NOTE: A review copy was provided by IDHAS Studios.
Frequent visitors of the blog have at one point read a review for the game Rising Angels: Reborn. IDHAS Studios are back again with another entry in the Rising Angels series, a remake of the prequel to Reborn, Rising Angels: The Red Rose, to be exact. This is Rising Angels: Hope, published by Sekai Project.
Genres: School Life, Science-Fiction, Romance, Drama, Yuri, Visual Novel
Themes: Wolf Girl, Elves, Cat Girl, Angels, Demon, Military, Teamwork, Coming of age.
Length: 8-10 hours (Depending on the “plreader”s speed.)
G-Rating: Good (Personal), Okay (Overall)
Plot Summary: This is the story of Faye Moonfallow, her squad of somewhat lovable misfits, and their dreams of joining the Katajion Space Force. However, before they can get there, they have to first pass the rigors of the Space Sector Academy. Life is rough, non-stop, and the danger of getting the boot is ever-present. Can Faye and her squad overcome the challenges posed to them or will the group destroy itself in chaos? Each day is an adventure as the young researcher tries to find her new place in the galaxy.
Players who picked up Reborn (or played The Red Rose in which case everyone will be familiar) will instantly recognize three characters from said game: Faye Moonfallow, Sol Hackett and Kika Starr. Without going into spoilers I will start off by giving a brief character introduction for the main cast:
- Faye’s a simple yet reclusive wolf girl who enjoys sleeping twelve hours a day and has the daily appetite of a bear before hibernating.
- Kika is a cat girl who sees herself as a true hero and is a tsundere.
- Sol is a grumpy racist towards non-humans, dubbed virus-born, who only shows a soft side to his human classmate Lenna.
- Lenna is a shy girl.
- Yoi is a genki elf girl with a short temper who quickly becomes very attached to Faye.
- Iotor is a wolf man, a war veteran and the oldest classmate. Because of his age and experience he comes off as the calmest of the class. Sometimes this is good and other times bad.
- Blade is a demon. He is Kika’s “minion”.
- Jade and Mana are twin angels. Jade is a juvenile delinquent who served time in prison and is a wannabe punk. Because of that Mana is an overbearing sister to the point that the class jokes about her being a “brocon”.
The reason I started the review with a roll call was because the main point of the story is that is about the school lives of Faye and her misfit classmates as they somehow work their up from being a group of miscreants who form separate alliances based on tolerance levels to eventually becoming a moderately strong team who get along well with one another despite their differences, all while attending a military academy where failure by one of the students means a failure for all. In short, a classic setup for a teamwork centered storyline. Of course since the Rising Angels series is one based on a science-fiction setting Hope’s story is much more than that with not only challenging classes and military training but also some dangerous mysteries and romantic drama.
This being a teamwork centered story there is a strong emphasis on interpersonal interaction between the characters during the aforementioned situations. “Plreaders” (Play-readers) experience how everyone interacts with one another where some get along very well with one another quickly while others struggle to cooperate for a long time. Several of the students have interesting character arcs based on the character traits mentioned in the roll call paragraph and how they find a balance to not only be themselves but also be likable to their classmates and “plreaders”, such Jade being a wannabe punk but not getting very far with people because of it but over time trying hard to be less “punky”. Then there are characters like Mana who do not develop past their trait. She does become more sociable but other than that there is little character development for her. Basically it is 90-10 when it comes to fleshed out characters in the story so not bad.
Another highlight that was also present in Reborn is all the characters being from different races and several of them sharing their cultures, lifestyles, economy and politics with “plreaders” as the story progress.
As for Faye herself, being the main protagonist she not only has the most interpersonal interactions in the story but her intrapersonal moments hit this reviewer on a personal level. Perhaps this is the reason Faye herself is my favorite character in the game as she reminds me a lot of myself. Let me put it this way, personality wise I am almost exactly like Faye…except I do not eat and sleep as much as she does. Patient, simple, willing to listen, can really upset people without meaning to, not good with jokes, willing to help when needed and works hard when the need arises. Oh and I also have Yoi’s short temper.
As far as the presentation goes the art style is an improvement over The Red Rose’s. Hope being a remake that is to be expected, and while it is vastly different from Reborn’s art style it fits the school motif Hope was going for in contrast to Reborn’s Star Trek vibes. The soundtrack is similar with the highlight being the opening theme. Both games have sweet opening themes. It fits the game so job well done. One very noticeable flaw after the game’s release is that it has the occasional grammatical errors here and there. Nothing game-breaking as these can be easily corrected while read and fixed later on with a patch but it is worth mentioning Besides, for someone who has read a lot of visual and kinetic novels with yuri content, grammatical errors are to expected with all the circumstances developers go through during game development and release.
Now for the yuri. Without spoiling much the yuri is not the driving force behind the main plot but it does play a very important secondary role as our adorable lupide Faye will eventually reach a point where her heart is smitten by three potential lovely ladies in her class. Yup, the romantic drama portion of the story. The key to getting the right route is making the right choices without upsetting the other girls too much, basically favoring one while not enraging the others. It is not as complicated as it sounds. On a personal note all three love interests have their pros and cons and unlike Starlight Vega where I could imagine a harem ending working out splendidly, Hope’s yuri is best seen as a “winner take all” scenario. In short the yuri drama is done well enough.
Overall Rising Angels: Hope is a well done remake of Reborn‘s prequel and has enough content to warrant the asking price. Faye and her classmates all have traits that make them likable and annoying, like any good teamwork centered story, the art style is good and fits a school setting with added military spice. The character interactions and development are done well for the most part. The mysteries, obstacles and dangers while not complex are worth getting invested in and the yuri drama is solid. An enjoyable “plread” overall. There are grammatical errors but not severe enough to make sentences illegible. “Plreaders” who enjoyed Rising Angels: Reborn and are curious about what the writers could do in a military school setting are encouraged to give this prequel a go. Everyone else who found the review interesting are encouraged to not only give this one a go but also Reborn since it is free. Whichever one readers choose to check first an interesting “plread” is guaranteed. I personally look forward to Rising Angels: Fates more than ever after playing these two entries in the series.
Get the game on Steam.