Title: RE: Alistair
System(s): *Windows, Mac, Linux
Release Date: February 28, 2010
Publisher (Developer): Sakevisual (Sakevisual)
ESRB Rating: N/A. (Appropriate for 10 and older).
Pros: Great artwork, interesting characters with a few slight unexpected twists, nice blend of simulation and visual novel elements, there are skip and auto functions, lots of save slots, CG gallery, the script is funny at times, the main character is easy to relate to and there’s quite a bit of replay value.
Cons: Pretty short and you’re left wanting more. Music isn’t anything special. Only three dateable guys.
Overall Score: One thumb up, one sideways, 88/100, B+, * * * 1/2 out of 5
Free games typically fall into one of three categories – “surprisingly exceptional,” “good, but I wouldn’t pay for it” and “I can see why this is free.” Sakevisual’s latest visual novel and dating simulation, RE: Alistair, definitely is a member of the surprisingly exceptional group. It’s only failings stem from it’s bland music and short storyline, and other than that it’s a really entertaining game. It also makes me wonder, if Sakevisual’s first game is this good, who knows what to expect from the next two, Ripples and Hanami x2.
Blessed Stones are a girl’s best friend.
Merui is a gamer girl, and her favorite is Rivenwall Online, a massive multiplayer online RPG where she is the knight RuiOfTheSword, and she and her online friend FionaWings explore a virtual world and beat up monsters in hopes of getting awesome stuff. One day, they’re out venturing as usual, and fighting a difficult boss in the hopes of Merui finding a Blessed Stone. Right when Merui is about to deal the final blow, some other player called Alistair jumps in, kills the boss and takes the stone.
Merui is displeased to say the least. If the Rivenwall Online censor would allow it, she’d show it verbally. She and this rogue, Alistair, agree to duel. Just as the duel’s about to start, the school’s internet goes down!
After classes, she returns to the computer lab, finds the internet is up again, and logs back in. She then realizes that she wasn’t the only one booted, that Alistair was booted from the game as well. She deduces that he attends the same school as she does, and after checking the school’s logs determines that three other people were online at that time, Derek, Shiro and Travis. The next time she meets Alistair, she tells him she knows who he is, and will exact her revenge. But, she doesn’t know which of the three he actually is. So they make a bet – she has one month to find him. If she does, she gets her stone. If she doesn’t, he gets all the gold she made in Rivenwall Online that month.
Engaging enough to keep you interested, quick enough to inspire replays.
As I played through RE: Alistair for the third time, I found myself wondering why it was so enjoyable. From first glance, it appears similar to most other visual novels, from the anime style graphics to the primarily story-based gameplay. As you play, you discover that it slightly deviates from your initial expectations. The characters, which each seem straightforward for the first few in-game days, each have their own secrets which can often only be uncovered if you try to win their hearts. I didn’t even suspect one of the guy’s secrets until I was halfway through playing the game while shooting for his ending.
RE: Alistair also takes a note from Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side, one of the most successful otome (girls’ dating game) and simulation games. Instead of limiting the player to just picking the correct answers to hopefully get a good ending and come to a good resolution, it also tasks players with meeting certain stat requirements. There are certain activities Merui can participate in and items she can buy, and by taking advantage of these actions she can make herself more appealing to certain characters.
The character of Merui is also part of what makes RE: Alistair great. She behaves like a real girl gamer and human being. She isn’t perfect – she’s got a bit of a temper, sometimes is less than patient and can be quite conniving when it suits her. But she can also be a good person, showing sympathy, kindness and compassion to other people. And her in-game counterpart, RuiOfTheSword helps gives players an insight into her gaming habits – Rui is a knight, a warrior class, who’s made it to level 56. Compare that to her friend FionaWings, who’s an Angel healer at level 54, and you can see Merui isn’t some casual player. All this makes it easier for girl gamers playing RE: Alistair to connect with the character and become more immersed in the game.
Find out if visual novels or simulation games are right for you, for free!
I’m honestly surprised RE: Alistair is a free game. It’s very well made, with quite a bit of depth and thought put into it. Even though it is quite short, that’s almost a blessing as it makes it much easier to go through multiple times and see all the endings. The story is well written, with believeable characters, the artwork is pretty and very easy to look at and the stat building simulation elements make you feel like you’re doing more than just reading text on a screen and occasionally picking answers. If you’ve ever been curious about visual novels or otome dating games, then make sure you visit Sakevisual and download RE: Alistair.
Site [RE: Alistair]