From YagamiKyo, 1 Year ago, written in Plain Text.
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  1. Well, first of all clarify that these are my raw thoughts after my first playthrough of the main story of Hajimari no Kiseki. I have barely touched the Reverie Corridor at the time I write this, and so things might change.
  4. Also obvious SPOILERS !!!
  8. Let's talk about the premise first. A Kiseki game with 3 different routes following two very loved characters Rean and Lloyd, as well as a mysterious character known as C. The Cross Story mechanics was something that scared me a bit before starting the game, but it worked really nicely. Separating all of the important characters between these routes gave it a focus and tightness that we have not seen in a Kiseki main story for a while.
  10. In fact, I would say the Cross Story + Chapters way of handling characters, keeping the teams small and with a certain purpose, is what Falcom needs to work towards instead of the huge cast of characters that we had in Erebonia (looking at CSII AND CSIV specifically, where characters suffer due to the gigantic parties). Of course, this only works until the Last Chapter, where we again have to deal with dozens of characters. But the core members of the story stay still.
  12. Now, more specifically, route by route and then conclusions.
  16. Amazing. All of Crossbell's strong points shine through, with a Juna cameo as well. The dialogue at the top, where the SSS discusses their choices throughout Zero and Ao, their consequences and the path they have chosen got me very emotional. They didn't choose the easy path, and they worked hard to get their reward. Simply amazing.
  21. Rean route starts with a simple Class VII activity in Yumir, and with Rean still looking for purpose in the world. Going back home is a perfect way to start the game after the ending of CSIV. He is still unable to accept himself, but the seeds of happiness are there! He just needs some more time. First chapter was a decent introduction, and showed us a very important things. MOCAP AND SCENE DIRECTION ARE SO MUCH BETTER. Like honestly, kudos!!!!
  23. We move on to hear the news of Crossbell getting occupied by Rufus and his magical fascists, as well as the disappearence of Olivier. We also get the first glimpse of C. Good character interaction and buildup.
  25. Rean chapter 2 is in the capital Heimdallr, and the first real intersection of the routes. Rean and group search the city for clues, and en dup in the sewers (again) looking for C. There, they find some Imperial forces, and at the end of the day a confrontation with C which ends up revealing his identity.
  27. Chapter 3 takes us to Nord, and it gave us the amazing Xenogears moment, revealing a new Deus-Excellion. It was just so much hype. I loved it, but Nord is so biiiig. I wish Emma and Gaius played a bigger part here haha. We got a bunch of Arios fights, which were amazing, and a small playable segment of Olivier saving his Honey Moon. Which was perfect, and a good respect for his character. Poor Schera not being playable tho
  29. Chapter 4 was a bit shorter, and starts with Rean and most of Class VII going to Crossbell, the center of the conflict. Luckily we get divided, but go to Mischelam (again). I start to think the whole of Kiseki is just a plan by the Mischelam shareholders to get the moneys! MechaMishy was interesting, but the castle of mirrors ohboy!!! Now that was something!!
  31. Rean just got some spectacular inner dialogues, which is consistent the whole game.
  35. OHBOY
  37. Crossbell is occupied again after they managed to liberate themselves from the Empire! This is a huge loss, and starts the inner conflict within the SSS
  39. The whole trip around Crossbell for all chapters is just trying to figure out how to stop Rufus and reuniting the SSS members. All of them get some nice intimate moments, some of them really powerful.
  41. Lloyd shines though his inner dialogue as well as his interactions. He's a great protagonist. The reveals at the end of the Reinford Military thingy were interesting, as we have robot copies running around. Novartis luckily cannot copy Outside powers yet, but I wonder why he's trying to?
  43. The weakest point of this route, I must say, is Ilya's story. It didn't really work well even as a conflict for Rixia imo. Could have been handled better. I'll get into it later in the conclusion.
  45. C ROUTE:
  47. WHERE DO I EVEN START. The cast in this route is the perfect bunch of misfits, and it works so well. Characterization is on point, some very emotional moments too. It starts getting really intense around Chapter 3, but C's reveal at the end of Chapter 2 was a bit divisive inside me.
  49. BUT DID THEY MAKE IT WORK. Rufus as a main character was something I wished didn't happen, but glad it did. Really shows that they can write amazing characters when they get a more intimate and smaller approach. Bravo. Please, Falcom, learn from this. This route is all we wanted. Don't give us a huge cast of characters for nothing!
  51. I think the Rosenberg Studio is also one of my favourite parts of the game. Chapter 3 was just really cool for Rean, but for Rufus' party it's amazing. All of the supporting characters (including Renne) go through a small conflict prepared by Novartis mostly, and while it was short, the execution was brilliant.
  53. Chapter 4 was amazing cause we got PLAYABLE ARIOS. Have I told you how much I like Arios already? Also Duvalie vs Rufus scene was good.
  55. I still don't know how I feel about Ian, but everyone deserves a second chance. Plus, Ian and Dieter weren't evil per se (unlike Mariabell tbh), but wanted to change the cursed fate of Crossbell, and both of them learnt that trusting in each other is better than some otherwordly power. This ties well into the game's concept too!
  57. The Elysion reveal, I loved it! Lapis is basically Ian's daughter (and Rufus' adoptive daughter I guess. Or is it the other way around haha?) Elysion being an accident that happened by chance, but at the same time inevitable, is perfectly fine and I loved it.
  59. Last Chapter:
  61. Last Chapter starts a big meh, with too many characters to unite the three routes. Rufus vs Rufus was good. We got to explore all of Crossbell, which was a bit overwhelming before the last dungeon.
  63. Last dungeon's final hour or so was also amazing, and Ishmelga Rean is a good way to resolve the NE/TE problem that happened at the end of CSIV. Also, someone inject THAT MUSIC into my veins. Directly. I want to feel it.
  67. Conclusions:
  69. This game is special and different to other Kiseki games, with maybe the 3rd being the most similar. If I were to say what the really really strong point of this game is, then it will be the thematic coherence and its solid characterization. All three routes deal with the self in various ways. The main characters need to confront themselves, as well as accept themselves for who they are, and it is done in my opinion beautifully. I am excited to see if Falcom can keep this kind of writing in the future arcs!
  71. The new characters are fantastic, and honestly, I feel so happy. This is some of the best raw Kiseki we've had. Please, please, please Falcom, keep writing characters like this.
  73. Love the subtle Nier-y parts of Chapter 3. Honestly, like I said before, the tightly done narrative is just so so so good!
  76. Now, the game is not perfect. Class VII is as bloated as ever, with very few of them actually having a clear purpose. Too many characters, too many last minute cameos (including Kevin's Merkabah lol). Ilya's involvement is weird, and I dunno why they have decided to redeem so many characters. Still not sure how I feel about that.
  78. I would have done some things differently, such as Jusis being a lot more present in Rufus' route. Maybe could have brought him in Chapter 3 or 4, maybe him trying to track Rufus down. Could have added the Ironbreeds as well to see how they feel about him and so on. Although I loved his route, definitely some wasted opportunities.