Renai X Royale: Love’s a Battle Review – My Romance Life Can’t Be This Messy?!

    Title: Renai X Royale - Love's a Battle
    Developer: ASa Project
    Release Date: September 30, 2022
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: NekoNyan Ltd.
    Genre: Visual Novel

Renai X Royale is a romantic comedy visual novel developed by ASa Project, whose other works include Renai Karichaimashita: Koikari – Love for Hire and Sankaku Renai: Love Triangle Trouble. With an extra helping of funny antics, this is an over-the-top title that constantly breaks the fourth wall and exaggerates character traits.

Komachi Hirotaka is an average young boy hanging out with his two best friends and living an ordinary school life with no girlfriend. Then, one day, a girl called Hanamaru Mari transfers to his class and declares she loves him. Claiming to be his childhood friend who suddenly left his life when they were still small, she is determined to claim his heart.

However, she’s not the only one vying for Hirotaka’s heart, and her bold words will be the starting point for an all-out war between various love interests. Besides Mari, there are three other main heroines: Shione, Renna, and Nonoka. But Hiro may end up in routes with other characters, including joke endings for his guy friends.

Renai X Royale Loves a Battle 2

Harizome Shione is the student council president whose pride is her main feature. She acts like a stereotypical ojousama and tends to abuse authority. However, her shallow arrogance does a poor job of hiding how she’s a dumb and insecure girl. It’s clear she’s fallen in love with the protagonist, and her perv side leads to insanely bold situations.

Amagamine Renna is a kouhai who works as an idol in the same unit Hirotaka stans, Gloria Snow. However, he only has eyes for Yuna, the top member of the group and the girl Renna sees as her big rival. Therefore, Renna’s constantly faking cute antics and trying to play up a mature, serious appeal. However, deep down, she’s often embarrassed and afraid of showing her true feelings.

Renai X Royale Loves a Battle 1

Finally, Komachi Nonoka is the protagonist’s younger sister. While she may look cute, she’s absurdly insane for her brother to the point of knowing his fetishes. She’s constantly stalking him and treating every girl who crosses her brother’s way as an enemy. She doesn’t want them to hurt his heart and wishes he could see her as something more.

While technically a sub-heroine, Kagaya Yuna also deserves a special mention here. Not only is she the idol Hirotaka loves the most, but Yuna also moves to Hirotaka’s class. Despite being known for being pure, she always teases people with her words, especially Renna.

Renai X Royale Loves a Battle 4

As all those girls try to get Hirotaka to make a decision, various comedic antics ensue. Renai X Royale‘s characters act over the top, frequently breaking the fourth wall and joking around with each other. The jokes are stellar, with the English translation making jokes feel natural while keeping neat Japanese context terms such as honorifics.

Unique facial expressions, chibi illustrations, and great Japanese voicework complement the text well. It all comes together to make the comedy bits hit all the right notes, but it also goes so far into the exaggerated field that it gets completely unbelievable. As such, when the story tries to pull back and work on the more nuanced character development for the romance, it feels like these moments often lack some punch.

Renai X Royale Loves a Battle 3

Renai X Royale is another enjoyable visual novel from ASa Project and NekoNyan. It’s a great example of comedy, landing its jokes from start to finish. While its over-the-top nature makes the romantic and more nuanced side of the story feel a little lacking, this is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre.

Score:
7.5/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.