lunedì 5 ottobre 2015

~ What a beautiful ~ series

Listening to: Last Exile OST

This post will be very short. Bullshit.
This post is about two VNs of this series - namely, Seiken no Inganock and Shikkoku no Sharnoth.
I don't remember exactly how I came to know these, but most likely I searched for high-rated (translated) VNs and these two titles showed up, among others. Hence, I knew absolutely nothing about these when I started them, except that they should have been good.

Apparently Seiken no Inganock was the one written before the other, so I started with that. It's not like I knew that until after I finished it, but those are details. I guess I just was lucky. Or not.
So, describing this is actually pretty hard. It's definitely not your average VN, that's for sure. Aside from that, well...
You see, this series features some peculiarities, and because of them this is one of those you-love-them-or-hate-them thing. The first two, obvious things that come to mind are the beautiful art style (I don't think I read any complaint about that by anyone), and the abuse of copy-paste repetition of certain scenes. And no, I don't mean some scenes are similar to some others, but they're literally the same, except for a few lines at most.
(Oh, I don't know if it counts as another feature, but I'll throw it here in any case - the BGMs are quite good.)

With that in mind, I have to say I didn't mind it much, if at all, while playing Inganock. I was a bit baffled at first, sure, but I grew used to it quite soon, and eventually I learnt to actually appreciate the thing. 
Because every repeated scene is like a ritual, in which you have to follow certain steps.
Because every little difference there was implied something important. 
The characters are great, so I didn't even mind the fact that most of them are fundamentally just a filler. 
Because just watching their interactions was fun. 
Because just playing every chapter to find out more about the mysteries of Inganock was enough to keep me hooked.
The ending is pretty decent too, but beware, because if you like clear explanations, you'll probably be let down. 
Because if you just want everything thrown at your face, you'll probably be left with a bitter taste.

Okay I'm done with this thing. Too bad I suck at it.

So yeah, all in all I kinda enjoyed Inganock. I wouldn't say it's great, but it's a nice change of pace.
Knowing more of what to expect, I started Shikkoku no Sharnoth.

Let's just say this: Sharnoth is first VN ever in which I skipped unread text.
A lot of it, in fact.
I myself ain't 100% sure of the reason. Though if I had to point out something, I do have a couple a few some possible reasons in mind:
- The main character is annoying. Seriously annoying. Mind you, this is probably just a thought of mine, but in certain scenes I just hoped she'd die already. Ugh. Most of the scenes I skipped were ones where she was present, yes;

Yes, she's rather cute, but don't let that fool you.

- The repetition thing that I liked in Inganock is completely useless in Sharnoth. I don't know if the author kept it just because of consistency/style, but seriously, I don't think most of them have a point at all;
- Not only the overall plot was less intriguing than in Inganock, but the answers... actually, this deserves a point of its own;
- The answers to the mysteries are just too slow. You spend something like 6 chapters running like a clueless idiot (see point below), then one of the characters "who knows" tells you something kinda obvious, then the main characters suffers a psychological crisis, but that's nothing new to her anyway, then you have to spend still another 4 chapters to run, and when you finally reach the final chapter... most of the mysteries don't even get mentioned at all (who is Funnel? Why and what does she know about Inganock and David?!), and the answers to the ones that do lack proper justification and seem kinda weak in general;
- The fucking minigame.

Art/Style and music are great though, and some of the characters are good too. But overall that's not enough to make me think the time I spent on this wasn't wasted.

There is one weird thing though, which tbh is the real reason I wrote this post. All of the (few) reviews I found of Shikkoku no Sharnoth actually praised it. 

Mfw I read "8/10" or even more.

At least, Inganock does seem like the most appreciated of the two. But yeah, basically I wrote all of this to be somewhat of a hipster and tell the world Sharnoth is shit.

tl;dr if you enjoy VNs and you want to try something new, give Seiken no Inganock a chance. Forget about Sharnoth if you ask me, or if you really want to, give it a chance but lower your expectations a lot, wherever they're set.

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