Tag Archives: characterisation

Our World is Ended: First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

A common theme explored throughout the visual novel medium in general is the idea of people not being quite what they appear at first glance.

The reason for this is mostly a practical one: the very nature of the visual novel medium makes deep dives into multifaceted, layered characters a viable thing for creators to explore. Enthusiasts of visual novels are already accustomed to the medium’s slow pace and relatively limited interactivity compared to games with a stronger emphasis on their mechanical components, so writers and developers are more than happy to allow us the opportunity to get to know the main cast extremely intimately.

That doesn’t mean those first impressions the characters set don’t matter, mind you. On the contrary, they are extremely important for setting expectations and giving you an idea of what to expect — and then, in some cases, subverting rather than confirming those expectations. Let’s take a look at how Our World is Ended’s cast presents itself in the early hours of the game as the narrative is getting underway.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Take 2

Remember back when we explored Sonic 2006 and I suggested that game was an attempt to provide a “big-budget movie” type of Sonic experience? It’s hard not to see Sonic Forces as Sonic Team having another crack at that.

All the major components of “big-budget movie adaptation of popular series” are here: recognisable but somewhat different setting; established characters in unconventional situations; brand-new, original characters designed for newcomers in the audience to attach themselves to; and significantly higher stakes than seen elsewhere in the series as a whole.

If you’re a “once and done” kind of player, you can also probably add “done and dusted in two hours” to that list, too, but rest assured, if you’re the sort of person who likes collectibles, secret levels and objectives, there’s significantly more than that here. Let’s take a closer look.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: A New Twist

Sonic Generations rather ably demonstrated how the Sonic series’ gameplay had evolved over the years… but where could it go from there?

Certain members of Sonic Team were already contemplating this by the time Sonic Colours had completed development and work on Generations was underway. The concept grew from experimental attempts to make use of the Nintendo 3DS’ unique features, and the subsequent announcement of the Wii U console and the interesting possibilities it offered prompted Sega to focus the new game’s development on Nintendo platforms.

The result was Sonic Lost World; an unusual, highly creative and vastly underappreciated installment in the series, and one that would prove to be an ideal fit for Nintendo platforms. (As always, today we’ll be focusing on the home console version for Wii U rather than Dimps’ handheld incarnation.)

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Waifu Wednesday: Ginchiyo Tachibana

Those of you who have been following the Warriors Wednesday series of videos will know that in each of Warriors Orochi’s campaigns, I’ve found one warrior in particular who has proven to be an ever-reliable killing machine that I can fall back on in most circumstances.

In the Shu campaign, which we’re currently embroiled in the middle of at the time of writing, that warrior is Ginchiyo Tachibana, someone who erstwhile protagonist-of-sorts Zhao Yun and friends stumble across in the very first mission.

She’s grown to be a formidable force on the battlefield and one of my favourite characters to play as — so let’s take a closer look at who she really is.

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Waifu Wednesday: Is Malon or Saria the Best Legend of Zelda Waifu?

All right, own up. Who has been repeatedly searching for this exact question on this site for the last week? I know you’re there.

I’m not mad or anything. In fact, since you’re asking, it might actually be quite an interesting question to contemplate — though naturally “best” is an entirely subjective term that not everyone will agree on. As such, today I will do my best to explore the virtues of both Zelda waifu candidates, and then you can make your own mind up at the end of it all.

Sound good? Good. Let’s begin. (Oh, and obviously, those who know me well will already be aware that my own personal correct answer to “who is best Zelda waifu” is, of course, Marin, but I’ll let that particular matter slide for today. Kind of.)

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Death end re;Quest: Down the Rabbit Hole

Death end re;Quest, in keeping with the rest of Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG project, is an ambitious and rather unusual affair from a narrative perspective.

The setup for the game is pure isekai, but almost immediately after actually starting the game for the first time, you’ll come to realise that there’s much more going on here — a really interesting blend of genres and styles that makes good use of its medium to tell a story and raise some intriguing questions.

Let’s take a closer look.

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Waifu Wednesday: Lucil Filarete

Death end re;Quest’s cast, like many other Compile Heart ensembles, is designed in such a way that pretty much everyone will find someone who appeals to them.

If you’re the type who likes the kind of girl who speaks in a wispy, seemingly emotionless, far-off voice, then you’ll probably get along with Lucil Filarete. If you like petite elf girls with honkin’ great boobies, you’ll probably also get along with Lucil Filarete.

In short, she’s a very appealing character for many, many reasons!

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