Thursday, May 29, 2014

SEPIA TEARS

Sepia Tears is a love story.

There are no robots or vampires, for better or worse. It's about a high schooler named Mark, an ordinary protagonist with a memory that he tries very hard to forget. It's also about a girl named Myra who knows more about him than any stranger should, and who reminds him uncannily of his past.

Together, they search for a storybook romance and realize that love doesn't always bloom as neatly as it ought to.
[Description from official website]

Developers(s): Team NEET
Rating: All Ages

~*~Click Here For Download~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Sepia Tears, 9 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

Yet again, another large file sized visual novel, this time a slice of life by Team NEET. This appears to be their first work, and I sure hope it isn't their last, because I highly enjoyed this novel and have played through it TWICE already, and plan to go on a third run.

We begin with a narration about winter and nostolgia, then a dream with a girl who introduces herself as "the girl you wish you never met". You take the role of Mark, who has otaku for a little sister (Rin) and best friend (Mark), and another friend (Lillian) who tries to get him to study more. However, the most interesting character is a mysterious girl named Myra who he doesn't remember, but she sure seems to know a lot about him. There is something vaguely familiar, but you can't figure it out, and Myra promises to stay with you until you "regains your lost memories".

Despite what it may seem, this really is a slice-of-life, but the way it is written feels like there is something more mystical about it. The vagueness of some scenes are well played, with the first dream and the first meeting with Myra being the best written sequences in the story. Aside from the main plot, the antics and fun otaku-ness of Rin and Lukas are entertaining and make for the best comic relief. Sometimes even Myra has crazy antics, and her knowledge about Mark makes you want to find out exactly who she is and why she can appear and disapepar so easily without a trace. All the vagueness comes to a conclusion that is most likely impossible to guess. I loved how the story played out, the conclusion, the characters, and especially how the dialogue was written. There was such a feeling of more for such a simple story. The art and music was befitting for its mystical simplicity, and I found myself entranced, wanting to finish the novel to the end. Another thing I enjoyed was how clean this story was. Even with some of the innuendo, nothing was ever blatent and some of this stuff was just references to the cliches in the VN world.

Now, anything bad I can point out? Not with the game itself, but a couple of problems. One bonus CG never unlocks and I am sure I have played this game with every possibility in choice (I saved at all choice spots and have played them all). Also, if you don't want to get spoiled, DO NOT open the "games" folder within this game's main folder; they have appeared to have forgotten to archieve their assets.

Anyway, I was pretty enchanted by this story. While the adjectives "masterpiece" and "breath-taking" is not what you would use for this story, "beautiful" and "strangely mystical" I think would fit here. It's simple, but with an air of mystery to it, but it is as the description says; there are no robots or vampires, for better or for worse. And I say for better in this case! I look forward to see more from Team NEET in the future. This game proves, at a whopping but worth it file size of 600MB, again how free visual novels can be just as good as some of the commercial ones. I wouldn't mind playing a sequel even~

RECOMMENDED?
Yes, highly! You can't go wrong with a free story, and this was a pleasant surprise.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music was really relaxing and pretty, perfect for the game's atmosphere. I really enojyed it, actually.

[ARTWORK]:
Very nice. I like how it still had a bit of rough, slightly amatuerish style to it, but it was still up to par and I guess would be considered "semi-professional". The character designs were nice, chibi scenes were adorable, and the CGs were lovely~

[INTERACTION]:
This is more of what they call a Linear Novel; while there are occasional choices, you will still arrive at the same ending. There are a couple of "bad ends" which ends the game in a black screen and don't really count much for endings.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
A few "d" and "h", but that's about it.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Minor innuendo. Mark's friend Lukas loves to play visual novels, and one time tells Mark "it's art, not porn!" (referring to H-Games). Mark's little sister, Rin, sometimes acts in a way referencing to Imouto routes (in some bishoujo games, the little sister is obtainable) but only because she is an otaku and Mark doesn't care nor remotely ever has those kinda feelings toward her. When Rin meets Myra, she thinks she is his secret girlfriend and wants him to devulge all the (non-existent) dirty details.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Other than Rin practicing one of her "martial arts" moves on Mark in a chibi CG, none.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
*SPOILER SPOILER* While the ending has a logical conclusion, on one possible path to the ending, one of the choices you make throws you back a little earlier in the story to try again, so it almost feels like you time-traveled, but if you keep making the same choice you'll just loop until you make the other one or choose the choice that leads you to a dead end. *END SPOILER*

3 comments:

  1. Hello there!

    Nice review! I just finished reading Sepia Tears and it was a good visual novel. I liked how they have done the blurry backgrounds, fits really well with the game, how the music also added with the atmosphere and also the Kanon references, which made me laugh.
    I'd like to point some things concerning the review:
    1- 600mb? I have Sepia Tears 1.4 and it's only 370mb.
    2- You said that you couldn't unlock a CG... Well after you finish the game, the title screen background changes and at the bottom is written "Myra's Diary", that is actually click-able and leads to an (kind of) epilogue that explains a little more about the story. You may have missed the last SDCG, which you can get by reading it.
    I hope you review more visual novels!

    Best regards from Brazil.

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  2. The game is awesome, isn't it? heheh
    I'm Brazilian too! :D

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  3. uhmm. anyone have problem with saving the game when play in Android ?

    ReplyDelete