I finally completed 12RIVEN -the Ψcliminal of integral- on Sunday but didn’t really have time to blog about it, so here it is now. I went through all eight routes and they’re really pretty easy to get if you just skip the dialogue that you’ve already read, so feel free to go through all of the endings. This one took me under thirty hours to complete. I’d say it’s been a very enjoyable experience.
See below for a review of 12RIVEN -the Ψcliminal of integral-.
There isn’t a lot to talk about here since it’s just a visual novel but at least the interface is a lot better than Ever17‘s. I guess that should kind of just go without saying since it’s been about five years since Ever17‘s original release for the PC. One thing that irked me was how the characters’ mouths didn’t seem to move along with the text. That’s probably some kind of setup issue since I’m pretty sure they would’ve noticed this while testing the game.
After having played games like Planetarian and CHAOS;HEAD, one would probably get into the habit of expecting high quality CGs out of any other visual novel. 12RIVEN does a pretty good job here as a whole but there are some pictures that are just plain awful. I guess after having played Ever17, I probably shouldn’t have been expecting too much from KID. The backgrounds are not bad but they’re also not all that special. I think they did a good job with the CG character models though.
I think Takeshi Abo’s did a pretty good job with 12RIVEN‘s soundtrack. The tracks are definitely a lot more memorable than Ever17‘s, I mean, those tracks were just way too monotonous for comfort. I don’t think any of 12RIVEN‘s tracks were as good as Ever17‘s “Karma”, but there were a lot of good ones like “Integral”, “Paril”, “Repressor”, “Voyager”, “Eclipse”, “Ocean blue”, and “Beyond the mebius”. 12RIVEN‘s theme songs were also excellent. Both tracks are done by KAORI (who performed the opening for Ever17, let’s just not talk about Ever17‘s ending theme here). I tend to like ballads better so it’s no surprise that I absolutely fell in love with “プロセス”, but “third bridge” is also quite good.
The thing everybody wants to know about a visual novel is obviously going to be how awesome its story is. It is, after all, just a novel at the end of the day. And with it coming from KID and all, you’re naturally going to compare it with its other games such as Ever17. I don’t have anything else to compare 12RIVEN with since I haven’t played any of their other games personally. Anyway, while I didn’t understand everything in 12RIVEN, I do feel that it has a more intricate plot than Ever17. Almost everything that happens in 12RIVEN has a purpose in the story. Events don’t just happen for the sake of killing time (the bit about the sandwiches in Ever17 may come to mind here). In this regard, I feel that 12RIVEN‘s pacing is a lot better than Ever17‘s. You do switch around quite a bit in 12RIVEN (between Renmaru and Narumi) and it may bother you. It certainly did for me in the beginning but I got over it.
I’m not sure if there’s one particular twist in 12RIVEN that I can “quantify” as being as big as the one in Ever17 but it’s definitely got a hell of a lot more twists than Ever17 in my opinion. The ∫ route is just absolutely insane. The last couple of hours is so heavily packed with twists it’s ridiculous. The way they tie everything together is just absolutely mind-boggling. I once read a comment noting that the author was probably going out of his mind. At the time, I hadn’t even started the game so I didn’t know what the comment was getting at, but now I do.
Anyway, to prevent anybody from “wasting their time” on bad ends like me, I’ve listed all eight of the routes below for your reference.
divagate – bad
divide – bad
divarication – bad
divinity – bad
indefinite integrals – good
diverging – bad
diversity – bad
integral – good
I completed them in following order: divide, divagate, divarication, indefinite integrals, divinity, diversity, diverging, integral
The ∫ route opened after I completed “indefinite integrals”. Since that’s the “good” end for Narumi, I presume you don’t actually need to complete “divarication”. For Renmaru’s side, since I did both of them, I can’t tell whether you only need to do one or both.