Viola: The Heroine’s Melody – Review – PC

Viola - Main Title

I’m going to try and keep this as a short review for you all.

Viola : The Heroine’s Melody is a game that released from Steams Early Access platform in February of this year.

It follows Viola as she is transported into a strange new world full of strange new characters after failing her violin practice, for the nth time.

Everything seems to be out to get Viola, who is thrown into a dark cave and immediately into danger.

It’s not long though before you meet your first party member Fenrys, a wolfman, and are thrown through the basics of the turn based combat in the new world of Vylna. Of course, with the world being strange and the characters being strange the combat is also decidedly strange. Focusing on you hitting QTE based prompts that appear after selecting a move. Hitting the prompts perfectly is key to getting a boost in the attacks power.

Your weapon? The violin that brought you through into this new world. Conveniently it transforms into a powerful bow just when you need it to.

You see in Vylna, the world revolves around music. Every party member you meet plays a different instrument. The regions are musically orientated, either being based on instruments or featuring them prominently in the design.

As you progress you meet further friends that join you on your journey to get back home, all of which are decidedly quirky. Each area of the world introduces a new member, and they are all kind enough to help their newly made friend in her endeavours.

The various stages offer an interesting set of designs among some rather nifty platforming. Having a triple jump you’ll be well on your way to bouncing around the levels after only a short while of playing.

They can be a little sparse though. Which is very noticeable in a number of stages where you can feel like a small bird in a big cage.

They are generally pretty short though which means that you’ll be paying more attention to dodging enemies as needed more.

There is hidden loot to be found dotted around the stages and a few small puzzles that you’ll need to complete to progress in some levels  including the use of some cannons that propel you into hard-to-reach areas.

At various points in your journey you’ll unlock songs which you can play to progress the story, unlock doors or fast travel to places you’ve previously visited. You learn these songs by following the button prompts that slowly fade across the sheet music that appears on screen (thankfully when you need to play it at future times it stays visible).

The music for the game is real mixed bag for me, with some songs being a really nice listen and others that quickly become a bit stale. Annoyingly at the end of the battle you also get a really loud victory fanfare that I couldn’t find a way to turn down.

The QTE’s in battle also don’t fall in line with the battle music so it can be a bit jarring. Attacks also each have slightly different QTEs, being a mix between mashing, holding and tapping at the prompt and some require a mixture. They also appear for different lengths depending on the move making for some easy misses if you’re not paying immediate attention.

Viola: The Heroine’s Melody has a very progressive story that is very heartwarming. Viola learns about acceptance and learning to love yourself (and of course learning to play the violin) as she interacts with this wildly differing cast.

The main characters are really charming and you have the ability to interact and build up your “support level” with each member by fighting alongside them and interacting with them at the bonfires dotted around the world.

When you near the max “support level”, you unlock a personal quest that allows you to get to know a little bit more about each character’s history and motivations. It really is a nice way to interact with your party.

They should really be called “bondfires”

Viola - Bonfire

The end of the game will leave you wanting to play more and since its very short overall its very easy to just dive back in, especially if you want to get the bond level up with your party members.

If I could say one negative is that there is a point in the game where it begins to feel a bit rushed. Some levels feel a bit less complex, and the story points begin to spread out until the eventual end.

Accessibility is also nice. Viola: The Heroine’s Melody is not a tough game, but if you wanted to play the story there are options to increase experience earned from battles, make your team invincible or just disable attack commands outright.

But Overall? I really enjoyed playing Viola: The Heroine’s Melody. I came in at just under 10 hours for my playthrough which covered all the achievements and it felt very satisfying completing all my friend’s quests. Helping them after they helped me so much throughout the game.

Pro’s

  1. Interesting bunch of characters
  2. Fun story
  3. Good configuration options (for those that don’t want to grind)

Con’s

  1. Does feel a bit rushed in places
  2. Too easy for some?
  3. QTE’s in battle can be a bit awkward

You can pick up Viola on Steam over here https://store.steampowered.com/app/988310/Viola_The_Heroines_Melody/

(sorry this turned out longer than I expected)

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