A Paladin’s Steam Review: Hate Plus. A Story of Refinement and Betrayal.

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Anime Visual Novel Steam Review for Windows, Mac & Linux

The follow up review to Analogue: A Hate Story.

I didn’t want to publish this review today as I was hoping to save it for next week but I’m having a bit of writer’s block so I guess I’ll be working pretty hard at getting another review ready in time. I’ll be leaving next weekend for a Bazaar. Where I’m hoping to do a lot of work on a review I’ve been teasing a while but we’ll see. Enjoy this review of Hate Plus.

Read my review of Analogue: A Hate Story.

Read and rate this review on Steam

A Paladin’s Steam Review: Hate Plus. A Story of Refinement and Betrayal.

  • Genre: Anime Visual Novel.
  • Developed & Published by: Love Conquers All Games
  • Platform: Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.
  • Business Model: Base Game.
  • Copy Purchased by Myself

Overall Story Thoughts
The sequel to A Hate Story is still based on the same concept of the original. You’re an investigator who hacked into the Mugunghwa, a colony ship that lost contact with Earth a long time ago, and you managed to save an AI(s) from the doomed vessel. Like in the previous game, they can talk to you but you can’t talk to them due to an installation error/mcguffin. You do have a few more options in what you can say but they still boil down to: yes/no/maybe. This time around, the AI has more log files from the colony ship that you didn’t get to see in the previous game. These logs have clues into what caused the enactment of the oppressive society and then the eventual events that you read about in the previous title. So, it’s time to find out what happened. This time around, the AI will actively read the logs with you and provide colorful commentary every now and again. This is especially amusing if you rescued both Hyun-ae & Mute from a previous save game. So, read the logs and find out what happened.

This game seems easier to follow than the previous one. The game provides a photo (for most) and profile for characters to help you keep track of who’s who. Logs are still setup to be read at your own pace and in the order of your choosing. That said, the game makes sure that they’re relevant regardless of when you read them. There aren’t any notes on pronunciation (which I found to be helpful in the previous game) and the two family trees aren’t listed. Probably because it wasn’t the main focus of this story. Overall, the story is about the same as the previous game in terms of how densely it uses lore, name usage and politics. Which is a bit more than the average story. But this time, you have a more solid grounding of what’s going on with the characters. Even if you’re new to this series, you’ll be brought up to speed quickly enough.

Real World Time Mechanic
There’s a real world aspect to this game that I haven’t seen before. The store page states that it will take three days in order to finish this game. The in-game reason is that your ship is running on emergency power and has to recharge after every document extraction. So, the game will have you wait 12 real world hours before it lets you continue to the next chapter. You get about 1-2 hours per chapter. I think this will be a love/hate mechanic with a lot of people. I like it because I treat these games as something to wind down to before I go sleep, so, it gives me the right moment to save and shutdown for the night. But on the other hand, you have to wait before you can complete the game and you can’t finish the game in one go. I’m sure if you meddled with your PC’s clock, you could do it one finish. But then, where’s the fun in that? Some will like this, other’s will see it as an unnecessary inconvenience. It’s up to you to decide which way you go.

PC Settings
Expected genre settings are here. Text speed, animations on or off and English/Korean language. Audio sliders for music and effects are available as well. Resolutions are still restricted to 1024×640 and 1024×600. I still think those are odd resolution choices but the game scales well so I can’t complain. The UI has gone through some UI changes but keeps much of the same setup the previous game had. However, there’s an odd flickering to the UI that happens once in a while which seems to be intentional. I don’t like it because it’s more distracting than immersive. Additionally, scrolling through logs has an odd, frequent pause while reading it, especially when you have two AIs with you while reading. This seems to be caused by the frequent changes in the facial expressions of the AIs and the game checking to see if it needs to display their comments or not. It’s not a big deal. Game is stable and bug free as far as I can tell.

AI Characters
It continues where you left off, allowing you to load the save from the previous game or start fresh, letting you set which AI you saved and what their attitude is towards you. Hyun-ae & Mute get even more time to develop their character and backstory, though more of the focus is on Mute and what happened to her. I really like that they get to actively participate in the reading of the logs rather than sit in the background and come out every now and again to give their two cents. This is definitely a welcome change from the previous title.

Final Thoughts
While the sequel doesn’t get as dark as it’s predecessor, it still paints a disturbing story of culture change and betrayal. The mystery, the futuristic setting and serious dark tone are still well executed. Maintaining it’s sci-fi atmosphere with the music and futuristic UI glues all the pieces together for a great experience in the AVN genre. Hate Plus gets a recommendation from this Paladin.

Thanks for reading!

-KingIsaacLinksr

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