Jump to content

fujoneko

Fuwakai
  • Posts

    226
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    17

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    fujoneko reacted to rollingart23 for a blog entry, Machine Translation and Defense of Localization   
    In a world full of super-speed translation, it's no wonder that many would have to resort to machine translations to get their job done. However, Japanese and English are not one to one. There's grammar, formalities that don't exist in English. For example, ちゃん、さん、様。(chan, san, sama). As well as referring to people by name rather than "you". The change in these small factors is still localization. These intricacies are something that machine translations tend not to take into account. That ends up creating a problem. The script does not end up flowing in English, which leads your readers to believe it's a poor translation. We also have to realize that some gags just don't work in English.
     
    Early on in the Nichijou manga, we can see a joke about a ten key keyboard. Most English speakers do not speak a second language, so this may go over their heads. As Yuuko states that the weather "天気" (tenki), is nice, so she should buy a ten key, "テンキー" keyboard. This joke would go over most English speakers' heads, and yet this joke was kept in tact for the English manga release. This whole section is full of puns that I don't understand as a native English speaker myself. If I can't pick it up, how is a machine supposed to?
     
    Sometimes putting unrelated politics into your work may be off-putting. Like in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, in episode 12, Tohru asks about her new, more conservative outfit. In the English dub, she states that due to the patriarchy. I remember seeing a lot of anitwt and ani YouTube mald over this clip. As in Japanese, Tohru asks the same question, but instead suggests Lucoa should change her body instead. Personally, I found the patriarchy joke funny, as I don't think the changing her body joke would have flown well with audiences either. It reads as body-shaming to me, and that would still turn a lot of heads. It's not 1997, but 2017. The third wave of the body positivity movement was well on its way. Highest quality clip I could find below.
     
    But it still ends up being funny anyway because of the performances of the voice actresses and the scripts that they were given. 
     
    Not all localization is good, though. Dragon Maid's, although controversial, still ended up sharing roughly the same message in tone and delivery. I'd like to provide a bad localization example as Smile PreCure's dub. (Glitter Force) by Saban. A majority of cultural references had been removed, and everything being Americanized to a point where Glitter Force and Smile PreCure are two different shows. With Glitter Force cutting eight out of forty-eight episodes of Smile PreCure. The localization choices in the cut episodes sadden me. Mostly relating to Japanese culture and tradition. Another cut that stuck out to me was the episode about Yayoi's late father being cut, as well as Akane crushing on a boy. Glitter Force's reception was rightfully criticized by the PreCure fandom. With Ella Anders of BSC Kids stating, "With the world being so interconnected as it is now the removal of cultural aspects was saddening. It would be such a great chance to celebrate and focus on Japanese culture." https://www.bsckids.com/2016/01/pretty-cure-glitter-force-graces-netflix/ 
     
    Now, I know it's a lot cheaper to have an AI or a text scraper help you translate text. Cutting translators and localizers out of a job entirely would make for a great time, would it not? No. No it ever has and never will. Generative AI is already putting artists out of work, and Crunchyroll's transition to using AI will be disastrous for the company as a whole. Admittedly, that's why I revoked my subscription towards them. It's a gross way of saying the money is more important to you than the product you provide. In a late stage capitalism landscape, that $80 a year gets harder to justify for the bare minimum. This will only increase piracy, I fear. As people are asking for more accurate translations that read well in English. This is something GenAI and Machine Translation cannot provide.
     
    Genuinely, I think we as anime and visual novel fans alike seem to forget that localization is an important part of translating a work into English. Whether that be simply changing a joke to fit current standards, or using slang like "chill" or using politically correct language to make more sense to English speakers. A machine may be able to translate, but it is unable to localize. ChatGPT and DeepL cannot accurately translate a script writer's work and prose into something that doesn't sound bland. Localization is a necessary evil if we like the way the dubs are now. Good performances and good localization makes or breaks an English release of a game or anime. I'm glad more companies are trying to keep including Japanese culture into their shows more. We are a world that's more interconnected than ever thanks to the internet, and the ability to share what makes us unique is beautiful and should be preserved.
  2. Love
    fujoneko reacted to Pallas_Raven for a blog entry, Horror VNs – Genre Deep Dive   
    This is a condensed version of the full article which can be found on my Main Blog Here.
     
    There Is Something Behind You
     
    Genres define the games they inhabit and how the game uses its unique features to achieve or subvert the expectations of the audience. This is especially true for horror which aims to invoke feelings in the player that many other genres deliberately steer clear of. As such it is an excellent candidate to begin to observe how visual novels adapt themselves to accommodate and play to the strengths of a specific genre. When a developer sets out to make a horror game they are shaping their game into a framework with the aim of creating fear and dread in the player. This is an extremely narrow set of priorities which often leads to creative use of assets and ideas, but also restricts what a game has access to in terms of standard motifs since it is highly incompatible with other genres. Visual novels are by nature a medium of limited means of expression while still being extremely flexible and has lead them to have an odd relationship with horror. Let’s dive in and find out exactly how the bond between them manifests.
     
    Less Is More In Horror And VNs 
     

     
    The strongest bond between horror and visual novels is their understanding that less is more when it comes to narrative and presentation. For horror this is about not giving away too much information in order to insure that the source of the fear and dread does not become a known quantity and thus familiar to the player. By contrast visual novels lean into this narrative style more out of necessity due to the limitations of the medium and the need to keep the pace of story up while making the most out of the assets available in creative ways. Regardless of their differing reasons for this choice, it makes for an excellent pairing with horror which is able to cleanly achieve its aims and not put a burden on the resources of the visual novel. Perhaps the most iconic example of this common trait is the original Higurashi. This title had a very limited budget to work with resulting in the creator having to make all the artwork himself and splitting the overall narrative into a series of shorter visual novels. However, these apparent shortcomings were in fact strengths for the horror focus of the game. They prevented the source of the fear from becoming an easily identifiable element through the odd style of the artwork, and limited nature of its implementation does as much for obscuring the truth as the narrative. While other horror visual novels might not practice this technique to the extremes of Higurashi, they nevertheless lean into it for both budgetary and artistic reasons to help form the desired dread in the player.
     
    Monster Of The Week
     

     
    When it comes to structural elements, there is one type which both horror and visual novels love for longer form storytelling and this is the episodic format. The most common manifestation of this format for horror visual novels is a monster of the week style where the threats facing the characters changes regularly to keep the player on the edge of their seat. By not sticking to a single monster the game can preserve the overall sense of the unknown since it can discard an individual threat the moment the player no longer feels fear from them. It also allows for the build up of a greater and insidious final antagonist to act as a capstone for the game through an escalation of the dangers facing the characters, thus making the entity responsible for all the previous monsters come across as particularly threatening.
     
    The Death Mark games showcase this compatibility through the various ghosts and ghouls the developers based their episodes around and the way in which the visual novel format complements this approach. Each self contained segment has its own mystery and mechanical puzzles to complement the associated monster and provide a pacing tool through which the game uses to control the build up and release of tension. This is important as for a game of Death Mark’s length as it cannot keep a constant tension otherwise it will wear out the player and cause them to want to stop playing the game. So the solution Death Mark hits upon is to simulate the highs and lows of an overall horror experience on a smaller scale to give space to breathe and generate excitement for what is coming next. It is the also a great pacing tool utilised by visual novels in general to make break their longer games into manageable chunks, leading to them slotting nicely alongside horror.
     
    Control Over Information
     
    One particular sub-genre of horror which does not adhere to the episodic format is Denpa, a genre where controlling the player’s access to information is critical to the effectiveness of its fear. Given the limited means visual novels have of presenting the player with information, they are capable of providing a developer with precise control over what is know, while still offering the option to drop hints and create striking moments. This might be through the use of specific character portrait placement, subtle audio cues or the clever narrative moments. There are a surprising number of avenues to rely ideas down but these have limitation on the amount which can be conveyed at once and this sets the player’s expectations for what they are witnessing. 
     
    Together these are excellent tools to sow doubt in the player's mind and invoke a paranoid state in them that is the hall mark of Denpa. Soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA – is a good example of how compatible Denpa horror and visual novels are at their core. The overall aim of Soundless is to create a sense of claustrophobia and doubt the game can channel into making the player question everything as events decay into a whirlpool of madness. To do this, the game establishes a status quo through a set of symbols and sounds that meet the player’s expectations while subtly cueing them in that something is not right, but never allowing them to put their finger on what it is. Thus when events start to slip into an uncontrolled descent, the player cannot tell if the protagonist is a reliable narrator to events given how off they can be at times, but still having to grapple with them as their only source of information. The restricted space to understand what is happening provided by the limitations of the visual novel medium ensure the player will always be in the palm of the developer’s hand and experience the desired dread.
     

     
    Conclusion
     
    Horror, just like humour, varies by person, some find grotesque monsters scary while others find the unknown a source of dread. Regardless of what type of horror experience is desired, visual novels offer a flexible environment to create an emotional roller-coaster for the player. Their compatibility with horror is founded in a fundamental commonality with how the two approach their structure and execution. From an emphasis on a limited means of presenting ideas, to an episodic centric approach to long form stories, to an ability to create gaps into which the player can project their own monsters. Together they can create games and narratives which would not be possible in other mediums due to their more expansive tool sets and differing player expectations. Horror is a genre defined by its ability to make something from very little material and visual novels understand this approach in a way nothing else can hope to match.
     
     
  3. Sad
    fujoneko reacted to Zero Mr. Zoll VN.Info for a blog entry, BIG BREAKING NEWS Visual Novel Developer Mages from SciADV Series is Broke   
    This morning an article was published at Gamebiz but the content is shocking it is about the news that the Japanese developer of the SciADV series is bankrupt and insolvency proceedings are coming. Who gets the rights of the SciADV series is still unclear.
    List of debts
    Sales: 4.225 billion yen (-7.1% year-on-year).
    Recurring loss: ¥556 million (-¥152 million).
    Terminal loss: ¥613 million (down from ¥307 million).
     
  4. Love
    fujoneko reacted to AmelieDoree for a blog entry, Jisatsu 101 (2001): A Messy & Brilliant Denpa Horror VN   
    In 2001, a little studio by the name of Duke released a game that would go on to influence some of the modern eras' most beloved VNs, and help to form an important sub-genre of psychological horror stories. Jisatsu 101 is that game; a beautiful, flawed, mess of a story with much to love and much to question.
     
     
  5. Like
    fujoneko reacted to HataVNI for a blog entry, Wordpress, my beloved.   
    It is not easy to be a blogger, especially not when you start working for multiple blogs at once, try to raise translation company with your best friends and do a lot of management stuff on your own. Thankfully, Zaka is a super helpful person who even shocked me today by throwing a script that was almost ready-to-publish right in my face. I remember that back in the day I loved checking out the fuwanovel VNTS post and it deeply saddened me when it suddenly ended somewhere around the time where Eiyu Senki GOLD released. Funkily enough, Eiyu Senki GOLD was my first project I have ever worked on for JAST and it was to this day one of the funniest and simplest games I played. I should eventually review it, but then.. so far there is not a single of the 6 games I QCed for JAST that I have played privately... maybe I should do Majikoi: Love me Seriously! again with full-voices... I don't really know. I think I missed a lot of entertainment factor that this game loses when you are only playing with the 7+1 voices that JAST could ship it with - bless the Majikoicord overlords.
    And here we have it again, I went on a tangent. This is actually a statement that someone made about me today after reading my musings on the VNTS post. They're totally right, but my brain operates differently. It operates at double the speed and this is not necessarily good.  Well, let's get to the point of this post:

    When writing for the VNTS I realized that fuwanovel does not use the Gutenberg-Editor, which I have gotten used to while writing more than 500 articles for VN.Info. This means that I had to look at the questionable deception of a WYSIWYG editor again today. Unfortunately, such an editor definitely lies to you, because when making THICC H2/H3 headings it looks bigger and less orderly than it ultimately looks in the published post. Also I got memed by the fuwa Wordpress backend being setup to follow U.S. timezones so my suspenseful hitting the publishing button with my big left toe did not work... 

    REE, Wordpress, my beloved ...

     
  6. Love
    fujoneko reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Getting back into VNs after time away   
    For most people who play VNs, taking a break is a normal thing.  Even taking a hiatus of a few months or a year seems to be standard for many in our little community.
    For ten years, for me, it wasn't.
    My new addiction to litrpgs succeeded in breaking me of my compulsive VN-reading for the first time in a decade.  While some might consider this a bad thing (and have told me so), others have said that it was a good one.  Personally, as I've started playing Purple Soft's latest game, Seishun Fragile, I'm leaning more towards good than bad.  Many things that had ceased to be joyful in recent years have regained their luster, such as cheap manzai humor, obvious moe, and general donkan harem protagonist antics.
    I won't say I love that last part (ha, like that would happen), but I can say that my viewpoint on it is less... bitter and jaded than it was before.  I've had a refresh, and 
    I don't regret it, despite how much it built up my backlog with those few games I bought anyway despite not starting any.  One thing I find interesting is that I find it easier to find good stopping points than before, instead of just forging on ahead for a straight twelve hours and then flopping into bed.  I no longer stare at the screen for entire days while downing endless snacks and bottled water.  
    I also didn't want to get rusty on my Japanese, which is why I started up a new VN today.  It was then that I realized that I no longer felt the pressure that still remained, even after I tossed aside VN of the Month.  To me, this was an amazing sensation, harking back to my third year playing VNs, when my love of the medium was at its most fanatical.  
    I've advised many people to take a step back and rest from VNs when they have started to lose their way, but this was the first time I took my own advice... and it worked (even if it was by accident).
  7. Thanks
    fujoneko reacted to MaggieROBOT for a blog entry, A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!   
    Taisho x Alice was sadly remembered in the western otomege fandom for one of the worst otome localizations disasters. It read like garbage, had several bugs and it featured amateur english voice acting as if reading engrish wasn't enough. It failed so spectacularly the localization didn't even get past episode 1 out of 3. Well, thankfully tbh. Still, the damage was there and for a long time we believed we would never see a proper localization of this cute fairy tale reimagination in the west.
    Until now.
    Primula (TaiAli developer) decided to give english audiences one more chance, complete in a multilanguage package with japanese and chinese options to boot! Rejoice folks as Taisho x Alice episode 1 is now available on steam with a proper translation (translator this time around is our precious verdelish and from what I read from her previous VN translations it's likely top notch)! Episode 1 have only 2 heroes but they have full proper routes. The rest is in episodes 2 and 3, coming soon if episode 1 sells well enough. It's not always we get second chances in VN localization scene so let's say one huge thank you to Primula and support if you can and if you dig cute otomes! *points to strong female protagonist tag in VNDB, hint, hint*
     
    DISCLAIMER: sadly I wasn't paid for this promotion, I did it out of hype alone.
  8. Like
    fujoneko reacted to lunaterra for a blog entry, NaNoRenO 2019 Overview   
    Originally posted on Pixels, Polygons, Prose.
    Another year, another NaNo. For the uninitiated, NaNoRenO (short for...nothing at all; it's a reference to NaNoWriMo) is a month-long visual novel game jam which has occurred each March since 2005. I chose not to participate myself this year, but like each year since I've gotten into visual novels, I've been looking forward to the entrants—some pretty amazing games have come out of NaNos of the past.
    I couldn't go through every single entry, but I've provided an overview of several of the completed games (no demos, sorry! I couldn't go through all 90 entries in just two weeks!). There might be some minor spoilers ahead.

    Title: Contract Demon
    Developer: NomnomNami
    Original release date: March 30, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 25 minutes
    Contract Demon is a kinetic novel set in the same universe as the Treat series, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet, and First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree, featuring demon Kamilla having to deal with the affections of (and her affections towards) the angel who keeps summoning her. Nami's stuff is always a treat to enjoy (pun not intended), and this is no exception. Contract Demon is equal parts cute, funny, and romantic, and well worth the time it takes to read it.

    Title: A HERO AND A GARDEN
    Developer: npckc
    Original release date: March 29, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 2 hours (before an update which made the gameplay take less time, so it'll likely be less now)
    A HERO AND A GARDEN is a cute VN/clicker hybrid about a wannabe hero who destroyed a town of monsters while trying to rescue a princess who (unbeknownst to him) didn't want to be rescued. As penance, the "evil witch" who lives in the town has cursed him and forced him to harvest berries for the townspeople.
    The clicker mechanic is very simple, but the VN as a whole is a heartwarming experience, with the protagonist learning about the town and the monsters who live in it, and realizing that what he thought the world was like isn't really what the world is like at all.

    Title: After the END
    Developer: Stomach God
    Original release date: March 28, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac
    Availability: itch.io (free)
    Approximate time for completion: 30 minutes
    After the END takes place a decade after the start of a zombie apocalypse which killed or turned nearly every person in the world; protagonist BB believes they are the only person left alive and spends their time exploring the wasteland. The current town they're in has 12 houses to explore, but there's only enough time to explore 8; you're all but guaranteed to die a few times before managing to get the good ending.
    I'm not a huge fan of zombie apocalypse stories, but After the END manages its setting fairly well despite some technical issues (the "skip read text" function also skips unread text) and a few text errors.

    Title: Cooked with Love
    Developer: STARDUST★SODA
    Original release date: March 31, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 30 minutes
    College student Perry (nameable) finds themself in a dilemma after they finally ask their crush Lily out—their wallet goes missing the night they planned to take her out to a fancy restaurant! They come up with the idea of a home-cooked meal instead, but Perry has never cooked before, and there's not a whole lot for them to work with. Luckily, Perry's roommate Brooks is there to provide emotional support (not during the date. That would just be weird).
    A fun, short VN with a crafting minigame and a great sense of humor, Cooking with Love is extremely polished for a jam game, featuring animations and simple customization (name entry, short/long hair, pants/skirt, he/she/they pronouns). If it weren't for its short length, I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this as a commercial game.
    One of the highlights of the game is trying out different combinations of food to see what "dishes" you get; I didn't think you could turn all that into...those.
    Also, I think I have a crush on Lily too. Oops.

    Title: Seven Seasonings
    Developer: Sleepy Agents
    Original release date: March 30, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 30 minutes
    A surreal VN with a unique aesthetic and an interesting soundtrack. The game makes use of an inventory system, randomized stats, map movement, and a simple trading mechanic; I'm not entirely sure how (or if) they affect the story. Seven Seasonings is one of those stories where I'm not quite certain what happened or what any of it meant, but it provides an interesting topic to think about.

    Title: One Last Salty Kiss
    Developer: fullmontis
    Original release date: March 31, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 50 minutes
    A kinetic novel about a newly-single man who finds an unconscious woman on the beach one night; what results is an emotional vignette about life, death, and the roles our memories play in our well-being. I felt the whole thing moved too fast; I'm not a fan of stories where the couple goes from zero to True Love in the space of two days.

    Title: Charles 2.0
    Developer: Team Conwolf
    Original release date: March 31, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 40 minutes
    Charles 2.0 has what's probably the best logline of the jam:
    Short, sweet, and to the point. This isn't an amnesia story; you're playing as a clone of Charles Denton, President of the United States, and must gather enough information about "yourself" and the country to bluff your way through a press conference without arousing any suspicion. Nobody can know that you're a clone, not even Charles' husband Lorenzo or assistant/polyamorous boyfriend Jonas. The result is a story that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and is one of my favorites of the jam.

    Title: Enc and the Flying Machine
    Developer: TangledVirus
    Original release date: March 30, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 20 minutes
    Enc and the Flying Machine tells the story of a mushroom girl tasked to write about machines. While the setting is interesting, I found the story hard to follow at times, with the occasional confusing wording. Besides that, though, it's a lighthearted story about friendship and love, and hopefully some polish on the text can help bring that out more.

    Title: RE:BURN
    Developer: Jane Titor
    Original release date: April 1, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 25 minutes
    Closer to interactive fiction than a traditional visual novel, RE:BURN finds you in the shoes of Charisse LaFlamme, newly-minted part-time editor for an academic journal. One of your jobs is to delete all the old emails that have been accumulated over the past few months. However, things soon start to get really weird. The game was written by one of the writers of DemiDato, one of the projects I'm working on—but trust me, they're two very different games. RE:BURN is something closer to horror; it does a good job at unsettling you just enough to make you wonder if you're really making the right decisions.

    Title: this was for you.
    Developer: Watercress
    Original release date: April 1, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 50 minutes
    this was for you. is one of the more technically-advanced entries of the jam, featuring lots of animations, voice acting, and general polish. Our nameable protagonist is grieving the loss of their best friend, Ji-min, whom they only knew through a VR world. While it works for its duration, it ends abruptly, without a satisfying conclusion, leaving me in a weird limbo where I don't really know if I can recommend it or not.

    Title: Robot Daycare
    Developer: Kigyo
    Original release date: March 31, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free)
    Approximate time for completion: 1 hour 40 minutes
    One of the longer non-gameplay entries in the jam, Robot Daycare follows a trio of college students as they create and raise a robot child for an assignment. How the story goes from there is based on a handful of choices—not exactly revolutionary for visual novels, but the two paths are very different, with the good path being a story about friendship and trust and the bad path being a straight-up horror story. (Some of the descriptions in the horror path are...eurgh. No wonder there's an option to disable gory text.) Both paths are good, but in different ways, obviously.

    Title: REDD War
    Developer: Good Tales
    Original release date: March 31, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android
    Availability: itch.io (free/PWYW)
    Approximate time for completion: 1 hour
    Hm, so this is a story about murder being legal for 12 hours...
    No, that doesn't remind me of anything at all.
    Parallels with famous movie series aside, I just couldn't get into this one. A high school student gets caught up in a REDD War, where Earth-occupying murderous aliens are legally allowed to murder any human they want for 12 hours (whereas humans are bound by normal laws and cannot kill REDD except in self-defense). Ultimately, the "killer aliens" trope doesn't do anything for me, and I spent most of the story being vaguely uncomfortable (in a bad way). Watching two of the bloodthirsty REDD call the timid REDD a pussy over and over is just annoying (and yes, I know that the other two REDD are supposed to be unlikable, but they're not the fun kind of unlikable that makes hating them enjoyable).
    I also thought it was strange that it includes a warning for violence after the cold open where some aliens murder a guy in cold blood.

    Title: Alice in Stardom
    Developer: Crystal Game Works
    Original release date: April 1, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android
    Availability: itch.io, Steam (free)
    Approximate time for completion: 1 hour 40 minutes
    The best part of Alice in Stardom is the writing during the performances themselves (aside from the pointless minigame); everything else is hit-or-miss. I had a hard time getting into the entire concept thanks to my distaste for idols, made stranger by the decision to set the story in what appears to be the USA in 2019, where the idol culture Alice in Stardom depicts really doesn't exist (source: I live in the USA in 2019).
    I'm a bit confused by the minigame. I failed it the first few times since the game doesn't explain what you're supposed to do (click on the lyrics in the order in which they appear). It doesn't really add anything except making going for your second/third route take a couple minutes longer.
    Additionally, the "romance" is limited to about three lines (total, across all three routes, although the end of Taylor's route can be interpreted as romantic subtext). There's nothing wrong with a story about friendship or friendship-that-could-lead-to-romance—but I think it makes the "lesbian" and "yuri" tags on itch more than a bit misleading.

    Title: Mnemonic Devices
    Developer: Minyan
    Original release date: April 2, 2019
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
    Availability: itch.io (free)
    Approximate time for completion: 1 hour 30 minutes
    I'm generally not a huge fan of the amnesia trope, but Mnemonic Devices has one of the more interesting takes on it that I've seen: the (customizable) protagonist (default name Quinn) eventually finds out that they are actually an extremely advanced android assassin, whose current mission is to kill corrupt hot-shot lawyer Caesar Rivera—who also happens to be Quinn's husband. (They had to get close to him to gather information on him, you see.) The person who breaks the news to you is Quinn's partner Alto, who does a really bad job of hiding how madly in love with them he is.
    The game itself, however, does a really good job at balancing both routes to make them equally satisfying, although I personally preferred Alto's route. There's a lot of moral ambiguity regarding whether or not to kill Caesar; the game doesn't really say that either is more or less right than the other, though they lead to different endings depending on which route you're on.
×
×
  • Create New...