[PC] Demo Review – “Reimei no Gakuen”

Reimei no Gakuen is an upcoming visual novel by Raikon Kitsune Arts. This visual novel is set in a modern fantasy world where supernatural beings exist and certain individuals born after the ‘Hoshi no Ame’ incident possessing superhuman powers called ‘Shin’ are on the rise for about 20 years. The powers of ‘Shin’ users vary from person to person. While it is uncertain how to predict these abilities from user to user, one thing is for certain that those who possess these powers will experience great misfortune.

The story follows our heroine Sheryl Shiganori who is attending an academy to help control and hone her powers while protecting everyone from demons and beasts and guiding newcomers.

This review was requested by the creator. The demo available right now is currently in alpha so some things may be unfinished but it does have about 2 hours of gameplay.


Synopsis

I’d rather not butcher the story synopsis with misinformation so I’ll paste the story synposis from the itch.io page.

The world is full of mysteries and secrets.

In the shadows, beyond what the ordinary people can see, demons, witches and other supernatural beings live and fight.

But on a night 20 years ago, the balance of this world was offset. The happenings of that night are unkown till today for all. Until today, no one knew what truly happened that night. The only sign, one that even normal humans could sense, was the ‘Hoshi no Ame’: a rain of colorful stars all around the world. Since then, there have been several mysterious occurrences that even supernatural beings could not explain.

One of these occurrences is the appearance of the Shin.
The Shin is a mysterious special ability granted to a few human children who were born in the past 20 years. However, this power comes at the cost of great misfortune, bringing danger to to the bearer and those around them.  Because of this several tragedies happened.

Now those children, who have survived such a cruel fate, are slowly gathering in one place to finally reveal the truth:

Aurora Academy.

The creator of this visual novel aims to have 70+ hours of in-game content, 6 routes/romanceable characters with 14 possible endings (2 endings per love interest and 2 endings for the common route), 20+ side characters, 95+ CGs and 10+ chibi/SD CGs as well as an opening and ending video.

With an ambitious project like this they hope to help fund it’s production through a kickstarter campaign that is live right now.

Overall Thoughts

—Story

Just a heads up, because this is a demo it’s hard to give a proper critique when you’re not experiencing the full thing, especially when the demo includes just a prologue and the first chapter. So I will try my best to give some feedback.

A few things I liked about it is first scene introducing us to the world of this visual novel, it’s doesn’t give too much away but gives enough information for the reader to ease into the world. The scene where they brief the newcomers was a good scene for the reader to understand more of the world and lore/rules of this visual novel, which felt like this scene needed to be introduced a little bit earlier in the demo. I also like the potential relationship dynamic between Sheryl and Lagi where it was revealed that Lagi’s abilities triggers Sheryl’s past trauma and I’m interested to see how they could get along with each other.

However the pacing for the first chapter seemed a little bit slow for me. Like I’ve said before, I have a really terrible attention span so if something doesn’t hold my attention I tend to get distracted by other things instead of focusing on the story. The hard part for this game is that you have a lot of characters (main and supporting characters) to introduce in the first chapter while trying to give them enough screen time for the reader to be familiar with them. The writer did their best to introduce each character but it felt like some characters, especially the main characters, haven’t been given enough time for the reader to gain an familiarity with them. But to give some slack, this is just a small part of the whole game, which will have about 70+ hours of content so it may not be a big problem but it does feel like it would be better to space out introduction of characters through a couple of chapters.

The heroine is a bit too aloof and abrasive for me to empathise with, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad choice to have an aloof heroine that has past experiences. It might be hard for readers to put themselves through the heroine’s point of view when the heroine has previous knowledge of the game’s lore that is foreign for the reader but depending on how it’s executed it might not be a problem. Seeing that I can’t experience the full story I can’t really pass any judgement on this.

That being said, there were a few awkward sentences where the phrasing seems a bit off but other than that it does have an interesting premise. Also that cliffhanger at the end of the demo is quite a good hook to get the reader speculating how the rest of the story would play out.

—Graphics

Again, this demo is in its alpha stage so a couple of its backgrounds are unfinished but that being said the rough sketches of the backgrounds do look promising and helps the atmosphere.

Almost all characters, be it side characters or main characters, have sprites which makes the cast of characters feel more there/existing, if that makes sense 😂 It makes the side characters feel like they have a role in the story rather than being invisible characters that you’d see in other visual novels. Though this may be a problem for some people as it’s hard to tell who is the main cast and who is the supporting cast but honestly for me I like to slowly find out who the potential love interests are so when they blend in with the supporting characters I can figure out who is the love interest at my own pace.

That being said I like how everyone has a unique and very stylised design, it helps drive home the themes of being ‘fantastical’ but in the modern age.

The GUI/UI is also pleasant to look at with the choice of colors and designs. Even if it’s an alpha demo I can totally see the UI design being in the final version of a visual novel. Though I do think the menu on the dialogue box may need to be changed because I keep finding myself accidentally pressing the back button or skip button instead of auto. I particularly love the mouse cursor (it’s such a nice aesthetic 😍)

The CGs in the demo, while being a bit rough and unfinished, looks very promising with the composition, shading and lighting.

Screenshot (55)

—Music

Music is good, there was one song where you could tell where it loops because of the disjointed tune of when the track finishes and it’s start when it loops but other than that the music wasn’t too distracting. It sets the mood and fits in the scene perfectly, especially the  battle scenes and there’s nothing much to complain about.

Suggestions

■ It would help the reader if when the activate the auto button that there is an icon or indicator constantly on the screen to show that the game is in auto mode because I kept finding myself wondering if I turned auto on or off whenever I hit the button

■ This game would benefit with a backlog or message/dialogue/text history feature so readers could open it up when they want to read something that happened a couple lines back

■ It could help if it was more visually apparent with who is the active speaker, especially when there are three characters on screen. A way to do this would be done by either darkening the sprites that are not talking or to bring the sprite of the active speaker more forward towards the screen/a layer in front of other characters–if that makes sense. I’m sorry that I’m bad at explaining stuff.


Final Words


Sadly, this visual novel isn’t quite my cup of tea but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. I can see it has potential and that there may be others who would like this kind of visual novel which is why I’m making this post–to spread some awareness of this game’s existence.

For those who love fantasy in a modern setting, or for those who love stories of characters with superhuman abilities then I suggest to give this game a go and check out it’s alpha demo on itch.io <–click link for download (you can download for free or if you feel like it you can name your price for the demo as a tip for the creator).

If you’d like to support the kickstarter then check it out here. Their goal is £3,780, as of now they’ve raised £1,946.50 (a bit over 50% towards reaching their goal). Again, the same caution I had said with my previous demo review post with a kickstarter, please pledge with responsibility.

I wish the creator and their team the best of luck. It seems like a lot of work ahead of them but hopefully once it’s funded and a finished product is delivered I’ll come back to play it and give a proper review.

Thanks for reading.

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Playing otome games by moonlight, suffering by daylight.

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