After the impressive success of the freeware VN/strategy hybrid Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius the game’s developer, Love in Space, soon started working on a sequel, doubling down on their policy of directly imitating the Japanese visual novel formula and apparently devoting much of their newly-found resources and experience to exactly that end. When the highly-anticipated Sunrider: Liberation Day finally released, on March 2016, it came armed with Japanese voice-acting, Japanese theme song and extra amounts of fanservice, ready to conquer the Western-otaku audience with its bombastic facsimile of Japanese eroge. Thus, one of the most amusing chimaeras in the history of the OELVN scene was born, once more to a decent commercial success and mostly positive reception.
Setting the slightly-absurd “Japanization” aside, Liberation Day is, above all, a sequel of a well-known and, for the most part, respected game, that did much to promote visual novel formula in the West. Mask of Arcadius, as I think most people would agree, remains to this day one of the best VN “space operas”, especially among those officially released outside of Japan and fills a niche mostly unexplored by EVNs. As a sci-fi fan, a good continuation of the Sunrider story was something I really wanted to see and Liberation Day promised to offer just that, in an even grander and more compelling style. Did it deliver on those promises though and does it stand the test of time as well as its predecessor?