Foreword: Hmmmmmm… Well, I finished this game itself. I’ll say right now that this game wasn’t exactly omgwtfbbq terrible, but it was pretty dumb. It was also shitty when it came to story elements, too, but I’m not sure if I can immediately tag this game as “bad” because it does have some good parts as well.
Yeah, as with always, I absolutely suck at summarizing and I’m not going to be able to explain everything within just the Foreword. Let’s get on with the review like a good person, shall we?
P.S. I’m going through a lot of titles I’ve played in the past, so I’m not expecting to write a review for a bit longer. I think the lack of titles I wanted to play from June titles resulted in this instead of me actually working on my backlog like I’m supposed to…
WARNING: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS REVIEW CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS FOR THIS GAME. PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK OF BEING SPOILED
Title: 聖鍵遣いの命題 (Seiken Tsukai no Proposition) [Lit. Trans: The Proposition of the Holy Key User]
Producers: UnicoЯn (Why the fuck did they decide on a backwards “R”?)
Release Date: May 27th, 2016
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v18681
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=880913
Game Type: Fantasy Action Novel with themes of human philosophy
Summary: Haruto is quite good looking, but extremely unfortunate in the sense that he’s enslaved by his past actions in failing pretty much everything; schoolwork, part-time jobs, and much more. This has caused him to accumulate a huge amount of debt to the School Headmaster, Spiano, who pretty much forces him to take part in this strange program that certain students are chosen to participate in.
This is where Haruto meets people like Akina, who unfortunately do not have good grades in the academy, and is also forced to participate in this program. From the very first moments, Haruto and Akina do not get along, but as they widen their circle of friends, they soon find each one of them irreplaceable.
Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: So what you need to do in the entire game is to choose the SECOND option after all the arcs are completed, which is where the game has you choose WHAT THE HEROINE DOES in reply to Haruto. Doing this for all 6 heroines will open up their “Lover” after-story, and the respective H-scenes after you finish the main game. The two choices that have more than two options are completely insignificant, so just pick whatever.
I’d probably pick Serene
Generally, I like this kind of design; no H-content in the main game, so the game can be sold separately as an all-ages title for just the main game alone. More options = always better.
Subcharacters also seem to receive H-scenes and a bit of side story as well
Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 2/10
Game Quality: Moderately High
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: Okay, so even as an inferior game, this title has some good and bads. I’ll try to explain them briefly.
First, character design. Overall well-designed with colorful traits and backgrounds for each character, the biggest problem was that the development of these heroines and characters were absolute shit. Heroine “backgrounds” are introduced inappropriately at the later portion of their “arc” as opposed to how it’s supposed to be introduced first, and the game doesn’t do a good job explaining the relationship or even the affection that heroines feel for the idiot protagonist. Subcharacters introduced in the main story did well to support each heroine, but they were ultimately unimportant outside of that heroine’s “arc”, so that was a bad trait.
So they all lack depth, but they don’t lack the *ahem*… volume…
Story is quite strange, since the beginning starts off by trying to explain all these terminology, but some of them never become important to the overall game (e.g. such as each character’s “position”, “Overlancer”, and etc…), and the entire game shifts from this comical friendship, school-life type of story to philosophical holy-shit-I’ve-made-a-bad-decision-QQ kind of story extremely abruptly. There are battle scenes regarding super-powers called Valkyrie Frame, but not only are these battle scenes extremely undescriptive, it’s just a bunch of flashy graphics and shouts which do not do a good job having the reader imagine these battle scenes.
Haruto as a protagonist is the worst part in this game, as a chuunibyou, apathetic, and an idiotic boy who is simply “good-looking” that’s only differentiating him from any other normal person. While he was unique, he’s never resourceful, and was frankly quite annoying as that archetypical “tsundere protagonist”. His design of being this “amazing individual” who can use superpowers without a Valkyrie Frame was completely lost to follow-up, and how he lacks a background himself made this character the most shallow ones in the entire story. As a character, Haruto was quite unfortunate because he had a good design overall; it’s just that none of his traits were properly followed up later to actually solidify said design. His past, the explanation to his attitude and personality, his theories or even him exclusively in action was missing completely in the entire game, which really killed this score.
Character Summary: Okay. I’m going to be as brief as possible because reasons.
Akina is the first girl that Haruto meets, and is actually from her falling off a tree on top of him. Immediately creating a bad impression for each other, the two characters become quite hostile for obvious reasons, but also end up accidentally kissing. Generally lacking in all fields, Akina herself is relatively worthless throughout the game since the things she can do, someone in the team can do better.
In all honesty, her design was worsened due to her having this “convenient” super-powered side because she is revealed to be the daughter of the Priestess that the game mentions several times throughout the story, and apparently this gives her powers to read the future and all sorts of supernatural abilities which she can’t control at first but the second time she can and WTF THIS DESIGN MAKES NO SENSE
That moment when a heroine is more protagonist-like than the protagonist
The girl who unwillingly becomes the leader of this Cluster called “The Knights of Darkness” (courtesy of Haruto) is actually one of the worst designed characters, and I’m frankly quite disappointed with her role in the story to be exactly that worthless character who suddenly becomes this god at the climax of the game.
A haughty noble is the immediate impression that you get for this character, who takes great pride in her abilities and her background as a noble. Because of this, she often belittles others and ends up fighting them (most primarily Rin), but this ojousama is not without flaws; her arc displays her to be incompetent at any form of housework as corresponding to her design, and also quite ignorant because she was raised in a protected environment.
As with other heroines, Ellie doesn’t play much of a role outside of her arc, and was relatively uninfluential for the most part.
A girl who calls herself the eldest in the crew but is also the one who looks the youngest, this trope is matched up with the “energetic heroine” archetype for the Wil-tribe who are generally considered a minority in this era. Signified by the animal-like ears, this corresponds to Rin’s abilities in detecting traps or having heightened senses which help the crew when dungeon crawling.
Rin’s arc involves the introduction of a new tribe called the Milt, who has a very bitter background with the Wil-tribe, as 20 years ago, the Milt tribe performed a mass-scale genocide on the Wil tribe. This past event becomes the main focus as the characters now struggle to determine what they want to do with their newly found friendship
This girl is introduced first when the team visits the Medical Center and Haruto opens a door randomly causing this lucky-sukebe scene where Alice is changing. More shy than anything else, Alice is for the most part, unable to really engage with the rest of the Cluster and would rather become more of a support role for their missions. Alice seems to perform much of the enemy analysis in battles.
The crap again is with her arc. While not so abrupt as the other heroines, since the game does make very subtle hints that she’s affiliated with the antagonizing group in this game called Cryon, the game never goes into detail about this group and instead brings the deus-ex-machina right over to Alice, who suddenly awakens into this god-mode who is able to control the minds of enemies.
Serene and Saki seem to be lumped together into one “arc” mainly because of how they’re related. As a girl who literally appeared out of nowhere, Haruto finds this girl drenched in water and fainted one day and with the help of his team, brings her to the medical center to be treated. This girl is then brought over to Spiano, who gives her the name “Serene”, and trusts this random girl to take care of her pets.
However, this same arc displays a mysterious weapon called “Stigma” which is a highly-developed weapon capable of utilizing a maximized version of Valkyrie Frame for a very long period of time, which Serene happens to be. She relates to Saki because she was the murderer of Saki’s mother, and this causes a lot of conflict between the two.
Saki is the student who Haruto meets on the first day, and later become a part of their group as Serene’s arc ends and her story is completed. Originally an honor student with top performance and grades, all of this was her efforts to find and take revenge on the person who killed her mother. More specifically, the weapon called Stigma and the group called Cryon.
To be honest, I think Saki was the one who had the least development with Haruto in addition to have the least amount of spotlight in the story since all her efforts fueled by desire for revenge just magically vanishes along with Serene’s revealing of her true identity. Along with a lot of other traits, this was extremely convenient and didn’t improve or contribute anything to the main story.
It’s really sad. A lot of the battle scenes could have been improved greatly just by being a bit more descriptive
Sexual Content: None within the main game. Moderate within the “Lovers” Episodes
Comments: Okay, so for comments.
As mentioned previously, the battle scenes were climactic because the game just forces a SHIT-TON of SFX into your headphones. This is accompanied by a lot of flashing screens, and frankly, this was more annoying for me than anything else. In case there are people who become turned off by these battle scenes yourself, you are more than welcome to skip them. They’re not important.
More like, the writers sure got lazy. The first scenes suggest that the Knights of Darkness would be performing in some kind of dungeon-crawling searching for this “treasure” of the skies, but later portions of the game don’t even display these “monsters” that the group fights with. Really, the setting of this game is pretty shit too–Oh, there’s some legendary treasure at the bottom of this abandoned dungeon and it’s only accessible with these Holy Keys? Oh, and they MAGICALLY can only be used by the 9 main characters in the game. What a fucking coincidence. Let’s pretend that this is a probationary exam and send them in there to risk their lives because why the hell not. /sarcasm
And let’s introduce the Empress herself because who doesn’t love characters with a royal background?
How the game jumped from one arc to another was pretty stupid, although I did enjoy that episodic atmosphere. While there wasn’t much breaking of immersion with the story, how the game itself was designed to display one scene then a completely different scene the next was something I thought needed improvement.
Also, holy shit all this deus-ex-machina. Each conflict shown within the game is solved waaaaaay too conveniently including the last battle. Some of these “conflicts” were so abysmal and retarded I found myself sighing and facepalming as I swallowed Tylenol so I can prevent the incoming headache. There’s almost no conflict. No excitement at the fight scenes, and it was more “Get it over with already” than “omg what’s going to happen next?”
Despite the cancerous style of design as mentioned previously, I personally think the concept of the battle scenes were at least decent, which prevents the scores from dipping down below 3’s. In other words, the fantasy superpowered combat is actually quite exciting if it’s performed well. Otherwise, if you’re the type of person who enjoys these stacked SFX and seizure-inducing screens, well, you might be pleased with this title. How each “battle scenes” were supposed to represent the “chaos” of the story was nothing but a clusterfuck of sounds and lights was so ridiculous I was laughing at why they would create such a indirect method instead of going straight for “good battle scenes”.
You know, all these 9 characters would have been really lovable if the game took enough time to actually develop them properly and was long enough to display their darker past
I also didn’t enjoy how the game pretty much puts out that happy-go-lucky type of story where “no one is actually evil” just like this game from BaseSon. Even the masterminds of all this conflict become “convinced” way too easily and that just makes the entire game boring, lackluster, and insignificant
Affection for the Characters: Low
CG Score: 5/10. CGs are nice, but it really does make your eyes hurt when they flash so much as it does in this game. People who are epileptic are HIGHLY recommended to avoid this title. The score also suffered due to lacking actual CGs and instead using cropped sprites and backgrounds similar to what the company August does
“Same-face” sprites is present in this game, almost to the point it looks copy-pasted
Music Score: 9/10. Music is excellent, with a varying genre for any kind of environment, which is unfortunate since the main game itself is pretty shit.
- The game does have a bit of philosophy at the end about human life, although this is extremely brief
- It’s also quite the “weeaboo” material. Players who like to see flashy CGs and sounds of explosions might have fun with this game.
- With the main game not having any sexual content, it can be enjoyed by anyone relatively easily
- The concept of the story is actually quite decent, as a sci-fi fantasy type setting which becomes very exciting and worthwhile if performed correctly
- Music is pretty nice. Don’t let me be the judge of that though; see (or hear) for yourself.
- Characters are well designed but lack overall depth due to lack of participation outside of their arcs. They are also heavily under-developed.
- Romance is clearly the last thing that should have been added to this novel… and they did
- Story involves a very large amount of deus-ex-machina, often neglecting to introduce the most important elements until the very end.
- Protagonist is very poorly designed as he seems very incomplete with the lack of various things such as his background, exclusive action, and direct interaction with the heroines
- The game does use “Own-World Logic”. This not only gave them an excuse to throw out words and terms that do not ultimately become relevant, but also allowed them to exercise these convenient endings or out-of-the-blue introductions
- Battle Scenes are highly anticlimactic, and not descriptive.
Seiken Tsukai no Proposition is what I consider to be an extremely unfortunate game that while it had the solid basis of being a fun, exciting, and a good game, it was simply incomplete in so many fields to the point it became a trashy game. The elements needed to make the story become immersive was completely missing, and this was the same for all the characters as well.
If the writers ever plan on re-releasing this game with a LOT more detail to both story, heroines, and protagonist, I might give it a second look because it is simply that good and I liked the original ideas presented. Otherwise, this game should only be played for its music, and perhaps the chuunibyou-ish battle scenes.