Tecmo’s Project Zero — also known as Fatal Frame in the United States, and simply Zero in its native Japan — has always stood out.
“Survival horror” is most certainly not what it once was, but even during its heyday in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Project Zero set itself apart by eschewing the blood, gore and violent scenes people had come to associate with the genre.
Instead, it provided a rather more contemplative, supernatural tale with its roots in traditional Japanese spiritualism. And by golly has it held up really well since its original release nearly 20 years ago.
Continue reading Project Zero: Scream for the Camera
Eroge tend to find themselves in a difficult position, with their reputation of being “porn” being a largely contributing factor as to why they rarely get any mainstream recognition.
This is unfortunate, because as we’ve already seen with visual novels like Frontwing’s Grisaia series and the RPGs in AliceSoft’s Rance series, having 18+ content most certainly does not mean that a work has nothing to say.
On the contrary, the freedom to be as “adult” as you like brings with it the opportunity to explore interesting, mature and thought-provoking themes as well as just sexual content. And such is the case with Evenicle, one of AliceSoft’s strongest games to date, both from mechanical and story perspectives. Let’s take a closer look at its overall narrative.
Continue reading Evenicle: Fighting to Keep the World the Same
We took a look at an overview of how Evenicle works as a game back when I shared my first impressions of the game, but it’s time to delve a bit deeper.
Much like AliceSoft’s other games, Evenicle is an RPG in which its narrative and mechanical elements are intertwined rather nicely, giving the whole experience a pleasant feeling of coherence. The party members you gather over the course of the game feel like people rather than collections of stats and abilities — but there’s some interesting mechanical depth there for those who care to explore such things.
Let’s dive in, then.
MILD NSFW WARNING
Continue reading Evenicle: Fightin’ Waifus
One of the things I’ve found most interesting about Evenicle is its treatment of polygamy.
I’ll level with you, dear reader, I figured this was going to be the aspect of the game’s narrative I had the toughest time with. Despite knowing (and accepting, I might add) at least one person in my circle of online acquaintances who lives an openly and happily polygamous lifestyle, I’ve always been something of a traditionalist at heart. “When two people love each other very much” and all that.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Evenicle handles the situation… if not exactly “delicately”, then at least positively and with a mind to contemplating what people might get out of such an arrangement. Besides ready access to multiple sexual partners, obviously.
Continue reading Evenicle: Family Affairs
It’s strange how certain memories — or fragments of memories, at least — stick with you, long after you’ve forgotten the original context. And yet they continue to be lodged in your brain somewhere, perhaps even colouring your own attitudes.
For me, one such memory is from — I believe, anyway — a childhood trip to the United States, and a TV show I happened to catch a snippet of shortly before I was supposed to be going to bed in the hotel room. I don’t precisely remember what the TV show was; I want to say it was LA Law, but I can’t find any reliable record of the scene I believe I remember to check.
The context doesn’t really matter. The thing that stuck with me was a single line that was part of a heated exchange between a man and a woman. “We had sex; we’re bonded for life.” And that’s a concept that’s very much come to the forefront of my mind since starting Evenicle.
This post contains some mildly NSFW images.
Continue reading Evenicle: Sex is Power
Alicesoft was a developer that wasn’t really on my radar before I played the English releases of Rance 5D and Rance VI, and chances are if you haven’t explored eroge in any great detail you may not be overly familiar with them either.
However, between the Rance games and my experiences with Evenicle so far, I’m very comfortable with saying that they are an excellent developer that any fans of high-quality enjoyable RPGs with interesting mechanics, solid narratives and extremely memorable characters would do well to check out. Particularly if you’re keen for your games to actually treat you like an adult — and I’m not just talking about sexual content here.
So what is Evenicle? Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Evenicle: Introduction and First Impressions
With how positively Sonic Adventure had been received on its original release — and many subsequent Sonic releases being compared unfavourably to it — it’s surprising that Sonic Team didn’t return to the concept sooner.
Return they did, however, with an ambitious multiplatform title that was originally intended to be the third official Sonic Adventure game. Initially developed under the working title of Sonic World Adventure — a title it would keep in Japan — Sonic Unleashed was intended to shake up the series in a few fundamental ways.
These days, in retrospect, Sonic Unleashed is seen as one of the earliest examples of what some people describe as “Boost Sonic“, but it’s an interesting game in its own right. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Dare to be Different