April 13, 2011

Game review: Shiei no Sona Nyl - What beautiful memories

Made by: Liarsoft
Genre: Otome. Eroge, Fantasy, Mystery, Steampunk, Adventure
Summary: December 1902 is the date of  the last message recorded by Alan Akeley. After that, everything was lost. 5 years later Elysia walks alone in the ruins of NY, searching for an answer to her questions. Below, underground, in the purple world, Lily is searching for the same thing.

Lily wakes up in the mysterious purple world without memory and no clue what's going on at all. She is just about to get attacked by The dark gang, an army of robots searching for her when she is saved by a beautiful woman.
Her name is Miria, a prostitute with a humble heart who teaches Lily about the underground.

The dark gang is very dangerous and if they touch your body it turns into iron. Miria herself got a metal arm and her lover Peter is om the verge of completely becoming metal. Lily ends up meeting A, a strange train conductor who seems to know her. He tells her that if she hopes for it, he will follow her and together they can reach the end of the world.

She is walking through the ruins of the dead city that was destroyed 5 years ago. The only company she have is her walking suitcase robot John, which she treats like a dog. She almost never speaks except when she is shocked or about to cry.
Emotionless, snappy, silent but straightforward, he follows Lily wherever she goes. He never tells her anything more than necessary and keeps many secrets. His gaze is always fixed on her and his cold and expressionless eyes somewhat annoys her. A claims that he isn't human and that the world resolves around Lily, as long as she wish for it to.
This game doesn't have any routes, but it does have bad endings. There is not a lot of choices but it does have a special segment where you rewrite parts from a newspaper to puzzle the story together. Shiei no Sona Nyl is divided into 7 chapters that each have a special short story when finishing to give yet another clue to the reader. 

Final Score:
Story 10/10
The story is very capturing. I don't mean just the actual content, but the storytelling and way you slowly puzzle together everything while reading. I've never played a Liarsoft game before, but from what I've understood the other series are quiet similar in artstyle and way. There is a lot of character development, and I really mean a lot! Even the side-characters grow during the story even if the spotlight is stolen by the main heroines. Lily is put through so much different feelings and it's so well portrayed and put together that you can't help but to be moved. The H-scenes aren't used as a fanservice for the reader, instead it's a perfect opportunity to show weakness in the characters. A time where a person is most vulnerable.
Needless to say, I cried buckets at  the ending.
In the end it's the theme of this game that makes it so special. A robot who cries. A cat that can't stop laughing, although she is sad, because she can't stop thinking how pitful life is. A shadow that becomes human and falls in love.

That being said, this game isn't for everyone. The entire game is almost made up out of dialogue.The writing style is very different and the poems/repeating of lines could easily get on ones nerve if the reader isn't in the right mood.

Music 10/10
Another of this games strongest points is the music. It's jazzy and broken down feeling that played in the ruins of New York and the happy but strange tunes that goes with the purple world is a perfect contrast. The OP is lovely and the ED song sung by Rita fits well. I loved every single track in this game.

Art 10/10
The shading, the character design and everything else took a long time to make, just looking at it will tell you that. Details and the clothes were probably the thing that I enjoyed the most while playing. The action-scenes were really cool (example above) and I enjoyed the art all the way through. 

Voices 9/10
Ono Daisuke voices two characters in the game and I actually didn't know it was him until halfway through! He keeps a low, sexy but very monotone voice for A which suits perfectly. Notsuki does the voice for Elysia and I really feel like it helped bring the character alive more than someone else would have.

Total: 10/1
A very poetic game with wonderful writing style and touching theme and story. The characters are very well made, all with charm and personality that makes the game so much more worth playing. This game means a lot to me and I don't regret playing it for a second, which is why I'm recommending to to anyone who likes to dream, who wishes for something and to anyone who have memories they don't want to forget.


Anonymous said...

Love it especially the artwork I wish I knew were to buy it!!

Yumii said...

I totally agree! I've been looking everywhere for the artbook >_<

Anonymous said...

Impressive review! Now I really need to save up for Shiei no Sona Nyl, like RIGHT NOW!

Hmm... is it fully voiced?

Yumii said...

@It is! Hope you will be able to play it one day :)

Anonymous said...

what characters did ono daisuke do? is it in the website character page? because i can't find his voice.

Yumii said...

Ono voices "A" who is one of the main characters. He does a wonderful job in this game, I completely fell in love with his character.

Anonymous said...

how did you play it, via translation or you read them directly from japanese

Yumii said...

I used to use AGTH or alliteratively ITH, it's a translation tool but these days my Japanese is so good I don't need it anymore. Plus, most of the games I play now is on PSP, so it's do or die, hehe.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to dig up such an old post but I'd just like to point out A isn't voiced by Ono Daisuke. It's Furukawa Tetsuto (and not an alias either).

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