Ryuusei World Actor Review

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#1 by craxuan
2019-08-03 at 17:59
Ryuusei World Actor is hands down the best visual novel of the year, perhaps even the best of the detective genre of all times.

You play as the Hiryuu Ruka, a "good-for-nothing" detective in Bureau 13, a department that is universally despised within the police for its difficult characters and terrible case solve rate. It's basically a "trash can" where undesirables are left to rot forever. One day a newcomer called Claris joins Bureau 13, and Ruka's life becomes a lot more interesting.

There are few things going for Ryuusei World Actor right from the get go. It features a noir detective style story that's rarely seen in visual novels. It has a high level of realism despite combining elements from both fantasy and sci-fi features. It features mature characters in their early 20s to 30s. It isn't bogged down by common tropes. Every case in the story, from the least significant to the most important is treated with great care. Lastly, all the routes are equally excellent, which is an incredible achievement considering that not even score 10 visual novels are immune to this common flaw.

The lore is some of the best I've ever seen. The main setting is a country called the 7th Republic, the only country in the world that accepts all races as its citizens. The are other races in the world such as the elves, the pixies, the "Seguits" (beastman equivalent, but without the animal features), the "Genom" (a medieval style kingdom), the "Deluga" (an alien species from outer space) and so on. These races are usually xenophobic and maintain a strictly monoethnic group, though some of the reasons given are surprisingly realistic. For examples, pixies are probably the smallest race in the entire world, and their physical strength is equally pitiful. They have the ability to fly, but that's about it. So it's no surprise they aren't welcoming to any other race except the elves, who are fellow friends of the forest due to size or power difference, and in most cases both. Even then, their "friendliest" relationship exist in the form of a centuries-long non-aggression pact, and they don't interact much with each other besides that. The races also have great reason to be afraid of each other because a great war had just been fought less than fifty years ago. One of the effects of that war is a permanent fog on the entire Seventh Republic, meaning that the entire country is shrouded in permanent darkness.

The characters are an absolute delight. The main character is a troublemaker with a severe attitude problem, a drinking problem, a smoking problem, a late employee... well you get the idea. You'd get no end of fun from him as he solves cases with methods that are borderline criminal or totally criminal. Ikuta is a hardliner superintendent who's extremely strict when it comes to law and order, so it comes as no surprise that he often butt heads with Ruka because their methods are the complete opposite. However, he never allows his poor relationship with Ruka to interfere with work to maintain peace and order. He's calculated and law abiding, and he never allows his personal feelings to interfere with his mission. On the other hand, his secretary, Huyumi is actively hostile towards the main character. She found him absolutely abhorrent, and she's prone to take digs at him whenever they come into contact with each other. Quite often she crosses the line between private and professional, actively hindering Ruka (but only when they are in contact) until Ikuta tells her off or Ruka lays out crystal clear that she has no grounds to stop him whatsoever. As of this visual novel, the reason why she dislikes Ruka that much is unknown. Her route and story would probably be discussed in a sequel.

Tamako is the computer expert in Bureau 13. She carries all the traits of a electronic addict such as a preference for indoors, gaming habits, hacking skills, affinity for night shifts and enjoys omelette rice(?), but she's not the antisocial stereotype you might come to expect from a character like her. Quite the opposite, the reason she was moved to Bureau 13 is because she actively criticizes her colleagues and even her bosses for their incompetence until they could stand her no longer. Verse is a Seguit whose violent tendencies, which is natural to his race has ultimately resulted in him being moved to Bureau 13, but as you progress through the story you'd realize that he's a lot more in control of himself and intelligent than you might think, especially when he's around Tamako. He's still prone to emotional outbursts at the slightest provocation, no thanks to Ruka, but Ruka and criminals are almost always the only two things he gets angry at. He doesn't even dislike Ruka, he's just prone to fall for Ruka's bait most of the time.

The four characters I mentioned above are just SIDE characters, and besides Ikuta the roles they play and the amount of scenes they have are almost negligible. However, they're so well crafted that they don't feel neglected at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of them could dethrone a heroine or two if they had just a bit more scenes, which is an incredible feat to say the least. Besides the plot, I can confidently say that the characters are my absolute favorite thing in this visual novel.

Let's move on to the sounds department. Normally, sound don't matter much to me. They don't catch my attention too much, and I normally don't have many words to describe them - I still don't - but Ryuusei World Actor is an exception to that rule. The voice acting in this game is absolutely superb. The excellent writing is part of the reason, but everyone's voice in this game sounds incredibly fresh and... "untropey"? A lot of visual novels, especially high school types have the problem of characters sounding like they're five years old, with high-pitched "loli" voices being the worst offender of them all. That is not the case with Ryuusei World Actor. Everyone speaks clearly with a realistic pitch (or as realistic as you can get in a game I guess, if they emulate real life 100% everyone will be speaking at 10x the speed and 50x the politeness), and the "tropey" voices are only used in a couple of scenes that are clearly designed to be humorous (A yakuza going full yakuza mode, for example). To emphasis how much I like the voices, the amount of times I listened to a whole sentence before moving on to the next line dramatically increased in this visual novel, which is something that almost never happened due to me being a speed reader.

The OST is absolutely amazing as well. Every single one of them have a quality feeling to them, and the ones during the sex scenes are especially good, almost too good - one of them feels like the "killer" soundtrack you'd use during the greatest, most touching scenes of the visual novel, and more than once I feel like it was a bit wasted on "mere" sex scenes. Not that it didn't make everything a hundred times sweeter than usual.

The graphics of the game are top class and superb as well, although finally I have a few things to nitpick about. There are a couple of times I feel like they could've added another CG or two to a certain scene - especially battle scenes - to make things more consistent. There are times the image and the text clearly don't match each other, and an extra CG or image part might've smoothed things over. Also, Komachi has a sprite where she's holding a gun that's unused at best and completely out of place at worst when it's used. Komachi is a non-combatant, so she almost never has to pull out her gun. In fact, I believe she only did this one time in the entire game, and her gun holding sprite isn't even used then. Funnily enough, her gun holding sprite is slotted in during several serious but totally calm conversations, which feels completely out of place and forced. It's almost as if they were putting the sprite in because it was there.

Besides that though, I have no complains. the CGs are amazing, and there's an incredible amount of background graphics. It ensures that the city never feels like a "box", but a constantly evolving hive of crime and activity. In fact, there's even one time you leave the city entirely to visit another country! I highly appreciate the developers' effort to make their world feel alive and breathing.

As for the plot... I'm not actually going to say anything here, because I want other players to play the game themselves and enjoy it to their fullest. If there's one thing I'd like to repeat, it'd be that this is the best noir detective visual novel I've played in ages, if not all times.

In conclusion, Ryuusei World Actor is a 10 score masterpiece. I sincerely hope the company has plans for a professional localization, because it'd definitely blow most of its competitors out of the water.Last modified on 2019-08-04 at 03:48
#2 by nise
2019-08-03 at 18:59
On the other hand, his secretary, Ryoko is actively hostile towards the main character.
I think you mean huyumi right?
#3 by craxuan
2019-08-04 at 03:48
Oops! Fixed and thanks.
#4 by abdu11
2019-08-05 at 01:14
May ask how long is the game ?
#5 by messiahprinny
2019-08-05 at 06:00
I had my eyes on this ever since I saw some demo impressions. Really hope this gets an English release. I would love to play this before I turn 40.
#6 by quof
2019-08-05 at 15:48
To briefly provide wider context, RWA is getting trashed on in Japan for being released basically incomplete with abrupt endings and routes that barely cover anything promised in the trial/common route, likely due to it being a lead-in to a literal soshage. Any would be localizers would do well to play the game first before licensing it (a heavy ask I know) and be aware that they would be getting into the prologue to a soshage that can hardly stand alone.Last modified on 2019-08-05 at 17:56
#7 by ichigokami
2019-08-05 at 16:39
Its honestly as much as you would expect from kinugasa, dont know where the hype came from.
#8 by penpen2
2019-08-05 at 18:50
But quof, have you played it or not?
#9 by craxuan
2019-08-06 at 06:39
And those players who complain about its "incomplete and abrupt endings" that have no appreciation for proper plot setup whatsoever. This game is over 50 hours long despite it just being a setup/introductory chapter of a two-game series, maybe even a trilogy. Do you seriously think it would've been satisfying and good if they tried to cram everything they had into one game? Think of it as a Baldr Sky Dive 1, where most of the major plot reveals happen only when Dive 2 came out.
#10 by kiru
2019-08-06 at 08:18
^You should really not name Baldr Sky Dive as an example. That game has 30 hours of content padded out to 100 hours. Route 2-5 and reminiscence have in total MAYBE 5 hours of actual content that's new, while it takes easily 70 to read through.

It's an amazing example of padding in VNs. Although in this case it's mostly copy and paste, as the events are basically the same between routes with extremely minor changes. (i.e. the heroine..) It should've been one game.
And before anyone tries to argue, the game literally mentions that this is the case in the true route. (that also starts with a recap......... of all the recaps of the recaps you already saw) Haruhi Endless 8 is nothing in comparison to this crap.Last modified on 2019-08-06 at 08:19
#11 by craxuan
2019-08-06 at 08:40
"... where most of the major plot reveals happen only when Dive 2 came out." This is what I mean when I used Baldr Sky as an example. Not once did I mention padding anywhere. Use Baldr Sky to make your own example if you will, but stop making it sound like I'm praising Baldr Sky or this game for "amazing padding". Padding and proper plot setup are two different things.Last modified on 2019-08-06 at 08:47
#12 by kiru
2019-08-06 at 11:04
The point is, that Baldr Sky would've been a better game if it wasn't a two parter of 50 hours each, but a single 30 hour game. As I already wrote.
So it's a bad example for "plot setup" for a second game, as a second game shouldn't have existed in the first place.
#13 by quof
2019-08-06 at 17:51
Can't wait for RWA Dive 2 the soshage PogChamp
#14 by akisigure
2019-08-06 at 21:40
Yeah, it's typical Kinugasa game with toned down humor and less typos(especially compared to previous games). It has a lot of flaws, like aforementioned abruptness and incompleteness, basically useless 2 routes(Mell and Chiffon), epilogue that is short and lacking, 3rd hscene in Komachi's route where mentioned stuff that happens in 4th scene etc. If you don't know what to expect from this writer you easily can find yourself disappointed because nothing really is solved. Definitely not a masterpiece, but entertaining enough to make you expect a sequel/s(if it will be made).
I liked the game and especially the characters. In terms of routes, Komachi is my favorite; Claris's being a little bit behind. As heroine Claris is best, no doubts. I really like the way they talk to each other. I don't regret spending week on this game. It's worth reading if you can put up with writer's 適当さ and/or his fan.

Funnily enough, her gun holding sprite is slotted in during several serious but totally calm conversations, which feels completely out of place and forced.
I think it was for showing the "seriousness of her intentions" or something like this.

If they will make sequel
I hope for 伏線回収 of the stuff like some waitress possibly being stronger then protagonist(笑). But seriously it would be cool if it will be more focused on 教団 and 輝きの同盟. At least explain relation between 係長 and 同盟.
Last modified on 2019-08-10 at 11:04
#15 by quof
2019-08-06 at 22:48
I said it directly before but to be more clear, they announced a soshage sequel to RWA during a live event. Well, there's the possibility that they do both a soshage and normal sequels I guess, but right now people are just assuming that all roads lead to soshage.
#16 by eacil
2019-08-06 at 23:00
Wow, I thought you were speculating because it is produced by DMM but, man, if you are right, using an (unadvertised?) "to be continued" VN to push you into gachacrap addiction is a big dick move.
As expected of DMM.
#17 by noirx
2019-08-11 at 05:12
@15 Any clear source of your statement?Last modified on 2019-08-12 at 09:11
#18 by ginseigou
2019-08-11 at 11:18
10 out of 10? I doubt about that, the guy who wrote this can't possibly make a proper conclusion to a story. The premise reminds me COP CRAFT btw. I feel like I've read an advertisement cause the ordinary stuff for a big-budget vn got WAY TOO much praise.Last modified on 2019-08-11 at 11:47
#19 by quof
2019-08-14 at 17:28
@17 They did a live stream and I read a summary of it. Not sure if the stream was saved anywhere. link

Technically it says the soshage won't be a direct sequel and it's possible a real sequel will come out, but we'll see.
#20 by noirx
2019-08-17 at 11:12
I see. It says that the soshage will be a spin-off/side-story, so for now still no news on the sequel itself. Thanks~

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