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Angel's Video Game Reviews
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Posted 9/17/17 , edited 10/7/17

Narcissu 1st & 2nd(May 15, 2007)
Developers: Stage-Nana Publishers: Sekai Project
Consoles: Steam
# Players: Single-Player,
Genre: Visual Novel, Drama, Indie,
Key Words: Illness, Free to play,
Tumblr Link: http://angelsreview.tumblr.com/post/165429751222/akumas-video-game-review-narcissu-1st-2nd


Description (If story line):



My Thoughts: There are a couple types of Visual Novels out there that people love to play. The more popular games seem to be the dating style visual novels where there is a lot of romance and sometimes funny misunderstandings. This one however is very down to earth, having a very solemn storyline that could make you cry. Now it was a tiny bit confusing to me as the two stories are hard to follow, and I had to look up a little of the story on the wiki to help understand just what was going on. I will explain to the best of my ability.

In the first story, we (the character that has no name, we only know we are a boy) have been diagnosed with Lung Cancer after our 20th birthday and are placed into the 7th floor of a hospital in Mito, Ibaraki. The 7th floor is for those who are terminally ill or those that may never get better. There, we meet a young lady who is only two years older then us who is also terminally ill. This young girl is named Setsumi, and the two become rather good friends. They soon find that they have the same last wish, to not die within the hospital or at home with their families but with how the hospital is, would they be able to have their last wish?

Story two is actually a prequel to the first even if it was made after. Setsumi is only 15 years old at the time of this, and though she was sick, she was not bad enough to have to stay within the hospital. She made friends with Himeko, a young woman who used to be a volunteer on the 7th floor but ended up a patient herself. They become great friends, and Setsumi comes to visit her regularly, meeting others on the floor.

It’s hard to talk about these stories without spoiling the endings, but I do have to warn that if you do not want to cry, this is not the game for you. I found myself tearing up at many points weather they were sad or just plain cute.

The game play is simple, click to advance the text, and even that becomes unnecessary if you have the autoplay option on. Very simple, very straight forward.

The artwork is amazing, and though we barely see people in the art, we get amazing backgrounds full of life, the bright white of the walls of the hospital, the beautiful yellow of a daffodil in the field, the swooping arches of a church… They are just done so calming and almost like you’re in a dream. In some senses, I guess it could be a dream as though your reliving the few moments you were able to be happy.

The music is rather calming as well, fitting with the artwork. There is an amazing soundtrack out that would be great for meditation. The voices are all in Japanese, but I really didn’t mind much. The way they delivered the lines were as though they were part of the music which is a bit interesting. Japanese does not normally push certain words when they speak for the most part as we do here in America, but the emotions come out even still without understanding fully what they are saying. (Even with the subtitles, you can never really understand the full extent without knowing the language.)

Overall, this is an amazing visual novel and has a very beautiful story to tell, one that will make you think about what the meaning of life is and how short it can be.

Rating:


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Link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissu and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissu:_Side_2nd

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Posted 10/7/17 , edited 10/7/17

One Thousand Lies(Mar 28, 2016)
Developers: Keinart Lobre Publishers: Keinart Lobre
Consoles: Steam
# Players: Single-Player,
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Psychological,
Key Words: School, Free to Play,
Tumblr Link: http://angelsreview.tumblr.com/post/166136861467/angels-video-game-reviews-one-thousand-lies


Description (If story line):

Ciaran Ednyein was a pretty normal guy, loved to play pranks, loved to hang with his friends, and didn’t like school all that much. But one day, his life seems to change when he gets a mysterious email and goes on a quest to find out who sent it, and for what reason?


My Thoughts: I am not going to lie; this visual novel bored me to death. I found it a chore to play through and that says something when it’s just reading and clicking. It made me very sad because if you know any of the other games and cartoons I have reviewed, you would know that I really love psychological storylines. Even when there isn’t really a deep underlining meaning to the show or game, I sometimes feel as though it is. In this case… its either way to preachy or way to unfocused for me to get any enjoyment out of it, I am not sure which it is.

We follow our main character, Ciaran Endyein, as he hangs out with friends at school. That’s pretty much all I really understood about him. He is as bland and dull as the rest of these characters it feels like, and there is nothing wrong with the main character being dull if the characters around him are actually interesting. His other two friends are Ziva, a hot girl that for some reason wears an outfit that would fit in well with a fantasy game, and Ausse, the jokester… Ya... that’s basically them. The only other defining personality that Ziva has is that she is really into psychology and overanalyzes things. It would have been a very cool concept if they actually implemented it well but they don’t.

I don’t know if the characters are just so boring or if the chapters were actually really long but I felt myself falling asleep every time I tried to play the game. In the end, I couldn’t finish it by reading it. I still got the achievement putting the game on auto because I felt it at least owed me that for how tired I was trying to read it but I can’t consider this one I would ever want to try to play again. I wonder what would have happened if they had just gone with the story they started the game with instead of bringing us into this slice of life stuff. The story in the beginning talked about three friends who had a spell cast on them that they could never leave each others side and while maybe they did something with that later on, It was so boring to try to get to that point.

As normal with visual novels, you play the game by reading and clicking, that’s it. There is no choosing which path to take, there is no way to put your own two cents into the game; it is just a book basically in game format.

The art style is interesting, the characters are drawn pretty nicely but they lacked badly on the background. They took real pictures and just put a filter on them to make them look sort of poster board-ish. It does not match the style of the characters at all. Some of them are even to busy so I find myself looking at the backgrounds more then the characters themselves. It also didn’t help that the characters, while looking like they were drawn by the same person, felt like they did not fit at all with the other characters.

The music is a bit lack luster. It was alright as background music but nothing really stood out to me as being the best song in the world. Again, it just seemed generic.

This game was a bore to me, but it doesn’t mean that it would be a bore for everyone. The game did have a very positive review on Steam which is why I picked up this free game so at least a lot of people seem to like it. As of this review, 90% of 672 people gave it a positive review. I guess I will give it a take a look at it rating because of that, but if you don’t like it, just put it on auto and sit back so you get the steam achievement I guess.

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Link to Wikipedia: https://vndb.org/v19014

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Posted 8/13/18 , edited 8/13/18

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery(Apr 25, 2018)
Developers: Jam City Publishers: Jam City, Portkey Games
Consoles: Android, iOS
# Players: Single-Player,
Genre: Role-Playing, Mystery,
Key Words: Wizards, Hogwarts, Free to Play
Tumblr Link: http://angelsreview.tumblr.com/post/176974449222/angels-video-game-reviews-harry-potter


Description (If story line):

Play through your years of Hogwarts and figure out the mystery of the secret chambers and what happened to your older brother.


My Thoughts: So… I have some very mixed feelings about this game, and part of it revolves around how this ‘free’ game plays out. The story is very interesting and gets me interested in playing the game, but the structure they placed in the game sort of makes me feel forced to put money into it if I ever want to get farther in it. This might change latter on but I have been playing this game for a couple months now and still have not gotten very far sadly.

The story itself is actually what makes me keep playing no matter how frustrating some aspects to the game are. Basically you are playing a young student who is about to start their first year of Hogwarts around the same time that Voldemort went after Harry as a baby. Your older brother had gone to Hogwarts before but was expelled for trying to find the secret chambers within the grounds and your family hasn’t heard from him since then. Basically the whole game is you getting through your classes while also trying to figure out what the secret chambers are and what happened to your brother. The game is set up basically like a prequel to the books and I really like this idea as it fleshes out the world a bit.

The animation feels like we are playing a Harry Potter SIMS game, the characters look exactly like the new sims characters in how they are designed. The clothing is sometimes really interesting though most of the stuff you can get for free is sort of bland. Mostly versions of T-shirts, Pants, and skirts that are very much the same except for a color change. When they first opened the clothing system, they didn’t give us any real reason to buy the clothing but one of the updates made the clothing have some bonus to your skill sets. Great for making a reason to buy them, but now you have to buy outfits you wouldn’t use in order to have a bonus. Catch 22 basically on the clothing. I do love the designs of the backgrounds as they are pretty much what I would picture the grounds of Hogwarts to look like. Even the area in the beginning, Diagon Alley, looked pretty cool with a small sense of magic played out.

The game play is pretty simple, click click click to use up energy and get stars to finish up the classes. Sometimes you can get bonus points for answering questions correctly or doing the movements you’re supposed to right, but most of the game is based on clicking the screen. That is like a lot of games on the phone so I don’t have much of a problem with this kind of game play, especially since the story seems rather interesting. Sadly, we don’t get much energy in order to finish some of the more important parts of the game and the wait for more energy makes things a bit hard to do anything. While you can put money into it in order to get more energy, that kind of breaks the point of it being a free game. I do like the game play, the only problem I have is the energy consumption.

Overall, the game is not a bad one at all, but the energy problem is what gets me annoyed mostly. It’s so hard to get passed those areas when it cost so much more then the energy you have. As I said, the story is what keeps me playing despite that so at least the game did something well.

Rating:


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Link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter:_Hogwarts_Mystery

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