Visual Novels - because insomnia builds character.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Let's keep chugging along! al|together 2008 round 4/6!
A touching bittersweet story of tolerance and the transience of even the most important parts of our lives.

Graphics - The character artwork is simply beautiful and the pale delicate colors match the heroine. The background are nothing exceptional but they are certainly not bad. Most fit perfectly in the work and the use of cherry blossoms to enforce the pieces themes is brilliant. Only Mai receives any character artwork as she is the main focus but I would have liked to have seen the protagonist's sister. 9/10

Music/SFX - The music is also exceptional. The authors produced a vocal song for this game and it is a beautiful piece. The rest of the music is from various sources and quite a few tracks are used : 17 in total. Six different groups have music featured in the piece including an artist I have mentioned on my non-review blog : SAM . The authors also assigned "image titles" to generically named tracks to shed light on how it was used. Sound effects fit in perfectly as well and a detailed volume pane is supplied to adjust the levels to one's individual liking. 10/10

Voice Acting - Yes, this free software is voiced! Certainly a welcome addition to any game the voice acting is well executed and has minimal recording issues. The actress was well chosen and seemed to have a true grasp on her part. The VA is partial however, as side characters and the protagonist are not voiced. The singing was also integrated into the voice acting and worked very well. 9/10

Story - The story for Moonshine is very typical and fairly predictable but in this case that is not a bad thing. Mai is immediately entrancing and I long to know more of her story but that is not the story the authors chose to tell and I do not fault that choice for the one they told is much more unique. Moonshine is a simple story but it will stay with you. As a warning (because I've been trained to do so*) this game does grapple with the idea of trans-sexuality. I applaud the author for this but I know it is not everyone's cup of tea. This is not your typical discrimination story though, it is about much more. 10/10

System/Extras - This game uses ONScripter, meaning it is available for both Windows and Mac with a high chance of working on Linux (if supplied with a binary). This is a specialized build and the effort shines. As previously mentioned, there is a volume pane for sound but two other option panes are available as well. All normal ONScripter features are in place but with a jazzed up GUI including a small menu at the bottom of the screen. The extras include the standard jukebox and CG viewing mode. I have not mentioned this in my other reviews but Insani also supplies a wealth of essays about the al|together 2008 projects and the writings for this project are particularly insightful. 5/5

Overall - A great peice that no doubt will offend some for some unfathomable reason. Then again, that is more reason to read it. I finished the piece in less than two hours and do not regret a second of it.

Score - 43/45 - 96% - Exceptional

*I mean no offense to anyone by this and I certainly could care less if someone was offended by this work. But some parents think anime rooms are babysitting services (until they walk in during FAKE) so I've been trained to warn for almost anything. Honestly, if transsexuals are distasteful to you that's more reason to read this.

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