While most of the recent Escu;de games haven’t been particularly fun I decided to take a step back and try one of their older games, this in particular seems to have a decent reputation so I went with it. It was pretty good alright, though I honestly felt the gameplay to be relatively tiresome once you finish the first one or two routes.
I seem to commonly have that problem when it comes to Escu;de games, it just gets tiresome to play after a while despite how fun it is at the start. I’m not sure why myself, perhaps it just lacks challenge after your first run or perhaps it lacks the charm to keep you playing time after time.
Though the finale that rounds up all of your characters up for a grand battle made everything feel like it was worth it so, yes, that was pretty good.
The game essentially consists of three nations, thus three protagonists and 3 sets of heroines, antagonists and sub characters. By completing at least one route in every nation you unlock the final route that ties together all of the plot threads and foreshadowing shown in all three nation routes.
The game is really as big as it sounds. A part of it likely has to do with the gameplay diluting things and wasting your time but in any case, despite having a relatively large cast of 12 heroines it still takes a decent amount of time to go through all of the routes. Needless to say, I only managed to do 3 routes (the bare minimum) or 4 if you count the time I was forced to restart due to a game over lock.
Story-wise it takes place in an interesting fantasy world with the aforementioned 3 nations. These 3 nations have vastly different environments and setting.
Tsudora is a cold, poor and relatively dangerous country with plenty of trouble here and there. Bounty hunters, corrupted government and whatnot are prevalent in this nation. Fittingly we get a silent and capable protagonist. Though he’s a siscon.
Finally Monroe Heart is the most advanced nation out of the three, it’s on the same level as our modern age with skyscrapers and such all over the place. As a result however, a plot point is that while the nation grew stronger, the people grew weaker as they lack the drive to accomplish great things. This nation features a perverted protagonist that strives for the true harem end! Except there isn’t one in this game. God dammit.
As you can see, it keeps you entertained as the protagonist, heroines and setting changes greatly with every nation. Some may like one nation over the other but in any case, it’s definitely not the same thing over and over with different protagonists instead.
Gameplay-wise there’s not much to say. It’s pretty well done and fun but the difficulty is on the easier side I suppose. The difficulty caps at the midpoint and becomes a lot easier from there on. It doesn’t get any better as you familiarize yourself with the system and produce an even stronger team with every iteration. I pretty much spent the latter half of the game finishing battles within one or two turns of starting it.
The final boss battle wasn’t anything to write home about either, though it was a lot of fun getting to put together my strongest characters and blow away the boss with it, yes. Not to mention the final boss had plenty of hp for me to have fun doing so.
Finally, I said this before as well but, the story is much, much more fun when all of the protagonists and heroines come together and interact. Because of this I heavily enjoyed the grand finale where they come together, cooperate and save the world.
All in all, it was an enjoyable ride. Not really enough to go shouting that it was a kami-ge but still was enjoyable from start to end, and that’s an achievement in itself when you have some games that are fun at the start but rapidly deteriorate after that.
Some part of me suspects that those sort of games are fun because it’s a refreshing new environment at the start but as you get used to it you find yourself bored. Anyway, as much as I’d like to start up a different VN right now, tomorrow I’ll go over the FD first before I move on.
That said I’m not even sure what I’m going to play next… Still another week and a half until Madou Koukaku…