Wow! Another review blog? So fucking creative, I’m right? But yeah, I decided to create a blog about… stuff?
I was actually going to do a Lamento –Beyond The Void- review, but, I have yet to finish Bardo’s route, so I choosed the next best thing…
YU-NO… I was really interested in this game since it created one of my favorite genres and also because it has similar themes to the Zero Escape series.
So, during my vacation I got around to
marathoning the shit out of it reading it. So without further ado…
(Remake's cover art)
0. The Premise:
The story begins with the disappearance of the protagonist’s father, which were an eccentric historian and a really bad father figure. xoP
One day, he mysteriously receives a package from his (supposedly) dead dad (Pun intended), containing a bunch of strange objects and whose purpose were yet to be discovered.
After wandering around town he arrives at a local landmark “Triangle Mountain” where he finds a strange blonde woman who abruptly kisses him, and disappears.
Things only go downhill as he is suddenly confronted by a former friend and colleague of his father named Ryuuzouji, his step mother Ayumi, while one of his colleagues Kanna is watching them (it makes sense in context).
When Ryuuzouji pulls out a gun and demands the package that he gained from his old man, thing suddenly turn bizzare as space time seems to distort itself and he suddenly finds himself alone at the base of Triangle Mountain.
Takuya (Aka the MC) runs home and after rummaging through the package he discover that one of the devices included was actually some sort of dimensional travel that allowed him to jump between alternate dimensions with the usage of special jewels.
Takuya decides to use the device to look for answers…
1. The Plot:
The story is really good, the routes branches out pretty early, and they each build off of each other to create a really nice mystery with sci-fi elements. Most of the characters are pretty nice; Takuya’s perverseness can get really annoying sometimes though.
There are a total of six routes in the game, one for the Teacher Mitsuki, a kind hearted woman that works as an assistant for the director Ryuuzouji, she seems to have a past with Takuya and Eriko, a delinquent-ish school nurse who doesn’t really care the ethics of teacher, she goes for walks during her worktime, smokes without a care in the world, things that you would expect a teacher not to do; His step-mother Ayumi a hardworking woman that have been taking care of Takuya after his father disappearance; Mio which is the best girl one of Takuya’s classmates, she acts pretty cold towards him and mostly spend her time investigating the mysteries of Triangle mountain; Kaori a reporter whose intentions are very unclear, Kanna a mysterious girl who seems to be related to Takuya somehow, and the True route.
Another plus is that the routes are pretty unique on it, Mitsuko/Eriko’s have you investigating a murder, Ayumi’s a scheme against her, Mio’s the secret of Triangle Mountain, etc. They are all pretty nice. One thing that was really annoying was the excessive use of panchira during event CGs even in more serious events.
The way that the device is implemented in the narration is pretty neat; sometimes you’ll need items from other routes so you can properly advance the story, though this pretty much makes this a guide game, so have a walkthrough by your side.
The gameplay consists of a point-and-click, so you’ll spend most of your time clicking around, doing some puzzles, collecting items, etc. There is barely any direct choice making; you’ll mostly chose where to go which trigger certain events that will lead you to new branches.
(The Divergence Map / Flowchart)
There’s a flowchart to keep track of which paths you have already explored and whatnot, you can use it with the jewels (that are pretty much “checkpoints”) so you don’t have to replay everything from the beginning.
3. Art and Music:
YU-NO’s art is extremely pretty, there is a lot of detail to the even CGs and some even has animated details. The backgrounds and character appearances are very distinct and unique, no complains here.
(Mio Investigating the mountain)
The music is also really great, the tracks are fitting and not repetitive, each of the heroine also have their own BG theme. "Bonds" and "Touch" are one of my favorites.
I really liked all routes in this game, though I wish there was more backstory revealed about the heroines, since Mio’s and Eriko’s are mostly implied…
(Event with Kaori during one of the routes)
Mitsuki/Eriko’s: This route is mostly centered around Ryuuzouji and urban legend related to his house. The route only properly starts after an event with Takuya and Mitsuki in the school Lab Room (nothing dirty silly :yumiko:), it is an introductory route, some terms and info here will be used on other route. Also this Arc doesn’t have the most positive of endings…
Ayumi: Her route is focused on a scheme that her co-worker seems to be planning against her. Takuya spends the majority of her route trying to convince Ayumi that she is in danger and her naivety can make you cringe a little. This Arc should be played second.
Mio: Probably my favorite route, Mio is a really nice character; her route is centered on the secrets of Triangle Mountain, so Takuya spends most of his time with her investigating and looking for clues. This Arc takes from both Mitsuki’s and Ayumi’s respective routes, so this should be played after them.
Kaori: Her route is mostly here to explain a plot point, and is also the shortest route. Though I really liked Kaori’s character, she was very mischievous and cunning.
Kanna: Her route should be played before the true route, since it reveals a lot of important info about Takuya’s father. She shares a branch with Kaori for a while, so things mostly get interesting in the end of the Path.
True Route: Very hit-or-miss, the game takes a turn to whole different genre and it seems like a totally different, unrelated tale for a while. There is a lot of info dump that comes by the end of it which doesn’t make things better.
After finishing the routes, you’ll unlock bonus content like side stories, CG gallery, extended endings for Ayumi, Mio & Kanna, which is always a plus (Though 100% the game can be a chore).
Overall, YU-NO is a pretty good game that becomes very hit-or-miss during the final path, though I’d still recommend you check it out for it's value and contribution to the VN world.
Special Thanks to @MaggieROBOT for the help!