Piofiore: Fated Memories Review – A Bloody Good Time (Switch)

Do you wish you could date Italian mafia members? Then, Piofiore: Fated Memories might be for you! You play as Liliana Adornato, an orphaned girl housed at the church in the city of Burlone. Three mafia groups control Burlone, and they want to meet you. What do they want with you, and why are you so special?

Piofiore: Fated Memories: A Bloody Good Time Review (Switch)

I love romance, eating, and someone swearing their undying love to me. And if that person is morally corrupt, all the better. Imagine what happens when a video game company puts those ideas together—you get Piofiore: Fated Memories.

Piofiore: Fated Memories is a romance otome (“maiden” in Japanese) game developed by Idea Factory and published by Aksys Games. While its gameplay is simple (choosing dialogue options), the storyline and characters are why you’re here.

Piofiore: Fated Memories is available on Switch for $49.99.

Piofiore: Fated Memories - Official Trailer

Story — 1925, Burlone, Italy

We play as Liliana Adornato in the made-up city of Burlone, Italy. As is the case with most otomes, the protagonist can be renamed, but for the sake of this review, we’ll be calling her Lili or Liliana.

Lili is an orphan and is raised by the nuns in the church. There are three mafia groups, and each hoping to control the city. There is the Falzone family, the oldest and most traditional. The Visconti come from the Falzone family, who deemed the then-leader to be too traditional and unwilling to change with time. Finally, the Lao-Shu are immigrants from China who seek to gain a foothold in Europe.

Lili is caught in the whirlwind of five mafia men from various families. There is Nicola Francesca, cousin and second-in-command to Dante Falzone; Dante Falzone, boss of the Falzone family; Yang, leader of the Lao-Shu; Gilbert Redford, leader of the Visconti; and Orlok, an informant and assassin for the church.

Gameplay — Careful Where You Step

Piofiore is an exceptionally long visual novel, clocking at anywhere from 50 to 80 hours to complete. Speed readers or people who skip dialogues can finish the game in 30 hours. I took around 40 hours, and that was with skipping some voiced lines as well as reading quickly. Sometimes, the game was a slog, especially replaying specific routes for a particular ending.

As is the case for most visual novels, there are point-and-click dialogue choices. But which is the right answer? Each male lead has a trait they value and honor. Nicola values honesty; Dante desires respect; Yang expects wisdom; Orlok wants Lili to be tolerant of others; Gilbert wants Lili to trust him.

An unusual thing Piofiore does is lock the player into a specific route order. In the beginning, Lili can either romance Nicola or Dante, though many players recommend holding off on Dante as his storyline contains secrets about Lili and the Falzone family. Yang is unlocked after the first route, then Orlok, and finally, the game allows the player to romance Gilbert after all other plotlines have been played through.

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Dante Falzone at his father's grave

Piofiore Fated Memories Dante Falzone at his father’s grave

Content Warnings

Piofiore: Fated Memories has a long list of content warnings. There is blood and violence, as befitting the Italian mafia. There are even sprites for each character when they are bloodied. Piofiore mentions drug use and abuse, coercion, slavery, rape, murder, and sex trafficking. All in all, it earns its M-rating.

But the graphic nature of the game drew me in. While most otome games are thought of as comedic and fun (Piofiore is not the first serious and dark otome however), this one proved that mafia bosses are not afraid to kill, steal, lie, and harm others. The biggest shock is that at least one love interest dies on another’s route. I won’t give spoilers, but the rivers of Burlone run red even in the best of endings.

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Yang kissing Liliana

Piofiore Fated Memories Yang kissing Liliana

The bad endings of Piofiore are where the graphic contents shine. While they are not necessary to complete for the Finale, if you are a completionist or a lover of CGs, you’ll want to power through them. To this day, I still think of certain bad endings as superior and well-written to some best endings.

The Best for Last

The secret route was my absolute favorite to play, but in case of spoilers, I won’t mention who it is, but you unlock him after Gilbert’s route in the Grand Finale. And how grand it was! It feels like the culmination of the game. It was a shame that part of it is related to Gilbert’s route and not standalone. That’s supposedly fixed in the sequel game, Piofiore: Episodio 1926; the secret man has his own route!

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Nicola Falzone enjoying a cappuccino

Piofiore Fated Memories Nicola Falzone enjoying a cappuccino

Graphics and Audio — And a Glossary?

If you’re a completionist, you will also want to collect all the glossary terms. That’s as easy as playing through the game and finishing all the routes. For some words, you will need to pick a specific dialogue option, but most are straightforward. You can always savescum if you want to pick another dialogue option; the word is saved to the glossary.

RiRi did the art. Though I cannot find the artist’s true name or in any sphere that isn’t visual novels, their style is beloved though rare. I don’t often see outfit changes for the protagonist in visual novels. In almost every CG, Lili was in a new outfit. I adored them! I could feel the lace, linen, cotton, and whatever other materials were used. Not every outfit with practical and might be hard to reconstruct in real life, but they were a treat for the eyes.

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Orlok encountering Liliana

Piofiore Fated Memories Orlok encountering Liliana.

Speaking of art, I wish we had had insert art for each meal Liliana made. She is an excellent cook, and the amount of traditional Italian desserts and savory food in-game made my mouth water. It would be a fun project to collect all the dishes and make a recipe book.

Piofiore: Fated Memories has a fun soundtrack that can thankfully be listened to in-game without needing to buy a soundtrack DLC. Each type of ending has a different song, and I like all of them. Some sound effects sounded cheap, however. The sound used for gun violence was a little too high-pitched, sounding like party poppers. The slash sounds for Yang’s weapons were better, but the sounds all felt like stock. The voice acting makes up for it, though. We have some killer seiyu (“voice actor” in Japanese).

A Masterclass in Seiyu

Ishikawa Kaito is Dante Falzone in Piofiore. Ishikawa is perfect at studious, detached, masculine roles. He’s able to capture softer moments of Dante with Lili as well as the harsh, strict mafia boss in front of the Falzone.

Okamoto Nobuhiko stole the show as Yang. I’ve always been partial to Bakugo Katsuki from My Hero Academia, and I found Okumura Rin from Blue Exorcist to be a fun character, but Okamoto’s take on Yang…It astounded me. No one else could have brought the sadistic, languid, unhinged Yang to life like Okamoto. I listened to his every line, even when I skipped through others.

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Henri being consoled by Liliana.

Piofiore: Fated Memories Henri being consoled by Liliana.

Kimura Ryohei voices Nicola Francesca. I am less familiar with him, but he was cheeky and manipulative in the right way. Nothing made me laugh harder than hearing Kimura pronouncing Italian words.

I knew only one role of Toyonaga Toshiyuki: Katsuki Yuri on Yuri!!! On Ice. It’s been years since I’ve seen that anime, but I enjoyed his take on the soft-natured Orlok. There were times when I couldn’t hear him. It could be an issue of how Toyonaga was directed, the quality of the mic, or the Switch’s native outport.

Morikuubo Showtaro is another seiyu I’m unfamiliar with, but I became a fan thanks to his boisterous, confident, and fun voice for Gilbert. After the drama and bloodshed of all the other routes, Gilbert was a breath of fresh air. Morikuubo really shined in making an ojji-san (“old man” in Japanese, but can affectionately mean an older man with an established career) character loveable.

Piofiore Fated Memories A Bloody Good Time Review Gilbert Redford walking in the streets

Piofiore Fated Memories Gilbert Redford walking in the streets.

Piofiore is an otome I use as a base to judge others. How violent and complex is it compared to Piofiore; are the leads willing to do terrible things in the hopes that they are doing the right thing (except for Yang, who knows he’s an awful man)? Is this otome as interesting and artfully put together? Though I am new to the visual novel journey, others have disappointed me so far. There are other good otomes, with easy storylines and handsome men (and women and nonbinaries!).

But are they as good as Piofiore: Fated Memories?

Piofiore: Fated Memories was reviewed on the Switch.

Piofiore: Fated Memories is an action-packed mafia otome with an intriguing storyline, handsome leads, and a mystery to solve. The art is beautiful, though it can become gruesome in the Bad Endings. The soundtrack is a delight and the voice acting is superb. The secret route, though short, is my favorite. Be mindful of content warnings as the game does not shy away from graphic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The misdeeds of the mafia are yours to have if you will accept their hand.
  • CG art is beautiful
  • Intriguing story
  • Handsome and interesting leads
  • Addicting voice acting
  • Long story
  • Sound effects can sound "stocky"
  • Content warnings are numerous

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