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WORLD END ECONOMiCA Episode 1 Review—The Moon Is Yet Out Of Reach

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Before I get started, I feel the need to ask everyone who arrives here to read the whole review. It’s not a long one, and I don’t want anyone to look at the score and dismiss this game. Just hang on tight, and I promise to make this review short and sweet.

WORLD END ECONOMiCA is a visual novel written by Isuna Hasekura, the author of Spice and Wolf. That said, of course there is a lot of economics in this visual novel, as well as intriguing characters and interesting happenings, collected in a unique setting. Here’s the back-of-book rundown of the story:

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The visual novel takes place on the moon, after its colonization. It’s more capitalist than any city you’ll find on Earth—it doesn’t matter who you are, if you have money or the ability to make it, you’ll survive on the moon, and prosper.

Hal, our main character, runs away from home, and survives on his own by trading stocks, which he’s pretty good at. The story really begins when Hal gets mixed up with Lisa, the owner of a church on the Moon, and her tenant, Hagana. He ends up living in the church with them and involving himself in their lives, realizing that he can help them by trading stocks and making money.

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That’s the basic gist. Now let’s discuss the game.

If only we could. Unfortunately, WORLD END ECONOMiCA is not a game. It’s a kinetic visual novel that doesn’t allow for player choices, or any real interaction from the player at all. This means that you are, essentially, reading a glorified picture book. It sounds bad, yes, but ultimately, WORLD END ECONOMiCA does deliver, just not as a game.

The whole story is fantastic. The writing is great, the characters are engaging, and their interactions are well-executed. The dialogue is reminiscent of Spice and Wolf‘s banter, playful and rife with meaning; in this respect, the translation holds up well. The writing is a fun and interesting read.

But that’s about it. The music, great when you’re playing, is forgettable. As I write this, I can’t recall a single melody from any of the BGMs, even though I know I was humming or whistling along to them when I was playing it. The CGs are more than passable, maintaining the distinct style threaded throughout the illustrations and character portraits, but they aren’t phenomenal.

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A lot of great opportunities for CG were passed over in favor of—admittedly beautiful—still shots and portraits. (Above is one of my favorite shots.) There’s a dearth of CGs in general in WORLD END ECONOMiCA.

It goes without saying that there is no gameplay. The novel reads well, but it doesn’t feel like a visual novel. There’s no voice acting, either.

WORLD END ECONOMiCA would seem to me to have been served much, much better as a series of light novels, same as Spice and Wolf. The material here is great, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason for this to be a visual novel instead of a traditional novel.

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WORLD END ECONOMiCA does succeed as a novel. As a novel, I would highly recommend it, give it an 8 or 9, but I simply cannot justify that score for a visual novel. It doesn’t doesn’t take advantage of the medium. This is a numerical score that I really don’t want to give but must. However, I do recommend this VN to people who would be interested in reading a great novel. Despite the low score, WORLD END ECONOMiCA is far from a bad novel.

WORLD END ECONOMiCA was reviewed on using a code provided by Sekai Project. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

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Chris Gregoria

About

I'm a pretty chill guy. Huge video game fan, but a bigger anime fan. I also love to write - obviously.



10 comments
  1. Chris Gregoria
    Chris Gregoria
    September 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I just wanted to throw a bit of my opinion down in the comments, rather than put it in the article.

    WEE is great. I’ve been a big fan of Isuna Hasekura since the beginning of Spice and Wolf. I have all the novels, the blu-ray of both seasons…yeah. Anyway, I really, truly, did enjoy the story that was in this game. The writing was good, and Sekai Projects did a FANTASTIC job with the translation. I want to assure everyone that they had no hand in my score. Sorry guys!

    I just felt that while I personally, would give WEE an 8 or so because of the story, I could not justify a score that high because there is so much wrong with it when compared to most VNs. A complete lack of voice acting, tons of missed opportunities in the CGs…there’s just too much I could pick on.

    But ultimately, I DO recommend WEE to anyone interested in the story. You’ll feel like you’re reading a novel rather than playing a VN, but still, it’s worth your time if you’re interested. I promise you that.

    I just couldn’t give the novel a higher scre as a VN in good faith without feeling like I was lying.

    If anyone has any questions for me about it, please, ask away. I’m more than happy to answer them!

  2. artemisthemp
    artemisthemp
    September 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Good to hear WEE ain’t all since, I was looking forward to playing it on Vita (When they finish that version)

  3. Chris Gregoria
    Chris Gregoria
    September 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Well, Like I said. It’s great novel – just not such a great visual novel. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

  4. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    September 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I personally read Isuna Hasakura-san’s work because of the socio-economical depth. If it even slightly touches upon that depth, I’m sure it’s worth that 8/10 you’d personally give it.

  5. Jack Ripper
    Jack Ripper
    September 17, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Personally, I think having a voiceless game isn’t a main issue as much as the story and engagement of characters. I know that voices are quite common in today’s time, but there are still games (especially many doujin visual novels) that are plenty voiceless. Seeing as how the game was funded through kickstarter, I wouldn’t think the game would come voiced unless they got more funds to get voice actors. Besides that, Spicy Tail IS a doujin group.

    Higurashi was a kinetic novel and was a fantastic game all around because of how the story was told with great character engagements. It had no CGs, no voices, and few music until it went more commercial and finally got a PS2/DS ports.

    Point being, I know WEE is greenlit on steam and the game is spreading more awareness through Vita port and whatnot, but I still can’t think of the game than nothing more than a doujin game that doesn’t come with the prerequisites of traditionally required of games in today’s time such as voices, various CGs, and wide variety of music. I haven’t play the WEE for the second or third episodes, but I would most likely assume that they are also similar to the first game in that respect.

  6. strider
    strider
    September 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I was looking forward to this one, after having played 999 and VLR I really want to check out more VNs, but the steam reviews, forum posts and this review left me kind of disappointed

    Do these VNs tend to go on sales?

  7. Chris Gregoria
    Chris Gregoria
    September 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Before you dismiss this one, be sure to get facts. Many people have hit at it because it’s a straight shot and when compared to many other VNs, the parts of your average VN aren’t out in full force here.

    However, if you like Isuna Hasekura, or have an interested in the story itself – go for it. WEE is a fantastic novel. It just doesn’t feel too much like a VN but rather just an N.

  8. Luan X
    Luan X
    September 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Im Just waiting for, either the 1080p update or a promotion in steam!
    What comes first, to buy and play the shit ou of this!
    I´m in for the plot anyway!
    And if it´s good… with good setting and good characters… I got to give it a shote!!

    NICE REVIEW MAN! o7

  9. nonscpo
    nonscpo
    September 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    As much as I love Visual Novels its those kinectic one that distance the reader from interacting with the story that help confuse potential gamers to this medium. Thank you Chris it takes a lot of guts and integrity to give a game a low score without letting personal biases interfere. Loking forward to more of your articles in the future.

  10. Mark Jackson
    Mark Jackson
    September 18, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Considering the amount of visual novel teams I work with that can’t afford voice acting. Or to manage it on a consistent level rating. To then say It would of been great with voice acting apply to a lot of other titles. But you never know with these titles often they can launch without v/o and receive a update lateron with success.