Thousands of the years ago, the generation ship Mugunghwa was sent out to establish a colony. It disappeared, never reaching its destination, its ultimate fate remaining an unsolved mystery... until now. Uncover what happened to the final generation aboard the Mugunghwa by reading through its dead crew's logs, with the help of a spunky AI sidekick! Two pursuable characters. Five endings. A dark visual novel mystery based on Korean history, featuring transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay. Welcome to the future.
I really enjoyed Analogue: A Hate Story. The only thing preventing me from rating it any higher is its length (I finished the first route in 3 hours, man ;-;). It ended too quickly for me, and I feel that there should have been more time to digest everything, especially given the weight of the topics discussed in the game.
That's pretty much the only thing that I felt was off. Everything else was executed really well. Christine Love did a great job in handling the story and treating all the delicate subjects with proper respect. The soundtrack is particularly good and it reflects the mood of the story and changes in the plot almost perfectly. The format is engaging and you'll find yourself reading the logs vigorously, wanting to discover more about what happened aboard the Mugunghwa while it was still in operation.
There's my two cents. If you want a great visual novel that's short, fun, and sets itself apart from the rest, there's nothing to stop you from buying this game and playing it.
A natural evolution of Digital: A Love Story, Analogue confirms Christine Love's pure talent in storytelling and amazing backgrounds, further highlighted by beautiful art and music.
Everything Digital does, Analogue does better, with one notable and unfortunate exception: the AI-human relation. While the relation between the player and *Emilia was the main strength of Digital, their relations with *Mute and *Hyun-Ae are probably the weakest link here.
The well-researched background, the overall sadness in both their digital lives may be moving, but it's hard to care for them the way you did with *Emilia. Perhaps because there is no chase apart from that of further message blocks. Perhaps because there is less interaction with them. Perhaps because Digital was you walking in the shoes of someone else, trying to guess what they said and why. Perhaps because *Hyun-Ae is too human and *Mute not enough. Hard to say.
On the other hand, Love's aren't exactly otome games, so it's hard to complain. It's just a pity that everything saw so many improvements and this particular field saw a regression.
Anyway. Gamer or not, otome or not, no one in their right mind should pass up on the chance to try at least Digital: A Love Story. And if you liked it, then you REALLY should buy Analogue.
The latter is brutal, cynical, filled with sadness, reflections on morality, society, transhumanism and love, and the short format means it gives you no time to digest.
It's a kick in the stomach that only lets you recover after everything is said and done, when you have the opportunity to read all the logs again, free from the shackles of the story mode. Until then, you can only sit on the edge of your seat, sucked into the stories and shaking your head in anticipation of what you know is to come, and against which you can do nothing.
Truly, a masterpiece in its own right. I'll be eagerly waiting for whatever comes next from Christine Love.
This is where the story could have easily become a dry history lesson with Love dumping information on us and she doesn’t…and it’s awesome. Anyone who’s played Digital knows that Christine Love enjoys non-linear storytelling and in this one she masters the art form. Not only does the style make sense story-wise, but it also makes the characters of Analogue feel real. Despite the historic inspiration, the issues brought up in their logs reflect problems you don’t have to go very far to see in 2012: family politics, marital dysfunction, dealing with ‘black sheep’ and trying to maintain position…or at least appearances to name a few.
And while tragic, our Pale Bride isn’t completely sympathetic herself. When we first see her, she’s not exactly the picture of sanity…although living as a political pawn, becoming an AI and spending millennia alone is more than enough to warp the human mind. Throughout the VN, a part of you feels sorry for you and, at the same time, a part of you wonders if she even understands just how far she’s fallen. All she can really grasp is that she isn’t alone anymore, regardless of the reasons.
Playing opposite of *Hyun-ae is *Mute: the security AI. Outside of the ship’s logs, Mute is our best representation of what happened to the Mugunghwa. Designed to have a female interface, *Mute even acknowledges that her position clashes with the world around her. Which means that, at some point before the madness began, someone reprogrammed as much of *Mute as they could in order to make sure she fit in with ‘modern society’ while being able to fulfill her primary functions.
This is more than just a visual novel. This is a well-made suspense story. This is a deconstruction of the science fiction genre as a whole. Analogue: A Hate Story isn’t just one of the best visual novels made this year; it is possibly the definitive English Visual Novel. Do not deny yourself this experience.
Analogue is a wonderful game that really challenges the notion of linear storytelling. It's like watching a dozen separate tragic soap operas unfolding simultaneously as the audiences is given fragments of the story out of order. It's a gripping experience that takes full advantage of its unusual framing story.
Definitely looking forward to the Hate Plus DLC!