Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Games for Adults: Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia

Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia Review

            Despite Edelweiss’ sub par translation, the game’s good story managed to shine through and create a significant enough fanbase that Mangagamer licensed its fandisc for English release and released it on March 20, 2010. This release did come as a bit of surprise to some considering this was the first fandisc to see English release. For those of you who need a bit of explanation, a fandisc is something like an expansion pack for a game except it’s released as it’s own game without you needing to have the original game installed to access the content, but it’s really best if you play the original game so as to enjoy this one. A good example of an English equivalent would be Dragon Age: Awakening. Now with that explained, let’s move on.

Pros: Everything good from Edelweiss is back.

Cons: You have to play Edelweiss in order to enjoy this, you’re left wanting more when you finish each route.

WTF: Of all the places for a god to take up residence…

            Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia picks up after the end of the normal ending of the first game in which Kazushi wasn’t able to romance any of the game’s heroines. All is not lost for our hero though as circumstances arise that will open the path to romance with Rin Fujisaki or Sakura Takase, two heroines from the original who did not have their own routes.

            Honestly, this game has pretty much everything good about Edelweiss with all the bad gone. There’s no slow beginning (in fact I found the prologue quite funny if you choose to listen to the exploits of a particular sub pairing), the characters are as entertaining as ever, the humor as bizarre and over the top but somehow fitting with the story as ever, and the artwork is as good as ever

            Now because there are only two scenarios (plus a short one that’s unlocked upon completion of both), I’ll give my opinions on both without spoiling too much because to be honest I can’t pick which is better. In Sakura’s route, a joke on Kazushi’s part ends up with Sakura making a bet with him as to whether she can make him fall for her or not and subsequent romantic comedy chaos ensues as Sakura makes her attempts to get Kazushi to fall in love with her and our hero does his best to resist. Meanwhile, their friends start making bets on who’ll win and proceed to take steps in order to better their chances. This route shows just how well the writer for Edelweiss is able to write romance and comedy as comical scenes are genuinely funny and when we do get to the romance it actually is pretty effective, though I will admit they may have resolved the bit of romantic drama that occurs late in the scenario a little quickly. In Rin’s route, both she and Kazushi end up being picked to be their class representatives and as a result of working together grow closer. Unfortunately for Kazushi, an accident occurs in which he protects Rin but the end result is a sealed entity ends up taking residence/possession of a certain area of his body. Hint: kind of the reverse of this or this except Eiden Fantasia’s handling of it doesn’t suck. I know it’s hard to believe, trust me, I had similar thoughts as I figured that the character that’s the result of said…incident is neither annoying or obnoxious and is in fact a pretty funny and likable character. To sum things up, Rin’s scenario shows how good the writer is at writing the bizarre comedy Edelweiss is known for. In this scenario the romance takes a bit of a back seat for the comedy, but in my opinion the laughs that come from this scenario more than make up for it not being as romantically driven as Sakura’s.

            Now to mention the flaws that this game has, I guess the simplest flaw would be that the game leaves you wanting more at the end. Don’t get me wrong, the stories for both scenarios are complete, but I have to say I would have liked to see a little more stuff happen after Kazushi and Rin or Sakura start their relationship. Also the unlocked extra route, I would have liked to see what happens after its end since there’s quite a bit of story potential in it (I’d especially like to see how the rest of the cast reacts, especially Appo and co.). The only other flaw is that you really need to play Edelweiss to enjoy this game otherwise you won’t have any idea who many of the characters are or get some of the jokes made.

            Presentation-wise, there really isn’t much to talk about. Everything I’ve said about Edelweiss applies to this game: good artwork, good acting, and the animated character portraits are nice. I will say that this game has a better opening than the original did.

            Now as for the ero content, again same as I said for Edelweiss: the scenes are fine but don’t add or take anything away from the story. I will however say that you may find a bit of a treat after you complete both scenarios though…
In Conclusion:

            Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia is a very worthy follow up to Edelweiss, bringing back everything enjoyable about the first game while giving us two new stories that in many ways are just as good as the original game’s heroines. You’ll probably be wishing for more after you’ve completed the game, but that’s pretty much a testament to how good the stories were. Because you really should play the first game before this one, I recommend buying the two together as MG has the two for sale as such if you haven’t gotten the first game.

Final Score: 8/10 Awesome

Recommendation: Buy it now

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