Twice Reborn: A Vampire Visual Novel Review | Mark Delaware, a teaching assistant, gets more than he bargained for in life when he is turned into a vampire. As he is introduced to the Skulls and Art Society, two groups of vampires at different ends of the scale, he has many choices to make which he must put consideration into. These decisions are highly dependent on whether you want to embrace being a vampire or would prefer to find your humanity once again. However, be warned. Some decisions could put you into an early grave if you’re not careful so keep your wits about you and you might just reach one of the multiple endings. Twice Reborn: A Vampire Visual Novel has been developed by First Step Cinematics, Ratalaika Games while being co-developed and published by Eastasiasoft, producing a game which focuses on one character and the pivotal moment his life changes. For better or for worse? That decision is down to the player and their choices.
|Developer||First Step Cinematics, Ratalaika Games, Eastasiasoft Limited|
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Divergent choices | Visual novels that offer multiple routes and choices are by far my favourite. They allow you to write your own story and take the route you want, even if it means it’s a dead end and you have to rethink your decision next time. There are more than enough decisions to be made that can have dire consequences later in the game if you’re not careful. The characters you side with, the actions you partake in, whether you question someone’s motive – they are all down to the player. I adore being in control of my story and being able to choose my own path, even if I did die within minutes on my first playthrough because I didn’t like one character in the beginning. I learnt from my mistakes and was able to get there in the end.
- Appealing visuals | I was actually truly impressed and excited by the quality of the visuals and detail in Twice Reborn. The characters, their outfits, the scene and their backgrounds – everything looked visually pleasing and that was one of the main features that kept me interested in the game. As there are multiple characters and scenes in the game, it kept the game fresh and free of too much repetition. The visuals are incredible and do resemble a modern-day comic book appearance, giving the whole game a teenage-vampire novel feeling. The shading and colouring are used exceptionally well, making everything pop even though it was still imagery. The scenes themselves made for beautiful backings and their presence also miraculously provided a sense of safety or danger.
- Skulls and Society | Two groups dominate the story in Twice Reborn – The Skulls and The Society of Arts – and you have to decide which one you want to side with. This is not something you have to stick with as you can change your path as you progress through the game. Both are complete opposites in their approach to vampirism which is where your preference comes into play. Whether you choose to be more controlled or impulsive will factor greatly into which side you should join. I found myself swaying more toward being the good vampire who obeys the ‘code’ rather than the more rebellious type who almost does as they please in a more vigorous sense. I liked these different sides and how the game portrayed them, making me constantly question my own choice and whether it was what I really wanted.
- Music and sound effects | Although the sound effects were rather hit or miss, like bite and stabbing sounds that were slightly muffled, I enjoyed listening to the background music amongst different scenes in the game and from the extras option from the main menu. There’s a pleasant mixture of hard and soft rock, dramatic solo pieces, choir singing, ominous tracks, and damn funky beats to name some which have all been placed in suitable places and scenes throughout Twice Reborn. Glory Eternal by Darren Curtis was certainly my favourite and the most impactful. After listening to each piece of music, I can safely say the soundtrack is pretty damn remarkable and should be given plenty of credit.
- Multiple endings | With over twenty endings to reach, there is more than enough replayability when it comes to playing Twice Reborn. Obviously, these are reached depending on your decisions and where the path they ultimately lead you on. Whether it turns out as a good or bad ending, I wanted to experience each one if possible. My issue doesn’t come with the number of endings but how abruptly they come about, with little to no real conclusion being explained when you eventually reach them. Yes, there are the obvious ‘I messed up and died’ endings that don’t require any further explanation but for the ones that have an open-ended finish to them, I was left wanting more of a solidified ending to feel satisfied with my decisions.
- Relationship status | At any point during your playthrough, you can check your relationship status with multiple groups and certain people, as well as your intensity of bloodlust. This can be useful to keep track of how others perceive you as this may affect your endings and the decision you’re faced with. The game never tells you about this though and it was only because I clicked the wrong button that I found out about this feature. Yes, it does show as an action that can be carried out in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen but I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I wish all characters’ relationships would have been shown but I guess only the important ones were included which makes sense.
- Mediocre narrative | The story itself certainly had its strong and weak points. For the most part, I enjoyed the different routes I could take but the story didn’t always manage to keep me interested and wanting to find out more which is the whole point of visual novels; they should be like a book you don’t want to put down but in video game format. There were sections I really enjoyed, others I wanted to come to a swift end, and some that come and went far too soon which did disrupt and have a significant impact on the pacing. As it took me around two and a half hours to get my first successful ending, I was pleased with the length but the actual content did lack in places. Once I became a vampire I expected excitement, ferocity, and hasty actions but I was disappointingly left with quite calm and monotonous content instead.
- Skipping ability | An option I really approve of in visual novels is the ability to skip dialogue and text I have already previously read through in order to get to my decisions quicker. If I have already read that part of the story, I don’t need to read it again. On the other hand, what I don’t like about this particular option is you can skip unread text too which seems completely ridiculous to me. It’s obviously been included purely for achievement hunters wanting to get their ‘quick-and-easy completion’ which really annoys me as it disrespects the work put in by the developers. However, the developers also made the choice to include this which baffles me into oblivion.
What we Disliked
- Prolonged sections | I’ll be the first to say I enjoy reading through visual novels. However, whenever I come across sections of text which have been extended way beyond what they needed to be, I do tend to roll my eyes and skim-read the text. I understand that detail can be a great asset to some parts as they enhance the overall story but when this is purely just to clutter our mind with meaningless content to prolong the story, it’s just completely unnecessary. If these particular sections could have been filled with additional structure and content that adds to the characters themselves or the overall story, I would have justified it. I hate to say this but in my opinion, I felt that almost half of the story was packed with excessive detail we just didn’t need to pay attention to.
- Voice acting | I never expect to have any voiceovers when it comes to visual novels so when I encountered my first voiceover in Twice Reborn, I was quite surprised. This type of surprise, however, was short-lived as it turned out not to be the good type of surprise I had hoped for. The voice acting was poor and there was no hiding from it either. Although the voices were clear, they did not suit their designated characters and they all sounded extremely monotone every time they spoke. This took away from multiple situations I came across where I thought emotion should be heightened but instead, I was greeted with lifeless dialogue. I actually preferred having no voiceovers and turned the voice audio off after my first playthrough which I think speaks for itself. A real shame because if this would have been successful, it would have been a great feature to include.
- Poor animations | The number of times I laughed at the appalling animations was uncountable; I just couldn’t control myself. However, they were making me laugh for all the wrong reasons. Whenever the characters moved, they resembled paper figures being moved on a stick. Yes, quite literally. Whether it was up and down or left and right, they just moved without any motion. The only other animation that could be seen was the characters consistently blinking and even this made me feel uneasy because it looked so unnatural; far too frequent to be realistic. I would have loved for the animations to have more impact on the events that occurred, especially the fast-paced action scenes, but it was just not to be.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 2-3 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 3-4 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Vampire: The Masquerade, Vera Blanc, Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair
Overall, I enjoyed my time on Twice Reborn: A Vampire Visual Novel but it wasn’t without its faults. I can’t ignore the horrible voiceovers which almost ruined my perception of certain scenes or the excessive detail that drained from the storyline. However, with that being said, I liked being able to make numerous choices to create my own story, despite the questionable pacing, in combination with the great visuals and music that created a gratifying experience when looking past the negatives.
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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!