Review Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Udinese-Lazio: dove vedere la partita, Sky o DAZN?

Let’s find out together, in this dedicated review of Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly, if and how Toge Productions has managed to expand an interesting first chapter

The first episode of Coffee Talk we recovered it in guilty delay, considering the amount of very thick titles that arrived in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (among the most famous Persona 5 Royal and Final Fantasy VII Remake). Guilty, dare we say, delay, because the feeling of relaxation, familiarity and intimacy that the title of Toge Productions, a small independent Indonesian development studio, has managed to convey to us is indescribable. We told you about it, in a non-review, which you can find by clicking here.

And recently, the guys from Toge have also released the second chapter of the brand, entitled Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. A real sequel that takes place about three years after the events we experienced in the first part and which incorporates characters, mechanics and concepts, developing every aspect and creating a new chilling experience worthy of the rainiest and longest afternoons you can imagine. Yes, we liked it, but we tell you more about Coffee Talk Episode 2 in this dedicated review. If it weren’t late May, a nice hot herbal tea would be just fine.

Learn from Mistakes

We find ourselves once again in Seattle, the pandemic that has devastated our world and that of the original Coffee Talk has ended and we have therefore arrived in the year 2023. Although everything seems to be different, in reality nothing has really changed in society. The problems exposed in the approximately six hours that it took us to complete the campaign are practically the same that we experience on our skin every day: immigration, poorly paid work, rampant sexism and a general sense of debasement of the entire population. Whether this is made up only of human beings or that it sees a tangle made up of werewolves, vampires, extraterrestrials and, why not, satyrs and banshees.

If, in general, these themes were also present in the first episode of Coffee Talk, in this sequel we find greater attention placed on the role of social networks, of the virtual lives of each of us. How to manage them without being overwhelmed and how to learn to live with an increasingly prevailing technology, from which it is dramatically difficult to escape now, is what the characters of Butterfly & Hibiscus discuss very often, stopping only to drink a cup of fine coffee or, because no, of infusions of Hibiscus or Butterfly Pea (yes, exactly, hence the subtitle of this Episode 2).

Recensione Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Feeling Better | Review Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

After a somewhat too staid beginning, also characteristic of the prequel, Coffee Talk 2 combines situations of daily life with new friendships and romantic relationships, accompanying everything with the excellent irony of our Barista, unique and true presenter of the various events that the characters place on the counter. A skilled listener, able to provide practically perfect advice in all circumstances, whether we are talking about mourning, love disputes, depressed vampires and werewolves in the throes of aging.

The cast of original characters returns in a big way, although no redesign of any kind has been done which, considering the past tense, perhaps would have been pleasant especially for human characters and with a lifespan less than immortality. In short, we would have liked to see Jorgji aged, for example, or modified, at least in appearance, Bailey and Lua, Aqua and Myrtle and all the other protagonists. However, the cast has not remained completely unchanged and has been able to count on some pleasant new additions.

Recensione Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Last Call | Review Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Pleasant, but not exceptional. Unfortunately, considering the strong affection developed with the protagonists of the first Coffee Talk, the new additions to the cast (the satyr Lucas and the banshee Riona, for example), fail to shine particularly. We couldn’t empathize with them as much as we already did with others especially also due to a not too high screen time and diametrically disproportionate if we consider the amount of characters imported from the first episode. Except one, and we’ll leave you the bitterness of finding out who!

For the rest, between initially too staid narration and not particularly exciting new entries, Coffee Talk Episode 2 maintains its narrative level on the standard of the prequel, preferring a very relaxed mood, which accompanies the player by the hand, with grace and discreet intimacy, towards the end credits. End credits that left us wanting to play a (very probable) Episode 3.

Recensione Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Shimmering Hearts | Review Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

From the gameplay point of view, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly takes up the Visual Novel sector of the first chapter with both hands, alternating the long walls of text with the preparation of the various drinks that the various customers will ask us for. In this second episode, the possibility of placing objects of various types on the tray on which we will place the completed drink has also been added, although forgetting or assigning an object to the wrong person does not have who knows what narrative impact (yes, obviously on the objectives it has).

The Tomodachhill app, the Coffee Talk social network, has been deepened, with which this time we will be able to interact with the posts and photos of our friends, putting likes, as well as viewing their profiles. The Evening Whispers newspaper also returns and the ability to change the background music with the Shuffle, but nothing new on this front. Finally, in the Endless Mode, in addition to the Free Brew mode already present in the first episode, the Challenge Mode has been added, in which we will have to satisfy the most requests in the time dictated by the game. Certainly already more interesting than the simple free mode, which we used exclusively to complete the recipe book.

As far as the technical and aesthetic sector is concerned, everything remains on the same levels as the first chapter. Both the Cafe setting and the character sprites they are delightful to the eye, detailed and obsessively cared for. Also nothing to say about the sound, the chill tone is amply gratified by the lo-fi soundtrack that characterizes the whole game, with intimate, enjoyable and above all atmospheric tracks. As in the prequel, the translation into Italian is missing, but we assure you that the English text is not difficult to understand and, being able to choose the speed of passage of the dialogues, you can easily enjoy the game even if you are not particularly accustomed to the English-speaking language.

Recensione Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Moving on

To conclude this quick review of Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, we can safely admit that this new brand launched by Toge Productions satisfies us in a particular way. If we leave out the narration too slow in the first bars and the new arrivals in the cast who are too obscured by the historical members, Episode 2 certainly represents something unmissable for those looking for a video game to experience on a rainy afternoon, perhaps with a cover and an herbal tea next to. A relaxed and relaxing experience, with an atmosphere that we will be hard pressed to forget. Please, take a seat.

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X | S and Nintendo Switch, and is fully playable for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Let us know what you think below in the comments, we will continue to keep you updated with all the videogame and tech-themed news, guides and reviews! And if you are interested in game keys at advantageous prices, we suggest you take a look at the Kinguin catalogue!

Plus points

  • Atmosphere recovered with both hands from the excellent first chapter
  • Always intimate and delicate narration…
  • The damn soundtrack
  • A gaming bar for everyone

Points against

  • … and always slow to start
  • New entry of the cast not really valued
  • Few novelties in terms of gameplay