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The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 (PC) artwork

The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 (PC) review

"An un-fur-tunate localisation issue makes Stray Cat less than purr-fect"

The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 is both a sort of sequel and sort of alternative retelling of the previous game The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart which, itself, is the Westernized port of the Japanese eroge game, Nora to Ōjo to Noraneko Hāto with all the eroge taken out. Confused yet? Hang in there; itís only going to get worse. The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart tells the tale of a trio of emissaries from the netherworld who come to the surface to find a way to wipe out all signs of life, because the dead just donít like that sort of thing. Only, upon arrival, they accidently curse unfortunate Japanese schoolboy, Nora, and make him a familiar. The main thrust of this is that he turns into a cat every time he gets kissed, and the only way to turn him back again is with yet another kiss. This, of course, leads to both hijinks and shenanigans as Nora tries to balance his everyday school-bound life with trying to find a way to reverse his curse before he turns into a cat permanently. Also, he has to find a way to save all life as we know it from gorgeous blonde harbingers, most of whom boast breasts bigger than their heads.

He does this, mainly, with clumsy seduction. Which massively highlights that the main difference between the two ports is that all the adult stuff happens firmly off screen for the Westernized translation. This isnít ideal for many reasons and people put off from purchasing the game had complaints stretching beyond not being able to see any of the anime boobs. These sections were still fully referenced in the surviving text, meaning there are simply holes where the plot used to be with no effort made to write around this. While the story was certainly strong enough for the game to be recommended regardless, I can understand why people would not want to purchase an incomplete product. Just as I can understand why people didnít want an eroge game with all the eroge taken out. Donít listen to Kotuku; cartoon tits never hurt anyone.

The Princess, the Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 has the exact same issue. Itís most of a game rather than a complete game, and whatís survived the sexual culling is a victim of this, because it remains a well told story of worth. There are scenes of a very adult nature that are still openly discussed and thereís conversations openly referenced that you and your innocent Western eyes will not be privy to, but thereís still enough happening around that to invest in. The second telling heavily assumes experience with the first, but jettisons the entity of the first gameís plot from about the halfway point, where youíre expected to choose which of the four main girls youíre going to focus on. Instead, it creates a whole new faction of the underworld who have come to the surface hoping to be recognised, as the legions of dead have forgotten their very existence.

The first game let you chase after the underworldís recognised princess, a studious school prefect, a reformed drop out and a gentle caregiver. They were all good characters even if Michi will always be best girl! with often radically different storylines to progress, but were routinely upstaged by some of the side characters. Older underworld sister, Lucia, isnít as magically adept as her siblings due to her own tragic curse, so just effortlessly pummels anything she doesnít like into oblivion. Youngest sister and obvious loli-bait, Euracia, purposefully misunderstands any conversation thread to justify magical powered kicks to the groin. Childhood friend, Nobuichina, is an over-energetic bundle of bad puns, trolling and untapped fury who runs the local yakuza when sheís not at school. All three of these turn in scene-stealing performances in the original game, so are rewarded by becoming the main focus of the second.

Still, returning fans of the original foursome are catered to by unlocking extra chapters that act like little follow-ups to the first gameís selection of endings. Which means you can spend a little more time with the thawed-out version of apocalypse-obsessed Patricia, who is noticeably less interested in destroying everything, or easily embarrassed prefect Michi who still wonít cut you a break if youíre a couple of minutes late for school, even if youíre dating now. Itís all wonderfully written, flawlessly translated and retains the entire cast of the originalís brilliant Japanese voice cast. Itís just unapologetically incomplete. Itís hard to get fully behind that.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (June 12, 2020)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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