Mato Anomalies: A New Neo-futuristic JRPG

Released on 10 March 2023, Mato Anomalies combines mystery, turn-based battles, and card-building all into one game.

Developed by Arrowiz, Mato Anomalies is an ambitious indie attempt to create a Persona-like RPG romp through neo-futuristic Shanghai. It mixes turn-based dungeon combat, mind-hacking card games, and stylish visual novel elements to tell its tale.

As you traverse the gritty streets of a mysterious city shut off from the world, you’ll meet eccentric citizens, chase down leads, engage in visual novel-esque discussions, and unravel the mystery at the heart of Mato. You’ll also discover the dual worlds that lie beneath its surface, where powerful enemies beckon.

With its futuristic neo-noir aesthetic and fun characters, Mato Anomalies is an excellent entry point for newcomers and veteran RPG fans alike.

Traverse across Mato, a neo-futuristic version of Old Shanghai. Beneath its surface, discover Rifts that act as portals into a place beyond space and time filled with powerful enemies.

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How Long to Beat?

The narrative of Mato Anomalies is compelling and sometimes unsettling, focusing on the impact of technology and society’s construction on our lives. Ultimately, the game is about people trying to survive in a cruel world and how they deal with their hardships.

Character development is very strong throughout, with Doe and Gram being two of the most interesting main characters. They are both deeply troubled, yet they find their way through the story and rise to the challenge.

In the end, Mato Anomalies is a fun, unique and compelling experience. It may not be as polished as some of the more well-known games in its genre, but it’s still worth playing. You should not forget that Mato Anomalies is a really long one to beat, requiring approximately 23 hrs of your time to complete.

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Turn-Based Combat is Not Enough But Still Promising

Mato Anomalies is a game with a unique take on the RPG genre, featuring an alternative cyberpunk oriental setting and a mix of visual novel and dungeon-crawling elements. Its story centers around a detective named Doe who, after being abducted by a mysterious monster, is hired by Nightshade, the matron of the Telosma Hotel in Mato, to investigate a drug called HANDOUT.

As Doe tries to unravel the mystery of the HANDOUT and the Bane Tide, he meets a young Shaman named Gram. Doe and Gram will go on a strange journey together as they try to uncover the secrets of Mato and the mysterious Rifts that are abducting people and transforming them into monsters.

After exploring the overworld of Mato, Doe reaches the Lairs. These are areas of the city’s underground, home to monsters created by the minds and emotions of humans.

The Lairs are a big part of the game’s narrative and where you will battle your way through. They’re not as big as you may think. Still, they’re all different in design and offer a variety of challenges for players to tackle.

As you progress through the game, Doe and Gram will level up and gain Talent Points that they can use to unlock new skills and equipment. However, the turn-based combat system needs to be more engaging and often feels dull and tedious. Despite this, there are still some quality-of-life features to enjoy in this game that make it a fun experience for fans of the genre.

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Hand-Drawn Characters Look Fantastic

The graphics are impressive, particularly the hand-drawn designs of the main characters. Doe has a unique look that looks like an edgier take on the traditional tattooed yakuza, while Gram has a sleek and clean design that matches her character. The graphics are also quite detailed, especially on the levels.

Another thing that makes the graphics stand out is the comic book panel-style story scenes. These are used as cutscenes and pop up as frames as you move through the game.

Aside from the comic panels and cinematics, there are several other ways in which the graphics in Mato Anomalies are displayed. Some are even animated, which is a very nice addition to the game.

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