Rewrite Review

Rewrite is a long VN. I didn’t keep track of how long I played for, but I imagine it’s somewhere close to 60 hours. It’s possible to finish the game without 100% completion, but it only takes a few hours after finishing the story to do so, so that isn’t responsible for the length. The length is determined by the sheer wealth and variety of content offered within.

Rewrite contains a large main scenario spanning a period of over one month that branches into five different heroine routes and a conclusion to the story after all the routes have been cleared. Three of the five routes are available right away with the other two requiring having cleared specific heroines beforehand. I think this is effective in keeping the routes with a lot of revealing information away from the more introductory ones, but it isn’t 100% effective. It’s still possible to read the routes in an order that will minimize surprises, but that’s not really a detriment. The order I played them in was Kotori -> Shizuru -> Chihaya -> Lucia -> Akane. Most people would recommend doing Kotori first and Akane last so that’s what I did and I agree to some extent, but I don’t think your experience will change too much if you play them in whatever order you’d like (although you should really consider doing Kotori first).

The thing about the heroine routes is that there are going to be some that you don’t fully enjoy. Because of the length or the specific heroine or the plot of that route, you may find yourself getting tired a lot during the game. Each route is a full story in and of itself and so Rewrite is like reading 6-7 novels which is why it’s over 50 hours long, possibly 60. My biggest suggestion here is to take your time because you don’t want to skip routes just to get to the end.

Throughout the story you’ll also collect friends, learn about monsters, and complete quests. Doing all of this is the requirement for 100% completion and a small reward for doing so. Information about the characters and monsters will automatically be updated throughout the story and all of the vital ones are obtained automatically as you progress through the story. Getting quests and friends to 100% completion requires exploring the interactive Mappie segments throughout the game.

Of course, with five heroine routes, there are choices in this game. I very much like the way that they were done in that they’re usually very simple and don’t add unnecessary bad ends that break the flow of the story.

Now, on to discussing the story itself. Whether the presentation is effective or not, you’ll definitely enjoy many hours of Rewrite and possibly the vast majority of them. While thinking about this review I debated between going with a ‘Good’ or with a ‘Great’. Ultimately, the reason I decided Rewrite is a Great is because I think it’s definitely worth playing. The game is unique, logical, surprising, exciting, and incredibly funny at many points. In the end I was very satisfied and felt that it was worth investing my time in even for the parts I didn’t enjoy so much. Whether this is a Good or a Great VN is debatable, but I could never bring myself to call it anything other than Great and so that’s what I did.

Score: Great

*Scoring: Flawless > Great > Good > Okay > Bad

Writing Update: Finishing Volume 4 Edition

Today is the day that I have to submit Druid (The Orin Chronicles: Volume 4) to get it released on time. For anyone who’s interested, here is a breakdown of how I release a new volume of The Orin Chronicles every month.

At the beginning of every month I begin the writing for the new volume. Usually I only have a few vague ideas of the story I want to tell. The initial writing isn’t too difficult and within 8-10 days I’ve finished the first draft (12k-14k words). As the writing progresses I add new information to my top secret document that contains the secrets of the world of The Orin Chronicles as well as the history of what is happening and when. With only 3 volumes published so far I don’t usually run into lore issues, but with Volume 4 I found myself checking this document a lot more. Ending up with a plothole is something I very much do not want to do so I take this research seriously.

With the remaining days, usually 3-5, I then read through the story and edit as I go along. During this stage I go through and make sure the reading experience is pleasant and that the characters are developing and saying something about themselves. I also make sure to fill in any missed opportunities in the plot and this brings me up to the 16,000 words. The Glossary also gets written during this time and at the very end I write the Author’s Note, spell check, and then upload to Kindle.

Of course, with such a quick development period, there’s also tons of doubt. I’m always happy when I send it off for publishing, but that’s not enough to escape the doubt. I haven’t read Volume 1 since it was released and I don’t remember it entirely so I think “what if Volume 1 isn’t so great and people don’t become interested in the series?”. That’s one of the advantages to writing this type of story: the reader can jump in at many different points. With The Library Series, full-length books, I’m very careful and I’m a little less careful with The Orin Chronicles by design. I’ve watched many great TV series that have some sub-par episodes, but does that make me hate the series? No. I’m grateful that the large amount of content is being delivered to me quickly and I know most of the episodes are really good.

So, that’s what The Orin Chronicles is right now. A 13 volume monthly series with a new adventure each time (thus far) with a larger plot developing in the background. Even I don’t know exactly what will happen as we approach Volume 13, so I’m happy to continue writing this series and trying my best with it.

Forest Review

Note: While this review does not contain 18+ content, Forest itself does. 

This is quite the adventure and one of those stories that you have to work to understand. While a good deal of the mysteries are dealt with practically directly, if you’re not paying attention you won’t understand what’s going on. Even if you are paying attention the reveals sometimes come very quickly and can be a bit overwhelming. If it wasn’t for having played and understood Umineko no Naku Koro ni before this, I’m not sure that I would have understood Forest.

The story itself is very interesting because it always keeps you guessing. It makes use of many familiar characters in a story that gets stranger and stranger as it goes along. The best part is, it isn’t nonsensical. You might not understand in the end what is happening, but it definitely is possible to understand if you’re trying to. There are several interactive bits that can lead to bad ends so there’s that element of fun as well.

The visuals for Forest are unique and from what I’ve seen of other Liar-soft titles (I haven’t played any) this seems to be their style. To put it bluntly, if you want HD graphics and aren’t a fan of complicated stories you’ll only find entertainment in the well done 18+ scenes. If you are a fan of unique graphics and this kind of story then you’ll experience an adventure you aren’t likely to forget.

Score: Flawless

*Scoring: Flawless > Great > Good > Okay > Bad

Rose Guns Days S1 Review

Here it is, the first installment in Ryuukishi07’s new series: Rose Guns Days. The game takes place in a fictional version of 1947, post-war Japan. And it’s awesome. All of the setting, character, and plot information is well-developed and the fighting scenes add a lot of fun to an already solid story. Throughout the story there are also several places where you can choose which scenes you view first which also adds a nice bit of choice even though all scenes must be read.

The BGM does a great job at setting the tone and the pace of the story is ideal. As the opening to a new series, RGD Season 1 is very effective and I can only praise all of its elements so there’s not much more for me to say. There aren’t really any negatives to potentially explore, so my small review ends here.

Score: Great

*Scoring: Flawless > Great > Good > Okay > Bad