May 04, 2022•
Since I don't like to make separate posts for small things , here are principles that anime list is based on - no anime for kids, no hentai, no anime with episodes under 10 minutes, no OVA that are recaps of series episodes or with length under 30 minutes, no boys love, no non-Japanese language anime.
As for anime of the 1960s, Taiyou no Ouji: Horus no Daibouken is the only masterpiece for me in this period.
January 30, 2022•
Despite all the looks I still find as many as ten games to be great. And still 50 openings to enjoy Visual Novel Openings 2021 . Since I prioritize chunige , my choice for the year is Waga Himegimi ni Eikan o . As for plans, hardly anything has changed except that I'm first going for Sakura, Moyu. -As the Night's, Reincarnation- , but so far only recorded common route over last three months, so useless to plan further. Will definitely get more active when I finish all the postponed RPGs , six titles accumulated so far.
November 13, 2021•
I was never fan of Purple Software yet as of now I claim Realive to be VN of the Year 2019. Curious, right?
Character Design rating: 9/10
Protagonist rating: 10/10
Story rating: 9/10
Game quality: 10/10
Overall rating: 9/10
I did not expect much of this game, to be honest. And the way it began did not fascinate at all. Bunch of kids without any real need to change themselves for some stupid reason decided to follow instructions in an unknown mobile app to be reborn as a stronger version of themselves - and those orders of course had to be somewhat perverted leading to etchy situations. There's absolutely no sense in that, just an opportunistic moege setup pretext. But system started to get more and more complexity steadily, so soon I started to feel very involved - each of six players got different RPG-like classes , different lvl 1 tasks, after that different lvl 1 skills and so on on up to lvl 5. At that time I took the bait firmly - that creates myriads of variations to apply various skills for various situations. And tasks were only partially H-oriented and only for classes that suit the theme like idol. Most of tasks were formulated rather neutrally, especially for traditional classes like knight. So first element that lured me was gamification.
Another appealing element was flexible protagonist concept. Chihaya is only nominally protagonists. There are a lot of scenes with different girls alone or communicating with another girl. For those moments game naturally takes any other girl as protagonist or just watches the dialogue from aside. Again, it all happens very naturally and this way we don't get our share of usual irritations because of protagonist. This leads us the the third element that I adore.
Horizontal communication. I address this issue again and again in different reviews because it's that important. And Realive is the king of horizontal communication because of flexible protagonist. It's done so vividly that we can define relation between each pair of girls let alone observe numerous jokes applied to each other in conversations.
And that brings us to humor. I can't say game is humor-oriented. The bulk of humor is sekkuhara jokes and quite some teasing. It's enough to recognize its strong presence , but not to fall the level of bakage.
I'd like to return to plot again, because with explaining the setting, five tasks for each girl and receiving five skills for everyone there is just no time to spare on meaningless filler scenes. Realive basically does not have SOL scenes. Even if some scene resembles one - it's story driven and needed to gather together or prepare for task etc. No room for fillers at all. Because of this story density there's no desire to skip any scene in common route. And thanks to that there was next to zero romance during common route.
I usually rate individual routes lower than common route, and, frankly speaking, this game did not overturn the tendency. I still found myself skipping parts of individual routes that developed in an evident way to me. But this time it was not just about romance and sudden drama as there was a twist - how would heroine use rebirth chance as I did not believe they would selfishly magically get reborn themselves. And they did not disappoint. Oh, and I sincerely enjoyed Kaya route as gothic loli tsundere never gets old - and her reactions at gaming center were purely hilarious. But what's more important - individual routes feel like continuation of common route with the humor, horizontal communication and dating openly happening naturally and only gradually overflowing into individual romance.
As for true route , it was foreshadowed by multiple hooks that it would be devoted to Levi's identity. I still hoped there would be RPG-like action story on top of that, but instead identity theme just got developed deeper.
Why not 10/10 then? For me the primary criteria is whether I skip some parts or try to catch every word. Realive is not such a genius game that breaks conventional rules, but rather a skillfully crafted well designed hand-made masterpiece. If follows a set of rules that I advise for all visual novels to use to make it deep:
- Flexible unfixed protagonist
- Additional complexity layers that do not leave time for fillers
- Just romance is not an option, need additional element to focus during individual routes
- Horizontal communication should be in the center
- Mild humor and teasing is generally better than gags and bakage tilt
- Forget about pure SOL scenes without plot meaning