Reviews Comments: A Breath of Fresh Air
A Breath of Fresh Air
Compared to most stories of this format, DTIPBIJAYS (ugh) is like a hare to everyone else's tortoise; except this hare didn't go and take a nap. While many visual novels can take several hours just to get through the introductory chapters, DTIPBIJAYS can be completed in just one. This is not because it contains less story, but because Christine Love has taken full advantage of the VN format to compress her story into quick, easy-to-digest bites that have all the story without the boredom. While the length can be disappointing, DTIPBIJAYS nevertheless represents a giant step in the right direction for VN storytelling. Did I mention it's free? The story is no disappointment, despite the length: the main plot is compelling, and each chapter's sub-plot has consequences in later chapters. The visual part is utilized for small details, which is a refreshing break from the tendency of most V Ns to describe a character's appearance despite the fact that you can see them. The POV character does remark on other characters' appearances at times, but only to react to something strange; description is still left to the visuals and out of the text, as it should be. The chat-room mechanic is a brilliant device that lets the characters establish themselves in seconds through interaction, as opposed to the half-hour to an hour introductions most V Ns typically have. Like many visual novels, DTIPBIJAYS presents you with choices at times. These choices are easy to anticipate, are fairly clear-cut statements, and the effects of your choices are immediately noticeable; it's similar to a choose-your-own-adventure novel in that sense. Easily the best part about DTIPBIJAYS is one simple mechanic: YOU CAN GO BACK! That's right, just roll the mouse wheel forward and you can go back as far as you like. Don't like a decision you picked? Just scroll back and pick the other option. Need to read a line of dialogue again? Scroll back. Easy! Why aren't more V Ns like this? To sum things up, if you've felt like visual novels are a waste of time then this one will change your mind. Christine Love has solved the problems others seem to ignore in both this and her later works. The story is short, but the VN itself is a step in the right direction. Hopefully other authors will take note, and this format will be used for lengthier works in the future.
Honestly, I have to disagree with mostly everything this review says. Not about the whole of VNs as a whole; just the quality of this work. The large part of the point of many VNs is the story and, by proxy, the characters; DTIP gives you very little knowledge of the characters, despite each of them getting a chapter dedicated to themselves. Sure, they might evolve a bit, but it's really just from a certain one-note personality to a slightly different one-note personality. And the chat logs were a chore at times; they were woven into the narrative with the subtlety of a brick to the face. The POV character would often just stop the narrative and force you to read the chat logs: not because he might be worried about something, but because the narrative wouldn't make sense without forcing you to do so. The ending then proceeds to rub this fact into your face, as if you shouldn't have done it, when the game itself forces you to do it. Even besides that, the ending is completely inane bullshit that destroyed any love for the game I might have had: no resolution to anything, just shoving a message into your face, again with a total lack of subtlety. Even besides the single ending that you're railroaded into, choices don't have as much of an impact as you would have one believe: some do harbor significant changes, but those changes are isolated to specific scenes, and maybe two or three do even that. The rest alter maybe a line in the immediately following scene, and that's it. ...And pardon my French, but what the fuck are you talking about with the "you can go back" mechanic? So what? The only VN I can think of that doesn't have that doesn't have it out of necessity, since the dialogue isn't all there is to the gameplay. Even then, that game still had a chat log. Why are you preventing this as some great innovation when it's anything but?
comment #17086 MFM 5th Dec 12
...Aaaaaaaand, now looking back at that comment, it comes across as entirely too hostile. Welp. I apologize for that, though I still believe the points I made have some legitimacy.
comment #17088 MFM 5th Dec 12
Actually, even though this review came to a similar conclusion as mine, I'm inclined to agree with some of the criticisms MFM brought up. The forcing you to read mechanic shouldn't be there at all (people should be left to pry as much or as little as they like), and the game should have been more open to the possibility that players didn't peep into personal lives - it would be an interesting benefits/risks situation: The peeping gives you useful insights, but the more you go through people's personal stuff, the more nervous your character gets about being caught. The ending should reflect that also - mentioning how you couldn't help but adopt into the open lifestyle of the net, or eschewed it out of an old fashioned sense of privacy. Plus I didn't like the sub-plot about the ghost. That was goofy. That said, I totally disagree with your take on how DTIP presents its characters. They are not one-note, they each are mult-faceted of each characters. Which facet appears depends on who they happen to be confiding in at any give moment.
comment #17105 maninahat 6th Dec 12
"...And pardon my French, but what the fuck are you talking about with the "you can go back" mechanic?" Because it's the first VN I've encountered that has that. (Okay I've read Analogue and it kind of has that too.) And yes, that post was entirely too hostile. God forbid I should have a different opinion, sheesh. Unfortunately these reviews don't have enough room to list everything, so I only listed what I felt mattered. The "forcing you to read" mechanic came up exactly once in my playthrough and didn't hamper my enjoyment, so I didn't think it was worth mentioning. Still, for being a Na No Ren O visual novel I thought the story was good enough, and I still think the game mechanics (for lack of a better term) did a lot more right than wrong. So I stand by my review.
comment #17118 FormicHiveQueen 6th Dec 12
I wasn't trying to attack any differing opinion; I just get overly passionate about this game because of my own first playthrough of it. Again, sorry 'bout that.
comment #17119 MFM 6th Dec 12
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