Blue Reflection is an unusual game in terms of its overall tone and how it “feels” to play, and a big part of this is due to its mechanics and structure.
If you had to pigeon-hole it into a specific mechanical genre, most people would describe it as a “JRPG”. But in many ways this isn’t a particularly accurate description, since although it features a number of common elements of the genre, it draws just as many influences from other types of game such as adventures and visual novels.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s certainly a pretty intriguing game from a mechanical and structural perspective. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on today.
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Everyday Life with Magical Girls
“From the hate-scorched sky, with righteous anger in our hearts, we draw forth the sword that smites Evil! Thou art the innocent blade! DEMONBANE!”
This is one of the most iconic, regularly-occurring quotes from Nitroplus’ visual novel Deus Machina Demonbane, and it doesn’t get any less thrilling each time you hear it — even as the game stretches on and on well past the 20-hour mark.
By the end of the game, you’ll be triumphantly bellowing it along with protagonists Kurou and Al as they prepare, once again, to smite Evil with the titular metal monster.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: Thou Art the Innocent Blade, Demonbane!
School Days HQ is a visual novel/interactive movie from STACK and 0verflow, localised by Sekai Project and published by JAST USA.
It’s a remastered remake of an earlier title from 2005, simply called School Days, and is rather notorious for all the wrong reasons — specifically, its violent tragic bad endings, which I won’t spoil here.
This article isn’t going to describe or analyse the overall plot in depth; rather, I’d like to talk about what School Days shows us about the possibilities and challenges a branching narrative offers to content creators, and what other games might be able to learn from the visual novel genre in general in this regard.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in August 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: School Days, Chaos Theory and Emotional Engagement