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Formlose Gestalt

Baldr Sky (Out now!)

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The long wait is coming to an end! The Steam page for Baldr Sky is finally up and it's set to release on December 20th!.

After the announcement at AX2016 and 3 years of wait we are finally getting Baldr Sky.

https://twitter.com/sekaiproject/status/1206997341095387136

 

Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/741140/Baldr_Sky/

Unofficial Uncensor Patch: https://pastebin.com/PvNB7ZNY

 

And this release is going to combine both Baldr Sky Dive1 “Lost Memory” and Baldr Sky Dive2 “Recordare”.

Earlier this year it has been said that Sekai Project is aiming for a release in 2019 so finger crossed that it still happens this month. (It did!)

Opening for Baldr Sky Dive1 “Lost Memory”

For those that haven't heard of Baldr Sky other the years, it is highly acclaimed work that mixes VN storytelling with an action gameplay system.

Here is an example of the gameplay:

 

And Sekai Project descirbes the game on their Steam page as follows:

Quote

Dive into a thrilling futuristic world where people implant brain chips into themselves to escape off to virtual worlds crafted by AI technology. Though, they may find that sending their mind into cyberspace can have terrible repercussions...

Freelance mercenary and simulacrum pilot Kou Kadokura's life mission is to catch those responsible for Gray Christmas, the tragedy that destroyed his once peaceful life... So why can't he remember anything? He awakens in the middle of a bloody virtual battlefield, riding inside a mechanical body with a whole host of questions on his mind. Who is this woman calling him Lieutenant? Who can he truly trust when he has so many gaps in his memory? As war looms in dystopian Suzushiro City, all eyes are on Kou, the man with the answers to the world's questions locked up inside of him. He must thread the needle amidst the delicate political balance in order to survive, regain his lost memories, and avenge the lives of the loved ones he lost. The only question is, can he prevail when every major faction in the world is hellbent on stopping him? Unravel all the mysteries in this fast-paced mech action game that takes place in a lovingly-crafted, unique cyberpunk setting!

 

The translation was done (in part?) by Steiner (https://twitter.com/DistantValhalla)

While Doddler  (https://twitter.com/The_Doddler) worked on the technical side and even implemented achievements

 

Now to address the elephant in the room. Baldr Sky was an 18+ release in Japan an never had an All Age release, but so far Sekai Project hasn't said anything about an 18+ release or a patch so for now I think it is unlikely that we get those. If this changes I am going to update this post.

EDIT: There wont be an official 18+ release or an official uncensor patch for Baldr Sky.

The details and the scope of the changes can be read here: https://sekaiproject.com/blogs/news/baldr-sky-changes

There is still a chance that we can get an unofficial uncensor patch, and indeed there has been an announcement for this which can be read here . But we have to wait and see if it actually happens.

Unofficial Patch is already out: https://pastebin.com/PvNB7ZNY

 

 

Having said that I am pretty hyped about Baldr Sky since it is on of those VNs that have always been talked about and been highly praised by those that read the Japanese version. The cyberpunk setting seems like something I would really enjoy and it's pretty rare in the VN space, so I am going to buy whether it gets an 18+ release or not.

Edited by Formlose Gestalt

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13 minutes ago, Formlose Gestalt said:

I haven't heard about that. What did happen?

If I recall correctly, this translation was the very reason why picked up this project in the first place.

Edit. Or, actually looking through this thread, it looks like a lot of people just assumed this was the case.

Edited by Dreamysyu

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Hmm maybe I did even see that thread/blog post back than? But I didn't remember that. It's hard to tell what exactly happened back than. But I remember someone once said that not all Japanese develops are happy with using a former fantranslation as basis for the official translation, so maybe that played a role. But that is just a guess.

Regarding the 18+ patch maybe there is more hope for that than I thought, but I guess we just have to wait and see.

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59 minutes ago, GXOALMD said:

Is this meant to be played with a controller or kbm?

It's easier with a controller... to be honest, I recall buying a controller for it because of how it made my fingers stiff after a while.  Also, it is hard to do diagonals without a thumbstick. 

Edit: The gameplay is actually fairly enjoyable once you get a wider variety of weapons and finishers.  It is also fast-paced.  However, you spend a pretty ridiculous amount of time fighting in the game, looking at it in retrospect.  For early bosses, I was pretty dependent on the dual sub-machineguns, though.  One of the earliest bosses moves way too fast for the close-range moves unless you have high gaming skills or are just obsessed with killing everything with melee attacks.

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About gameplay, well I tried Baldr Force and to tell the truth it's harder compared to Duel Savior. Apparently Sky gameplay here is the improvement of Force, so let's see if I can play it without difficulty later on.

About the rumor in regard of censorship, to be honest the speculation out there is very annoying to me and to make it worse Sekai here rumored to didn't say anything in which it's widely speculated because that GIGA told Sekai to not say anything about it. If GIGA told Sekai to censor Baldr Sky, then what I can say would be that they'll got same principle as Pulltop. That said, I think it might be come with 18+ version though if we look at mature content warning. For the comparison, I'll post several mature content quote from Sekai VNs that have 18+ version along with Baldr Sky.

Baldr Sky

Quote

All characters depicted are 18 years or older. 
Baldr Sky contains violence, blood, mild gore, some strong language, and implied sexual content.

Wagahigh

Quote

ALL CHARACTERS DEPICTED ARE OVER 18.
Contains mild nudity in CGs where female characters are wearing their panties, swimsuits, and nude with nothing explicit showing. Mild sexual dialog and references.

Kemomusu

Quote

Nudity but nothing explicit shown (no nipples/genitals). Mildly sexual dialog and references to sexual content.

Nanairo

Quote

-Graphic gore/bloody scenes 
-Nudity covered by towels

Nine duology

Quote

All characters depicted are over the age of 18.
Contains crude sexual humor and suggestive content. Some mildly revealing nudity. Mild violence, and depictions of death.

Majokoi

Quote

Some sexual dialog, implied sex between characters, sexual assault, alcohol abuse, mild nudity, female characters depicted in their underwear.

For comparison I'll post both of Noraneko duology and Konosora as well.

Konosora

Quote

This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Nudity or Sexual Content, General Mature Content

Noraneko duology

Quote

This is a romantic comedy visual novel game that contains mild CG nudity, mild violence and bad language. Some of the topics discussed within the game contain adult themes that are not suitable for minors.

What I want to suggest here would be that there's a chance that Sekai will release 18+ version here, only that Sekai was probably need to be silence about it. While practically there's no reason for that, it could be possible if we count the rumor that GIGA need to be silent until the release ready. But if the rumor is wrong, perhaps Sekai really like to be controversial in that they'll hide the 18+ contents in Baldr Sky until the last day which to say not the most ideal announcements. As for my purpose to list several mature content warning here, it to show that only three VNs that ask us to treat the character as 18+ or older people and one of those VNs are Baldr Sky. If they really want to censor it, I think they can do it just like usual or remove the 18+ old warning here. So for now I would say that there's a chance for Baldr Sky 18+ version, although the chance for that is still uncertain though.

Edited by littleshogun

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I'm a bit disappointed that they couldn't get a higher resolution for this title - 800 x 600 feels pretty outdated nowadays. But from what I've heard, the title wasn't easy to get ported to English, so I guess it's already a good thing they managed to get it working at all. Though I'm not sure how the title is holding up these days. The Baldr series doesn't seem to be a big as it once were.

I'm not really interested that much in the gameplay, so I hope there isn't too much of it. But getting a big budget mecha VN is kind of exciting, the last I've read was MuvLuv Alternative I think. I hope it lives up to the hype.

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1 hour ago, ChaosRaven said:

I'm not really interested that much in the gameplay, so I hope there isn't too much of it.

From what some reviewers said, there's actually quite a lot of gameplay. Which makes me wary a bit since I kind of suck at reaction-based games. But I'm still pretty hyped considering how highly rated this is on vndb (Dive 2 used to be at #3 in the past, though it looks like it fell to #7 now). I mean, I know that ratings are often unreliable, but I noticed that if a game got into top 20, then I can safely say that there's at least some reason that made it so popular.

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36 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

but I noticed that if a game got into top 20, then I can safely say that there's at least some reason that made it so popular.

In my experience with gaming the most common reason for a game to become popular is that gamers have sh*t taste.  That said, vn popularity seems to be a bit more accurate than game popularity.

edit: grammar

Edited by GXOALMD

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12 minutes ago, GXOALMD said:

In my experience with gaming the most common reason for a game to become popular is that gamers have sh*t taste.  That said, vn popularity seems to be a bit more accurate than game popularity.

edit: grammar

Well, maybe my wording in that post was a bit confusing, but when I said "games" I was talking about visual novels. Indeed, the ratings on similar database sites for other types of media often don't make any sense.

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It is happening! Baldr Sky will finally release!

https://twitter.com/sekaiproject/status/1206997341095387136

Baldr Sky will release this Friday December 20th for $49,99.

Here is the link to the steam page again:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/741140/Baldr_Sky/

 

And Steiner is doing a giveaway.

https://twitter.com/DistantValhalla/status/1206999319703904256

 

Edited by Formlose Gestalt

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Does this officially make Baldr Sky the most expensive VN on Steam? I can't remember seeing any others with a price point this high.
I normally wouldn't mind paying an amount like this, considering how many hours of entertainment we're talking about, but the fact that they've actively gone out of their way to remove content from the game to make it an all ages release really doesn't sit well with me, especially since there aren't any details about exactly what has been done. I wouldn't be surprised if they've removed or altered a whole bunch of non-explicit stuff too just because they deemed it too "risky".

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1 hour ago, Seraphim88 said:

Does this officially make Baldr Sky the most expensive VN on Steam? I can't remember seeing any others with a price point this high.

428 is 49,99€ on steam, so depending on what € price Baldr gets, It might be less or the same I suppose.

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8 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

Does this officially make Baldr Sky the most expensive VN on Steam? I can't remember seeing any others with a price point this high.

AI: The Somnium Files is 59,99 $/€ on Steam so there is that.  I mean $50 definitely looks a bit pricey compared to the usual prices but to be fair it is two VNs in one package. In Japan Dive 1 and 2 where separate games, so $25 for a really long VN (100h+ for both together) doesn't seem unfair. The cut content is another topic altogether, but I think there is still chance that we get a 18+ patch maybe in a unofficial capacity, so I wouldn't rule it out completely yet.

 

Oh just read that tweet:

https://twitter.com/dobacco/status/1207093502267363329

Apparently GIGA wanted to sell the game for $75...

 

EDIT: Since the embedded tweets sometimes don't show up for me, I am going to start posting a direct link underneath.

Edited by Formlose Gestalt

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1 hour ago, Formlose Gestalt said:

to be fair it is two VNs in one package. In Japan Dive 1 and 2 where separate games, so $25 for a really long VN (100h+ for both together) doesn't seem unfair.

True. I guess this could be compared to if VNs like Grisaia or Muv-Luv were sold as a package.
 

1 hour ago, Formlose Gestalt said:

Apparently GIGA wanted to sell the game for $75...

Wow, that's pretty crazy. It would actually be interesting to see how much a price like that would affect their sales. They'll probably make a bigger profit with their current price point, although I'm sure plenty of potential buyers are put off by that as well, thinking it's too much. Judging by complaints I've seen, a lot of people seem to be averse to paying more than 30-or-so for a VN, no matter how long or good it is. Meanwhile, many of those people probably don't have any issues with spending the same amount for a couple of movies at the cinema, which is kinda weird to me. The way I see it, if I have fun, I don't mind paying for it, as long as the price isn't completely unreasonable.

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On the subject of an unofficial 18+ patch, it seems there are already some people on top of things.
 

Quote

We are SHADOWWOLF, a group of dedicated fans such as yourself.
 
After learning that the English release of Baldr Sky would cut out the
adult content, we organized to create a fully uncut version of the game.
Though it's taken several months of translation and hard work from our
members, we've created a set of drop-in replacement files for game
scripts, files and images most likely to be targeted by game cuts.
 
Once the game goes live, we will need a short period of time to verify our
patch functions correctly with the release version of the game. If
everything goes to plan, we will update this post with download links. We
are hoping to have the patch live within the first 24 hours after the game
is released.

Source

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30 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

Wow, that's pretty crazy. It would actually be interesting to see how much a price like that would affect their sales. They'll probably make a bigger profit with their current price point, although I'm sure plenty of potential buyers are put off by that as well, thinking it's too much. Judging by complaints I've seen, a lot of people seem to be averse to paying more than 30-or-so for a VN, no matter how long or good it is. Meanwhile, many of those people probably don't have any issues with spending the same amount for a couple of movies at the cinema, which is kinda weird to me. The way I see it, if I have fun, I don't mind paying for it, as long as the price isn't completely unreasonable.

At first glance I was a bit taken back by the price tag, but honestly that isn't fair. I personally like that they put both games out together, since I would otherwise wait for the second game to come before even starting Dive 1, but with both games bundled together there is really not much room to make them cheaper. $25 per game doesn't seem unfair to me, but I don't know how many people will think about that after the first shock. And as you said it's not like people don't spend $50 on other forms of entertainment. Other games, movies, microtransactions, gacha and so on.

 

But together with uncertainty regarding cut content I am worried that Baldr Sky will get ignored by a lot of people, and I guess the VN community has changed in the last years. My impression is that Baldr Sky was much more hyped a few years ago. I guess one point is that announcing a VN and than having it not release for years kills the excitement. It becomes kind of old news by then. And there is more competition than before. On the same day Bokuten and  Venus Blood -Frontier- release. That is also splintering the already small audience further.

 

17 minutes ago, Seraphim88 said:

On the subject of an unofficial 18+ patch, it seems there are already some people on top of things.

That is really good news! Let's hope that works out, and I am not going to speculate who is behind that.

:thumbsup:

Edited by Formlose Gestalt

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I find it so fascinating how big of a difference there is between prices of VNs in the west and here in Japan. 7000-9000 yen for a new game is completely normal here, (so between 70-80usd). In fact, you don't really see them go much cheaper. Usually "older" games are dropped down to 5000-6000 yen. (45-55usd) If you want to buy a big game like Baldr Sky for less than that in Japan, you'll have to wait for some massive sale, and even then you might be out of luck*. The fact that people even find 30usd to be fairly pricy for a standard VN is just crazy to me. Over here 2500-3500 yen is only really standard for shorter titles, like 2-10 hour nukige and stuff like that.

There is of course production costs and such to consider for Japanese releases that western ones usually don't need to factor in, but between license costs, translation, editing, programming and everything in between, western releases are far from cheap to make, so it's honestly amazing a profit can be made at these prices.

* Assuming we're talking digital. There's always second-hand games, which are a bit cheaper. Most people, myself included, usually go for those, as second-hand is basically good as new in Japan. But even those won't be that much cheaper, unless there's actual damage to the box etc, which is rare.

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