This is a bit of a weird review for me. It’s a visual novel so that’s nothing new and it’s by the same person who wrote The Way We ALL GO so again nothing new. I’m going to bring in a quote from that review:
One thing I think The Way We ALL GO excels at is writing. I really like the writing style used and it really works for this game.
While I don’t like comparing games to others (even by the same person) I couldn’t figure out how to get my views across without referring to this quote, even after talking to other members of Blazekick. Before we get started I would like to specify I only got one of the (I think) four endings for this review. While I am sounding negative right now I did enjoy the game, let’s get into the review so I can explain.
The game follows Samantha who is a student about to leave with her class on a camping trip. One thing I’ll get out of the way is all the main characters are based off British poets. Since I’m not very knowledgeable on that subject I can’t say if it’s in name alone (gander swapped as they’re now all girls) or if personalities match. One things to note: in the extras menu there is a list of the poets used, not only that but quite lengthy write ups on them. A lot of work went into them which is great to see. Anyway on the bus we get a most the introductions out of the way with Lillian who seems to have had some kind of fight with Samantha, Roberta (Bobby) who is friends with Samantha and as we learn later, has a hate on for Lillian, and De Quincey who is probably my favourite, she also had a fight with Samantha but (I believe) the first choice allows you to make up with her. We also learn she has some weird obsession with Lillian. This is a dating sim (basically) and you’ll notice all the characters are girls so yes, this is yuri (technically shoujo ai as there’s no explicit scenes but I barely understand how this works so I’ll just say yuri, ok?). At the camping trip you start seeing more interactions with the characters which I enjoyed for a bit but then…
The main reason this review took so long (until I started procrastinating for a couple days which I apologize for) is I just couldn’t get into the story. Normally if this happens I just don’t review it but Asphyxia was different. For one I couldn’t (and still can’t) pinpoint why, there’s no grammar issues, the story and characters are interesting, I could even see plot elements I normally like. Every time I sat down to play I could only go about 15-20 minuets before starting to read Reddit or something which isn’t something I normally do while reading. It’s really hard as I can understand why it has a positive score on Steam, I can see elements I normally like but I just can’t get myself to continue.
Asphyxia uses an amazing art style with its CG, sprites and backgrounds that makes everything look like a classic painting (maybe fitting considering the classic British poetry theme). I find it incredibly pleasing to the eye. I hope all ebi-hime’s future visual novels use a similar art style as it is different from The Way We ALL GO but looks just as amazing.
There’s no voice acting (still no problem) and the use of royalty free music, but again I felt it really fit. I’m guessing a lot of work goes into listening to and picking which songs to use.