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Ultramarine: A Seapunk Adventure

by Seven Submarines

2018

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Number of Reviews: 2
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A visual novel with combat elements set underwater, April 18, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This was a first for me: a visual novel with RPG elements. I know visual novels are a big field, but I've generally played text-only games.

The art seemed high-quality, but characters would switch positions on the screen at odd times, which was kind of distracting. It was hard for me to distinguish the two male protagonists, who changed expression sometimes when they were talking and sometimes when others were talking.

The overall storyline was interesting, and seemed like part of a larger and well-developed world.

The RPG combat was fun, I don't see that a lot. I was allowed to go into negative MP with the main character, making winning easy.

Overall, I found some of the graphical elements unpolished, but the story very descriptive. The interactivity worked for me, and the combat and some of the decisions made me feel anxious for the characters. Overall, I feel satisfied with my playthrough and don't plan on revisiting the game. So I'm assigning it a score of 3/5.

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Hanon Ondricek, June 20, 2018 - Reply
That's one of the elements with visual novels that don't come into play in text IF - directing the action. Just like blocking a stage performance, you want to avoid every scene being static standing paper-doll talking heads, but it can be distracting when characters move extraneously or at the wrong time. Position or expression changes draw focus and authors (or whoever does the scripting) needs to be aware of that. Doki Doki Literature Club does a masterful job of this by always nudging the speaking character forward just a bit and it keeps the dialogue clear and the characters in long conversation scenes a little more alive. (This may be a standard VN convention, but I noticed it in DDLC.)
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