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Author Topic: Muv-Luv  (Read 8658 times)

Offline ImperialX

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Muv-Luv
« on: June 25, 2011, 02:46:34 PM »

"There will never be a path which satisfies everyone's wishes."

"When the time comes for you to make the decision, which one will it be?"

Plot:
This is a generic moe harem VN. *Coughs* :P

Spoiler for Hiden:
This game is probably the easiest to spoil ever made. You will be spoiled instantly the moment you enter the title in Google, and not even clicking any results! DON'T DO IT. YOU'LL REGRET IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

In fact, the image I chose is probably the only official artwork in existence that doesn't spoil the game. Making you think it's a mere moe title.

Comments:
This is the moment that I have been dreaming about. I just finished this game, and I'm proud to say that this is the first Visual Novel I have played in my career that is not only comparable, but may exceed Ever17.

All of you should know I'm a very careful man when it comes to recommendations. There are only a few times in one's lifetime where a piece of work that is so amazing appears that he would wish for all his friends to experience it before returning to the soil. When I want to deliver that feeling across, I must make sure I have built my credibility up so that I will be taken seriously. I set up Ever17 as the benchmark VN if such a VN ever appeared and I have to make a recommendation with such force.

I know for every VN I call a "must-play comparable to Ever17", I lose some of my credibility for the next suggestion, and that's why I haven't ever said such a thing. As epic as Fate/stay night,  Umineko and Cross Channel are, I wouldn't recommend it with such emphasis. That doesn't mean they're bad - they're completely epic and are must-plays, but I wouldn't really care if you died before playing these games.

Muv-Luv is the first game, or to be precise, set of games that I will be using the Ever17 benchmark I set on. It is THAT good. That's all there it is to it. Nothing more needs to be said since those of you who have played Ever17 know what I'm talking. You have no more time to be standing here! Get this game immediately!

Instructions:
The Muv-Luv series consists of three games. These are called:

Muv-Luv Extra
Muv-Luv Unlimited
Muv-Luv Alternative

The games must be played in this order for the story to work just like Ever17. In fact, even though Muv-Luv Alternative is sold at a full price of 8,000 yen, it actually requires not only the original games before it to be installed, but to have the necessary arcs cleared before it will play! This is extremely strange, from a commercial viewpoint. That's because it's just so crucial that this game is played correctly.

The procedure of playing Muv-Luv is a complicated one. This journey is long, and at least 60~80 hours depending on your reading speed. To add even more burden to that, the entire first 20 hours will be nothing but 'generic moe' like I said in the plot. The next 20 hours isn't much better either. It's not 'generic moe', but still 'generic'. Only after all this will the epicness kick in, and not only are these final hours epic to the extent I will put it on par with Ever17, it will also put completely new light on the initial 40 hours you think you 'wasted'. Even if you go back to replay them, you'll find that they're not generic at all, but the whole experience, as a whole, is a masterpiece.

Remind you of something? Yes. This entire procedure of enduring many arcs for the sake of a revelation feels like Ever17 - except Ever17 was only 20 hours long at most! That means the 'generic' segment of Muv-Luv is almost double that of Ever17. Of course, at the end of your journey, I have no doubt that however high your expectations, you will be completely rewarded and satisfied. I promise.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 03:05:23 PM by ImperialX »

Offline HirakuNoShadow

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 04:38:41 PM »
It's funny how you say this AFTER you made me play Ever17.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 05:05:00 PM »
It's funny how you say this AFTER you made me play Ever17.

This is four times as long, and isn't a good place for new VN players to start with. I don't regret my decision. Also, this game isn't uprooting Ever17 as my benchmark VN.

Offline Aelms

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 05:32:18 AM »
So after hours and hours AND HOURS of non-stop passionate (and quite often not-so-passionate) reading, I finally managed to finish this alleged cornerstone of the VN scene. Was it well worth the time? While the Muv-Luv franchise contains one of if not THE most ambitious plot I've witnessed, I can't say that I'd be willing to invest any similar amount of time on this again.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Although people tend to look over Muv-Luv Unlimited, that segment of the franchise was probably where I found myself most engaged. Things were getting interesting after the wasted time in Extra and the setting had a lot of promise, which was largely fulfilled in Alternative. Most importantly, the pacing in Unlimited was better done than in Alternative as I was always cared about what would happen next. Maybe this was when I felt most connected to the characters. However, the heart of the franchise clearly lies in Alternative

Strictly speaking, Alternative was probably disappointing to me considering the expectations I had. This is hard to say for sure because there were definitely some very monumental moments weaved into the many hours spent in reading the story. If I were to put it simply, I found that the Muv-Luv franchise was a pragmatic exploration of the possible meanings and values in living, and on the flip-side, of death. Of the Valkyries squad, every character death was given significant attention through the eyes of our developing narrator and were probably the most engaging parts of the story. This was supported by an intricate setting delivered by hours of info-dumping, which for its advantages and otherwise, was effective in allowing us to focus on the more personal issues of the plot. What Alternative also did very well was exploring a very Japanese brand of patriotism/idealism through the attitudes of all the military-world's characters; in retrospect, it was the discussion of these ideas that gave said character deaths the weight and emotional impact they had in spades. If I got anything out of Alternative, it's the impressive message that humans cannot simply rely on abstract ideals or far off goals in order to live meaningfully but rather think about the immediate values that they want to preserve and the sacrifices that they are willing to make for it. I wholeheartedly commend Muv-Luv for discussing these ideas.

As to why I felt that Alternative was disappointing, the main problems lied in its less than ideal pacing and an ending that didn't seem to fit the scale of the story. The pacing bit is easily explained: literally hours were spent on exposition that probably didn't really aid the plot other than some trivial information on the setting and much of Alternative we've seen in Unlimited. It wasn't long before reading line-by-line of not particularly engaging stuff became boring. The ending was definitely conclusive and I didn't mind too much that everything was returned to the original world (which I felt emphasised the point that all the alternative world personalities would stay dead). However, the death of Takeru's original training squad plus his significant other felt cheapened by how the story rushed to its conclusion without giving time for Takeru, and us by extension, to dwell about them. If we were to notice they're slow transition to becoming better people, it seemed counterproductive that we could not see how Takeru felt about the meaning of their sacrifices.

Another small complaint I have is how there is still much more to the setting that can be explored. Maybe this is addressed in the side stories but I really do want to find out about the BETA's motivations and look into the life of Yoroi's dad.

All in all, I can definitely see why people consider Muv-Luv as a must-read but I cannot say that I'm entirely sold in terms of personal response. There were definitely some solid ideas being presented in an extremely competent ways and the ambitious scale of the story definitely translated to strong production values but I have to admit that it fell short of giving the best impression as an entire package.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 04:18:31 PM »
I've been spoilered too much on MuvLuv to ever give a crap.  I give the original creators props for pulling off one huge swerve, but from what I know, I just couldn't bother sitting through 60 plus hours of game play.
I'm just like you, only smarterô.

Offline thanosmat

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 08:45:33 PM »
Another small complaint I have is how there is still much more to the setting that can be explored. Maybe this is addressed in the side stories but I really do want to find out about the BETA's motivations and look into the life of Yoroi's dad.

If it was exploring all this, the VN would be even bigger than already is. The many spin-offs has the function to do just that.

But the BETA motivation is well explained. Is that its creators remain a mystery.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 10:03:42 PM »
The BETA are uninteresting to me.  They serve only to be the "unstoppable force" everybody struggles against.  They quite literally don't matter otherwise, as extra material has already pointed out. 

Even the Creators don't matter to me, as much as I don't matter to them.  Their motivation isn't something you can turn into interesting drama as there can be no resolution other than genocide.
I'm just like you, only smarterô.

Offline SQA

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2013, 10:47:39 PM »
The BETA are uninteresting to me.  They serve only to be the "unstoppable force" everybody struggles against.  They quite literally don't matter otherwise, as extra material has already pointed out. 

Even the Creators don't matter to me, as much as I don't matter to them.  Their motivation isn't something you can turn into interesting drama as there can be no resolution other than genocide.

We spent 15ish pages ripping the first half of the Total Eclipse anime to shreds over the lack of logic with the BETA.  "Why" they exist makes sense.  The fact there is any existential dread does not.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 05:17:16 AM »
While the Muv-Luv franchise contains one of if not THE most ambitious plot I've witnessed, I can't say that I'd be willing to invest any similar amount of time on this again.

I actually thought Muv-Luv didn't try anything new or ambitious. It was more so that it executed everything very well that made it deeply satisfying.

If you want to see a truly ambitious plot, play Rewrite. It's so ambitious, the execution of the game couldn't even live up to it and it turned into somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to experience.

The pacing bit is easily explained: literally hours were spent on exposition that probably didn't really aid the plot other than some trivial information on the setting and much of Alternative we've seen in Unlimited. It wasn't long before reading line-by-line of not particularly engaging stuff became boring.

All visual novels do this. It just so happens that if you're deeply intrigued and in-sync with the characters, these hours themselves become the pinnacle of your experience. The downside is that if you're not truly in-sync, it's just really boring.

I don't blame anyone for not enjoying a visual novel as much as someone else, because I feel the appeal of any visual novels depends heavily on just how much you actually like being in-sync with a realistic first person POV of the protagonist.

Offline thanosmat

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 07:05:50 AM »
Yu-No visual novel has the most ambitious plot I ever seen in the medium. Its not merely large than life, but large than universe itself.

And visual novels are a intensive reading medium. If it is used only to anime and manga, many things in visual novels are boring. I dont consider this pacing problems in most cases, just an atribute of visual novels.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 07:14:26 AM by thanosmat »

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 06:11:56 PM »
Yu-No visual novel has the most ambitious plot I ever seen in the medium. Its not merely large than life, but large than universe itself.

Whether YU-NO is a visual novel is kind of debatable in my opinion. I know Ixrec considers it one, and it's in VNDB...but the game mechanics are a little bit too different for it to be counted as a visual novel for me.

Not saying that it wasn't absolutely incredible.

Offline hyperknees91

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 07:19:02 PM »
Never played YU-NO but I guess I should give it a shot hearing that eh?

Meiya > every action girl ever.

Offline thanosmat

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Re: Muv-Luv
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 07:31:26 PM »
Never played YU-NO but I guess I should give it a shot hearing that eh?

Meiya > every action girl ever.

If you dont mind the dated graphics of PC-98, you will not regret it.
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