18 December, 2010
Figured I'd elaborate more about the game.
It's split up into five chapters, each about half an hour long. No route splits or even individual endings- The choices you make only affect a couple of events (excluding the game overs from failing to solve the cases).
The game itself is decent. Investigating is somewhat linear- You're presented with a map of the area with icons of the characters on it. Select one to talk with her and if it's a member of G4 they'll probably tell you something important, and if it's a member of MH they'll ask you to check out the place at which point you're presented with a CG and supposed to select something suspicious which is usually pretty obvious. Each case has only four such clues, one for each MH member.
It's pretty linear but I personally feel that that's not too bad a thing- I have way too many memories of wandering wondering what the hell I'm supposed to do next in stuff like Gyakuten Saiban and Mikagura Shoujo Tanteidan. But even so, there's just not enough volume here. The mysteries aren't even in scale to the number of clues needed to solve them- They're simpler. Most of the time you'll know precisely what's going on and what's going to happen before you're even halfway done with the investigation. This is even though they sometimes discover things and don't even tell you what it is they found.
The ADV parts are nice, because it's fully voiced (thoughts too) and you can advance or turn on auto mode even with the text box hidden, like in GA2. The backlog's there too; People take that for granted these days but there's still way too many games without logs. Only complain I have is the lack of an option to make skip work only for unread text.
Action sequences are the coolest thing in here. They're a throwback to good old FMV QTEs, but executed better than most. Direction buttons are used to pursue the culprit and dodge attacks, simple enough. The cool part is when other stuff happens and you need to use the girls' powers; Instead of the typical "press X" stuff, each girl is assigned a particular button that's used for her throughout the game, so even before the countdown starts you can start guessing what power to use. I liked that, and it sure beats the typical "press up press X press O press X wiggle the stick mash X" stuff you get most of the time.
The Arsene fight was nutty, though, and I was playing on difficulty 2.
So yeah, the game was pretty good, with the only flaw being that it was too short. Unfortunately, that's a critical flaw. As a result it's hard to bond with the characters, or even see how the characters could be bonding among themselves. The episodic format is emulating a TV show (you even get the OP and ED for each chapter, in fact) but if this were an actual show people would be complaining about the horrible pacing. Also, there's literally nothing depicted outside of the investigations which is also pretty bad for a character game.
All in all it just feels rushed, and worse, incomplete.
Ah well, apparently a sequel's already been announced. I'll be getting it, the sucker that I am. It was better than GA2, at least.
Also, Kobayashi's personality changes wayyyyy too much whenever he starts solving stuff.
16 December, 2010
By the way, I'll be in Japan again early January which is why I haven't gotten Graces and Gundamusou 3 and Suparobo L and so on yet.
Edit (17th December): It arrived today.
The Weiss Schwarz cards.
And just for the hell of it, my other Nendoroids.
Up till about a month ago, all I had was Exelica. And then all of a sudden three more. Yay.
Unrelated- Nendoro is nice but god I hate the collectors. Bunch of fucking scalpers and scum who buy games they've never heard of just to get the fucking things, leaving people who actually care about the series dry. Fuck you assholes, seriously.