Abridged Edition Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Half-assed World~
So I made the mistake of buying yet another quin rose game, but this will be the last mistake I will make with Quin Rose. I loved the original Alice game, anyone who reads this blog will know it. Hell I’m even raving about how much I loved it in my original review. However my high hopes were crushed for the umpteenth time with this remake and after the jump is just a collection of rants about this game and Quin Rose in general. If you enjoyed this game or like Quin Rose, I suggest reading my original review and not going beyond this point! Additionally there’s CG spoilers everywhere so if you’re new to the game and don’t want to be spoiled it’s best to stay away. Otherwise, read on!
Let’s begin with the major difference from all previous Heart games. There are no more turns. Quin Rose made it into a straight VN so you just twirl your way around the choices, get the scenes immediately and not have to sit there with an excel spread sheet. THEORETICALLY THIS SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD IDEA.
But in fact it wasn’t. By removing the turn system, it puts a focus strictly on QR’s writing and because you have no turns or turn events to break up the scenes, I STARTED TO PAINFULLY REALIZE THAT I REALLY JUST DON’T LIKE QUIN ROSE’S WRITING. I have absolutely no idea what made me like QR games so much but it finally dawned on me. The systems were so annoying and painful that it was like taking a beating and then getting rewarded for said beating. So after being like “hell yea thanks to my awesome strategy I just got to unlock Julius event 3 and Peter event 4″ I didn’t even care what the event was. I was just happy that after spamming 50 turns I got my brief CG event reward. Now that there’s no PAIN to go through, IT MADE ME REALIZE HOW FREAKING BORING AND POINTLESS A LOT OF THESE EVENTS REALLY ARE.
Ok forget writing, let’s talk about the main reason this game was remade: Fujimaru Mamenosuke’s ART. YES we came here for THE NEW PRETTY ART RIGHT. So why oh why THE FUCK DO YOU CUT OUT LIKE HALF OF THE CGS. I am paying the same amount of money as I paid for Anniversary but FOR SOME REASON I am getting LESS CGs, LESS SCENES (since technically the turns had you have conversations with the guys) FOR THE SAME PRICE LOL. Is this some kind of joke? But let me sit back and stroll through my last few QR game reviews. Oh yes I see this pattern: suddenly there’s less of anything and everything, stuff feels half assed and shoddy and well I just don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth for the SAME PRICE THEY’VE BEEN CHARGING FOR LESS CONTENT IN ALL THEIR NEWEST GAMES.
Ok so back to Alice. I’ll admit right now, because this game disappointed me so much I couldn’t find the motivation to finish it. I WILL finish it because lol I paid for it etc, but I will be playing it on the side in between other things. As of this post, I’ve finished the stay & visitor routes of Peter, Blood, Elliot and the twins. Still, these 4 routes were pretty much enough to give me the idea of the quality of this so called “remake”. So let’s break this down:
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of CGs that were completely removed from the game. With Otomate for example, when they do a remake/port, they ADD new CGs. Quin Rose? Removes them. LAWL. Now okay I can understand removing CGs that don’t really contribute much to the story like this one:
However I’d like to ask their staff why the hell the below CGs have been cut out ??
I don’t get it. They made the game go from Cero C to Cero D but they cut out the suggestive CGs……does not compute. Also due to them removing a lot of CGs, they had to fill the space with SOMETHING. So what better to fill it with than…the same CG over and over!
At some points, there wasn’t even a CG at all and the scene just felt ENDLESS (aka the intro scene at the ball for every stay location ＿|￣|○ il||li) And to add more salt on to the wound, the CGs that they COULD have taken out like this one:
..they kept in even though it could have easily just been a pic of their sprites that would have given the same effect. (；一_一)
Half Assed CGs:
Missing Cgs aside, let’s talk about the REMADE Cgs. A Cg which once had multiple people in it has been reduced to 1 or 2 people…or to absolutely nothing.
There’s a lot more but it would be endless to list them all -_-. If you’re just going to half ass the CGs anyway…WHY ARE YOU REMAKING IT. Clearly you don’t have the budget or time or resources (even Fujimaru admitted to asking a lot of art staff for help) so just DON’T DO IT. You are pretending to be a 5 star restaurant that serves Happy Meals to its customers! Those customers aren’t going to be coming back to your 5 star restaurant when they can get a happy meal at McDonalds for 1/8 the price! Lern 2 buzinez!
Additionally a lot of CGs which had Alice in them…have taken Alice OUT of them. What is the point of this. You make her be this strong heroine but you can’t even be assed to put her into a CG
Also I haven’t even done Gowland’s route yet and I was scrolling through CGs for this post and CAME UPON THIS REALIZATION:
The Voice Changes
I have no idea why this even happened but they decided to hijack Dum’s voice. You know Dum’s voice. That horribly annoying voice that I secretly wish was gone but then just got used to it cause that’s just how he is. Yea well they actually replaced it. But here’s the kicker: They only replaced it in SOME scenes and not others. So as you are doing the twins’ route you seriously start to forget which twin is talking because Dum’s voice changes so much sometimes they just start to sound the same! I feel sorry for Dum fans! The other problem is because this is like the 3rd time they’re adding new voices, there are parts where the new voices come MID SENTENCE. This was PAINFULLY OBVIOUS in Blood’s route. He would have this somewhat higher pitched voice and mid sentence it would be LOUD AND DEEP. WTF ( ﾟ∀ﾟ)ァﾊﾊ八八ﾉヽﾉヽﾉヽﾉ ＼ / ＼/ ＼ . Needless to say, it ruined a lot of romantic scenes for me.
The Painfully Terrible Writing is More Clear Now
Here’s where I’m having a huge issue that I never realized before and I realize now after so many recent QR games just irritating me. As I mentioned above, due to them taking out the turns the scenes were pretty much back to back. However, it’s during these turns that you really got to “know the guy” and since the conversations changed as you grew affection with him, you could feel like he’s growing on both you & Alice. Without this, all of a sudden out of nowhere BLOOD HAS ALICE PINNED ON THE COUCH. FOR NO REASON. WHAT IS HAPPENING. You know in the first game Blood made me きゅん a little bit but dayum son I would be lying if I didn’t say my feelings were on the opposite end of the polar spectrum this time around.
Not only this but…..ALICE’S ATTITUDE MAKES ME WANT TO PUNCH A BABY. NO RATHER I JUST WANT TO PUNCH HER. I knew Alice always had problems and stuff I KNEW IT however if you played the Dia games she’s a lot more nicer and deredere and shit..and I got used to that….so playing Heart all over made me realize HOW MUCH I REALLY REALLY HATE HER LOL. Seriously in a scene with Blood on top of her on the couch she’s like “so do you like couches or something? Well what is it?” I’m sorry I laughed. I laughed all the way until the end because I was like “are you kidding me, how in any way is this romantic. This is a joke right.” Or how with the twins, they just one day go Oneesan you’re our first love. And she’s like lol. And then they’re like oneesan don’t play with our pure shota hearts! And she’s like きゅん and I’m like ｶﾞ━━(;ﾟДﾟ)━━ﾝ!! You know what, maybe the original intention was supposed to be this anyway. Maybe we were supposed to ignore the interaction from the turns and only focus on the main scenes. If that’s the case, then yea it’s no wonder I am annoyed because Alice is so fucking irritating but the guys just IMMEDIATELY FALL IN LOVE WITH HER despite her pushing them away (cough Elliot’s route) and babbling about how much better her sister is. (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ At least with the turn system, you had to stalk them 200 times for them to finally be in love with her which in an odd way made sense to me :lol:. Don’t even get me started on the bullshit that went on in Peter’s visitor route how she refused to move in to the Heart castle until the END..SHE REFUSED TO MOVE IN BUT MOVED IN WITH EVERYONE ELSE WHY. ┻━┻ ︵ ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
Also oddly enough Peter’s route gave me a new theory of him constantly going “forget the medicine bottle forget the medicine bottle”…maybe Alice drugged herself and in fact the entire game is just her tripping balls. Like Lorina died, Alice became some drug addict to escape reality and that’s why Peter’s like oh god don’t think about the fact that you’re just in 1 giant drug trip (which would actually match the original Alice stories har har.)
The Actual Improvements
In order to pretend that there’s good reason for this remake I’d like to point out some CGs that were at least an improvement upon the situation:
The kissing CGs for the most part were an improvement. Since well it actually looked like kissing now:
They added extra scenes for Peter and an extra ending for him:
The ball scene was cute. It was obnoxiously shoved in for no fucking reason and totally cockblocks Blood’s route since I did Blood first…but lol yay Peter so I didn’t care. HOWEVER They added 1 new ending for Peter called ペーター&女王END WHICH TURNED PETER INTO A CRAZY YANDERE WTF.
The Peter that I know loves Alice and would never do anything cold and mean to hurt her intentionally. However I guess the few “bits” of coldness he had they decided to ramp up x 100% and they added the above scene where he’s like bitch u ain’t goin nowhere as long as I have anything to say. And when Alice kisses him to be like yea yea I’m staying his reaction is “don’t try to distract me with your kiss” WTF. PETER SHOULD BE LIKE JUMPING FOR JOY THAT ALICE EVEN SHOWS HIM ANY SIGN OF AFFECTION (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ 彡┻━┻. The yandere babble went on & on that I just completely 萎えた. Yea you know all those horrible FDs Quin Rose releases where they rewrite the routes and reset them to make the character totally different than before. Yea this was it. And this is basically a taste to me of how awful Twin World is going to be. I guess they just don’t care about the characters they have created. It feels like going into a museum and spray painting an afro on the Mona Lisa ヽ(。_゜)ノ. Hm wait this was supposed to be the improvement section…
Cgs that were better in Anniversary
You’d think with the newer artist the CGs would be better right. But due to the half assery, it was actually worse.
Something about Peter’s face getting punched just feels more hilarious in the original while it feels like some half assed chibi with speed lines in the new one :(
They couldn’t even be bothered to draw a CG for the drunk Elliot scene so they gave us these half assed Chibis. They don’t even look like Fujimaru’s chibis which is what makes it even worse. I’m generally convinced that Fujimaru might have done SOME Cgs but she probably did some rough sketches, character sheets and the staff just kinda traced and filled in the gaps for the rest. I have the entire collection of Cheshire Cat Waltz and I’ve read it enough to be able to tell which art is just NOT Fujimaru’s work! Doesn’t help that the rest of the staff has bizarre pen names like C or GELL:
There’s actually more but my PSP crashed while trying to screen cap them all and I gave up :lol: (Which also makes me think that Quin Rose uses these nicknames to try to evade employment laws so the overworked and underpaid staff can’t come back and be like hey I worked here and they go that’s funny your name is Yamada Tarou not Gell, lol sorry!)
I think for those whose first Alice game this was they may have liked it. But I just cannot forgive them for this half assed release. I didn’t expect anything that new BUT I expect the same quality with BETTER ART than Anniversary. I expected them to add or somehow “seamlessly” sew in all the turn scenes so that the romantic progression would feel more natural. I didn’t want some choppy patch work quilt that this game has become! And let’s face it, if I didn’t care or like the series, I woulda just been like lol shit game and used it as a paperweight/frisbee. But here I am completely sad and heartbroken that this had to be the final nail on the coffin of my dying trust and loyalty to Quin Rose. It could be just me growing out of otome games, I’ve taken this factor into great consideration, but recalling that I did enjoy SOME routes from Arcana Famiglia 2 I can at least say that it’s not all that! All the little inconveniences really damper the overall game for me and I start to question why I liked this game or series in the first place. The constant writer swapping, the disaster that was mirror world and the god awful fanfic that is Twin World makes me realize that nobody’s driving that bus anymore.
Anyway I think this is really it for me and QR games. Otomate’s not that great either but at least their art is consistently decent, and aside from a few idiotic yanderes, they do give me some sense of chara moe even if the story ends up being balls (see Snow Bound Land.) With Quin Rose, and the way their writing (and FD resets) are going, I don’t feel chara moe, the CGs are mostly derpy & terrible (compared to like really good sprite art) and the really really DULL and endlessly long scenarios with almost no effect on the story progression make me want to take a nap. Basically they are saying the same thing over and over in different ways. The best example I can think of is like one of those terrible light novels:
I woke up on a regular average day. It was just the most average day, and the sun was shining. My average day began as soon as the sun shined and my imouto would come knocking into my room. My imouto would always do this room knocking thing to wake me up on one of these average days.
(It’s almost on par with Otomate and their awfully written hit & run battle scenes in their 和風 games.)
I’ve ordered -8 and NinKoi which I’m waiting to receive in the mail. If I end up not enjoying either one, then it’s probably time to take a long (if not permanent) break from otome gaming. If I DO enjoy them though, then it just means that Quin Rose games are no longer for me. If you still enjoy quin rose games and don’t feel like they’ve dropped in quality then more power to you. For me, I think I’ve had my fill and it’s time to move on.
P.S. I am SO SO SO SO glad I didn’t order Arabian’s Doubt. I had a feeling the art was bad from the sample CGs, and reading reviews it really is pretty awful. Not only that but they have a scene with Curtis eating Aileen’s eyelashes or something. Wtf?? Guess ruining characters in FDs has become a thing for them now and I’m glad my wallet is safe! (；・∀・)
Posted on February 9, 2014, in Otome Games and tagged fukuyama jun, heart no kuni no alice, hirakawa daisuke, konishi katsuyuki, koyasu takehito, miyata kouki, mogami tsuguo, Quin Rose, sugita tomokazu, sugiyama noriaki. Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.