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 Edelweiss and Edelweiss Fantasia Review

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baccano
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Join date : 2012-03-12

PostSubject: Edelweiss and Edelweiss Fantasia Review   Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:45 pm

The following originally had pictures both safe and not-safe for work but when transferring over the pictures kinda disappeared. For those interested I'll post the actual blogspot link that I'm using to post these reviews with the pictures at a later time (one the new user restriction lets up).

Edelweiss and Edelweiss Fantasia Review
By: Baccano

Edelweiss and Eiden Fantasia

Game: Edelweiss
Manufacturer: Overdrive
Language: Japanese with English Translation
Censored/Mosaics: No
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

Edelweiss is a mangagamer release and one of the first translated visual novels to appear after the fall of hirameki (translators of ever 17 and phantom inferno). Jast USA was already in business at this time but the majority of their games consisted of sex romps and visual novel enthusiasts longed for something with more story. Hence the arrival of Mangagamer and their first two games Da Capo and Edelweiss.

While playing Edelweiss one has to take in account that this was one of mangagamer's first actual releases that said the first in initial release was completely horrible. Translation and dialogue were all over the place little organization and entire scenes were missing at times. They re-released the product some time later and gave it free to everyone who bought the release copy. The second release was in effect much much better but also had its share of problems. Typical problems occurred in the area of grammar and punctuation. Of course usual present/past participles were misplaced and on occasion they misused quotations. None of this made the game unplayable however. Considering this was one of the companies first releases this is somewhat excusable. They seem to actually get an editor with later games. I make mention of it below but Mangagamr eventually redid this game and it turned out much better with a proper translation and editor. I played it with the un-edited version though so that is what I review.

By now most people are probably wondering what the game I'm reviewing actually is and they will be surprised at my answer. The game is drama-comedy coming-of-age plot with hardcore teen humor and a bit fullmetal alchemist-like elements thrown in for the core of the story. The game is nowhere near as dramatic as say Kanon or Clannad but regardless there are still several rather unexpected turns and twists in the game.

The main character is called Kazushi and focuses on Kazushi and his friends passing an entrance exam in order to attend a former all-girls school. The boys themselves went an all guys school so you can kind of see where teen humor probably comes in. The school in question is located on an isolated island and it is because of this that the boys believe they have a chance of "scoring" with a girl. They have quite a few misadventures in which they discover that the school focuses on teaching alchemy to its students along with the ethics and principles that are needed for alchemy as well as almost get thrown out because of a few of these misadventures.

The primary problem with the game aside from translation/grammar is from the plot. The plot itself is perfectly fine but the middle of the story often is rather boring and aloof compared to the endings and almost seems as if the author didn't know what he was doing.

The essential information about the game does not even come into the picture until around the last two hours or so. I also noticed that because of this each ending seemed rather similar and each arc seemed to be a bit rushed. I did a little research and apparently it was too rushed. Hence the reason they eventually released the expansion/sequel which further expanded on both this game and its characters and even gave better story lines. Or so I've heard. I won't know anything until that eventual release.

The girls too do not really stand out at all we have the ignorant, the professor, the mysterious girl, the money lover, and the athletic stereotypes. Mind you there are slight quirks unique to each and although there all pretty common they were decently developed characters.


Aozora Haruka: Haruka was raised in the natural
environment of Eiden Island. She is energetic and has a natural innocence of her character easily seen through the course of the visual novel. She is both clumsy and intelligent and has recently taken an interest in the newly transferred boys.

Hinata Mizuki: Her love of swimming is the reason she enrolled at Eiden and if it weren't for her unfortunate run-in with the transferring boys she would still be swimming naked in the soft currents and warm waters of the ocean. She is an athlete and somewhat boyish in nature and although she lacks experience in behaving around boys she proves to be just like any other girl that loves accessories and love. In the game she is the very essence of Tsundere.

Kamoike Ran: She is a money lover and will not hesitate to swindle the boys out of their money by offering them false advice on how to be popular among girls, giving them supposed naked pictures of women, and is a treasure hunter at heart. She is actually quite shy though and is uncomfortable being in a group. She has an active role to play in almost all the routes but hers is possibly the most disappointing of all the routes.

Amamiya Natsume: A mysterious girl who rarely talks and seems to have no friends. She is also the nearly loli character in the game but has one of the most amusing personalities if you do not count the two girls with no route (unless you count the fandisc Fantasia...well worth playing).

Ibuki Mei: The main character's professor and she will not hesitate to use her charm to get people to follow directions. She is very popular amongst the female students as well as the male students. She has a habit of drinking and will bawl for seemingly no reason when drunk. She has some amusing events and is one of the better characters in the game route wise.

Edelweiss is the typical branching type of visual novel. There are five different paths the player can choose from and each of the paths has a girl with a personal problem and its up to Kazushi (main character) to help her resolve this problem. Plot choices are few and in between. There are only a few main areas of plot choices and if one were to save at the right moments the player can run through all the endings relatively quickly...by skipping what they've already seen and read with a handy skip button.

For all its faults Overdrive's game is rather unique from many of the games currently translated (not all mind you there are definitely better games). The game is high quality and the game had a high budget presentation. One of the best things about the game is that the characters mouths are actually in sync with the dialogue. Although this feature is not unique for visual novels now days back when it was first released a large majority of the games lacked this feature and made the games hard to play. Edelweiss was one of the first translated games that didn't.

Music is a big factor in visual novels and there have been so many memorable songs or background music from titles like kanon, clannad, fate/stay, etc... One of the the things I personally liked about the game is that each path had its own unique credit music. This may not seem like a big deal but trust me when I say it is. The vocal tracks are not all that wonderful but the background music is done in a way to fit the mood although isn't astounding by any means. The only real memorable song is the opening theme Ashberry.

Graphic wise the game is rather well done. It has a good usage of green, yellow, and orange hues. The line art is absolutely amazing while the backgrounds are interesting and do not lead the player to boredom. The CGs (non-h) were well done and entertaining to look at. The game is an H game though so hentai cgs were included as well. They were not bad. For the most part the h scenes were in either room or beach. I did notice that there were quite a few places that they could have easily put in other scenes. I'm kinda glad it didn't though because it was nice to play a game that was not all about the sex. There were about two sex or h-scenes for each character so the actual h-scenes did not take away from the story.

Voice actors/actresses can make or break a game or anime and Edelweiss is no exception. Thankfully the game's voice actresses/actors do a pretty good job of conveying the necessary emotions. Now there may have been one or two voices that bordered on annoying but I believe that was the intention so its not really a disadvantage.

Overall Mangagamer released a pretty well done game for its first release and it was nice to see a teenage drama-comedy as opposed to the usual sex-romp that Jast USA usually releases. The game is not perfect and although a lot of this has to do with the grammar in the translation and a somewhat weak middle I would still have to say the game is pretty well done. It's not the best game by far but as far as official english translations go this is one of the better games.

Re-Release: Mangagamer actually did go back and fix most of the translation and grammar and made it much better game as a result. So don't be worried that the game was previously grammatically flawed. It is now much better than it was before and most of the grammar errors were caught. It has a few things here or there but the new translator working for Mangagamer is quite good at what he/she does.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Game: Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia
Manufacturer: Overdrive
Language: Japanese with English Translation
Censored/Mosaics: No
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy

A number of years after the release of Edelweiss Mangagamer licensed the two route fan disc which dealt with the characters Rin and Sakura often considered to be some of the most entertaining characters in the vanilla game.

The game picks up where Edelweiss ends should you not get any route. The heroines of the story are Takase Sakura and Fujisaki Rin two background characters that ended up dominating popularity polls when the vanilla game was released. They actually ended up beating the vanilla heroines. This fan-disk presents two all new stories to the Edelweiss story as well as a special mushroom ending.

The stories of this fan-disk are quite odd. In the Sakura route the main character and Sakura become good friends and end up making a bet whether Sakura can make Kazushi fall for her. Outsiders begin to complicate things and and sabotage and gambling is occuring throughout the school. The plot in the Sakura route is not the greatest and to be honest she loses a lot of her character which made her awesome in the original Edelweiss.

The Rin route on the other hand is amazingly bizarre it almost hurts to write about. This does not make it bad but is actually one of the more entertaining routes in both games. In this route Kazushi and Rin both become class representatives and when a statue breaks and the two begin having feelings for one another something horrible happens to Kazushi's crotch. His Johnny grows a face and begins to speak. I honestly could not make this up if I tried.

I will say one thing though as I could very easily see either hints for an Edelweiss sequel or laziness on the creators as the Rin route looked like it could go in multiple directions. Both games really did not seem to fully finish and it seems like something was missing in both this and the vanilla game. If you play the game you will understand what I mean.

The plots for this game are surprisingly not all that bad despite how "out there" they may seem. It is entertaining and worth playing through. A special ending is also unlocked after playing both routes in which mushrooms are greatly involved.

The voices are the same as in the last game and this works to its advantage some of the music is downright weird but surprisingly fits (and well).

The art maintained quality of the original so nothing to talk about.

Overall in terms of this and the original if one were to add both the new translation of the original and the fan disk then the game would have received a solid 8 but considering the two were split up and you are required to buy both the vanilla game and the fan-disk, and the fact that it seemed as if not all the stories were actually explored or fully finished, both games get the following rating:

7 out 10.
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