In the dark and dreaded alleyway somewhere in the blackest of nights, you find a sticky and red pool seeping from a body skewered on the wall by an OVER-SIZED WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. But wait! There is a silver-haired loli with piercing red eyes and a cold question. WHO IS THIS TINY CHIBIKO? WHY IS THERE A DEAD BODY PINNED BY A GIGANTIC SCYTHE? ARE CAPES IN FASHION?
This is 3rdeye’s second title and it is about a young man and his descent into the grim reality of his world and himself. DUM DUMM DUUUUMMMM! From what I’ve heard of 3rdeye’s first title, Bloody Rondo, there were mixed reactions but what is definitely consistent across titles are the OH SO FINE LADIES you can woo. So my brain and my penis waged battle, and needless to say my penis won.
Since when did M3rry ever not chase a loli with a scythe? That’s right, never. Familiar readers shouldn’t be surprised that your beloved blogger has decided, out of pure courage might I add, to try out a title I was quite hesitant about…and he surprised me by staying with it. Ok, I may have let my experience with Bloody Rondo run too much of a prejudice as Shinigami no Testament turned out to be alright . We’ll be your minesweeper and give you a mission brief for today.
So what’s the lowdown on the story? Well it seems there are a series of murders without a trace of evidence and the main character, Rui, bungled into what looks like the scene of the crime. However the plot takes more twists and turns as he meets ordinary people transforming into monsters or ’Regnauts’. All of this is related to the ‘Epistula,’ a book of unfathomable power and Rui’s life and destiny is deeply intertwined with its creation and the following conflict.
Even though the setting holds a veil of mystery, Shinigami no Testament is an action-oriented title and like the battles, the story moves at a significant pace. Every route including the common can be completed in a couple of hours. There are benchmarks for certain heroines and only by completing them can the others be accessed which leads to the true end.
By benchmarking he means Hscenes. You can measure your progress in a heroines route through Hscenes! (You can unlock the next two chapter by finishing Yua’s route and Vivi’s route respectively).
For the most part, the plot succeeds in providing the ambiance and emotional weight. The diverse and enchanting cast deserves a special mention with their appealing designs and colorful personalities. Every single character, main and sub, are or will be affected by the Epistula in one way or another. It is inevitable that there will be pivotal points where Rui will have to face difficult decisions and experience the resulting consequences. While the majority of the characters do have a school life, it is a minimal aspect and the focus is directed on the heroine backstory and the nature of the Epistula.
Note: Difficult decisions such as reading a book or hanging out with bishoujos.
Despite its strengths the game does have several flaws, namely the story which suffer in having noticeable plot holes. While the events usually follow a logical procedure, it fails to explain away why some unravel the way they do leaving the reader in the dark. Another problem is for all the Epistula’s importance in the story, there is not much explanation to the preceding and following events of its creation. A potential that is sadly not explored. A reader wishing to delve into the background lore will be disappointed.
I personally want moar raburabu developments. The ero-scenes are a mixed bag. The early scenes have odd transitions which seem to suggest they were added as an afterthought. But as the plot grows dark and the relationship between the central couple deepens, the arising emotions enhance the erotica to a healthy lavishing of love and passion yet this almost always happens by the third and final scene.
If there is one thing that is undeniable about this title, it is the copious amounts of polish in its presentation. Upon installation it reaches over a whopping six gigabytes and with good reason. The beautiful artwork, captivating vocals, quality music tracks, and impressive special effects, adds up to an orgasmic buffet for the eyes and ears. This is made even more evident when the plot increases in momentum and the action and drama charges ahead in all its sensational glory.
While not completely accurate, Asayama Rui has the ability to sense a person’s lies ever since he was born. This gradually developed his resentment to lies and socially isolated him from his peers. Despite his withdrawn and taciturn appearance, he is warm to his small circle of friends and courteous to a few exceptional acquaintances. Though it might require some suspension of disbelief of the idea of a character with a strong aversion to lying, Rui can keep a secret and does not reveal more information then he believes is necessary. His parents died at an early age and has been living in his uncle’s household, the Takamiya’s.
Cheeky and independent, Ichinose Yua (CV: Kawashima Rino) is Rui’s childhood friend and used to train in kendo together before he quit. Though she already turned down his confession, the pair have maintained a close friendship and can give sound advice…whenever she chooses to be. A lighthearted senpai who seems to take life in stride, Yua loves to tease Rui and their conversations would normally take a turn to the absurd ending with a random quotation from a well-known philosopher. Underneath her nonchalant and whimsical attitude, she does care for Rui’s well-being and ensures it through ambiguous actions.
Yua’s route is essential to unlocking other characters and I would suggest taking it early. It also has a big frakkin cliffhanger.
ISN’T IT SAD YUA? SO MUCH HAET FROM WARUM.
Vivi Alhazerd (CV: Aoba Ringo) is the epitome of mystery and danger. She is completely devoted and uncompromising to her cause and her activities has helped spread the rumors of the murders around the city. Her knowledge and abilities stretches for decades and she can easily analyze her opponent and calculate the most efficient attack method during the heat of battle. Normally composed with a frigid demeanor, she is not above the occasional conversation if you don’t mind being named “human.” Her regular diet are pan-fried
dry beans acorns, (THOSE ARE ACORNS?!?) believing in maintaining energy consumption over taste.
Vivi’s route also has a big frakkin cliffhanger that compounds on the previous one. She’s also freaking adorable. TOTALLY NOT SCYTHE-RELATED.
Childish and doting to her oniichan, Takamiya Ayumu (CV: Tsuchiya Maki) is the only child of the Takamiya’s and resident shrine maiden. Athletic and energetic, Ayumu is unperturbed by Rui’s stoic appearance and understands his gentle nature, trusting him wholeheartedly at a level only (non-blood related) siblings can share. Despite her clumsiness and carefree personality, she trains works hard at her shrine duties. Because she is born in the Takamiya bloodline, she is obligated to uphold certain commitments. While her destiny is predetermined, it does not exclude from crossing paths with Rui’s.
Ayu’s route is more focused on Wisdom and their motivations. I’m not a fan of Ayu’s character design or traits but the interactions with her oniichan were heartwarming.
A fellow classmate of Rui, Mukougaoka Kana (CV: Akino Hana) returns to school from the hospital after a long period of absence. From first impressions, she is a shy, soft-spoken girl with an attachment to her cellphone, preferring to communicate via email with emoticons (≧∇≦)/ and frequent usage of the camera feature. However, she belongs to an organization named Wisdom whose purpose is to capture and study the Regnauts. Highly trained in close combat and wielding a shotgun, her code name is “Nymph’s Thigh”. Regardless of her ties to Wisdom, her greatest loyalties lie with her friends.
Kana’s route is more about her than the Epistula but it still is an important component which is okay in my book. BUT DAT SHOTGUN.
Another associate to Wisdom and hailing from Russia, Irina E. Tolstaya (CV: Gibu Yuuko) is friendly, polite, and utterly bizarre. A gifted practitioner of foreign medicine, Irina displays mannerisms beyond the norm such as her borderline-obsessive affection to her ‘mother’, a talking doll named Rosa. But she is perfectly capable of starting a nice chat about flowers or the latest fashions when she’s not having whispering, sometimes frenetic conversations to the entity hanging on her shoulder. Be good to her mother and you will receive the keys to her heart. If not, then be very afraid.
I’M ALL FOR EYEPATCHES, DOLLIES, AND GOTHIC LOLITA DRESSES. I KNOW NO FEAR!
So what’s the verdict? Shinigami no Testament certainly have its flaws (such as unexplored plot areas, some unnatural development especially around the romance part, and an ending that seemed to lack a conclusive feel), but it has interesting parts that somehow keeps you going. For me, the fun parts were in the action. There were creative abilities, and the application of said ability in many of the fights. The inclusion of Iaido for the protagonist I found to be quite rare and fascinating. The characters certainly hit the right spots (or for some the very spots that will enrage you), and 3rd eye’s ruthless killing makes it very unpredictable on what will happen. It certainly felt they were trying to make the subheroines end to be the redeeming end, and I felt the mix of romance, action, and plot were better balanced in those.
I wouldn’t say Shinigami no Testament was entirely dependent on the art/character that you would call it a chara-ge, and the action was not entirely 燃えby conventional standards. Scenario wasn’t too dull (i.e. entirely love-com school setting like in Bloody Rondo). An odd fit of an action-oriented eroge with abit of chuuni and good music/polish. If you don’t mind floating text-boxes, this might be something fun to read.’
Kudos to warum for putting the time and effort to fill the review with actual content than my usual HCG spam. Oh wait, a certain someone did want more of those. Well, here ya go. Credits to warum for his contribution.
Tags: Shinigami no Testament