surprisingly well for our protagonists, who are typically hysterical in normal dialogue but know when to get series and show they can handle themselves during an encounter.
The folklore themes are still a big focus when we learn more about the situation during chapter narrated monologues throughout the story. These moments are actually pretty helpful at delivering lore as it does it in a comical and easy to digest way. This also finds its way into the main chapters as new realizations are made relating to Daoism and Xian creation.
The imagery in this entry gets quite graphic in some parts. The characters participate in a few hardcore fights. Still, the action is well animated and presented even through the visual novel medium. It helps the overall delivery as you aren’t subjected to staring at the same gory scene for too long as the narrative quickly moves onto another scene similar to an anime.
Returning in Lady Hexers are the game’s surprisingly awesome animations. Each scene is enhanced with split panels, unique CGs, animated objects, and various character illustrations. The narrative’s speed only becomes a problem if you play the game in auto, which doesn’t seem to have a control option for speed. In fact, the general options for Lady Hexers are almost non-existent. I really would have preferred that each character have their own color for text so that I could know who’s talking easier.
The soundtrack is really well put together, and there are some really stand out songs. It’s impressive how they are used to, given that the music often changes to match the mood, followed by numerous sound effects that match the animation. I also should mention the voiced audio, which is great during slower moments and action scenes.
Jiangshi x Daoshi Episode III: Lady Hexers has some standout scenarios that make the entire experience worth it. Its writing is full of clever one-liners and interesting lore drops for the entire four-hour story. I would have preferred more text options and less-wordy explanations during some scenes, but this is a low-impact narrative full of memorable moments, and nothing really holds it back from being a must-read.
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