Christmas is right around the corner and I have one wish: Some Japanese inspiration. Be it a great Anime show or film I should watch, a nice visual novel or game or new site with Japanese recipes. Doesn’t matter as long as it is somehow related to Japan’s culture. Haven’t been up to much recently. Just did my Wanikani studies, played Steins; Gate (still haven’t reached the true ending) and bought a couple of video games. The cold winter days are just perfect for some cozy gaming on the couch. Even picked up Root Letter (another VN) for my Vita as well. More about that one when I finished it but let me at least give you some early impressions.
Some quick thoughts about Root Letter
The game itself was pretty badly received in Japan (amazon reviews but there is always some truth to it) but I’m not playing it for the story or gameplay alone. The idea is quite interesting: You’re searching for your old penpal Aya with whom you exchanged letters 15 years ago but suddenly stopped getting replies. The gameplay is a mix of Ace Attorney style searching for hints while lacking the depth of the original and visual novel elements. I would’ve preferred a classic visual novel in the sense that you just progress through the story and make choices every now and then. But what got me into the game is not really the story but the beautiful background drawings of Matsue.
Located in the West of Honshu (you learned that one in WaniKani early on) and part of the Shimane prefecture the whole game is a love letter to this area. I’m a sucker for these real location type of games so even if the story isn’t the best or for these annoying lines which float on top of the screen all the time – still really enjoying Root Letter so far. It just has a very soothing quality to it which really manages to calm me down. The drawings are gorgeous with a slight water colored quality to it and the overall map where you can select different spots to travel to in the city incredibly reminds me of Persona 3 Portable. And that’s always a fantastic game to be associated with.
The game is pretty cheap on amazon these days (available for PS4/Vita) so if you’re interested just give it a look. If you know what to expect and love nice art of real life Japanese locations this game might be right up your alley as well.
Wish you all some relaxing holidays. Have some time for yourself, play some games, study Japanese and meet all the friends you missed over the year. And of course please share some recommendations with me for the holidays. I have a lot of time on my hands and want to use it effectively :)