Video Game Review – Shan Gui

Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Developer: Magenta Factory
Publisher: Ju Cai

Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 1.5 hours

Han Hui dialog
This is a kinetic visual novel, meaning there’s no player choice.

Major Pros:

  • Good story which ties in both folklore and history
  • Calming nature backgrounds with excellent use of color

Minor Pros:

  • New voice acting
  • Fan service is amusing
Fan service
Well??

Major Cons:

  • No replay value
  • No “action” or strong plot

Minor Cons:

  • No user interaction
  • Unnecessary artistic focus on main character’s breasts will bother some players
Characters hold hands and stand close
A casual love story

I first want to say that I did enjoy the peaceful scenes, setting, and story of Shan Gui. Given the fairy-tale setting the characters were believable enough and each rather sweet in their own way. The cast was limited but that felt fitting and the new voice acting was a huge improvement over the old. The fan service moments were amusing and done in good taste, even if I well that main character’s breasts were over accentuated in just about all the art she appeared in. If a player is ready to sit down and experience a story instead of interacting with the novel, then they’re in for a treat.

Landscape with Han Hui dialog
2D and 3D mix well for the visuals

That said, the lack of player interaction leads to two main problems. First is that there’s absolutely no replay value whatsoever unless you want to hear the exact same story and character interactions again. Second is that since the game is pixel for pixel the same experience for every player you could just look up someone else playing the whole game on YouTube instead of buying the game, which would save you the money and still give you virtually the same experience. The only reason to buy it is for the “vanity” of having it and its play time in your library and also getting the achievements and trading card drops if that’s your thing. Overall I think it’s a good experience and definitely recommend it, but I don’t think most players will benefit from purchasing a copy themselves.

Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

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