Despite a rather lackluster first impression due to a less-than-interesting first route, Dies Irae completely won me over by Marie’s route and then even some more in Rea’s. Chuuni world perspectives and plot development either make me cringe (like Chihaya’s route in Rewrite) or fire me up and get me to bend my suspension of disbelief, but Dies Irae is the game that made me dump said suspension of disbelief along with whatever dislikes of shounen manga cliches out the window, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the ridiculous powerlevels and fight scenes without thinking of the restrictions of pre-established real life logic and the points of views of ordinary, mature, functional members of modern society.
I just finished Kasumi’s route, and I’m not impressed. Extremely underwhelming, and the fight scenes weren’t that impressive. I liked Shiro’s fights with Bey, but Ren’s fights were pretty anti-climatic. The “final boss” didn’t even appear, and it’s like they solved everything before getting to the climax, at the cost of a bunch of deaths of other characters. The scenes that were supposed to be emotional did nothing for me, and the ending wasn’t even satisfying. Even at the final showdown, I could only yawn. It feels like the game is literally telling you you could have done much, much better if you went with someone else. I’m really hoping this is the worst route.
Kasumi is my least favorite of the 4 girls, so I’m glad that I can still hope for a good route with the others. But yeah, talk about the childhood friend getting the short end of the stick. Kasumi wasn’t even the focus of her route most of the time. It feels like Kei and Shirou got more screentime than her. The romantic development wasn’t even good to make up for the anti-climatic “climax.” I guess Dies Irae is the type of game where the romantic moments happen in the H-scenes because the plot has no time for it. Isn’t it fun how childhood friends are either the true route, or the lame exposition/”starter”/unimpressive-should-be-done-first route?
Next up is Kei, and I hope her route is better because I actually like her. As of this moment, she is my favorite heroine. Long black hair + uniform + sword = hnnnnnnng. Oh yeah, the music is absolutely wonderful. Whenever I got to a fight scene, I just had to leave the game running in the background and browse the internet while listening to the amazingly grandiose battle BGM. The art is also really good, with a few odd exceptions that have strange anatomy. But the chuuni fight scene CGs are beautiful and the lighting and cel-shading are great.