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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 last updated on 2022-02-06
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 personalities being uninteresting. The pacing itself having way, way too much filler in it and sadly the wasted setting too. 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, which is of course a problem given this game is very character centric. What you get to experience here instead of them growing and developing and which lasts for roughly 70% of the game's runtime is kids being stupid mixed with some slice of life writing. 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 furthering their growth. Instead, of doing any real thinking or even searching work themselves and thus growing closer as a group, they use a shortcut which works to gather info for them. And i'm sorry, but i can not 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, instead of natural development and group dynamic, maybe even group conflicts you get her doing all the meaningful work and the more the game goes on, the more it becomes clear just how big of a problem this decision the writers made really was. Oh, and all the fascinating science and world-building bits are also dropped by her, so not only does the cast use her as a crutch, the writers themselves readily do so as well. This ai being in the cast also means in turn she uses the tech installed in that park to investigate and doesn't have to move around herself. Thus, you never have a need for the kids to do stuff or run around and... say search for an escape route or getting into any situations where there might be tension for most of the game as well.


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 at the start as i was playing too. The issue is the ai being a thing and the cast being stupid children also means there is never really any fear or dread, aside from route endings. So things, you would expect from a setting trapping the cast in the middle of the damn ocean with no escape route. Just never even are a big deal at all! Not a great choice either.


What the game instead does is using some "got ya!" drama moments with these characters and later main story itself. And while this approach works pretty well in some parts, say in the case of Tsugumi 's route, (i would even call her the only well fleshed out character in the whole thing.) And Sora's route does a good job with characterizing her in some parts of it too, even if the story itself is very predictable. Over the complete runtime of the game, these are exceptions and not the rule in this!

So 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, but it never amounts to anything substantial. The let's call them "prototype sci adv" vibes here are very real, it's a shame they never even tried to use or at least to explain most of these very interesting aspects at the end.

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? We do know genetic research was a thing in this setting. But who the hell knows or cares!
Is he even human? Again nothing.
Or 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 of how it works and also how it came to be are crucial plot elements!. Most of these explanations are missing entirely here in this. And given how incredibly important these details become to solving everything in the true route. There better be a good reason for this, other than "it's just a thing that happens". Oh, and how this virus can even be able to revive animals and humans in the first place?! Is not explained at all, either.

Taking into account all of these factors, and these events happening in the way they do is never believable at any point. (And it's not like there is nothing interesting here to work with. I was even partially on board with "Cure" being able to reverse aging and cell death. But reviving dead lifeforms all on it's own is just going way too far, and i'm not buying that part of it at all.)
By the end of the game and after everything 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), and them just using that as a twist later on. (Which just comes across as pulled straight out of the writer's butt as a result of how it was done). All of these are big issues adding up over time and which just let this one crumble to pieces, without anything explaining any of it. If you think about it afterwards and that makes the game worse than it could've been.


As a result, once the game got 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? That twist just came off as a contrived "see we are so clever!" moment 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 games do very similar things, and all of them are way more competently executed as this as well.
3 points

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
#8 by sorendipitous
2022-01-19 at 20:33
< report >Play Remember11!!
#9 by hansfranz77
2022-02-06 at 05:53
< report >#8 That's on my list, but i'm really not in the mood for some mindfuck stuff right now. So it will have to wait.
#10 by plisken
2022-03-14 at 01:06
< report >I posted a review for this with roughly the same score. Your review went a lot further in depth than mine, and all I can say is I agree on all fronts. I have no idea why this is so highly regarded. The story is an utter mess and the characters range from boring to pants-on-head retarded.
#11 by hansfranz77
2022-03-14 at 06:15
< report >#10 I still find it curious Sci Adv tl servers and groups of all things praise this thing to the high heavens. It might've laid the groundwork, but boy does it pale in direct comparison with all of them. Thanks for reading!