Review by Renan_XIII

Reviewed: 12/02/08

Higurashi at it's best.

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni is a popular Japanese visual novel series. It was created by 07th Expansion; a Japanese company. The series became very popular and spanned 8 main games, 1 Playstation 2 game with an expansion, a fighting game, 2 DS games as of December 1st, 2008 out of a planned 8, a 50 episode anime, an ongoing manga series, and a live action movie. As you can tell this series is very popular in Japan. The keyword is Japan. In America not so much. So I would say the only people reading this review are the hardcore fans.

Story: 9
The story is the beef of the game. As a matter of fact it is the game! If you’ve ever played Phoenix Wright you would know what I’m talking about. The story is about a village called Hinamizawa. You control a young teenager named Keiichi Maebara for most of the game. At certain times you’ll play as other characters you’ve encountered during the story. Anyways, in the village of Hinamizawa a festival is held every year and every year strange murders happen. I really can’t say much with out spoiling the story, but it involves many plot twists, angst, paranoia, death, gore, fear, and it’s basically a mind screw until you reach the final chapter, which takes quite a long time.

Game play: 6
Ouch. This game takes quite the hit here doesn’t it? This is a visual novel. It’s all reading with limited options. Though the options are good, they’re nothing at all like Phoenix Wright. You basically choose options for certain questions and they’ll lead you to different story arcs. It’s quite annoying because if you have little knowledge in Japanese you’ll find yourself playing through the same arcs over and over again.

Music: 8
For most of the game you’ll be forced to some generic sounds, but then when the story actually begins to pick up pace you’ll find yourself listening to some scary stuff. The opening themes are probably the best pieces of music in the whole game. It’s awesome.

Graphics: 8
The graphics are traditional anime style. It’s all nice and shonen style drawn, but it’s the backgrounds we’re looking at. The backgrounds hide many things. Scary or nice it’s still beautiful. Sometimes you might even find yourself just staring at the backgrounds, or if you’re like me staring at Rena.

Rent or Buy?: Buy. It’s not like you have a choice.
Well this game is all good and fun for the hardcore fans and it’s even fun for those visual novel fans looking for a good game. I want to say buy it if you know Japanese and you like visual novels. You won’t regret it.

Overall Grade:8

Rating: 8

Product Release: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri (JP, 02/22/07)

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