Most of you probably don’t know what a visual novel is. A visual novel is a book except a video game. There is little to no interaction from the player except for choosing between different things to say or do at a specific time. The majority of visual novels are Japanese and are typically in the romance genre. Sunrider is far from the typical visual novel. It contains a pretty in depth tactical system for combat and focuses on space/Mechs rather than a high school.
Story is a main part of any visual novel and Sunrider’s first part does not disappoint. You are Captain Captain Kayto Shields. Minutes after embarking your new ship , the Sunrider , Pact forces attack and destroy your home world. Barely managing to escape , you decide to take revenge on PACT. The story has a lot of intricacies that it would be a shame for me to spoil. It mirrors current societies and current conflicts but adds its own twist to it. Choices in Sunrider actually made me think as choices normally seemed right and none were stereotypically evil or good. The choices didn’t seem to effect the story too much. Each of the members of the crew had their own distinct personalities. Conversations and scenes sometimes had a slight anime touch to it. It makes sure not to take itself too seriously. This game does have some nsfw scenes in it so don’t say I warned you.
The graphics in this game are gorgeous. No “not oh look at all the polygons gorgeous” but artistically gorgeous. The Mechs look fantastic, each with its own unique style and details. Even the space artwork during combat looks fantastic. It was clear that the devlopers , Love in Space , took a lot of time and effort to create them. The animations in the regular story were minimal and I liked it. The minimal animations as well as the minimalistic characters fit in perfectly. The minimalistic designs of Melonbunny , the character designer , may contrast a bit too much from Love in Space’s Mech designs for some people but I liked it.
The orchestral / metal soundtrack complements the visuals pretty well. It may be a bit over the top for some people but I thought it sounded absolutely fantastic. The battle soundtrack adds to the overall epicness of the combat sections. Iced Blade did a fantastic job overall with the metal portions of the soundtrack.
Sunrider really surprised me as to how in depth the gameplay is , in most visual novels gameplay is set to a minimum. Sunriders gameplay is rather complex and has you playing on a grid with enemy PACT or Pirates and facing off. You have the choice to move or attack using various moves but this is limited. Each enemy is weak to certain attacks and certain attacks are stronger depending on the scenario but you will have to figure this out.
Along with Sunrider you get various other Ryders to help you on your journey. Each of these Ryders , mechs , have specific abilities that you will have to figure out how to use properly. There is virtually no hand holding and the game is not hesitant to kick your butt ruthlessly and effortlessly. The great part about Sunrider’s Battle system is that it allows for players to have a variety of options. Each battle changes up the way it presents itself with different ryders or different objectives. Some battles will be escort missions while others will be straight on battles. Sunrider does a great job in showing diversity in battles.
The only real negatives to this game are some bugs and issues that arose because it was in beta. The majority of these have been fixed. There is also some lag in the battle system. Sunrider also doesn’t offer many options for customizing the graphics and special effects but that might also be fixed in the future.
Overall, Sunrider First Arrival is one of the best games I have played this year and it’s not even 1/3 done. The best part is , it’s free. 100% free forever and ever. For 10 hours of amazing content this game is a must download. Of course, the only problem is that it isn’t finished yet. So what are you waiting for, go download it now!
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