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Sacred Reviews: Auld Lang Syne - Cat and Mouse


"Auld Lang Syne: Cat and Mouse" is described by quiesphere, it's developer, as a visual novel. In my opinion this project doesn't actually qualify as one since a visual novel in my experience tends to have multiple potential paths. Some of them undoubtedly lead to bad endings, but the story in this game only has one conclusion. And the only times you get to make any choices are during a single battle that takes place past the halfway point of the story. And that fight is so easy that the only way you could possible lose is if you tried to lose. As such, I don't see this project as a game at all, but as a short story told through a graphic medium. As such this has more in common with graphic novels or comics than it does video games.


The story follows the interactions of Bidala, the Divine Cat, and Vikarala, the Divine Rat, as they try to get to the bottom of who truly owns the Temple to the North. Though, I suppose the answer to that question is rather obvious considering the game starts out with this place being called the Rat Shrine.

So I suppose the real question is why did anyone ever believe there was a Cat Shrine to begin with. And what are we going to have to do to reverse the damage they've caused over the years.

Greatest Strength/Weakness

On the plus side this fanfic is pretty easy to follow even if you aren't familiar with the source material. So much so that you can dive into this story with zero knowledge of Granblue Fantasy and still be able to enjoy the narrative. On the negative side of the scale I'm pretty sure myself and others are going to absolutely butcher the names of the characters as well as the in universe terms used within the game such as kleshas. Though the game provides more than enough context to know what these words mean.


As mentioned above the game does contain one fight, but it's super easy. During your turn your allowed to activate as many of your abilities as you want. And can even switch between characters. The only downside to using your skills is you can never use them again. So after you've probably burned through most of your special skills on your first turn you'll be forced to use your basic attack option until you've fully charged the attack gauge and can perform a powerful combo attack.

And while I imagine some would argue this makes this a game even if it only contains a single battle. I'd argue this fight is about as difficult as a tutorial battle that is rigged in the player's favor. Sort of like the first goblin fight in ".hack//infection" depicted below.

Albeit the monster in this story at least gets to score a few hits to make it seem a bit more threatening.


Graphically the game is all custom which is always nice. In fact, it seems this aspect of game making is quiesphere's specialty. After all, she always seems to go that extra mile when it comes to presentation and always includes some nice images to look at.

Though, I'll admit my favorite bit was the short animated walk cycle of the two main characters as sketches during the fanfics end credit sequence.


On the sound side of things the game appears to use the RTP for RPG Maker VX Ace as well as a few other sources. A few of these sources appear to be free based on how their name, but I'm not sure if this is the case with some of the other assets. At any rate the various sound effects and background music are used competently, but nothing really caught my attention. So the soundtrack and sound effects are merely average in my opinion.


As someone who reads a lot of fanfiction I can appreciate the nature of this project. Even if I'm not particularly familiar with any of the source material. So if your looking for something to read and enjoy fanfiction this might be worth a quick look. After all, it only takes around 45 minutes or so to get through this project. Though, I'll admit that's based on how long it took me to get through while reading most of the dialogue out loud.

I probably could have cleared this in under 30 minutes if I had been merely reading it to myself in my own head. Though, I suppose not everyone reads as fast as I do. So your time to read this story with only five chapters from beginning to end will most likely vary.


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Thank you so much for such a detailed review, and for reading Auld Lang Syne!
I'm really glad it was easy to understand without playing Granblue Fantasy!

I do believe there's many other linear visual novels, as it has become a pretty good medium to just tell stories in company of visuals and sound, but it's true that in terms of gameplay there's barely any.
With this one, I tried to imitate the format of events in Granblue Fantasy (including the battle, though I had to simplify it quite a bit to make it work in RPGMaker with just events). Usually the battles in these events are scripted so anyone can clear them regardless of their progress in the game, so it's more for flavor than anything.

As an artist I end up putting a lot of the work on the visuals, but I'll strive to keep improving with the rest of the aspects in future games!

(I'm glad to hear you liked the credits sequence, by the way! I'm really happy with how it turned out :')
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