Rise of the Guardians
Imagine all 12 of the zodiac signs as hunky men vying for your attention. That’s exactly what you get in Guardians of the Zodiac. This romance dating simulation game was developed by Genius Inc, a company that specializes in cliché and cringy otome games. While this title sounds like it would have an interesting storyline, the clumsy dialogue and lack of choice ruin it.
In Guardians of the Zodiac, you star as a young college student studying an ancient scroll with ties to the Chinese zodiac. Your parents were legendary archaeologists and very well known at the college and museum. After agreeing to help your archeology professor study the ancient zodiac scroll, someone steals it right out of your hands. With so much of the world depending on you and the scroll, three attractive men are forced to protect you. It’s all very devastating.
Aside from the anime-style storyline, the dialogue and choices are not very pleasant. During one scene, two thugs attack you. The tiger zodiac, Xin, arrives to protect you. One of the thugs is about to sneak up on him. You have two choices. Either you help him…or you cry. Helping him costs you 23 premium gems. Without any premium gems, your only option is to cry. That’s one of the most frustrating things about this otome game. Every options gives you two choices. One options locked behind costly gems makes the whole point of the game meaningless. Several times, the choice I’d rather pick was locked behind premium currency.
Winning the Race
Fans of shoujo anime will be able to easily understand all of the characters in Guardians of the Zodiac. Your character is the typical shoujo heroine. That is to say, she is weak and prone to tears, which makes all the eligible bachelors want to protect her. You’ll find that the male characters have typical traits for shoujo anime too. Xin, the tiger, is your average quick-tempered boy who is fiercely competitive. There is also the ice prince character and the dense jock.
Unfortunately, the rest of the game has the same cliché and predictable qualities as the characters. Add in the fact that sometimes you don’t have much of a choice, and this title remains dull and lifeless. It’s hard to immerse yourself in the story when your choices are so limited.
The art of Guardians of the Zodiac is anime-style with each character being thoughtfully designed. The looks of the men perfectly match the personality of the animal and character they represent. It’s easy to tell which type of character they are just by how they are drawn. The rest of the title is very simplistic. Some characters aren’t drawn at all unless they are named. Take the thugs from the above-mentioned example. They are simply black silhouettes.
Year of the Tears
Guardians of the Zodiac divides into episodes. You’ll need to have a story ticket to proceed to the next story or to replay the one you just completed. Story tickets regenerate every three hours. While the storyline can be generic sometimes, the stories have great cliffhangers. Each story ends at a peak in the action that really does make you want to see what happens next. Unfortunately, there’s all that boring stuff in the middle to get through.
Besides the main story, there aren’t any other features to this title. You can name your character, but not customize it. This is common in otome games, as they want you to place yourself in the game as much as possible. Creating a character actually improves immersion, so it could have been a great addition. Without additional features, the story has to be high quality to keep players happy. In my opinion, this story isn’t enough. Younger female fans might enjoy this storyline, but it is too generic for older players. Overall, Guardians of the Zodiac crams all of the worst parts of shoujo into a choice game that lacks choice.
Is It Hardcore?
Press B for No.
Guardians of the Zodiac is a cookie-cutter otome game that has stunning character designs to accompany a drab storyline. Limiting choices in a choice game ruins it and leaves players feeling useless.