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This is an impressively comprehensive and well put together VN. Especially so when taking into consideration the demographic it springs from and is geared toward.
The writing is pretty strong. There's a wide breadth of scenarios for your characters to encounter and an even wider variety of outcomes for them. Some of the scenarios are explored deeply in terms of morality and drama while others come across as simple transformation story staples (Hmm an enchanted bakery, I wonder if someone is going to have weight gain). My only minor complaint in the writing was how jarring/ unearned some of the romances felt. In my playthrough my pair suddenly started calling one another 'my love' after really only sharing two hugs and an intimate conversation or two beforehand. But I understand that the main focus of the VN was transformations. Romance was probably a secondary goal, but it might have been nice if they were explored more deeply.
The characters felt a mixed bag to me, but I've only played through once. Leeko did nothing for me. Mila starts out very bland, but thankfully develops over the course of the story (according to your choices I assume). Morgana was the biggest draw for me given her dramatic backstory and personality complexes. I thought Rourkie's crew looked very cool, I'll try to see more of them next playthrough.
I thought the voice acting was a nice touch. The fact that only select lines are voiced didn't really bother me. Hearing a character, even for only a few lines, really gives you an idea of what they're like. Mila's voice actress did a great job. The others were pretty good too, though Leeko was a bit underacted and Tam-tam's accent was awkward.
Artwork is great,especially considering how much of it there is. I really enjoyed the backgrounds. My only complaint would be that some of the character designs felt a little garish, especially in regard to the costumes. Very visually busy. There were a few other artistic gaffs, an awkward hand here or expression there, but nothing that took me out of the experience.
The meat of this experience though is the transformations of course and i was not let down in that department. It's safe to say that regardless of your orientation and kinks of choice you'll find much to enjoy here. And these scenes, being the focus of the VN, usually get special artistic attention. There are many, varied TF scenarios and potential victims. Some of them have lasting consequences on the characters and their interactions too, which was a great touch.
TL;DR: Really dynamic story with something for every taste. Go buy it.
In the interest of full disclosure, it should be known that I was both a financier and a beta tester for this game.
Now that said, as someone who had a hand in the quality control for this game, let explain why you should seriously consider playing The Pirateís Fate if you like visual novels.
Over the course of more than a year, the authors of this game have worked tirelessly to create something unique in the visual novel medium. The market is already oversaturated with endless slice of life titles that seem to go no where and romance games galore. That in of itself isnít necessarily a bad thing, but it gets tiresome after a while.
What The Pirateís Fate offers is an experience that is off the beaten path. Where as most visual novels only have one path with one or maybe four endings, this game offers three main paths that split even further into eight paths, all filled with many endings along the way. Endings that are actually determined by the choices you make, rather than a seemingly arbitrary score of recorded resources or stats. This is a narratively driven game, and past events effect the present in a straightforward and logical fashion. Choices actually matter and have consequences both good and bad.
The art is also praiseworthy for the scope of the game. While it might at first look plain to those used to seeing the average anime-inspired visual novel, one thing that The Pirateís Fate does to separate it from many of its peers is that everyone has at least three poses at the bare minimum, main characters several times more. I can not tell you how many times Iíve played visual novels that will hint at a conversation that happened but never seen, or a speaker thatís just off camera. Not here. Everyone who talks is seen. Everyone has as many drawn emotions as needed. The artist had to draw hundreds of figures and his hard work shines through even the smallest character.
The music is appropriate and even catchy at times. Some songs are more memorable than others but there isnít a single track that feels out of place or too plain. Because the game takes place on a world whose technology could be compared to the sailing days of the 1500 and 1600ís, the game soundtrack makes use of orchestra sound samples to its benefit. It feels like it belongs to the time period, making great use of brass, strings, percussion, and even an accordion or two. My favorite happens to be Romantic Rendezvous. You know it when you hear it.
Characters actually feel like fully fleshed out people who change and grow with the story. Only by playing all of the paths will you fully find out what makes them tick and the experiences theyíve had in the past that make them who they are in the present. As an aspiring writer myself, I can only hope to one day learn to write characters as well written as well as the gameís writer.
If you like visual novels but are looking for something different, The Pirateís Fate just might be what youíre looking for.
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