Welcome to Autumn’s Journey, a visual novel that is set in the world of Ishtera and introduces you to the story between two races – dragonkind and heavenkind. The main character you take on the role of is a young girl called Auralee, a confident and aspiring knight who makes an unexpected discovery during one of her patrols. During the course of the game, you will find yourself being joined by two characters, Kerr and Ilmari, as you embark on an unanticipated and suspicious adventure to assist these two on their quest. I won’t go into too much detail as it would contain spoilers to the plot of the game but Autumn’s Journey, which was developed by Apple Cider and published by both Ratalaika Games S.L. and Apple Cider, is a wholesome tale that I found delightful to have the opportunity to play through and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story progresses in the future.
VicciVulpix played Autumn’s Journey for two hours on Xbox One S.
What we liked!
- Imaginative story – When I started Autumn’s Journey, I really didn’t know what to expect from the story. I must admit I was intrigued and the narrative gripped me from the beginning with mysterious characters, fantasy and the presence of a strong female lead character. I found myself very much enjoying the game with everything the adventure had to offer. There were some unexpected plot twists and elements of suspicion that made you question what was going to happen. I just think the whole story was done exceptionally well.
- Bright and fun imagery – I certainly cannot fault the imagery for Autumn’s Journey. It’s everything it needs to be – vibrant, colourful, exciting, and charming. Every character has their own colour pallet almost and they work nicely with the personality of each too. There are some scenes where the lighting and colour contribute to how the game perhaps wants you to feel that goes hand in hand with the music choice. It may want you to feel more defensive or lighten the mood which in itself allows the gamer to become further aware of in the present moment.
- Well written throughout – A common problem I have found with multiple VN games is an issue with the grammar and spelling at times which I’m sure everyone can agree is the most important aspect of any VN game. Now I know this can be due to translation issues and porting but thankfully, this title did a superb job of writing which I’ve noticed is more important than you may realise. It means you can read with ease and the flow of the text is not affected making the game much more pleasurable to read through.
- Great music/sounds but questionable voicing – Gorgeous music and sound effects are what I love to hear in VN titles because it gives the game a new lease of life and can really affect the current mood the game is trying to portray to the players. Now, I don’t know about you but I found the small voice sections that appeared throughout the game kinda strange and very unnecessary to include. It most certainly gave the character’s personality but perhaps using the same line repeatedly could be deemed as slightly irritating at times.
- Some characters had no appearance – Obviously, the game has three main characters who you see visually often enough to get their image in your head. I did realise however that there were a few characters that I felt had enough dialogue to warrant imagery for them. It just expresses the game more and allows our imaginations to picture scenarios. For example, you approach an enemy in the game who you have a fair amount of dialogue with who has no picture to represent them which to me is a wasted opportunity for people who connect with the imagery of games.
What we disliked
- Very short game – Unfortunately to my disappointment, the game was far too short for my liking. One playthrough reading all the text didn’t take me anytime at all to complete and I felt like it all came to the end much sooner than it should have. There could have easily been more detail and content added to make the game not only last longer but to allow players to become more informed into the background of the characters which I feel is an important aspect in any VN game.
- Options had little impact on the story – When visual novels give you any sort of options, I expect them to have an impact on the story. The options in Autumn’s Journey were far and few which only had an impact in the later game should you have chosen everything needed. If done so “correctly”, there are two separate romance lines that I would say didn’t exactly stand out in any way. Having options that can change the plot or how characters could react is something I for one crave in VN titles.
LifeisXbox.eu is the largest Belgian Xbox centered website, your reading time is greatly appreciated! Please consider sharing this review with your friends on social media, that means a lot for us! If you are Dutch speaking also consider joining our Dutch exclusive Facebook group Xbox Gamers Belgium. Feel free to use quotes for PR purposes.
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!