Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I am slowly working my way through a rather long list of games and demo, but there was one demo that caught my eye recently. Reimei no Gakuen is the debut title from fledgling indie developer and artist Raikon Kitsune, with her team at Raikon Kitsune Arts, Rai is hoping to make a splash with her upcoming modern fantasy otome game. The game takes place in a world where magic and the everyday exist side by side, with a chosen few individuals possessing special abilities known as “Shin”. However, despite possessing these heightened abilities Shin wielders are plagued by misfortune, so a special school Aurora Academy collects these individuals in hopes of teaching them how to hone their skills and counteract their cruel fate.
Recently, I sat down and gave the demo for Reimei no Gakuen, a try and while it is only an alpha demo, I was impressed with the overall quality of the storytelling and the richly diverse cast. Granted I am not a huge fan of games that take place in a high school like setting, however, I found that the well fleshed out lore and mythos of the game and the unique cast more than made up for an reservations I may have had about Reimei no Gakuen going in.
The demo itself covers the prologue and the first chapter of the game, introducing the main cast and several key side character, while also setting up the world of Reimei no Gakuen and the central conflict between the Shin users and the attempts of an unknown enemy to infiltrate Aurora Academy. The prologue is pretty simple outlining the basics about Shin users and the events leading to the manifestation of their powers. 20 years prior to the start of the game the Hoshi no Ame occurred, and thousands of colorful stars rained down across the world. While the exact cause of the event is unknown, several strange and mysterious occurrences began to take place, including the appearance of Shin. Any child born within the 20 years following the Hoshi no Ame has the potential to develop a Shin, however, these mysterious powers come at a great risk and the users are often plagued by misfortune.
Rather than taking place within a fully realized existing fantasy setting, the supernatural elements of Reimei no Gakuen exist within the context of the modern world with the Shin users and other supernatural goings on taking place in the shadows. I’ve played my fair share of modern fantasy and urban fantasy games in the past, most notably Aeon Dream Studio’s Mystic Destinies: Serendipity of Aeons and while I like these types of games it is difficult to merge the mundane with the fantastical without having to retcon key real world events or explain away why the existence of magic hasn’t been used to “right the wrongs of history”. Reimei no Gakuen circumvents this by not focusing so much on the tradition supernatural elements, rather, honing in a specific sub-sect of the supernatural (fairies and demons) and integrating it into the stories new mythos (the Shin). This makes for a much stronger and narratively exclusive story that isn’t beholden to the confines of any one existing lore.
Even the characters themselves, while adhering to many of usual tropes; there’s the fiery red-head, the quiet recluse, the mysterious nice guy, and lets not forget the gruff hardass with a secret heart of gold. The whole gang is here and yet, I still found myself wanting to know more about them by the end of the demo, especially Hiryuu and Sin. Both have a rather unique dynamic with Sheryl that I’m curious to see fleshed out in the final version of the game. Hiryuu is outwardly antagonistic towards Sheryl often seen hunting her down to complete Student Council work, but, there is a mutual trust between them that is only hinted at towards the end of the demo. Then there’s Sin, who is hostile to everyone except Sheryl, despite having just met him (I strongly believe there is some sort of history there). The others are unique in their own ways, but ultimately didn’t speak to me the way Hiryuu and Sin did…
Of course, none of the love interests hold a candle to our protagonist, Sheryl Shiganori, a strong independent heroine that don’t need no man to protect her! With her Shin, she is by far one of the strongest fighters at Aurora Academy, however due to as of yet unspecified trauma from her past, Sheryl can be a bit hard to get along with, coming across as cold and emotionless. Sheryl is one of those strong heroines that audiences will either really like or really hate, don’t get me wrong, I like strong, capable otome game protagonists as much as the next gal, however, there is a delicate balance between strong and hostile. Thankfully, Sheryl doesn’t come off as openly hostile and that is mostly thanks to some of the softer aspects of her personality, like her love of chocolate (which is kind of cute).
This is of course an alpha demo, so many of the game’s art assets are not complete, with a lot of sketches and rough outlines taking the place of many of the backgrounds. Though, the sprites for all of the main cast and most of the side characters were done (granted some where still in the development stage). With that said, Reimei no Gakuen is a well designed concept, utilizing anime-styled art with more of a fantasy feel to the clothing and character designs. The GUI is clean and simple, with a stars and floral themed motif. The music consists of a partially original soundtrack, ranging from action-y instrumentals to light easygoing pieces.
Overall, I rather liked the Reimei no Gakuen demo, the game is impressive. With its well developed fantasy setting and characters to its gorgeous visuals, this is sure to be a winner. The demo is like a snack, just enough to whet one’s appetite for the final version of the game. As with any fantasy game, the sky is the limit in terms of storytelling and world building, and if this demo is any indication of what’s to come, Raikon Kitsune Arts is off to a phenomenal start!
But, don’t just take my word for it! ! Check out the demo or take a gander at the game’s trailer below! If you like what you see, play the game, hit the like button, share, or comment! As always, Thank You for Reading!!
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