Operation Backlog Completion 2017
May 242017
 

A Kickstarter is currently running for the translation of a visual novel called Chuusotsu – 1st Graduation: Time After Time. They released a demo, so I decided to give it a try.

It was… really weird. But interesting!

In this visual novel, everyone gets an “Authorization Seal” that determines their job, strength, intelligence, etc.

When the main character, a girl named Arue, is unable to meet the requirements for her Authorization Seal after middle school, she becomes a “chuusotsu,” a person with the lowest possible power level.

Determined to gain a seal, Arue signs up for a program where she will need to room with two other chuusotsu, and… work on philosophy?

It’s hard to explain how weird this demo was. The basic premise for the setting is so bizarre. As a chuusotsu, Arue is weaker than even children. She can’t read maps or do addition anymore. I’ve never seen a world setup quite like it, and it made me interested in learning more.

Arue also loves anime and manga, and she has a tendency to start talking strangely and referencing RPGs when she gets really nervous. The other characters in the demo were also strange, especially Ahara, who rambles about saving the world from dark forces.

Even Chuusotsu’s narration was odd, with occasional commentary from the narrator outside of Arue’s own descriptions.

Before I played the demo, I saw the Kickstarter, but I couldn’t get a good grasp on what the visual novel really was. Three girls who didn’t get past middle school sharing an apartment and asking existential questions? What? Why is it so well-regarded?

Now that I have played the demo, I’m still not entirely sure how to describe what this visual novel is, but it left me intrigued by its premise and the characters. So take a look at the Kickstarter and try the demo, and let me know your own thoughts on Chuusotsu – 1st Graduation: Time After Time.

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May 192017
 

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy might have a different structure than past Layton games, but the latest details and screenshots confirm it’s still the series we know and love.

The game is split into multiple mysteries, each with its own episode. Episode 01, “Clockwork Streets,” follows Katrielle on an investigation into the theft of Big Ben’s clock hand.

Level-5 introduced two supporting characters involved in this first episode, twin brothers Marc and Reggie Yanchatta. While they’re connected to the first mystery, we also got to see two characters who might be involved in the game’s overarching plot.

The “Seven Millionaires of London” are important to the game, and among them are Ridley Fremens, the mayor of London, and Clerk Gospec, a multi-millionaire who wants Katrielle to investigate an incident at his theater.

From its original title, I assume there is also a millionaire named Ariadone. Since they’re referenced in the game’s title, the seven millionaires will likely play a large role in the game.

As you investigate, you’ll use a magnifying glass to investigate areas on the screen and find puzzles, collectibles, and “Insight Coins.” Insight Coins reveal puzzle hints, and right now it’s unclear if there’s any difference between them and the typical hint coins.

You’ll also need to find a certain number of “investigation points” to advance the story.

Finally, just like every other game in the series, Layton’s Mystery Journey will have mini-games. The first announced is “The Ideal Diner,” where you must listen to a client’s request and create their ideal dinner.

While I’ve been excited for Layton’s Mystery Journey ever since it was first announced as Lady Layton, I was a little concerned that the new structure might dramatically change the gameplay. These screenshots have reassured me. I see plenty of familiar Layton gameplay here, and I’m more excited than ever for Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy.

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May 152017
 

I recently mentioned my work on new video game projects, and it’s time to unveil one of them.

As we finish up work on Ascendant Hearts, I’ve begun a new project with Visualnoveler: a fantasy RPG called Destiny Chronicles.

Destiny Chronicles follows a young squire named Celeste on a journey to reclaim an ancient artifact that was stolen from her. On the way, she’ll cross paths with a mage named Ruby and a mercenary named Valana, among other characters.

We’ve drawn inspiration from JRPGs, especially action JRPGs. In addition to action RPG combat, it will have a talent tree, an upgrade system, and more.

As the writer for Destiny Chronicles, I’m responsible for both the overall story and the character interactions. We’re aiming for a fun, lighthearted tone that nevertheless tells a compelling, intriguing story.

Here are a couple screenshots showing Celeste in two of the environments you can look forward to exploring once the game is complete.

We have a few sample songs from the soundtrack available, too.

You can check out the official Destiny Chronicles website here, and take a look at the press release here.

We’re currently in the early development stage and intend to launch a Kickstarter in the future. In the meantime, if you have any questions about Destiny Chronicles, especially about its story or characters, let me know!

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