Thursday, April 25, 2024

Rose & Camellia Collection: Finally, An Aristocratic Slapping Game Comes To Switch

 By Sir Reginald Jonathan Bilski Esquire

Is a mere commoner reading this? 
How dare you! Only a noble of such zeal and upbringing should be reading this review! The Rose & Camellia Collection is for those who enjoy battle, but not with their fist, but their open palms. Through five different chapters will you put other high-society woman in their place, over details ever so important. What details? Oh-ho-ho-ho, why such as dominance over a household, not working and over course milk delivery. And, to do so, you will have to wield a JoyCon through this wonderfully short, but sweet Japanese humor game that is perfect for the Switch.
I guess, I'll allow you to stay and read the rest of my review, just so you might know what civil people do. And, I'll cut out all the fancy talk too.

What can I say, but how overjoyed I was this title finally was released on the Switch. Been waiting to see it since it was announced and I saw two women trading blows like in some sort of artsy British drama.

The game, well it's exactly that...but, more. The Rose & Camellia Collection is mainly about the women of the Tsubakikoji family. When Reiko, the "commoner" who married into the family loses her husband, he passed on, she must slap her way to the top or be treated like well, garbage by her husband's family. What ensues is you taking on the different women of the household in slap matches.

How slap matches work and how we get the name of the game is this. You take turns slapping your
opponent. You are the "rose" and they are the "camellia"- the white one. Using a JoyCon, on your turn, the Rose's turn, you must wield it toward the characters face in a fast motion as though slapping them. The result, when you make contact, is a hilarious over the top head turn of your opponent on screen. 
Now, during the Camellia's turn you must dodge their attacks or see your own head swivel towards you playing the game.

This back and forth is the entire game and you are both limited by bars of time with your flower on it to indicate whose turn. It's not as simple as you might think. You have to practice and have very good hand-eye coordination to dodge the attacks of different "noble" women.

Your "health" is also displayed by your type of flower and sometimes your opponent might have a bouquet and you don't.

The game can get quite intense, the moves of your opponent ridiculous. Oh, and did I mention sometimes you can grab your opponent and slap them around. Yes, you can and there's nothing quite like slapping another lady whose all up in your business.

Just from the get go, listening to the wonderful opening theme of the game gets you motivated to slap around the other women through five different chapters. As I already said, you start off as Reiko, but each chapter has you fighting as another Tsubakikoji family lady or in the service of the family. And, for a ridiculous promotional reason Mulbrook from the La-Mulana game series. 
Where the game justifies it's very ridiculous existence is in the story and characters. Very much based on Japanese dramas and humor. While Reiko's story starts off the game it sets a tone of having one foot in drama and then amping up into, "Wait, what did that character just do?" By the La-Mulana stage of the game, you're ready for things to get weird.

Other than slapping someone and seeing the damage to start to build in your opponent, which is a lovely visual, there's the wonderful voice acting and demented characters you must get through. Be it the Maid, Mita, and her two daughters Leftie and Rightie or the older sister. One of which, just doesn't want to work as her motivation for the second chapter of the game. Oh, might I mention when you first encounter Mita she's not in a ...normal place in the house.
In fact, many things aren't normal the more you play. A world tour has you visiting other countries with stereotypes out of manga of other cultures. India's fighter is a straight up homage to a Gundam character. I was already in tears in the first chapter of America, which sort of just smooshed New York to the West Coast.

Even the practice section with teacher Torie had me floored. She looks like a JoJo character with little slap hand charms in her hair.

My favorite chapter might be that of Eldest Sister, Shizuka Tsubakikoji dealing with the hilarious ideas of only receiving a noble newspaper only sold to nobles and the same for milk. Door-to-door saleswomen who might be dying of starvation be damned.

Honestly, I'm amazed aliens don't show up in this game, a trope that just randomly goes in gag comics from Japan, which this is mostly like.

The game does have a two player mode, where you both pick up a JoyCon and have at it, so something
to show off when friends or family over.

In any case, something to show off and let friends try when they're over as well. This game, though short, if you can master slaps and some different techniques, is made for the Switch. Technically started on the PC, but whatever. Slapping women around is never a good idea, unless you're playing this game. And, the way the game pulls it off as though watching an old Japanese drama makes it truly funny and unique experience. I mean. where else are you gonna possibly slap around a robot?

Out Now on Switch $19.99

"In addition to the digital eShop version of the game, a glorious physical version of Rose & Camellia Collection is available via The standard edition, priced at $34.99, includes the game and manual, while the opulent deluxe edition, priced at $69.99, includes the game, manual, soundtrack CD, 12" x 16" double-sided poster, acrylic standee, and art cards, all enclosed in elegant collector's packaging. Both the standard and collector's editions are on offer as open preorders until May 12, 2024."

Game provided by publisher for review purposes