~Azur Ring~virgin and slave’s phylacteries is a lewd platformer-RPG about a secret cult and an unknown promise between lovers.


At-a-glance


(Adult) Content?
(FxM) Sexual content.

Censorship?
Mosaic’d genitalia.

Hours of Gameplay?
Eight to ten hours.

Modding Support?
No.

Patch Available?
Download from Google.



Foreword

There’s a few edits I’d like to make in this review, namely cleaning it up. . . but at the time that I post this article, I’m pooped.

I had a blast playing this game; I buckled down, and I completed it from start to finish. If it wasn’t for the censorship, I would probably recommend this platformer to anyone on the prowl for an action packed, maze-like RPG. The way the map was laid out reminded me of the days I played Metroid; I found myself distracted from the main objective in the interest of exploration time and time again.

Gameplay

. . . in a nutshell

Explore a winding maze of a map and defeat hordes of baddies. You have three weapons to choose from, all with their own unique play-style and acquirable abilities. Expect lots of platforming, and inventory management. It’s crucial to keep your gear up-to-date, and to pick weapons and armor that best synergize with your play-style. You can also abduct monster girls as sex slaves, but the feature is half-baked at best.

out the shell. . .

Exploration and Travel
Much of the game is exploration; there are five or six major areas to explore, each filled with several twists and turns to get lost in. Chances are, you’ll need to consult your handy-dandy map as you unlock more and more of the world. You can teleport from presdesignated safe-spots using Ancient Statures, which double as save locations. If you fall off a ledge, you’ll promptly respawn with light damage. If you die, you suffer zero penalties and respawn following a skippable sex scene.

What’s not to like? No sweat!

Evasion and Weapons
You have three weapons at your disposal, each with a different set of attacks, evasions, and specials; the Orbs of Desire grant ranged attacks, and a flight-like movement; the Spear of Sanctity offers defensive skills, and fast-moving piercing attacks; finally, the Muramasa grants rapid damage at the cost of range. Each weapon can be upgraded from “Ancient Statues”, granting new abilities and permanent buffs. There are many bosses and regions where the Orbs of Desire are necessary to avoid danger and traverse, thus they should be a high priority weapon to upgrade and use effectively.

As a matter of fact, I only used the Orbs — they’re that good.

Equipment and Leveling
It’s important to manage your equipment, skills and stats. Enemies drop items like candy, so be sure to keep tabs on your inventory. There are four rarities of gear, two of which providing special abilites; “legendary” offer one-off, special buffs; and wearing multiple pieces of “set” gear grants powerful effects (such as the ability to “one shot” enemies). Enemies drop experience and money. The former is used to upgrade your base stats, and the latter can be used to purchase new gear or upgrade your weapons.

Save often — you wouldn’t want to lose any precious gear, now would you?

Sex Slaves and “Training”
You will encounter a variety of monster girls, boss characters that resemble attractive waifus. Once a Monster Girl is defeated, you may capture her. Captured monster girls can be accessed from the “Training Room”, where their attributes can be improved upon via training. To train a monster girl, you simply spam your choice of sexual tool (which replenish over time). Monster girls become awakened as they are trained, improving the number of items that are available in the store and their sale value. While their sexual animations are fun to look at, they serve little purpose and are not nearly as profitable as bulk selling equipment.

. . . no, this is not a game you can play one handed.



Story

. . . in a nutshell

Alica, Lance, Leah and Yanna are on a quest to understand what is the cause of the world’s turmoil, and to unlock memories which Yanna harbors. She holds the key to the ongoing “Crystalline Crisis”, and during their exploits she understands little by little what her true purpose is.

out the shell. . . (with spoilers!)

Before starting a new game, you are prompted to name the protagonist; the default name is Lance. For the purposes of this article, I will be referring to the protagonist as such. I had a hard time piecing the story together, due to poor story telling and translation. I spent hours trying to write a coherent story with the source material, without adding my own material.

Without further ado, let’s. . . get into it.

Lord Lance is joined by three companions; Alice, his childhood friend; Leah, a swordswoman; and Yanna, a lustful witch. They seek the Castle in the Sky, and upon arriving they are confronted by a powerful angel. Said angel utterly destroys Lance and his friends with ease.

Then, Lance wakes up — it was all a dream, or rather, a premonition.

He wakes with busty witch mounting his wiener — Lance recognizes her as Yanna from his dream. After blowing his load, she informs him that he has completed a contract with her, granting him use of her powers and servitude. Alice, returning from church walks in on her childhood friend screwing a witch out of nowhere. Disgusted by Lance’s promiscuity, and she runs away. Yanna informs Lance that she is missing her memories, and that they should stick together as she recovers them. Lance and Yanna find Alice mortally wounded in Beginner’s Forest.

Really? Beginner’s Forest? Isn’t that a little too on the nose?

Luckily, the Orbs of Desire hold healing properties — all that Lance must do is sexually engage with her beaten body. After she recovers, they set out to investigate what is causing the inhabitants of the Beginner’s Forest to go berserk. They retrieve a crystal (or “soul shard”) from an oversized, gelatinous monster found deep in the woods. The crystal resonates with Yanna — she remembers that the world is being warped by a set of magical crystals, much like the soul shard they encountered.

The party press on, entering deepest reaches of the forest, otherwise known as the Corrupted.

There, they rescue Leah, the same neko swordswomen from Lance’s dream. She joins their team, and offers her services back home as a merchant. Delving deeper into the Corrupted, they encounter the Corrupted Giant Elf, a sentient, zombie-like tree. He drops an Old Box of Souls, which evokes a few a more memories — the name “Iria”, and a promise Yanna cannot recall. With no other place to go, Lance and friends decide to hit the Abandoned Sewer — rumor has it that secret of the crystals lies inside beneath the Abandoned City (AKA, Lance’s HQ).

For. . . reasons. It’s off to the sewers!

They find a locked door, which beckons Yanna with new memories. Searching for the key, they emerge from the sewers into a desert. The track down a highwayman, and they find her in possession of the key. However, before opening the door, Yanna decides that they must also find a means to “purify” the Old Box, to unlock its contents at later time. They learn that a rabbit queen holds the secret to doing so. They return to the desert, find this rabbit queen, and beat her up to claim a strange potion from her.

With the key and potion in hand, they pay the sewer door another visit.

Inside, they find a library, and a portal to the “Lost Country”, a manmade world encrusted with by soul crystals. They read a book titled How to Summon Asmodeus — It documents the Cult of Asmodeus, and their long defunct campaign of abducting (and sacrificing) women of the church. They were stopped by an unknown saint, who vanished afterwards. Between the library and Lost Country, four chapters of Chronicles of the Crystalline Disaster can be located.

Exposition dump. . . go!

In Chronicles of the Crystalline Disaster, Chapter 1, a king goes on an “adventure” and brings home a witch. With her magic, she transformed the king’s slaves into tireless workers; In Chapter 2, the kingdom flourishes with newfound fervor. It earns a reputation as “the Land of Eternity”; In Chapter 3, the King and his witch disappear without a trace. With a “flash of a magical sparkle”, the kingdom utterly vanishes; In Chapter 4, it is explained that the kingdom now exists in a timeless realm, where the people will wander in anguish for all of eternity.

I really wish all of this lore wasn’t front-loaded at the end of the game — that’s just called bad story telling.

Yanna recovers a new memory — a familiar voice asks a Lady Iria to take her necklace, and promise they will be together forever. They find a crystal with Lance’s name inscribed, and upon its discovery a nearby portal opens. After defeating the portal’s guardian, they uncover another soul shard. It fails to bring new memories to Yanna, and she she decides that the Box must be purified to continue. She and Lance purify the Box using the potion and a sexual ritual.

Of course a sexual ritual. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Yanna.

With Box now purified, a surge of memories rush back to Yanna. She made a promise to reunite with Iria, the same saint that vanished after pursuing the Cult of Asmodeus. With every failure, Yanna is reincarnated at a different point of time, where she can try to save Iria once again. As it just so happens, she finds herself drawn to Alice, Lance, and Leah with every incarnation. She declares that they must go to the Castle in the Sky, where they can “awaken” Iria using the power of the angel.

And thus, we are taken full circle, from whence the game began — do you remember Lance’s dream? Perhaps, it wasn’t a dream after all. I’ll leave the last few tidbits of the story for you discover on your own. Spoiler alert — the game ends with a cliffhanger, implying that a “part two” is in the works.

Visuals

I was impressed by the titlescreen; I loved the animation and arrangement of the user-interface. From “System Config” you may adjust audio, display and language preferences. I did find the term “System Config” as opposed to “Options” or “Settings” to be somewhat off-putting, thought I’ll admit I’m nitpicking. The “CG Thanks” option functions as a gallery. CGs must be viewed with their corresponding dialogue — it is cannot be skipped and the user-interface is unable to be hidden. Not all sexual content can be viewed from “CG Thanks”.

Can we change that, developers?

The text for dialogue moves so slow; I don’t think anyone in the right mind could bear reading the text at its intended speed. There should be a means to adjust text speed via “System Config”. Thankfully, you can skip text via the “Enter” key. The English is poor, and there are many inaccuracies in the translation and outright misspellings. Additionally, the story is more convoluted than it needs to be — this is due to inconsistent word choice when describing essential plot points.

The Goods

There are fifteen CGs to unlock; thirteen of them are animated and lewd. There are a wide variety of sexual animations that rendered in-game, but inaccessible from the gallery. When viewed in-game, they must be viewed with user-interface, which I consider to be buzzkill on top of buzzkill (or censorship). The artwork and animation across the board is. . . awesome. There were few errors that I could spot, and there’s tons of sexy-time to see. In my opinion, the most interesting CGs were that of monster girl sex slaves, which depicted them being sexually abused by the same enemies you have been fighting all along.

. . . expect female and male-on-female sexual content.



Verdict

I can wholeheartedly say, that even with it’s glaring flaws, I recommend this game, on sale or not. I had a blast playing this game, though it’s not for everyone. For starters, it’s extremely monotonous — there were only a few times during my playthrough where I felt legitimately challenged by the gameplay. Once I invested in health regeneration and ranged attacks, the game was a cakewalk.

My biggest complaint isn’t the poor writing or okay-gameplay; rather, it is censorship. Though I enjoyed this game, I don’t think I’ll be recommending it to very many people. As an American, censorship is no-no; and I think my American friends would agree.

Can we. . . have a proper patch, pls?

Wombat WoeArmor “Sets

While “Set” (or green rarity) gear are an awesome concept, it’s too difficult to gain enough pieces from the same Set to reap the rewards. For starters, Set pieces are by far the rarest pieces of equipment in the game — during my playthough, I encountered two outside of Leah’s Shop. The only way I was able to more than two pieces from same Set was by save-scumming next to Leah’s Shop until the correct pieces spawned. Additionally, equipment quickly becomes underleveled; even if you managed to find a Set of armor, it will quickly become obsolete.

Wombat Woe CG Respawn Cheese

Whenever you view a CG, either from “Relationship” or an in-game unlockable, enemies will respawn. While this can be used to one’s advantage, it’s annoying to collect a hidden CG only to be ambushed from every side.