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Review of Ever17 -The Out of Infinity-

SubjectEver17 -The Out of Infinity-
Ever17 - Himmel Edition
ByVote: 5.5hansfranz77 on 2021-11-11
ReviewThis game seems to be very highly regarded for it's time. But if you play this one in 2021 or even in the future, you should know it didn't age well at all, even with fan patches like Himmel Edition.

The biggest negatives are most of the characters, the pacing and the wasted setting. Let's get to it.

The characters might be best described as naive kids, being overwhelmed by the situation. That's all well and good, but the game never does anything to develop them in any meaningful way beyond this state. What you get to experience here instead for roughly 70% of the game's runtime is kids being stupid. They play kick the can, tag and run around and have bonding events. All of that you might as well call filler outright. Because, nearly none of that amounts to anything. Instead, of doing any real thinking or even searching work themselves, they use a shortcut which works to gather info for them. And i can not really bring myself to call this a spoiler, even if the game itself makes it a way bigger deal than anybody reading want's it to be.

There is an ai in this game doing all the "heavy lifting" for this cast. And that becomes more and more a problem as the game goes on. All the really interesting science and world-building bits are also dropped by this ai, so not only does the cast use her as a shortcut, the writers themselves readily do so as well. Her being an ai however means in turn she uses the tech installed in that park to investigate, thus you never really have a need for the kids to... say search for an escape route or getting in a situation where there might be tension for most of the game.

Which brings me to the wasted setting. Initially you get drawn in by the idea of an underwater theme park for sea and wild-life, sure. I did have that wow effect as i was playing as well. The problem is the ai being a thing and the cast being stupid children also means there is never really any fear or dread, you know, things you would expect from a setting trapping the cast in the middle of the ocean with no escape route!

What the game instead does is using some gacha drama moments with these characters as well as the main story itself. While this approach does work pretty well with Tsugimui's route, and i would even call her the only really fleshed out character in the whole thing. Sora's route did for some parts of it do a good job as well, even if it's very predictable.

The rest of the game just comes across as a jumbled mess, which talks about very cool shit and even shows it to you every so often, sure. The let's call it "prototype sci adv" vibes here are very real, a shame they never even tried to explain most of it.

For example:
How the very obvious spy tech and the park itself could've been used to test the "tief blau" virus for years!? What other applications there might've been in this setting for this research? Or how the protag just suddenly had those powers to solve everything, and where did he even get them from in the first place? Who the hell knows! Is he even human? Again nothing.

How the "cure virus" itself was developed (and i'm sorry but no i don't give a crap if the virus was a thing before in the series prior to this game) because how it works and also came to be is a crucial plot element and most of it is missing here given how incredibly important this becomes to solving everything in the true route. Let alone, how it can even be able to revive animals and humans in the first place?! it's just a thing that happens, and as a result never believable at any point. I was even partially on board with it being able to reverse aging and cell death, but reviving dead lifeforms is just going way too far, and i'm not buying that part of it at all.

Really after all is said and done anything beyond, 4D time travel is a thing which might exist. Not giving any details or explanation on how it might be possible to do it, beyond them just using it as a twist later on. Is just pulled straight out of the writer's butt. And all of these are big issues which just let this one crumble to pieces, if you think about it afterwards.


As a result, once the game gets to the true ending and the big spoilers rolled around what i thought about were other games doing something similar and better instead of this one and that is never a good sign! What i would compare this one to most is Yu-No and frankly even though that came out way before this, it is executed in story and characters far better than this game...

Anyway, back to this one. It didn't work as a whole and was a big disappointing mess, i would honestly say. I can hardly get invested if the game does fuck all work to make me care about these characters for nearly all of its runtime, while still writing a story nearly entirely relying on that connection in the true route. No amount of "it was all part of the plan!" (btw why was this even the plan in the first place? It comes just off as a contrived "see we are so clever!" moment again and as a result it's just stupid, makes no sense and falls entirely flat on it's face.) can salvage what is utterly broken and lacking throughout.

You are honestly better off playing any sci adv mainline game or Yu-No, before you waste your time on this one. Sci adv recommendations would be, Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head /Child in particular. All of these do very similar things, and all of them are way more competently executed as this as well.

Comments

#1 by solkid
2021-11-11 at 19:42
< report >> This game seems to be very highly regarded for it's time. But if you play this one in 2021 or even in the future, you should know it didn't age well at all

Yeah I would definitely disagree with this. I read it recently and it was a very good VN.
Don't think I even need to read your review beyond this.Last modified on 2021-11-11 at 19:42
#2 by onorub
2021-11-11 at 21:36
< report >I'd say the impact of the plot twists is very much lessened if you went through Zero Escape series first, and SciAdv series admittedly is much better at character work than Infinity series. Even so, i still think the plot twists in this were very well set up and i do consider Ever17 the very best multiple route mystery in VNs, very much disagreeing with the YU-NO take as the storytelling for some of the final plot twists felt way too similar to Snatcher.Last modified on 2021-11-11 at 21:38
#3 by hansfranz77
2021-11-12 at 03:30
< report >
very much disagreeing with the YU-NO take as the storytelling for some of the final plot twists felt way too similar to Snatcher.

Don't mind if i just take this one out now, because that is a game i did hear quite a few times before i never played myself. Do you think that is worth to play nowadays? I might try it, if you say it is. I never went into a single vn or game in my life wanting to hate them from the start.Last modified on 2021-11-12 at 03:30
#4 by onorub
2021-11-12 at 10:43
< report >If you managed YU-NO's gameplay, i don't see why not trying Snatcher unless trying emulation is too much of a bother, because it is pretty short for a VN. Keep in mind that the similarities are about how plot exposition is done towards the end (Ever17 had similar problems with the epilogue, but that had more to do with some plot details).
#5 by hansfranz77
2021-11-12 at 13:57
< report >I will have to look into which version and how to emulate the system. Thank you for reminding me about snatcher, and have a good one!
#6 by laukku
2021-11-13 at 11:55
< report >The infodumpings in YU-NO and Snatcher are minor flaws compared to everything else they do right. I agree with this review in that the pacing asks way too much from the reader and that most of the characters are completely forgettable (Tsugumi and Sora being exceptions). One route's rather lengthy section is even repeated verbatim in another, only with a different character! The routes in YU-NO are far more interesting and unique. (EDIT: Actually, I now remembered that about half of one route also is duplicated in YU-NO, but even then it feels less severe - even if a little bit - because you're only forced to read both variations if you go for 100% completion or do the wrong one first. And the point about YU-NO generally being more compelling still stands.) On the other hand I'm more forgiving of the out-there, ridiculous elements in Ever17. To me the mystery and clues are its main point, not believable sci-fi. Arguably "good" characterisation isn't either, but the lack thereof contributes to its dullness even if I had some fun collecting potential clues and theorising.Last modified on 2021-11-13 at 14:47
#7 by hansfranz77
2021-11-13 at 21:30
< report >Sounds very fair, i hope you had fun reading it. And of course thank you for taking your time doing so! :)

Ever17. To me the mystery and clues are its main point, not believable sci-fi. Arguably "good" characterisation isn't either, but the lack thereof contributes to its dullness even if I had some fun collecting potential clues and theorising.

I have to admit i came into this game with the nowadays very often repeated thoughts of this will be very much like an early sci adv, so the game not delivering on that front, after the great stuff Sora'sa route opened up was very disappointing, yeah. And might've soured me on the true route of the game later on as well.Last modified on 2021-11-13 at 21:34