released on Dec 03, 2015
Immerse yourself in a thrilling psychological horror visual novel taking place in the secluded Japanese village of Yasumizu. A heavy fog surrounds the village, preventing everyone from ever leaving. Ancient Gods have come back to hunt the villagers down one by one. The Feast has begun, can you escape the village alive?
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never before in my life was i presented with a cast as dislikable as this, but you keep at it, you think it will improve, and then when the story finally gets to rolling they hit you with another shitty joke, and another, and OH we were being serious? nah, HERE'S YET A N O T H E R. and then the endgame is building up to be this GIANT THING, and you think, YES FINALLY, HERE IT COMES - BUT THEN THEY INFODUMP FOR 5 HOURS STRAIGHT AND THEN YOU SEE THE CREDITS ROLL BUT THEY KEEP INFODUMPING, AND THEN YOU GO READ THE EXTRA SCENES BECAUSE IT'S A VISUAL NOVEL AND YOU WANT ALL THE CONTENT BECAUSE IT WAS OKAY-ISH OVERALL AND IT'S JUST MORE INFODUMPING ON SIDECHARACTERS IN A SETTING YOU WILL /NEVER/ REVISIT AGAIN BECAUSE IT JUST DOESN'T STOP.
what initially drew me to this game was the artstyle, and the story held great promise. in the end i feel like i could have spent those 50+ hours with like 3 other games, because after it was all said and done i was just so tired. so so tired of the writing in this. it could have been great, it had its great moments, but the overall package was such a letdown, i felt myself legitimately get angry for even spending yet another minute suffering through it.
The ending is just an incredible catastrophe and some of the writing choices made are uh, not great. Still has some solid writing and a cast which is fine but makes you wonder how great it truly could've been if it stuck the landing in the last act.
Game #37: Raging Loop
Raging Loop is an another VN that features the flowchart mechanic. Story is really good, in every flow you experience totally different things and on top of that it's humorous too. Definitely one of my favorite games.
I was quite surprised by how fun this VN was, despite being a bit disappointed by how static it was. Having just played Gnosia, I read the setup of Raging Loop and expected something similar but RL is firmly within a classic VN structure. With that expectation, however, it excels as one.
The highlight here, and what you would hope for a hidden role type setup, is the characters. I don't think there's one poorly written character in the bunch and even the ones you might not like at least add to the narrative, engaging in the proceedings in a way that feels reasonable and yet dramatic. The main character being my favorite as his quips are roguishly entertaining and he's sometimes even more mysterious than the people he finds himself involved with. They don't keep his motivations locked away, though, so you still can more or less understand why he's acting the way he does.
The pacing of the plot is overall pretty snappy as well. It drags for me a little bit once it explains the rules of the "game" (likely because of my recent plays, again) but there's enough important differences here that you'll still want to pay attention to it all. As a mystery story there's a lot of subtlety in the moment to moment proceedings and I think they strike a good balance of "keeping things happening" and "explaining why it happened."
If there's anything I was disappointed by in the story, though, it was the ending. It was well executed and interesting, but not as surprising or revelatory as it might be for most readers. If you've read Higurashi and seen Owarimonogatari, you'll probably see what I mean when you play. And I still suggest you do, because the journey is still quite enjoyable off the writing alone.
As for the bells and whistles, this a pretty full featured VN experience and the navigation options are more than sufficient for the kind of branching it uses. Good enough even that I wished they had actually made the route traversal a little more complex near the end to push the mystery element a bit more.
In any case, while not the most mind blowing story out there, it really is a solid one. Do recommend.
This review contains spoilers
What if umineko had an actual ending
Almost-perfect horror/mystery visual novel that centers around a mafia-style social deduction game. The conclusion of some character arcs in the final/true ending are a little unsatisfying, but it's overall a fun take on a classic deduction game, with a great cast.
Played at the start of the year and now near the end of the year I still think this is one of the games I enjoyed the most.