LifeisXbox’s The Scorchfarer review | I make it no secret that I’ve always been here for a good story. Be it in books or on TV, in games, anime or manga. And while the world we live in is one of ample drama, I strongly prefer adventure and mystery over our drab reality. So when I see a potentially good story game up for grabs to be reviewed I always take care to fit them into my schedule. Today, we’ll be looking at The Scorchfarer. A visual novel that will release in episodes of which the developer and publisher Michiyuki Project plan to release a new one every 8 to 12 months. So then, let’s see what story is to be told here. (without actually spoiling it)
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Art-style | I hope you’re a fan of anime and manga styled visuals, as The Scorchfarer consists entirely of them. Minus the text obviously. During regular scenes, both the characters and the backgrounds are animated in a limited capacity. Think of the idle animation of a character in other games, swaying of hair and tails, that kind of stuff. This makes it so that things don’t feel too stiff. The more out active kind of scenes like riding a wyvern or getting magically charmed do tend to have their own panels.
- Audio | The Scorchfarer is accompanied by a number of orchestral soundtracks that range from happy go lucky to more mysterious sounding scores. The piano sees a lot of action here, as do flutes and what I think is a lute. While the tracks themselves are relatively short, they stay fresh given the length of the game. Next to the background tracks you also have the occasional ambient sound that highlights a detail from the scene. Think of the ticking of a clock or a wind chime gently swaying in a breeze.
- The Journal | As you progress through the story and meet new characters, you start fleshing out a journal that’s available from the main menu. There you can read all about the characters and world they inhabit. Like how Michi’s full name is Mikaela and that she’s a Chrysalidion. That Yuki has been at the academy since he was 12 or that he dislikes pears. There’s also a map of the entire world tucked away there, which will show you a more in detail map of the local area and tell you a bit about the landmarks. Of course, once you learn all this information in the main game first.
- Worldbuilding | The Scorchfarer does a lot of worldbuilding during its relatively short first episode. It sets up the world as being in a recovering state from a cataclysmic cosmic event called the fire rain, which put an end to the overwhelming majority of life on the planet. We know there was a prospering civilization before, and that the survivors are trying to restore balance to what’s left. Places we know little to nothing about get brought up often enough so that we can start forming ideas about them. I’m deliberately leaving a lot out, but it’s safe to say that if they continue to build and act on the information we’re fed, this will work out great for people in it for the long haul.
- Length | So, as you can read down below, The Scorchfarer is only about 4-ish hours long if you go through it at a leisurely pace. That gives me some mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can respect a game that manages to deliver its experience and content in a concise package. No needless filler or padding, straight to the good stuff. On the other, does that leave enough time to flesh things out? I felt a bit like I should care a lot more about Michi and Yuki before enough investment in the pair of them had been built. I am however hopeful that this worry will fade as more episodes are released and the story continues.
- Gameplay | As an episodic visual novel, The Scorchfarer doesn’t leave much room for actual gameplay. You progress through the story in a linear fashion, one or two sentences at a time. There doesn’t seem to be any space for player choice or deviation from the plot as it’s laid out and there are no alternate routes. For a visual novel, however, the gameplay isn’t the main focus of your experience. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to do anything all game long. With most changes in scenery, an eye icon in the corner of your screen will open, allowing you to interact with certain points of interest. Then some cute chibi versions of the characters will discuss what it is you found. Michiyuki Project could have worked all that in the main story you follow, but instead, they managed to find a way to make it ever that more interactive.
What we Disliked
- I had no strong dislikes about The Scorchfarer.
How long to beat the story | 3.5 hours
How long to unlock all achievements | 4 hours
Please consider supporting us!
Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.