The Caligula Effect: Overdose Screenshot 1
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The Caligula Effect: Overdose

Relapse into the virtual world Mobius. An idyllic world that exists for the sake of letting people forget about the pain and problems of reality. In this world created by a sentient vocaloid program, μ (Mu), reality and fantasy has become blurred, allowing people to relive their high school years in bliss. Yet in this seemingly beautiful and perfect world, something is amiss. Escape from this false paradise with your fellow students and return to reality in The Caligula Effect: Overdose! Key Features: An Overdose of New Features - The Caligula Effect: Overdose boasts enhanced visuals and gameplay! Explore new scenarios, endings, and the “Forbidden Musician Route” while escaping the virtual world of Mobius. The New Faces of Kishimai High - Play as the newly added female protagonist! Plus, meet two new members of the Go-Home Club, who each have their own new Ostinato Musician to face.
Promote for 50G

Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Get it on sale, I'll admit the sequel improved everything significantly, but this one is my baby and I love it :)

Review from Steam

Furyu is taking on their own kind of the Atlus/Persona game formula with Caligula Effect Overdose (and Monar their newest game).
The combat system is pretty unique and adds additional flair to the overall music theme of the game.
Their games have their own unique charm and the storytelling in Caligula Effect was awesome IMHO.
Furyu game might not be as polished as the big role model Persona but give them a try, I did and I enjoyed them greatly.

Review from Steam

How to tell it, this game has a great potential to be the best JRPG available on Steam, but the slow-paced narrative is killing it. I hope the developer can learn that everyone can't be like the Persona series. Persona has a lot of fanatic fans that backed them up, but Caligula Effect isn't. So if you try to mimic persona, you should cut more useless dialogue and bring the fun. And don't mention the costume they are trying to sell; damn, I hope the outfit is available on Steam Sale soon because who can purchase all of them without Steam Sale? lol
6.5/10 Decent Game

Review from Steam

This game is hard to recommend. It's just so low budget, and worse yet, very padded with dungeons going on forever and the combat system, while being a fun idea in concept, boiling down to mindless skill spam. I'd honestly recommend playing the sequel first as it does virtually everything much better, and then coming back to Overdose, if you still want more. Strangely enough, Overdose spoils a major plot twist of the sequel (Marie), while the sequel doesn't spoil any parts of Overdose's story, so that's another reason to start with the sequel.
With that disclaimer out of the way, Caligula Effect: Overdose is a niche JRPG made by some of the Persona 2 staff (such as Tadashi Satomi). The premise is very similar to the Matrix movie. People are abducted into a virtual world without realizing it, someone redpills you, and now your job is to assemble a group of like minded individuals and find a way back to the real world. The setting is themed around music and songs, and the antagonists are musicians. The game has an excellent soundtrack, with each dungeon theme having both instrumental and vocal tracks, which the game seamlessly transitions between when battling enemies. Seriously, it can't be understated how good the soundtrack is, just give it a listen: Distorted†Happiness, Onboro, Peter Pan Syndrome.
Apart from music, the other thing the game does very well is the characters. The gimmick here is that everyone's virtual avatars are idealized versions of themselves and can differ greatly from their real life selves. Some of the characters are fat or anorexic in real life, some are short or ugly people, some are much older than they pretend to be, yet others can even be the opposite sex. And many of them are mentally unwell individuals with issues ranging from self-harm and suicidal thoughts to sexual deviance and sociopathy. Exploring each character's backstory, while entirely optional, is a major part of the experience, and these character episodes are all very engaging. And unlike the sequel, you can also befriend the bad guys (the musicians), for a total of 19 (!) party members, each of them with 9 fully voiced episodes, for a total of 19 x 9 = 171 character episodes.
The main story is nothing special (yes, you go back home when you beat all musicians, no major twists here), but the characters really carry the game. It's a bit like Danganronpa, you get a large and colorful cast of unhinged and sometimes edgy characters, and that's what you're really here for, the story is just an excuse to get them all together.
This game could've been an easy recommendation, but make no mistake, the dungeons are absolutely awful, each of them has half a dozen huge labyrinthine floors consisting of nothing but hallways and square rooms, filled to the brim with essentially just one enemy type. The combat system is very flawed with accuracy being tied to level difference. Attempting to take on enemies above your level will make you miss most of your attacks. But fighting lower level enemies is a snoozefest as they can't fight back. Every difficulty setting up to Hard is mindless, while Extreme is just tedious as your accuracy is nerfed even more. There's so much garbage loot you'll completely stop looking at your inventory half way through. And the most baffling part is 500 (!) copypasted sidequests, although these are thankfully entirely optional, even if you're an achievement hunter you need to complete "only" 100.
Are the colorful characters and the banging soundtrack worth the slog? A playthrough with all character episodes will take around 40 hours. If you're not sure, just play the sequel first, it's a much smoother experience, and if it gets you hooked on the series, you can always come back to Overdose.

Review from Steam

Initially I was opposed to playing this based on seeing the atrocious models and assets, i'd be lying if I still wasn't bothered by that fact. The main story is alright, but the individual character episodes are the best part, the trauma experienced by said individual characters leading to how it came to be and how they choose to move past and or live with it. Art was clean and simplem fits a nice neat aesthetic. Voice acting was 10/10, or some reason every VA gave it their all when they had to express an emotion, the raw emotion in parts of the game with violent screaming is incredible. The main osts are composed by well known vocaloid producers and the tracks that come from them are this game's strongest factor, if you like Jpop, then this game is for you. Combat is fun, run simulations and see what happens then proceed to choose your outcome and finally run with it. I recommend playing on hard or higher, as the difficulty of enemies and bosses really fall down in comparison of the scaling of your abilities and levels. Overall 6.8/10, many flaws but there is still quite some charm.

Review from Steam

Long story short: very good! Love the battle gameplay with the imaginary chain and how you can strategically plan everything.
Though, I played on Normal and every boss battle was a joke. Today, I finished it and I was Lv50 and the last boss (despite two phases) didn't even get a turn and already got eradicated, haha. :)
I love the story, each and every character's own life and how each of them had a different weapon and attacks, even the Musicians (same weapons but different execution and names). Graphics.. yeah sure, clunky a bit and heavy lack of expression or moving mouth when speaking but I don't really care.
Overall I enjoyed it a lot. The only thing I have to do now is speedrun the female MC route and I'll obtain platinum :)
Now to wait for Caligula 2 in a few days..

Review from Steam

POSITIVES:

Story and Premise
OST (especially if you like vocaloid)
Unique gameplay and combat
(Most) Characters are relatable and likeable
A passable Bond System
NEGATIVES:
Premise and Story's execution
Story Pacing (the anime did it better imo)
Bland Dungeon Designs
(Some) characters are underdeveloped, including your character.
Short Game
Unexpressive character models
CONCLUSION
Game's full of missed opportunities, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Hoping for Caligula 2 to drop on steam too.