Foreword: Sometimes, life isn’t fair. Well scratch that. Most of the time, life just doesn’t go the way you want it to go, and at least for this game, that was the case.
3rd Eye is a company that I’ve been eye’ing (pun intended) for a while now, as their games are often quite interesting. This title is their first game, and similar to the previous review, related to vampires.
But it sucks.
Never have I in my 4 years of Visual Novels have I seen any worse writing. It’s just so bad and there’s just nothing good about the novel portion of the game that I have a ridiculous headache. I know this game is from a while back, but that still doesn’t mean that you make a story like this.
Oh man, this is gonna be one of my “usual” rant reviews, so take it easy, grab a can of soda, and get ready to laugh at how horrible this game was.
Release Date: January 28, 2011
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v5349
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=692831
Game Type: Mystery Action Novel with themes of Vampires
Summary: Shinkuro is an under-cover independent Vampire Hunter who hides his identity by acting as a “Student Detective” in the daytime. At night, he would go out to take out Master-less vampires who have gone out of control attacking other humans. As expected, Shinkuro hates vampires for killing his family in the past.
One day, his fate is changed when he sees a girl being assualted by multiple of these vampires. Saving the girl and bringing her back to his home, Shinkuro lays her on his bed.
Instead, however, this girl reaches out and bites him on the neck. Realizing that she is also vampire, Shinkuro points his gun at the girl’s head, ready to kill her at a moment’s notice, until the girl’s stomach growls loudly and crashes the serious atmosphere.
From then on, this vampire named “Luna” starts to live with Shinkuro, and their story has only just started.
And this would be Luna, voiced by none other than Aoba Ringo *fanboy scream*
Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Slightly Difficult
Comments: The difficulty stems from the fact that all the path splits are exactly the same as the other; there’s no word change that would suggest any forms of hints to which heroine you’re befriending, so that made it even more hard. While this is a minus for poor design, it pretty much forces everyone to use a walkthrough.
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Protagonist Rating: 2/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 2/10
Rating Comments: Yep, another crap game, which is really unfortunate because as with all the other games out there, it starts out strong. But even then that’s only applicable to the very beginning portions of the game. Heroine route becomes crappy as the game uses its own “vampire logic” in each and every one of them, and even the “mystery” portion of the routes lack proper foreshadow.
Character Design Score is actually saved by Luna herself, who is more of a comical character than anything else. All the other characters are pretty much crap as I’ll discuss in a bit.
Story is at is worst possible. Like with any games receiving a score of 0, 1, or 2, the game makes no effort to help the reader understand what the hell happened in the climax of the routes and solves the problem at hand with a convenient deus ex machina. It really doesn’t help that the “enemies” presented in this game are poorly designed, as I’ll discuss in the Comments Section
No! I demand you explain now!
Protagonist Score is low because here you have a protagonist who’s supposed to be cool, smart, and perhaps even powerful, yet when he needs to be “protagonist-like” in the battle scenes or the climax, he suddenly becomes this weak-ass character who can’t even hit his targets with his gun. This inconsistency in personality is completely opposite of what’s favored in galge (See Gin no Toki no Corona), and again a bad design.
Oh man, never have I felt so reluctant to write this section…
But that doesn’t relate to Luna, who while having a ridiculously generic name, is arguably my favorite character for multiple reasons.
This is the girl who bit Shinkuro in the beginning scenes and makes him her “servant”, to the point if she dies, Shinkuro will also die as well (The thing is, the game never shows whether or not if this theory is true; it just has all the characters believing it, which was weird). She’s also the last of the Shinsou, or roughly, pure-blood, of the vampires, as in the beginning of the story shows the vampire race being wiped out by humans.
As stated previously, Luna’s more of a comedy character, in the sense how this princess of vampires is relatively useless. Luna tries so hard to be of use to the group, yet manages to fail multiple times throughout the story.
In addition to this clumsiness, and her loli-like design, it’s also Aoba Ringo voicing this character, so I had no trouble being infatuated with this “haughty” character.
Luna’s route involves her being chased around by pretty much everyone; because of how she’s the last of the pure-bloods of vampires, the Research Facility wants her body for experimentation while others have their own motives.
While I did appreciate Luna’s design as a character, her route is easily one of the worse routes. Like a previous game I recently reviewed, it has a literal deus ex machina in addition to no efforts to help the reader understand how the protagonist was alive in the end of the route (though they do imply it, but even then there’s inconsistencies)
Next is Rinnet, a relatively quiet girl who is also the servant of Luna. As a vampire trained all her life to fight, Rinnet swings around a large blade effortlessly.
Rinnet is heavily infatuated with Luna, her master. From wanting to get in the bath with her or actually kissing her, the reader can see that while she acts coldly to everyone, her attitude towards Luna is 180 degrees different.
Rinnet’s route is arguably the best within the game (although it does suck to a certain extent with how the climax is another form of deus ex machina), since it involves the main antagonist “Francisca” to the greatest extent. Involving Rinnet’s loss and trauma to this psycho bitch in the past. The good thing about her route is that there a certain “humorous” foreshadow in her route that if you go through with her route completely, isn’t so funny: this was a great trait which I found favorable.
It’s also quite a pity how it’s not Shinkuro who becomes the source of strength for Rinnet; it’s Luna instead. Shinkuro in Rinnet’s route was only good for his dick (literally), which Rinnet became “addicted” to.
Rinko is next, a girl who is from “The Association”, the group of people affiliated with the researchers of vampires.
Her timing of arrival was quite similar with when Luna appeared, so Shinkuro also becomes cautious. In addition, it is quickly shown that while Rinko is also highly skilled with guns. However, on the other hand, she is also pretty dumb: In the beginning scenes involving interaction between Luna and Rinko, Luna would often use words or phrases that suggest her identity as a vampire, but Rinko does not catch onto it.
Like Shinkuro, Rinko holds a passionate hate for vampires and can be considered similar to him in the sense that she lost her parents at a young age.
Rinko’s route is eerily similar to Kaede’s route from a series called “Shuffle”, of how the heroine loses the meaning of life through an event and the protagonist gives it to her in the form of “revenge”. Unlike the latter (which was arguably more superior), Rinko’s route involves absolutely no “endurance” from the protagonist and is actually similar to Kotori’s route in Astral Air since Rinko and Shinkuro “fight to understand each other”, and that apparently makes perfect fucking sense.
Next is Sayaka, who has an “okay” route but a horrible design in the sense this is a character who is pretty much dragged into all this mess of “vampires” and whatnot and [Spoiler Alert!] given amazing powers but pretty much forced to die by the end of her route [/Spoiler Alert!]
I guess it’s a saver that she’s already connected to the main story via the fact that she’s completely infatuated to Shinkuro from the beginning of the story (for no reason, though) and pretty much becomes his “secretary” at the detective office via a couple of events.
Sayaka’s route (or at least the character herself) is actually quite sad for the above spoiler, yet I couldn’t really sympathize with this girl because the game didn’t take enough time to develop the relationships with this girl. In the end, her father seemed to play more of a role overall in the story.
She’s very skilled at playing the Piano, and has her own unique soundtrack for this.
Although Sayaka does have a unique soundtrack titled “Untitled” (Yeah, I know). The slow melody of this song really amplified the “depressive mood” of her route, and the game actually does end the route with this track, which was nice.
Here’s what it sounds like, for those who are curious.
Last is Risa, who I think had the worst route.
I’m just going to blatantly put a spoiler here and say that this girl is the younger sister of Shinkuro, who he thought was dead. Turns out, Risa was able to escape death by thinking fast in a critical situation in the past.
However, this fact isn’t shown to the readers. Instead, the first encounter with this girl is with a high-powered “Synthetic Vampire” attacking Shinkuro and Sayaka. The Shinkuro and his group does manage to defeat their opponents, but when Risa wakes up, she doesn’t remember anything; just her abilities to fight and how she is able to control anything related to electricity.
The reason why I say that Risa’s route had the worst route is that the game flat out says Shinkuro’s younger sister was “Arisa” and has Shinkuro’s monologue literally hinting Risa’s true identity. This was their obvious but pitiful effort to create a foreshadow which instead became a “spoiler” instead, and it really didn’t help how Risa herself pretty much becomes this unstoppable God as she regains her memory as Shinkuro’s younger sister.
Risa’s route is also the most inconsistent with the other routes.
And there’s Shinkuro himself, but he’s not that important, hue.
Sexual Content: Low
Comments: Alright. Comments.
First is a complaint that the “antagonists” presented in this game are plain retarded. The thing is, though, their powers are extraordinary; even more powerful than even the protagonist and the heroines themselves. While there is the satisfaction of “overcoming a greater evil” due to this, the fact that all the antagonists are fucking idiots who “doesn’t know how to use their power” was not a good design repeated infinitely throughout the story.
In a way, the game was making it pretty damn obvious that these “antagonists” will lose to the main characters even before the fight starts, since there’s going to be a HUGE amount of rage from players if these “idiots” happened to win.
The second complaint is that whenever anyone uses themes like “vampires” which are HIGHLY subjective (or even fictional), they need to do all the explaining of its features in the BEGINNING of the story, NOT the ending when the climax is usually placed. This is because if an “unknown factor” comes in at the climax, that just makes it a deus ex machina. It’s like playing rock-paper-scissors, but having the advantage of being able to choose which hand to make after seeing the opponent’s. That’s not cool. The primary example in this game are the “Synthetic Vampires” that become highly prevalent in the majority of the routes, yet it’s not until well into the game when the game even introduces it.
But I really need to get this off my chest. From the Opening Movie, something caught my eye.
Here’s the Opening Movie for you Aoba Ringo fans. If it wasn’t so obvious, that’s actually her singing. It seems that she also sings the Ending Song, but I noticed it too late and am too lazy to go and extract it again.
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
Yuri in 3… 2… 1…
CG Score: 3/10. Personally, I thought the CG was bland. But I guess that can’t be helped.
Music Score: 7/10. The music is actually quite good in this game; varying tracks with synthetic sounds accompanying a wide variety of atmospheres from intense battles to romantic H-scenes. They generally fit the “depressing mood” of the game, which was very nice.
Conclusion: Quite the inferior game which was only really good for its music, and for me, Aoba Ringo. While it does have the darker atmosphere that I usually enjoy, the game does throw around a lot of its own logic especially at the last moments which becomes quite annoying. Although this game WAS bad, I’m probably going to go through at least another 3rdEye game before I stop following them.
I guess the character introductions were done well, though… *bleh*
The next review is actually the SECOND non-translated game that I’ve played in my eroge career, which I went through again. It’s quite long, which explains the lack of reviews in a while. Hopefully, I do a better job with that one than I did with Bloody Rondo. Toodles!