Despite PQube’s excellent Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa not being a romance-centric visual novel, it has no shortage of characters — both male and female — designed to be very appealing.
My personal favourite from the ensemble cast after completing the whole thing — that is, after finding out all of their respective dirty little secrets, anxieties and woes — was, without a doubt, Yukino Tsubaki.
Allow me to explain further! Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Yukino Tsubaki
Over the last few years, UK-based outfit PQube Games has become a force to be reckoned with in the localisation and publishing space.
Since its inception in 2009, PQube has brought Western fans a variety of games that might otherwise have never made it out of Japan, including Inti Creates’ Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2, Kadokawa Games’ Root Letter and Red Entertainment’s Our World is Ended; they also played a key role in popularising and expanding the audiences of titles such as Nitroplus’ classic visual novel Steins;Gate and Arc System Works’ anime fighting series BlazBlue.
It’s a company serious about what it does, in other words — and so when I heard it was developing its own game for the first time, I couldn’t help but take notice. That game, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, is finally here, so let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Kotodama – The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa: Stripping Away Deceit
Who doesn’t love a good girl? That, it seems, is the angle that Yuno Hayase, valued member of game developer Judgement 7 alongside her sister Asano, is going for.
Throughout the early hours of visual novel Our World is Ended, Yuno represents a source of relentless positivity and optimism. She’s always there to encourage protagonist Reiji and her comrades in Judgement 7, whether the situation is simply enduring a hot day or fleeing for their lives from mysterious men in black.
But, unsurprisingly, there’s a bit more going on beneath the surface than her airheaded first impressions might suggest. Make that a lot more.
Spoilers and heavy mental health stuff ahead.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Yuno Hayase
Immortality or eternal life is often depicted in fiction as some sort of grand, ultimate goal — both for heroes and villains under various circumstances.
Normally, achieving such a lofty ambition involves any combination of magical power, epic quests, battles with mighty gods and/or fairies, but here in boring old reality we’re actually much closer to achieving that goal than you might think — albeit in a rather more mundane manner.
It all depends on your definition of “mortality” and “life”, and that’s one of the more interesting subjects that Our World is Ended explores over the course of its complete runtime.
Continue reading Our World is Ended: Who Wants to Live Forever?
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 as to how those characters will behave and interact — 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.
Continue reading Our World is Ended: First Impressions are Lasting Impressions
Even among the already niche-interest community of Japanese video games, visual novels tend not to get a ton of hype about them… at least here in the West.
That’s why when a new one comes along and its localisers are confident enough to refer to it as “a new masterpiece of narrative visual novel storytelling”, it’s probably worth taking notice. Of course, it’s pure marketing-speak, but it also demonstrates a certain amount of faith in the product — and perhaps a track record of the game being well-received back in its native territory.
Is Red Entertainment’s Our World is Ended, also known as 俺達の世界わ終っている (Ore-tachi no Sekai wa Owatteiru) worthy of the descriptor “masterpiece”? Only one way to find out!
Continue reading Our World is Ended: Introduction
Is it Limited Edition time again? Why yes, yes it is!
I actually wasn’t expecting this one quite so soon; Song of Memories has been delayed so much from its originally anticipated release date that I was very surprised to get a shipping notification the other day, and find it showing up on my doorstep a day later. Still, I’m not complaining!
Song of Memories’ limited edition, known as the Encore Edition, is an exclusive to Funstock subsidiary Rice Digital, who have partnered with publisher and localiser PQube on a number of previous titles. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading What’s in the Box: Song of Memories – Encore Edition