Average User Score: 3.3Mar 24, 2014I want to like this game. Hell, I want to like all visual novels. I was raised on the Choose Your Own Adventure books, and the ability to take an active role in determining the narrative was part of what drew me to gaming to begin with. That being said, like the vast majority of the genre itself, it's as a 'novel' where Fading Hearts most comes up short. Even aside from the typos (which have supposedly been patched) the dialogue and anime-inspired vignettes that comprise the bulk of the game are often clunkily written and cancerous with cliches. I'm willing to forgive a fair bit if this is a translation, but the developer's webpage says they're based in Toronto, which ain't no city in Japan I ever heard of. Moreover, while the life management elements and light turn-based RPGing aren't bad, they're a long damn way from justifying the purchase. Against all odds, though, this is a game that is significantly more than the sum of its parts. It succeeds as an exercise in, for lack of a better term, weirdness. All its awkwardness and mediocrity can't quite manage to obscure the sense it conveys that there's something seriously strange, even fey, going on here, just under the surface of the painfully normal lives of its characters. Don't ask me how, but despite (or maybe because of?) its ineptness, Fading Hearts manages to sneakily touch that part of the imagination that not only can conceive, but desperately wants to believe in the existence of (to misquote e.e. cummings) a hell of a good universe next door. For that reason alone, I'd say it's worth a shot (but maybe wait for it to go on sale).… Expand
Average User Score: 6.4Nov 22, 2013So, in the interest of intellectual honesty, I should admit that I mostly bought this game so I could write a deliciously nasty review of it, observing that "the only thing worse than real social media is fake social media," and so on. So I cracked a beer to get the snark flowing, turned on NPR in the background (to make me feel cleverer than I am), and began to play. When I looked up, I noticed that four hours of my life (and a six pack) had mysteriously disappeared. With some shock, I realized that I was, despite my own best efforts, having fun. It pisses me off to admit it, but Redshirt really isn't half bad.
The humor is substantially more hit than miss (although admittedly I'm pretty easily amused). If you've got even a slightly geeky bone in your body, you'll find yourself, well, probably not actually laughing out loud, but at least occasionally going "heh."
The game's layout is simple and intuitive (if you can facebook, you can spacebook), but there's a startling amount of depth, particularly when it comes to the Machiavellian manipulation of your hapless "friends." For example, I've systematically dumped every significant other I've had when the opportunity to date a hiring manager for a better career has come up. I am currently in a relationship with what appears to be a genderless black cube (we've all been there, amirite?). But it hired me for a job I was woefully under-qualified for, in exchange for what I can only assume are some appallingly grotesque sexual favors.
Periodically, as the title suggests, you and your coworkers will be randomly assigned to an "away" mission, landing on some alien planet which invariably turns out to be occupied by hostile whatevers, which then proceed to kill most of your crew (many of whom you may have invested time in befriending and/or seducing). This wouldn't bug me so much, but you have absolutely no control whatsoever over whether or not this happens. I mean, would it have killed the developers to at least put in some mini-game, maybe allowing you to shoot at the damn things, or choose which colleague gets eaten first? I mean, come on, at least give us a decent death animation. Just hearing a zap and watching your buddy disappear is totally unsatisfying.
Let's face it, this game is not going to win any beauty contests. Graphically it's about as bare-bones as you can get. But come on, it's not like you're trying to have sex with it.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdOct 29, 2013Have you ever wondered what Diablo II would be like with more giant robots and less depth? No? Me neither. But I guess someone did. Turns out the answer is "mildly entertaining".
I'm not gonna lie to you, I only played this game for about 4 hours. in single player. while drinking, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt. That being said, here are my thoughts:
Graphics decent. Nothing to write home about, but not ugly or overly busy, either.
Story aliens something something cyborgs yadda yadda giant robots. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to have much bearing on the game itself.
Game Play You are a robot. Or a dude in a robot suit. Or something. I wasn't really clear on that. Anyway, there are other robots, most of which look alike, and they evidently don't much care for your shiny metal ass. So you shoot them. Sometimes they drop loot in the form of upgrades for your robot. Usually they drop money with which you can purchase upgrades for your robot. Rinse and repeat. There's a basic scheme for leveling up. You know the deal: 1) Get some points. 2) Improve some attributes. 3) Shoot more robots. 4) Finish your scotch.
My only real beef was actually the size of the area maps themselves. They're massive. I know, I know, you're thinking, "What's so bad about that?" But here's the thing: your robot does not move fast. At all. So plan to spend a lot of time drinking with one hand and using the other to make your robot plod mindlessly (um, robotically?) along. This gets old pretty quickly, and can lead to running out of booze much faster than you normally would. Otherwise, the game is ok, I guess.
Overall, The Harvest isn't gonna change your life or anything, but you could probably do worse.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Oct 15, 2013Truth be told, Agarest isn't bad. It just isn't that good, either. The presentation is dated, but not quite dated enough to conjure up nostalgia. The battle engine is functional, but far from inspired. And the core concept (building a relationship with one of three female companions, which then determines the traits of your main character for the next generation) could be really interesting, but instead just feels tacked on as an afterthought.
Bullet point: for $20.00, you can do better.… Expand