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Review of Animamundi ~Owarinaki Yami no Butou~

SubjectAnimamundi ~Owarinaki Yami no Butou~
Animamundi - Dark Alchemist Anti-Censorship Patch
ByHelpfulness: 0
Vote: 6
yunari-ah419 on 2022-07-04
ReviewAnimamundi - Dark Alchemist is VN with intriguing plot and character, but bogged down with gameplay and slow progression.
The game centers around filling out your checklist(aka alchemy bible) with materials and items you get in-game or by completing endings. While it doesn't sound bad at first, the game can become a complitionist nightmare if you're playing it without a guide. I wasn't able to get all 88 entries and I heard it's impossible due to bugs. Even if you're not aiming to 100% this title, I doubt you'll be satisfying after one playthrough. This game expects players to finish all character EDs(aka normal and "real" outcomes), but there's also 10 bad ends to finish the game properly.

As for translation, it's done by the infamous Hirameki International, the company had a track record of terrible translation quality, bugs, removal of adult content, DVD-only releases and overpricing. Thankfully, they went bankrupt years ago and you can download this game for free without any concerns about piracy. Due to that, before playing make sure to install bug fixing patches(but even they can't fully fix the game. as I mentioned earlier). I played with "anti-censorship patch" and advice you do the same.

Gameplay is full of usual choices, but with time limits. Which is really unnecessary, in my opinion. Sometimes, timed choices can add tension to an already dangerous situation. But I have no idea why they exist when Georik decides what gem to research ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This is where my main gripe lie: the game wants you to play it many times, but makes it as painful as possible. Timed choices are annoying during initial playtrough, but combining it with constant skipping frustrated me to no end.

Another part of the gameplay is an occasional minigame. I liked ouija board one the most, it was fun to figure out the right way to communicate with a spirit. It was effectively used later on as well.
I can't help but admire the art style and overall design of the game. Its blend of shoujo-esque and gory visuals really makes the game stand out, even after so many years. But the anatomy can be really whack, both sprites and CGs fall victim to yaoi hands and other quirky design choices.

Music and sfx is on point, both help with immersion and fit the situations they used in. My favorite tracks are the main title theme and the ending song. Voice acting is great, the cast's full of big names who all give good performances. I liked Bruno's voice the most, Koyasu Takehito ftw.

Story and characters is where this game truly shines. I don't want to turn this review into a wall of text discussing my favorite events and plot twists, so I'll just say the story is very dynamic, and all plot points are interesting(even if some of them could've used more screentime). The writing can also fall into long infodumps on occasion. Show, don't tell, Animamundi.

Georik is a great and believable MC, he was very consistent in all endigs(even bad ones). The rest of the cast was good too, honorable mention goes to Lilth for being far more likable and interesting than the usual little sister archetype.

Another thing to address: don't go into this game expecting to see romantic relationships between men. While amount of character endings might make you think they'll end up with sex scene or traditional love confession, it's usually not the case. Only second St.Germant's and Mikhael's endings can be considered properly romantic. No wonder they were my favorite endings lol. There's also some tragic and unrequired love subplots in this game(I don't want to spoil much). Besides that, I think most endings are worth getting since they reveal lore and flash out characters and their backstories more. Sylvie's ending was great in that regard.

UI is outdated and rough around the edges, as expected. It has some kind of stiffness to it, making it hard to play the game in long sessions.

Overall, Animamundi still holds up most of the time, as long as you're willing to overlook gameplay and UI's clunkiness and have patience and interest to discover everything(or most) this game has to offer.
ALTERNATIVELY, there's a full playthrough of this game on YT by user NazoNougami with commentary.
You know, since Karin Entertainment and its BL branch is still functioning, I wish this game could've gotten a remake of sorts. Make the gameplay less frustrating, polish the script, upscale art, rerecord OST and you can get a potential 10/10 game in your hands! This probably will never happen tho, but a girl can dream....
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