NaNoReno 2016: Reflections on the River

4/25/2016

Here's the next one in this series of NaNoRenO posts! (I have another Accounting exam this Wednesday and a Statistics exam on Friday, so... this is a scheduled post! Hahaha.)
otometwist review nanoreno reflections on the river
GAME INFO
Name: Reflections on the River
Developer/s: (written in their page)
Release Date: April 2, 2016
Genre: Friendship, Fantasy


STORY

Once upon a time, there lived a King and Queen who had everything they could ever ask for: a good nation, love for each other, practically everything. However, they still weren't happy. No matter how hard they try, the Queen couldn't bear a child. They adopt a young Prince from a foreign land and raise him as their own. As the years pass by, though, the Queen just grows sadder and sadder. Not even the Prince could make her happy anymore. So the royal family seeks the help of a Witch, who grants them what they want. A Princess. Along with the Princess' birth dawns good fortune for the whole nation. However, there's something the Witch wants in return, and s/he's not stopping until she gets it...

Okay, first off, I want to say that I'm not sure what the Witch's gender is, so... yeah. I'm going to use she throughout this review, because... well, I think Witches are usually female anyway (since Wizards are the male counterpart) and I'm projecting myself onto her since I think she's really meant to be ambiguous. =)
visual novel review reflections on the river

So, anyway! The story is interesting as heck. I generally find these fairy-tale types to be quite lovely, haha. It's a personal preference of mine. I think it's really interesting how we're here to view the story from the Witch's perspective. That aspect of the story reminds me a lot of the film Maleficent (which is actually one of my favorite movies ever!) in a sense that we're seeing the "bad" guy's side of the story. Normally, Witches are the antagonists in fairy-tales, rights? They're the ones who want nothing but to cause pain and harm to the royal family. However, in this case, I found it really easy to look at the other side of the story and actually sympathize with the Witch.

There's also a plot twist in the game that I honestly didn't see coming! It was so surprising for me. Hahaha. Long story short, I was hooked from start to finish.

CHARACTERS

The witch, Zheng, which you'll be playing as, is actually quite a lovable character. She's not afraid to stand up to what she thinks is right, even though she's not below using ahem, less than moral tactics to do it. Still, deep inside she really is a good person, even though it's not obvious.

Princess Yanyu is the King and Queen's beloved child. At first, she seems like a really spoiled brat, but she does get better as you get to know her more. However, it seems that she's hiding something...

Prince Shun is the King and Queen's adopted child. He's a pretty cool guy! Not much screen time, but he's okay. I don't like him THAT much, personally, but... yeah, he's okay.

ART

I have to be honest with you guys, I think the art is really nice, but I don't like it very much. Wait, "don't like it" is too much. But... it's just that... well... it's just not my style. That's it. Nevertheless, my unbiased opinion is that it's very nicely done. The coloring is nice, the lines-- which are pretty solid, thank goodness-- are clear, and yeah, overall it's really good. Bottom line is, even though it's not my personal style, I can definitely say that I think it's beautiful.
visual novel review reflections on the river
Even the CGs are really nice! There are a couple of CGs in this game, and I didn't get to see all of them, but the ones I did see were very nicely done. This means they're really consistent with the sprites. I've seen lots of VNs where the sprites are good, but the CGs, not really. Or games where both the CGs and the sprites are good, but since they're done by different artists, the art styles are very different from each other.

Oh, and I just want to say that I think the backgrounds are lovely. <3 Overall, art-wise, this is a really polished game.

MUSIC

The game is set in an Oriental kingdom, and I'm super glad to see that the music matches this theme. I think it's really pleasing to hear oriental music, to be honest. <3

GUI


visual novel review reflections on the river

Kinda oriental-looking as well, which again matches the theme, so it looks very nice.

WRAP UP

Sorry if I don't have much to say about this game other than that everything matches practically everything perfectly! But basically, if you were to ask me at first glance if this was a NaNoRenO project, I probably would have said no. It looks that polished. Story-wise, it's pretty good, too. It's a little bit different than most games I play, since... there's actually no romance in this game, hahaha, but still, I liked it a lot.

You can check out this game here!

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