Foreword: Errant heart is a kickstarter project and despite being finished for 3 months now there's still no review to be found let alone evaluated one. The studio that produced it consists of just two men inspired by Type-Moon projects mostly. There's one article that put hopes especially up claiming this game to be revolutionary among the VNs and that authors did not need to compromise. And i'm going to review this game without holding back.
Title: Errant heart
Producers: Pseudomé Studio LLC
Release Date: 2013-04-25
Summary: Errant Heart takes place in a fictional 1940's Europe (sans Hitler) and follows the exploits of a young painter, Lira Moretti. As she leaves home in order to establish herself as artist in the cosmopolitan mainland city of San Moritz, she has a bizarre encounter with a street urchin which leaves her with a gap in her memory.
Unsure of how she arrived at her final destination of Mrs. Hinze's boarding house, she runs afoul of her granddaughter, Elena. Accused of being a disruptive drunkard, Lira does her best to salvage the scenario and surprisingly, ends up on the good side of Mrs. Hinze.
As she settles in to life in San Moritz, Lira struggles to choose between starting her painting career or following up on the bizarre circumstances that she encountered upon her arrival. Eventually, after having apparently been followed by the street urchin, Salima draws Lira deeper into an extraordinary world where the passage of time takes on new meaning—a world which runs parallel but utterly unseen to the eyes of the banal.
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v6924
Game Type: Mind Screw
Story Length: Short (2-10 Hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: This is basicly a kinetic novel with just couple dead ends.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 3/10
Rating Comments: Game proved to be an utter disappointment for me. Creators really tried to distiguish one character from another, to provide mysterious plot and set an unusual protagonist which turned out into short to none character introduction, totally unpickable plot and absolutely clueless protagonist about what's going on (well, he surely corresponds to the readers viewpoint)
Story: Just read the summary. Then reread it again. What's that even about? Really? Since when being a disruptive drunkard allowed to get boarded for free and lead a NEET life? And beware the street urchin, meeting them can lead to bizarre circumstances and mysterious deaths. Just a warning. Basicly, in the game nothing else happens, just urchin Salima gets to live in the boarding house and other inhabitants turn out to be who knows what.
Characters summary: There is a protagonist Lira, then the second important character must be Salima, street urchin and there's also two boarding house inhabitants Noel and Eva and there is also Cassandra who is... i've no idea, really. In the prologue she was an archaeologist to find the cursed ankh and after that most of the time tried to kill or threatened everyone. Several other inhabitants of boarding house can be safely ignored.
Lira is the unlucky protagonist painter and drunkard. Kind. She perfectly reflects us readers and during the whole game get to hear long explanations on the weirdest things like Egypt curses, parallel worlds, secret sects etc etc and can't really put one end with another. Neither do I.
Salima is our street urchin. The only character that's pleasant to look at. Really. She's the main connector to the parallel world and she seems to have some bond with Lira as they are the only characters whose personality does not get changed 180 degrees.
Noel runs flower shop near the boarding house and has deep connections with the parallel world. Green lines, green eyes, green buttons, green decorations.
Eva is an assistant to Noel and she holds her hands behind the back almost all the time. For a reason! Let's say that in parallel word she's not that harmless as she seems to be. Creators tried their best to let us know her color is violet. She has violet lines, violet dresses, violet eyes.
Cassandra is total nuts. After that incident with cursed ankh she's actually a different person... or not person. Dark red lines, eyes, suit.
Sexual Content: None
Affection for the Characters: None
CG Score: 4/10. CG are not bad, but there's a little problem. They are almost nonexistent. The reason I used plain sprite screenshots for characters is because there's no CG to be found of single characters. All the dozen CG are reserved for events. That's it. But the game boasts numerous backgrounds and tosses them all the time to in a pointless attempt to make it some kind of movie or animated scenes or just smth that would not get readers asleep. Well, they failed to perform any of those tasks. Oh and basically the whole game seems to be made for just this one CG - it even has animation because of that. So it'd be a waste to miss on it.
Music Score: 5/10. Music is hardly noticeable and sometimes just absent. At some high point there was like a march hoarding which i found inappropriate. Compared to an average jp vn, music here is below average.
- Game does not have gallery. It's just version 1.0 so maybe it's only temporary.
- Most of voice lines aren't voiced. That put me into torpor for many times, checking my sound system and options panel in vain. Basicly only starter and high pitch scenes are voiced.
- For half of the game it's very difficult to tell who's talking which lines since names aren't added to the lines, only colors. E.g. Lira color is white and thus totally mixes together with narrator lines and descriptions. Salima lines are yellow-ish i guess but they look totally the same as Lira's.
Conclusion: A weird mystery story that abruptly ended at the moment that i started to get to know what was going on.
- CG are good
- Story is indeed a vast mystery
- Good usage of full-height character sprites
- Half of lines aren't voiced
- Few CG
- Mind Screw story
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