Name: Menkai Syuzatsu (100.00% in 1 votes)
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Lamuness
Menkai Syuzatsu is Sirius' debut game. The title in English means "no visiting," and that's all what the game is about.
The player plays the role of an average high school student in Japan who has a beautiful girlfriend called Sayuri. The two of you walk to school chatitng happily while suddenly a vehicle (implied purposely) run towards both of you and crashed. You go unconscious after the car crash and when you wake up you find yourself in a hospital. The nurse says you are recovering nicely and should be out of the hospital within a few days. However, you are really concerned about Sayuri because she is nowhere to be seen. You search everywhere in the hospital and finally you are able to find her room. However, her room is locked and just when you try to open it, a doctor comes out of the room. He demands you to leave immediately and prohibits anybody visiting Sayuri. You went to the nurse desk and you heard rumors about that doctor conducting weird experiments and stuff. At this point you really start to get worried about your girlfriend. Basically what you have to do is to find out what is happening in this wierd hospital and rescue Sayuri.
Personally I think the plot is alright. Although Menkai is an adventure game, it is not like other H-AVG games where you just click click and you are done. There is more to the game that makes this game stand out of most standard H-AVG games. At daytime you walk around the hospital as an obedient patient gathering information. However, once it passes midnight your rescue plan starts. At night you explore the hospital in a D&D 3d 1-pt perspective view map and you have access to other floors of the hospital as you go along in the game. However, since you are doing sneaky, you have to avoid being caught by hospital personnel . At hallway intersections you will very often detect nurses or people walking, and that is where the fun part of the game begins.
Similar to the thing in Metal Gear Solid, you have to find out, within a short period of time, from which direction the nurse is coming from. To do that, you will hear footsteps and the volume will depend on which direction the nurse is walking. If she is walking from the left, the footsteps will come from your left speaker, right if she is coming from the right hallway. If she is coming from in front of you you will hear footsteps getting progressively louder, and reverse if the nurse is from behind. Towards the end of the game you are given an extra challenge of hearing footsteps from TWO DIRECTIONS. To find out where they are coming from you will need extreme concentration at hearing the footsteps. In normal cases, if you get caught you will be sent back to your room and restart your journey. However, in critical cases when you are running away and you get caught, it's game over. IMHO, this is a really really good design and addition to a standard AVG game. If for some reason you don't like your speakers or you don't want to hear footsteps, you can set the game to Easy Mode where the game will use arrows to tell you which direction nurses are coming from. However, this just makes the game too easy. In addition, starting at midpoint of the game, you will play RPG-like mini games where you will fight against hypnotized nurses, patients etc. What you have to do is to input the correct order of commands to attack people before they attack you. Personally, I think this is also a nice design.
The graphics in Menkai is great. They are beautifully done and definitely at the high-end in terms of quality. The environment is bright and cheerful in the morning but after midnight things are dark and gloomy. There are voices in the game, but this only applies to the few main female casts. Although sufficient, I think it will be better to have voices for every character. Music is a definite plus to the game because it sets the mood extremely well. During the daytime the music is pleasant and cheerful. However, during your midnight exploration the music is mysterious and spooky, and when you are running away from critical and dangerous events and at the same time avoid being caugtht, there is a sense of hyper tension to the music and it really makes you feel you are inside the game with everybody against you (not talking about schizophrenia here hehe). But in short, the music is excellent.
IMHO, Menkai Syuzatsu is prolly one of the best H adventure games I have ever come across. Rather than just plain clicking in other H-AVG games, Menkai did a really good job in letting the player be part of the situation. The footstep detection design is a really innovative design and applies to the game really well. That, and among other things are what make Menkai Syuzatsu stand out from most of the mediocre H-AVG games.
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