What is it with Steam releasing MMOs so close to my Monday deadline that I’d practically have to play the game non-stop to cover it and nothing else? Seriously, there’s been quite a few times where I’ve been looking at Steam and praying for a last minute addition to the list of new free games just because the alternative is to give a brief overview of an MMO which I have all the likeliness of being able to play to anything resembling a decent talking point of a mouse being able to write Atlas Shrugged out of cheese in a single night.
…OK, that was a weird metaphor, but you get the point I’m making: trying to review an MMO when you’ve not ranked up more than a few days on it is ultimately impossible because you can’t really get a good grasp of how the MMO works until you’ve actively had time to get the idea behind how the game works and looked beyond the obvious strategies involved in it. So I took one look at Might & Magic Heroes Online (which isn’t even a new game anyway!) and went “Nope!”
Course, it meant I had nothing to cover, so screw it, time to talk about another free video game from my library which I have, Voices From The Sea.
The visual novel is basically the story of a high school kid with loner tendencies that would make a hermit look like a party animal meeting a strange young girl with blue hair and who is more than a bit odd. Over the course of a week, she gets him to smile and appreciate his mother more, with a small twist on her identity that most people would probably be able to guess with some degree of accuracy within seconds of the hint being dropped. Nothing really that exceptional on a story level, I’ll admit, but it makes a nice change from all the visual novels with a lot of fanservice in them. You don’t really get a lot of choices, though, or, at least, they don’t really have a big impact on the story (most of them end up with your conversation right back where you would have been had you not taken the other choice), which kind of makes it hard to justify playing the game more than once.
The art style is actually fairly good, although it does rely a little bit too much on the characters not moving much outside of facial expressions, which lets it down a little bit (although, in fairness, a lot of visual novels don’t have the characters move a lot, so this isn’t quite as big a problem as it first looks).
…Huh, I actually think I’ve said everything I have to about this visual novel! It’s nothing exceptional, but, if you like visual novels and want something new to play without a sexual lean to the story, then this is at least worth a playthrough. If you’re not into visual novels, then I don’t think it’s strong enough to make you change your mind, but it’s not going to press any real buttons you might have to make you hate it, unless you’re very opposed to an anime-influenced aesthetic to games.