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Very good, but niche and with flaws

  • trance2
  • 05/06/2008 04:12 PM
The sequel to Neok's well-received game Wraith, Wraith: The Second Chapter ~Sainth~ continues the story of Lily Collins and Kana Alywin and their dealings with the spectral entities known as "wraiths." In this part of the story, Lily finds out that her friend has become the "true wraith," the epitome of the dark beings that were encountered in the first game. To counter her, the all-powerful organization known as the "Agency" wants Lily to become the "true sainth," the polar opposite of the true wraith.

The gameplay is two-fold. There are segments of side-scrolling gameplay separated by longer segments of dialogue in a visual novel style (think Tsukihime). The side-scrolling elements are mainly exploring and finding "sainth essences" throughout the different areas (of which there are seven). It's a pretty straightforward game, however there is a lot of backtracking involved, and a good memory (or else good writing skills) is needed to get through the game without forgetting anything. The visual novel segments were, for lack of a better word, long, but that's mainly because I've had only limited experience with visual novels (I'm quite sure that there are some that have even longer segments before a "save"). There are some confusing portions, dealing mainly with astrophysics, however, the great majority is staple VN fare.

The game itself as a whole tackles a very interesting concept and does so pretty well. There are quite a few grammatical errors involving punctuation (mainly commas), but not anything that someone who isn't a grammar freak would pick up on. Neok also has a habit of using only two periods for ellipses, instead of three. This makes things sometimes confusing in the reader's mind, since it's not clear all the time if he was wanting a period or an ellipse. There are also a few tense errors, but (and this is a total assumption) English was not Neok's first language, so some errors are only to be expected.

There were relatively few errors in the game and the ones that there were were graphical glitches which could be remedied easily by the player. I only found one fatal bug in the Asylum: after saving, if you hit down and the action button about two tiles to the west, Lily will jump down and not be able to get back up. Obviously, there's an easy remedy in that you just reload from your last save (it being right there).

All in all, the game was enjoyable. To be honest, I got the bad ending the first time through, which is (as you can imagine) very depressing (I had watery eyes). However, you are allowed to save and/or leave before going to the ending area, so you simply have to go back to the World Tree area and attempt to do the task recommended after getting through the credits to get the good ending (which I eventually did and was even more confused about some things). I'd definitely recommend playing it, but only if you're used to the visual novel genre or else are willing to sit through long portions of text without interaction.

Rating: 4.5/5