Thank you Aksys Games for sending us a review code!
Piofiore: Fated Memories is an otome visual novel game whose main character is named Liliana Adornato. You can change the name if desired. Otome visual novels feature a female character that can be courted by many eligible bachelors. In this game, most of the dating candidates are mafia bosses which is unusual for a young maiden who was orphaned and raised by the church. Surprisingly, most of the bachelors are religious and support the church financially or in other methods.
The game takes place in Italy in the 1920s. The town of Burlone is a neutral zone for the three mafia families who are at war with each other. Each mafia boss has their own way of running their families and business practices. Some are more cold-hearted than others. Along with the mafia bosses is a church disciple (assassin) who keeps a watchful eye on Liliana.
Liliana has no idea that she’s any different than anyone else in town. There is something special about her, but I won’t reveal that because it enters into spoiler territory. Unbeknownst to her, Liliana is protected by the church and the Falzone family. The other mafia families are only interested in her because they know that she’s special to the Falzone family.
The Visconti family is open minded when it comes to recruiting people while the Falzone family insists on having rightful heirs lead them. The Lao-Shu family has a Chinese heritage and is not religious like the other families.
The church plays a big role in this title and as you play through the different routes, you’ll learn about some underhanded deeds that have been done in regards to the town’s relic. Given that the disciples are trained assassins, breaking the 7th commandment does not apply to the church apparently. In one of the routes, you’ll learn what the sacred relic is and without giving it away, I’ll say that if it existed, Christianity would be debased.
Depending on the choices you make, the bachelor choice will be determined. However, you can get both good and bad endings depending on your affinity with them. There are side stories and epilogues and I found that they are often based off of less than ideal endings. Some of them are rather tragic with one having Liliana watch her love interest slowly go insane while being locked in her room 24/7.
Most of the routes have sex before marriage and in once instance, it’s not consensual. The intimate scenes fade to black, but there’s no confusion as to what happens. Sometimes Liliana is forced to wear lingerie and other revealing outfits. In one route, someone Liliana cares about gets hooked on a deadly opioid drug and becomes the sex slave of the dealer.
Gangsters and violence go hand in hand and there’s no shortage of bloodshed in this game. There are some instances of torture and the descriptions of the methods used are vivid. Whenever a character is shot or badly injured the screen will flash red and splatters of blood will appear on it.
Strong language and blaspheming is present throughout this title. It stops short of the F-bomb though. Alcohol is consumed by many of the characters and the Visconti family makes a good amount of money smuggling it into the United States during the prohibition.
If you don’t mind violence, language, sexual encounters, and jabs at Christianity, Piofiore: Fated Memories is a very well written (with the exception of one typo) visual novel. The character development is great and the artwork is top notch. The Japanese voice acting is well done, though I wish it was available in English as well. If you’re a fan of reverse harem visual novels, this one is worth looking into.