Ever17: Out of Infinity. (Or, "The" Out of Infinity, to go by the original Gratuitous English title.) One of the very, very few visual novels to ever get an official English localization, and boy, did Hirameki pick the right one to localize. (Of course, now that they're bankrupt we'll never see English versions of the rest of the Infinity series, but I digress.) The setup of the plot has already been covered in the main page. That said, nothing—nothing, not even reading the spoilers (though it is imperative that you do not) will prepare you for the plot of this game. Ever17 is an amazingly written visual novel with a unique science-fiction storyline, a Mind Screw done right (you WILL shit bricks), and a cast of characters you're guaranteed to love. What I liked:
- Everything I mentioned above.
- Sora's route, while incompatible with the True Ending, is one of the best sci-fi love stories I have ever read. The glass window scene...beautiful.
- The story is very, very good at playing with your emotions. You will laugh (see Does This Remind You Of Anything). You will cry. You will yell "WHAT THE F*%&?!". And, most importantly, you will yell "HOLY SHIT!" a lot.
- Hirameki's translation, while arguably readable, is way, WAY below the quality of your average fan translation. Not just in terms of translating the peculiarities of the Japanese language (if you know even basic Japanese, you'll hear some clear discrepancies between what the voice actors are saying and what you're reading) but in terms of overall quality control as well. One particular line that stands out (in addition to the famous "Naturally I Knows The Hacker") is "You're [sic] stupidity is terminal." Yes. Yes, it is.
- Unlocking the True Ending requires going through all four previous routes—unfortunately, both of Takeshi's routes are about 80% identical, forcing you to skip through a LOT of the same text. Kid's routes have a similar problem, although they're a little more distinct.
- A MAJOR plot twist revealed in the True Ending sadly makes this amazing story impossible to adapt into an anime. C'est la vie, I guess.
- The plot has some pacing issues—not until the last day or two is there any real sense of urgency, despite the direness of the situation.
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