eden* PLUS+MOSAIC Review

edenfeatured

EdenPlusMosaicBoxart

Developer: minori
Publisher: MangaGamer
Platform: PC – MangaGamer*, Steam

Most of the time, my reasoning for selecting one version of a visual novel over the other is to get the original, authentic experience regardless of any potential negatives or positives associated with that release. eden* posed a different sort of challenge. For those who aren’t aware, the original version was actually a so-called all-ages release, with more content being added afterward for eden* PLUS+MOSAIC. This review is for that latter version, and it honestly impacted my opinion.

It’s hard to delve too deeply into the storyline, as this is a kinetic novel (meaning players never interact via dialogue or conversation actions). Here’s the basic setup, though. Earth is doomed and everyone knows it. Because of this, humans have finally come together in order to enact the Earth Evacuation Project. At the helm of the project is a woman by the name of Sion. She isn’t just your typical scientist-type though, she’s what is known as a felix. Felixes are genetically modified humans who’ve been amped up in the intelligence and longevity department. Despite her youthful appearance, she’s actually been working for a hundred years.

Players see the world primarily through Ryou’s eyes. This warrant officer in the military just received his latest assignment – be Sion’s new guard. With such a dull job (as she apparently never leaves her workstation) his mind wanders a bit before interacting more with the others stationed alongside him. From there, relationships deepen and the mysteries behind Sion are slowly revealed. eden* is around eight hours depending on your reading speed and ends with a gentle conclusion.

edenfeatured

Unlike ef – a fairy tale of the two, another minori game, I found it more challenging to appreciate each character. Perhaps it had a bit to do with that trope of “super childish looking character that is actually way old!” being shoved in my face so early that caused trouble. Or maybe it was just that Ryou was so stoic, despite finally opening up near the end. Other characters, despite their military background, still fell into some general archetypes and once they broke out of the mold I had already made up my mind.

So maybe at this point it sounds like eden* is a big mess, but that’s not true either. Despite my apprehension about the characters, I eventually did come back around about them. The final sequences of the game definitely made me feel a bit sad. There was something to them which managed to worm their way into my subconscious despite stubborn opposition. It must be a testament to the visual novel’s writing. It could have stood to lose a line or dozen though, as the final story arc definitely drags more than seems necessary.

The biggest misfortune in my case was playing eden* PLUS+MOSAIC. Before we get into it exactly, folks need to know the distinction between this and plain old eden*. The latter is available on Steam and is the original version. PLUS+MOSAIC is only available via MangaGamer, is 18+, and features mosaic-covered sex scenes in an optional post-game mode. I don’t particularly care about mosaics either way, but eden* really felt complete after I finished it. There was a pure sort of touch of romance there – something that I was fine with leaving at arm’s length.

edenscreenshot1

The additional sexual content harms the romance for me because it feels so much like extraneous, unneeded content. To be fair, these sequences all try to establish themselves with impressive writing and setup. It’s not a totally sudden affair. Still, there’s just something about their later inclusion that doesn’t feel right, particularly with how Ryou gets his shot with basically anyone he pleases despite that being odd from a story perspective.

One of the highlights of eden* is its artwork. This is not a routine visual novel with static sprite images of characters who pop up when speaking. Each scene is staged much more like a CG or anime. Characters appear as part of their surroundings, blink, and move their mouths. They’ve also each got a wide variety of emotions/positions which switch out regularly. Dynamic is the best way to describe the presentation. Of course, the quality of the art itself is also top-notch.

At the end of the day eden* PLUS+MOSAIC is a bit conflicted. Those looking to delve into a new visual novel storyline would honestly do better with eden* proper, and then consider the additional content only if they really, really want to see it. Otherwise, there’s little need of viewing these sequences to “complete” the experience. With that said, I would suggest ef – a fairy tale of the two as a far more involved story with an epic scale.


Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas


Review code provided
About our rating system – *Affiliate link

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • Nonscpo

    It sure sounds weird that the All Ages port is the original definitive story and the 18+ port is the same game with shoved content. I went with the All ages port as I wanted the original version as it was intended, from the looks of this review, it looks like I made the right choice.