Elise the Devil is prolific Japanese adult game developer Dieselmine's sixth release on Steam and the third title that has been localized and published by SakuraGame (later renamed to Paradise Project). The story focuses on archdevil Iblis. A party of heroes led by Sean (Chiot in official version, Sion in fan translated version) fought against Iblis to restore peace to the entire world. Iblis was left for dead, but the archdevil returned as a cute young girl, renamed herself Elise (Iris in fan translated version), and embarked on a quest to become stronger and exact revenge on the humans for turning her into a weak young girl who is a pale shadow of her former self.
The game has numerous translation errors in the English version where the story is understandable for the most part, but I would recommend downloading and installing a fan translation patch by NHxD at Github to bring out the character development and improve the story. Although, the author has stated upfront that the translation does not follow the original Japanese script entirely. This fan translation patch also fixes the faulty item names and descriptions, adds a variety of colours to certain words in the game, new icons for combat options, scene names to every map, and some bells and whistles, improving the overall quality of this JRPG.
Briefly, I liked the storyline about how a proud demon queen is reduced to a weak vulnerable girl, and overcame insurmountable odds to fight back and defeat various monsters and would-be rapists to defend herself and exact revenge on the heroes who defeated her.
This game has the typical JRPG fare using RPG Maker assets. You control your party in an 8-bit map and travel around in an open world where new areas and tougher monsters are unlocked as your character levels up and acquires better weapons and equipment. There is some amount of grinding, but nothing overly tedious as it is possible for Elise to reach the maximum level of 99 in about 10 hours or so. There also is a special item that will completely remove all random encounters later on in the game.
Furthermore there is an additional mechanic in the exploit and lewdness level where the player will have to partake in numerous adult events to fully unlock all the adult content. I didn't explore this aspect as I was going for a full virgin playthrough until the good ending with Sean, although players have reported this part is quite grindy. Luckily, fans of the game have provided an uncensored patch with a save file including all H-events, CGs, and 18+ voice acting unlocked for players to enjoy.
The artwork is a major highlight of this game which prompted me to write this review, given that the publisher has been removing a number of their adult games from Steam with very little notice. The protagonist has impressive character sprite artwork with a variety of facial expressions and clothing to bring out the adult content and lewdness. Even if the player chooses to avoid all the H scenes and keep the game censored, the artwork alone is worth more than the price of the game on Steam.
Most of the background music is used from the RPG Maker software collection that I have heard before from other RPG Maker games. Nevertheless, the BGM is well-chosen as it highlights the difference when Elise goes from a medieval Western Kingdom over to a Japanese kingdom in the East, and it helps to bring out the best moments in the game. Such as after Elise wins a particularly difficult boss battle. It is quite a shame that what is done right in this area is let down by an awkward translation and the voice acting is only limited to the H-scenes.
Elise the Devil is a great bargain for an adult JRPG that is sold at a fraction of the price in Steam compared to the original Japanese version. It offers a little over 10 hours of gameplay without being excessively grindy, and it has cute and attractive artwork, Steam profile backgrounds and emoticons.
The English version was let down by an undesirable translation and poor quality control that makes it hard for players to enjoy what is being offered. Although the fan translation patch and mod at Github do not follow the original Japanese script entirely nor change the text in the H scenes, they address most of the issues that users have raised in Steam community forums.
Given this new development, I can highly recommend Elise the Devil as a great bargain of an adult doujin JRPG offering on Steam. If you are torn about picking up this title or not, it may be worth grabbing now as it may potentially be removed from Steam in the future based on previous trends.
Initial gameplay video on YouTube by tr1ppa