Echo Tokyo: An Intro is a visual novel that is meant to serve as the introduction to a larger series. Specifically, it is meant to be the origin story of two characters for an upcoming open world game known as Echo Tokyo, at the time of writing of course. While I can say that Echo Tokyo itself does seem like a fairly interesting game if it is done well, the mentality of Echo Tokyo: An Intro serving as on add on really shows. That is not to say that Echo Tokyo: An Intro is a bad game by any means, but at the same time, I’m only interested in Echo Tokyo as a whole because it is supposedly going to be different.
Upon starting up, one will notice the option to choose between two different stories; those being the origin stories for Shizume, our female protagonist, and Keiji, our male protagonist. There is a minor difference in gameplay between the two characters in that Shizume’s path has choices that can potentially lead to two bad endings, while Keiji’s path is entirely kinetic. Of course, Shizume’s story can be read through in under 20 minutes and the two bad endings are nothing other than “you die,” so the small bit of interactivity does not make much of a difference.
The art style ranges from being well drawn to looking amateurish and DeviantArt like, and this is something I hope improves in the main game. Every bit of text is actually read out loud throughout both stories which would normally be a nice touch. However, the problem is that the text is more so read and narrated rather than being voice acted, which gives you the sense that you’re more so just listening to an e-book rather than a visual novel. The fact that there is only one song playing throughout the game only gives off this impression further. Additionally, there are a few times where you will have a line play twice in a row.
As for the quality of the writing itself, both of them were fairly decent. Neither of them really had me hooked by any means but I did enjoy them. Shizume’s story is about her trying to escape from some gang members and how she eventually gains the ability to manipulate fire, while Keiji’s is about how he is captured by scientists and experimented on in a display of toe curling torture porn.
In the end, I don’t have much to say about Echo Tokyo: An Intro. The key reason is that, while it doesn’t really do anything wrong, it lacks a real punch to give it an appeal as its own game. It feels more like a $3.00 demo than anything. Even at the low price, the entire thing was still completed in under an hour so one would still lose out if they are going on the “dollar per hour” method. Really though, my recommendation is look into Echo Tokyo a bit more and see if you’re interested or if you are reading this in the future; view this as DLC for Echo Tokyo.
This review was originally posted to GameFAQs on January 27th of 2016, and has since been re-edited with enhanced presentation.
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