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A pure Visual Novel Game - Jtrev23 Reviews

  • jtrev23
  • 01/03/2016 03:07 AM
  • 1028 views
I was asked to review this game by Kyuukon on Game Dev Fort (although the game is an RMN game) and I have to say I really enjoyed playing this game. Even though it’s a demo I feel as though Miraculo Island is the first real visual novel game that I’ve reviewed on my site. Other games in which I’ve classified as visual novel games up until now were games that just ended up being visual novels but were not originally intended to be visual novels. "Miraculo Island" was is designed to be an interactive visual novel and is really fun to play. For the record, I played this game to completion in 2 hours and four minutes according to the internal game clock. I also checked for different choice paths using multiple save spots throughout the game.

-INITIAL THOUGHTS-

"Miraculo Island" is a nice interactive mystery visual novel that doesn’t feel like a visual novel at first. It at first feels like an RPG. This is probably due to it being made in RPG Maker but the overall feel towards the end helps the player realize that they were playing a VN game. Even though it was made in RPG maker, it replaces the majority of default assets which helps to make it feel more original. I also like how the player’s choices help to affect the flow of the game, although some choices seem to have a bigger impact on the story more than others the use of choice is effective nonetheless. Another reason why it feels less like a visual novel at first would be the similarities the game has to dating simulator games. Where the game complete I’d guarantee by the end the main character would have a girlfriend based on the player’s choices. If anything disappointed me, then it was that this game is still incomplete. The game as it stands right now is just a tease that draws the player in with a good story and amazing graphics only to not deliver any solution towards the end. The story especially. With mystery novels the whole point is to hook people into the writing and have them ponder on who did a crime and will come next. The intro to the game was a huge part of hooking me into the world of the game but the player doesn’t have the chance yet to see how things play out in the end. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about the process of the game right now but I am looking forward to playing the full version once it has been released.

-PRESENTATION-

The presentation in “Miraculo Island” is near perfect. The graphics were well made and chosen perfectly. The credits contribute to an entire slew of people for the graphics which most notably means some assets were borrowed or bought while others were original creations. Overall though the game still feels different from other RPG Maker games since it strays away from using default assets and it helps the artwork feel more original even it is not. The mapping for one is done very well and is extremely successful in making realistic environments. I also thought that the chibi art style was absolutely adorable. The only thing graphics wise that was unappealing to the player would be Cindy’s dialogue box. The yellow just too bright and it clashes with the white text and it is hard to read what she is saying a lot of the time. As a general rule for dialogue boxes, the border should be a nice dark color if the text is white in order to keep the colors from clashing. Another thing I liked about the presentation of “Miraculo Island” was the story. The story is very original and is well written. I personally love mystery novels and “Miraculo Island” is an interesting puzzle. Subtext is used well throughout this game and although things may not be stated directly, the player is able to gather a lot of information about what the true nature of the island may be and what may befall upon the kids there. In addition to the story being shrouded in mystery it is also very psychological. The mix between mystery novel and psychological thriller could be explored better in my opinion. As it stands right ow there is a ton of mystery and questions to be answered but the psychological aspect is thrown in here and there to keep things interesting. While this is a nice tactic used to keep players interested I feel that the psychological aspect could definitely be used more. I would also like to take this time to say that the chosen music really fits the theme well and the transitions really helps set the mood and tone of each scene.

-ENGAGEMENT/GAMEPLAY-

As a visual novel game, the engagement is definitely in the story. The initial opening to the game draws the player in immediately and gives the player questions right off the back as to what is going on. However the scenes following the opening could be a bit of a disconnect as it strays so far from the initial opening. I myself felt cheated for a while until the story started to pick up more. The psychological aspects of the game were the most engaging factors for me but for others the engagement may be in the mystery of the island or the building of relationships with people. The relationship building was a nice factor of the gameplay that I hope will be explored more in the full release of the game. As it stands right now I didn’t see that much change in the characters reactions to things if the player chose one option over another but I’d have to play though the game at least 2 more times to see if the early on decisions affect events that arise later on in the game. The rest of the gameplay and interactions were based on choices that the player make and what they choose to interact with. Having these choices is what makes this a Visual Novel game and not just a Visual Novel. Even if the relationship building doesn’t go far, just having the ability to interact with things and choose a certain course is what makes this a game and not just another page turner.

-BUGS/GLITCHES-

The only thing I really found was that the full screen option was buggy. Rather than expanding the game itself to fit the full screen of the picture, the game when into full screen mode and just blacked out the rest of my computer screen without expanding the game. Other than that I found no other bugs.

-OVERALL-

“Miraculo Island” is a pure Visual Novel game that is definitely worth playing. Although it is only a demo, the game still has hours of fun to be had. Now although I would recommend people to play this game based off of my experience playing I would like to stress that this is only a demo and the game isn’t complete at this time. The game does leave the player with a variety of cliffhangers so if you plan to play this demo don’t expect everything to be wrapped up by the end. That being said, I would recommend this game to players who like Visual Novels, Dating Simulators, or even games that involve a lot of mystery or psychological aspects. To Kyuukon, great job so far and keep up the good work.

Also since it is still I demo I will not rate it at this time but awesome work.

http://rpgmaker.net/games/7195/

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