Visual Novels - because insomnia builds character.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ever 17 ~the out of infinity~

Ever 17, my first exposure to visual novels and still one of the best. It took me a year to decide to try this title, but I don't suggest you wait that long. Completely localized by Hirameki's professional team, Ever 17 is a must have for every English speaking visual novel fan.

Graphics - The graphics are clean and lively. There are enough sprites to show all emotions, unlike in some other Hirameki games. The sprite and background art is strong but a bit plain while the event CGs are clearly of a higher caliber. The subtle difference in style between the two types is not detrimental. 9/10

Music/SFX - The music is solid , fun, and enjoyable but could use some instrumental variation. The opening and true ending themes are both excellent vocal songs. There is a insert vocal song as well. 9/10

Voice Acting - The voice acting is well done and every character is voiced, except the character you are playing at the given time (There are two protagonists and each has a voice when not selected). The emotions range from screaming to singing and I found no flaws in the casting. 10/10

Story - The story is where this work shines. It starts are a basic situation-dependent romance game, but as you get into each path you find each girl has a past tainted with sadness and mystery. Once you clear the first four good endings, three bad endings and three epilogues you can play the final route which connects all the stories in a stunning and mind-bending conclusion. My family got a Wii (by waiting outside the store for an hour) the day I was on the last part of this game and I didn't touch the Wii till I finished this. It's truly that addictive. 10/10

System/Extras - All the professional system amenities (skip mode, auto mode, etc) and more. A convenient quick-save/load and an auto-save/load complement a set of 65 save slots with changeable thumbnails. There is also a convenient shortcut mode to jump to a specific day in a specific route, which is very useful when searching for the last unmade choice in the entire 200+ hour game (another nice feature is that already selected choices are shown in blue so you can find new routes easily).The extras also abound as this is a translation of the premium edition. These include - screen-savers, system voices, character-categorized CG galleries, a promotional art gallery, and a jukebox mode. You basically get an full artbook and accessory pack with this game. 5/5

Overall - Excellent! Go buy now! You won't find a better deal in the English visual novel market. Despite some minor flaws, Ever17 shines brightly.

Score - 43/45 - 96% - exceptional

No comments: