Demo Review: SHINRAI - Broken Beyond Despair


Hi everyone~

I've been quite busy lately, with schoolwork and other VN projects, so please forgive me if I haven't posted in so long. I'm really just waiting for our one month Christmas vacation. =)

Anyway, I'm actually taking a break from reading visual novels, since I have so many things to complete this month-- college projects and visual novel projects hahaha-- but when I saw earlier that a demo for SHINRAI  has been released, I immediately tried it out.

There's a list of guide questions on LemmaSoft so I'll just answer them here in this post.

SHINRAI is a murder mystery revolving around a small group of friends gathering at a secluded mountain resort to spend the night of All Hallows' Eve together. However...

What was originally intended to be a fun little Halloween party quickly turns into an actual night of horrors. When one of the attendees is found dead, fear and uncertainty spread as the friends realize they are trapped with a murderer.

As they try to unveil the identity of the killer, they slowly begin to learn to what atrocities despair can drive a human being... once its trust has been broken.

1. What is your first impression so far?
First of all, I'd like to say that it reminds me of those old-school Japanese RPG console games. The art style is mildly similar to the style used in those games, hahaha. I really, really like it and I'm excited to see the complete game!

2. Did you come across any technical issues? Did anything seem off or as though it wasn’t working properly?
No, not really. The "dissolve" function was a bit too slow, but I think that's a personal preference and not a technical issue. Another personal issue: The sprites flicker with every single transition! Seeing the characters go from one expression-- or worse, pose-- to another was really distracting and a little bit irritating at times.

Also, is there no "Save Screenshot" function? :)

3. Which character(s) did you like the most and why?
Rie? Runa? Hiro? Oh my gosh, it's hard to choose! Or, wait, this is a safer answer: Nobara's dad. Hahaha. Although he can be such a wimp sometimes. Perhaps I'm just too affected, but I'm a daddy's girl and even though daddy would usually agree to most of what I want, he still "spoils" me with his dignity intact. And he knows how to say no. :D

4. Any character(s) you can’t stand, at all? If so, for what reason(s)?
Raiko! I just don't like her type, I suppose. I'm not a grumpy, temperamental girl, so I guess it's not a surprise that my personality would definitely clash with her. Wait, actually, I have mixed feelings about most of the characters here, since Raiko keeps saying that this one's lovable, that one's really nice, although I don't actually feel those adjectives suitable. Hahaha. Just my opinion. :)

5. What was your favorite scene?
The car scene, yeah. Even though Nobara was acting like a super irritating spoiled brat. Wait, actually, that's the reason why I don't like Raiko so much. Argh, I'm forgetting that these girls are only 14. I feel so old now. *sigh*

6. How did you like the character interactions, dialogue and the writing in general?
Oh, I like the writing. Technically-speaking, it was pretty nice, and the delivery of the dialogue (in words, of course) was really nicely done. It's one of my favorite things about this visual novel demo, actually. Everything just flows so smoothly between the characters.

7. Did you enjoy the music?
Super! I actually had to check back on the forum if they were original soundtracks, because I really love the feel of the music! They kinda reminded me of old-style JRPG games, and the Legend of Zelda series. Hahaha. That's a compliment. Swear. Actually, this whole game gives me nostalgic feels. Hahaha. One gripe, though: after the track ends, the silent time is way too long! It's really obvious that it's just looping, and it was kinda distracting.

8. Anything that definitely needs to be improved?
The characters' attitudes. -___- Hahaha, kidding. The transitions still have a lot of room to improve. Like I said, the dissolve function was quite slow and sometimes the sprites overlap. Even with the change of poses, some sprites still overlap. And, yeah, the transitions, too.

9. Any other comments, suggestions, etc.?
I love the art style, I love the GUI, I love the backgrounds. <3 I definitely love the visuals of this visual novel. I even loved the inclusion of a map!

That's about this for this demo review! I wish the makers good luck on their game! And I am looking forward to playing the whole thing! :)

You can download the demo here.

(Update 11/1/15: SHINRAI is now on Steam Greenlight! If you've played the demo and liked it, you can vote for it to show your support for the game. Here's the link to the page.)

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