Review: The Rose of Segunda

Play as the daughter of the Duchess of Florentia as you attend the crown prince’s birthday celebrations in an attempt to win him over and become his bride. 

The Rose of Segunda, developed by Blackcross and Taylor, is a romance visual novel. Play as the daughter of the Duchess of Florentia as you attend the crown prince’s birthday celebrations in an attempt to win him over and become his bride. 

The amount of content you get in The Rose of Segunda is well worth the $8.99 price tag. There are 102,000 words and six romance routes. Five of these routes are available from the very beginning, but there is one secret route unlockable only after you’ve completed all of the others.     

While some scenes do overlap, each route’s special moments are mostly unique. Different scenes are triggered depending on what activities you choose to do or how you respond to certain situations. There is also the ability to determine your character’s personality with early interactions. Are you going to play as a princess full of polite greetings and forced smiles, or as a mischievous prankster?

Each love interest is distinct in their personality and backstory. Whether you’re chatting up a duke, the prince himself, or one of the other ladies vying for the prince’s heart, you will feel drawn into the dialogue.

The entire script is written with the time period in mind, which can be difficult to maintain. Nevertheless, it works well in helping to create an immersive experience for the player.  

The music is fitting to the theme—both relaxing and beautiful. The developer confirms that the music tracks are a mix of original compositions and older classical music. Paired with aesthetically pleasing backgrounds and charming sprite and CG art, the game looks and feels great when playing. 

Unlike most visual novels, the main character’s full sprite is on screen for most of the game. We get to see her mannerisms as the story progresses. There are also ample CGs, all drawn in the same style of the sprite art so they don’t feel out of place. 

On the other hand, the UI is rather dull and basic compared to the rest of the game’s art, and the script font is hard to read at times. Also, some of the minor characters are shown as shadows rather than fully colored sprites, which can be a bit jarring at times. 

There are several obtainable endings in the game, mixing your personality choices, actions, and romance options. The routes themselves aren’t especially long and can be finished in a single sitting in most cases. In fact, after your initial playthrough, you’ll be skipping through a lot of the common activities that the group participates in. That does leave some of the romances feeling particularly rushed and sometimes shallow. 

What I enjoy about The Rose of Segunda the most is the world building. We learn about political parties, the duties of different classes, and even royal traditions. These are splattered throughout each character’s backstories, dialogue, and conflict. 

Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like some things are only touched upon and not explained in much detail. My wish for the future of the series is to have more time spent on the connections the characters have to their world. 

Overall, The Rose of Segunda comes highly recommended from me. With gorgeous music, appealing characters, and immersive dialogue, you’ll find yourself spending a few hours trying to complete the game. 

You can buy The Rose of Segunda on Steam or A sequel, The Thorns of War, is currently in development. 

Anna Mirabella

Spooktober 2022 Visual Novel Jam

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