[review] Eden* They were only two, on the planet

Premise:

A hundred years ago, humans learned that the planet will be destroyed. Now, as the day of destruction is months away, most of the human race has already evacuated into space. This is largely due to the accomplishments of Sion, a genius scientist and an artificially enhanced human. It was at this time that she met Ryo, a soldier with lifeless eyes ordered to become her bodyguard. Now, let’s let the curtains rise on the last love story on earth…

Some extra information:

This was released on September 18th, 2009 by the company Minori (also famous for the Ef series and the fact that they were one of the first to ban foreign IP). This is linear (no choices, 1 ending), and is short enough to be finished within a single afternoon. For an extra 25 bucks, you can also buy Eden* Plus Mosaic, which is a patch that adds 18+ content.

Characters:

Haruna Ryo is a serious soldier. He’s had 7 decorated years within the army and a very successful career within the special forces. However, perhaps because of the time he spent in battle, he’s quite emotionless, never letting emotions get in the way of method.

Sion is a felix, in other words, artifically humans who don’t age and have very high intelligence, created solely to rescue the human race from destruction. She fulfilled her role well, designing an engine for the escape ships and other necessities for human survival while juggling a strong political influence. In fact, she is a household name, known as “the girl who saved humanity”. However, despite her vast knowledge of the world, she has never left the research facility where she was born for the entire century of her existence. Described as “a princess with a poisonous tougne” by Ryo, she’s keenly curious of the outside world, wanting to see just what really exists outside of her home.

“Meidou desu~”

Elicia is the one and only maid at the research facility. She attends to Sion’s personal needs, and is a cheerful older sister to everyone (as you can tell, she also has a tendency to over-dramatize situation). She also possesses the usual skills of a maid: the ability to do laundry, cook good food, brew excellent tea, clean, martial arts, etc, etc. To say anymore would be spoiler-ish, so I’ll stop here. (She also shares seiyuus with Amamiya Yuuko of Ef)

Lavinia F. Asai is Ryo’s partner in protecting Sion. She’s quite cheerful and carefree on the surface, but she of the same rank as Ryo, having been through many battlefirnds to get there. Unlike Ryo, however, she specializes in close range combat with blades, and has a special love for swords.

Maya is a cheerful reporter (also a major source of funny faces and the butt of many jokes). I think that she is quite similiar to Mizuki from Ef the latter tale (they even have the same seiyuu). Again, I don’t want to spoil anyone so I’ll stop here.

Inaba Naoto is the highest ranked officer at the research facility, who seems to be  slacking off and drinking all the time. However, he IS a highly gifted career soldier in charge of protecting possibly the most important person on earth, so he does have a serious side.

Sound:

Well, the best way to describe the BGM is that it’s what I expected from Minori, I guess. It’s Eiichiro Yanagi and Tenmon again, with Hitomi Harada doing the vocals for the opening song. There are lots of piano, lots of violin, and lots of that special metallic flavor of their music that I can’t quite describe. Those who had heard the soundtrack of Ef (anime or game) should get a nostalgic feeling from it. All the tracks has that simple, clean feeling, which suits the story well.

The voice acting was also pretty nice too, especially in the case of Shimura Yumi, sis a wonderful job voicing Sion.

Art:

Just like before, Minori went all out with the art. The backgrounds are nothing less than AMAZING, and the character was nice to match too. There was a ridiculous amount of art for such a short story too, with SCG and event CG blending in seamlessly. I really liked the balance of light in this game (they actually adjusted the amount of light of each character to match the backbround that they’re standing in front of, can you believe that?) Also, the characters blink (SCG and event CG), AND their mouths move in sync to the words they’re saying (unlike certain other games coughmemories off 5cough, which had moving mouths that just went on auto when they were talking). Another thing to note is that we spent a lot of time looking over the shoulders of other characters, giving the whole thing a more cinematic feeling.

However, I still have 3 complaints (they’re all about the characters, of course). One is that Elicia looks older than she should look in certain pictures, another is that the guys are all hideous looking, and the third is the choice in colors. As you can see, the colors are all quite cold. While I do understand that this is a distinctive style, and it DOES suit the situation more than it did in Ef, I still can’t help but feel sad at the possibilities. A few dashes of warm colors in the characters could have done wonders to the atmosphere…

System:

Pretty average. Forwards, backwards, auto, voice cut-off and  special effects with album, music and animation galleries. The text box is a simple gradient, and the menus are almost undecorated. There was next to no special functions or special effects (though there wasn’t really any need for any). Though one little thing I noticed is that if you are playing, then loads a save file to a scene playing the same BGM that was already playing, the BGM continues on, without starting again. A small detail, I know, but it’s always bugged me in other games, so that’s all good.

Story:

It’s short. And I mean finish-in-one-afternoon kind of short. Really, it’s more of a long movie with extra subtitles rather than a novel. It’s well paced, it’s funny, it’s heart-warming, it’s dramatic, it’s romantic, and, well, it brought me to tears. All the characters were fleshed out, and the story still has this strong emotional impact on you even though you KNOW how it’s going to end. In other words? One of the best I’ve ever seen, I absolutely love it.

Story:10×5=50/50

Art: 9×3=27/30

Sound: 9/10

Programming: 8/10

Total:94/100 A

What more is there to say? Go and play it. And don’t blame me when you start crying at the dishes.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “[review] Eden* They were only two, on the planet

  1. Wow, art glorious art, that’s got to be the best space background I’ve seen to date.

    I don’t really get why in a completely linear visnov story they couldn’t add in some more interesting male characters and more pairings (even if drama isn’t involved). I mean I guess 99% of all visnov players are guys who simply don’t care enough about most male support characters in the story but when I see a cast like this I just cringe. I wouldn’t necessarily call the guys hideous looking but they definitely have very bland designs.

    I finally created an account on lostsummer.net (had to dig up the author of 人间失格 as the confirmation key) and realized how awkward my Chinese is on the nets. Time to start hammering my way through all this when I get time…

    Sometimes I wish you’d hyperlink to the place where you sought the translation patch, but that’s probably just my laziness speaking xD

    Thanks for the review, puts another incentive on the pile for me to stop being lazy and crunch into those Chinese sites.

    • Oh, the Eden patch came from 2dgal. It’s another forum, but very hard to get into (I got lucky somehow, for about 5 months they weren’t even accepting members). It’s also the forum for hgamecn, which should say a lot. They also have a great collection of downloads (torrents, Jsharer, QQ, Foxmail, rayfile, 115, etc etc), among other things. They also have a VERY complete list of all the visual novels ever translated into Chinese.

      But if you can’t get in, then Lostsummer and Sumisora are good too(they’re better for news anyway).

      I never link mainly because this is a blog in english and I didn’t think that anyone would want it (or at least that those who wanted it would have gotten it already).

      And, I understand your frustration. It feels so…awkward trying to type out what you’re trying to say, especially if it’s a harsh forum that deletes posts often…

  2. Wooo~ thanks for the links ^_^

    I think you’d be surprised how many Chinese speakers/readers there are who don’t surf Chinese websites. I know quite a few, and at least one who’s interested in visnovs but isn’t very knowledgeable on where to find them (even in English :o). But of course I guess it’s probably not a very noticeable chunk of your readership.

  3. Hey, Choux, did you run into any problems while playing Eden with the Chinese patch? For me, everything was fine, for the first hour, and then when I reached the part where Shion and Elicia were talking on the balcony then all of a sudden, the program exited itself. I tried reloading the game several times, but the problem persists. Any idea what might be going on? Thanks.

    • That’s when the opening movie’s supposed to play. There’s probably a codec problem. BTW,the Chinese movie is the ending video, and the opening video shouldn’t be affected by the Chinese modifications (just in case you were worried about that).

  4. Thanks, looks like I nailed the problem

    somehow watching the op in Japanese mode and then switching back to the Chinese launcher solved the problem for me

  5. Pingback: The Circle of Hate in the Visual Novel Community | zanaikin | Major Arcana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s