Review: Ripples Visual Novel

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Ripples is a visual novel I enjoyed in 2014. I recently revisited it. It’s really short (around 10 minutes) and sweet.

Story: Koda is a pessimist who photographs nature as a hobby. He meets a girl at the park and finds himself visiting the park every day.

Writing: The writing is the best part. The dialogue is realistic and shows us the personalities of the two characters. I loved one quote in particular:

Even if my life is just a single drop, every drop of water leaves ripples.”

Art: The art is really cute. For its short length, I don’t mind the static backgrounds or that Kuu wears the same clothes each day.

Music: The music is fitting to the story. It enhances the story because it gives it a relaxing atmosphere.

Vocals: The English dubbing is great. I only watch anime in Japanese, but I found the English vocals refreshing to listen to.

Since it’s so short, I recommend everyone to play it or watch it on YouTube. I like the message a lot and even after all these years, I still think about Ripples time to time.

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Best JRPGs for Xbox 360

If you are interested in playing a lot of Japanese role-playing games, it is better to buy a PlayStation. However, there are a couple of great games exclusive to the Xbox 360.

***AMAZING***

Lost Odyssey (2007) – Xbox 360 exclusive

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This is my favourite game. I didn’t buy this game at first because I thought I wouldn’t like the mature looking graphics but I was completely wrong. This traditional turn-based game is a gem.

The game touches on the theme of eternal life. Small spoiler, but the main protagonist is immortal. It’s interesting because immortal players will automatically revive after a few turns. Nonetheless, you’ll still die if all your players are dead. Within the game are short stories on the protagonist’s memories, and they are treasures themselves. If I could buy a physical book containing the short stories, I would do it in a heartbeat. I feel like I’ve learned something about life through reading these stories because it makes you contemplate life… The music is very beautiful.

Blue Dragon (2006) – Xbox 360 exclusive

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This is a great game for the JRPG beginner. This was my first game and it’s a traditional turn-based game. They made a manga and anime adaptation based on this game series because of its good reception. The game is definitely better than the manga and anime.

Tales of Vesperia (2008) – Xbox 360 Exclusive (not including Japan), but will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows later this year.

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My biggest complaint is that you can’t skip cut scenes. If you die while fighting a boss, you’ll have to skip over all the text which is annoying sometimes, especially when you just want to kill the damn monster.

Regardless, this is an amazing game. It’s not turn-based, so it requires button smashing LOL. However there is still strategy involved in the game which makes it fun. The characters are quite likeable. I’ve laughed at several parts of the game because of Yuri’s sassiness.

Since it’s getting the Definitive Edition this year (meaning it will be available on other platforms), do buy the game because it’s so much fun.

***OKAY***

  • Enchanted Arms (2006) – Recommend, but not the best
  • Final Fantasy XIII (2010) – Breathtaking visuals, but I couldn’t get into it
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009) – Couldn’t get into it, but the reviews are pretty good.

***POOR***

  • The Last Remnant (2008) – Don’t do it.

Catherine – HIGHLY Recommend this Game!

Don’t let the cover fool you, hahaha! I would say that the M rating is because of some blood, not so much because of nudity. I played this game in front of my parents. No big deal.

 

When the cutscenes are put together, it is exactly like an anime movie. They have all the cutscenes on YouTube in a couple of long videos so if you don’t plan on playing the game, I really encourage you to watch them!

The cutscenes/story of the game mean a lot to me. Vincent, the main character, is placed into a complicated life situation and he needs to resolve his problems. Whenever I am in a very low mood, I watch the cutscenes and I feel better afterwards. Why? One, my problems are not as bad as his. Two, he is a relatable and normal guy (and in the game, you are playing him). Vincent definitely has flaws, but he’s very likeable because he feels real. Three, he gets out of the mess. Every time I watch the cutscenes and play the game, I learn something about myself and about life.

I love how Vincent gets together with his friend group all the time after work. They meet at the regular bar and it’s a normal part of his day. In the bar you can order drinks, send text messages, play at the arcade, watch the news and talk to the other customers.

Now to the actual gameplay. You have to climb blocks. Sounds simple, right? Each night gets harder and you will be chased by something. My favourite monster was probably the giant baby with a chainsaw. That’s where the blood comes in! Initially, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy climbing blocks but it is actually a lot of fun!!! You have to constantly think of strategies while climbing.

It is challenging but you learn that in order to survive, you must continuously adapt to the situation. I think this is very important in real life too. A lot of the time, things don’t go our way but what we do have control over is our reaction to the situation. Plus, being chased by a monster that wants to kill you is quite thrilling. 😀

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Completing a stage (especially if you win a Gold Prize) is IMMENSELY satisfying. I feel more happy about completing a stage than acing an exam LOL. Every time I complete a stage, I feel more confident about overcoming my own life situation and this will sound corny but completing a stage in the game is like practice for real life…

The soundtrack is AMAZING. Lamb Game between ♂ and ♀ is my favourite, but I love all the songs.

I’ve been in a happy mood for a long time now but if I am in a bad mood, I know that this game is there for me. I finished this game in about two weeks and I’ll play it on a harder level of difficulty next time! As you can see, I can’t stop raving about this game so yeah, play it. Or at least watch the cutscenes and enjoy the music. 😉