A few weeks back I wrote a post about trying out this visual novel called Winds of Change…
It was a new experience for me and I must admit that I was a little unsure at the beginning that I would actually go through to completing the ‘read’. However, I have now completed the first play-through. It took me just over 20 hours to reach the conclusion. Any doubts I had about the genre have faded – this was a very engaging experience and it is clear that my choices almost certainly made a difference to how the story played out. As evidence of that I know that I still have 4 achievements that I can unlock by making different choices along the way as well as 2 hidden achievements that clearly required me to take a totally different path somewhere in the story to make those visible and unlockable.
The story has many twists and turns, some of which I saw and some that came as a complete surprise. When a physical sexual interaction happened, it came out of the blue and involved a character that I had not envisaged! 😂 So it’s fair to say that this story keeps you on your toes for significant periods of time. I’m not going to go into any more details about the game than I have as I don’t wish to give spoilers. What I will say is that I will definitely play through again because I would like to get the rest of the achievements and see what other possible fates await me and my companions.
If you’re feeling jaded at the many action games out there or want a break from simulations. If you don’t play computer games and want to start with something that doesn’t require the nimblest of fingers. Then maybe a visual novel is just the game for you. I can strongly recommend Winds of Change 😎👍
With the beginner mini-series of Trucking Digest posts completed, I have to decide where my gaming posts should venture next. Posting about the Visual Novel game Winds of Change is a no-no. It would quickly hit the issue of spoilers and I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone who does decide to give the game a go. I can post about The Hunter – Call of the Wild. Although there are story missions in each of the reserves, it’s much more likely that I would be talking about the hunting on a particular map and sharing some nice screenshots. So that’s one possibility and such posts would see a return of the Birdshot series. Hold that thought and I’ll share a screen shot from a reserve I’m currently hunting on…
…Another possibility is a return to FS22 – I started a story but changing out my gaming pc rather messed that up. I know at least one of my readers likes the farm tales, so I will restart that series although I may need to rewrite the first post to adjust it for a different crop as the chances are that there will be something other than Sunflowers in Field 17 when I buy it. I should be able to replicate the basic farm buildings and layout ok though 😎 Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to be as lucky as I was in that play through – you never got to see the second-hand harvester that Monsieur Armand had secured for me…
There is a part of me that is itching to go back into space. Sadly, I think my Elite days are in the past – Introducing RNG mechanics into the performance of ships was a step beyond what I’m happy with, especially when you have to travel one of a few very select locations to roll those dice and hope that you might get a performance improvement. If it could be done on any station I might have been less disenchanted with the idea. But I still feel that Elite is very much a Space Trucking Simulation and simulations shouldn’t have random elements in the core mechanics of vehicles. Imagine if, in Truck Simulator, visiting the truck dealer in Berlin allowed me to tune my 460HP engine and get an increase in power that gave a random result somewhere between 500HP and 1000HP. That would be unrealistic. On the other hand, if I could buy a chip kit that boosted the power by a specific amount from any maintenance facility, then that would be realistic as such kits exist in the real world. I’ve used Euro Truck Simulator as an illustration and I hope you get the picture of why I have lost my mojo when it comes to Elite.
There are other space games on the market. Ignoring games involving the Star Wars and Star Trek universe, along with those that are really first person shooters like Destiny and Warframe, I’m really looking for something a little like Elite but perhaps with a little more company and fleet management style of play. There are a few of these around. Perhaps the most well known is EVE Online. It looks stunning and has a lot of possibilities in variety of play. There is one limiting factor – the cost. If you want to progress to the better ships then you have to pay a monthly subscription either through real cash or though a form of in-game currency that is equivalent to cash. Now you can buy a Training Boost Bundle and I understand that the long term players are not happy about it – EVE was always very ‘Pay to Win’ but that has really set the seal on it and, frankly, I want no part of it.
I’m currently looking very seriously at X4: Foundations. This game seems to sit somewhere between EVE and Elite in terms of gameplay It has the possibility for building and operating fleets – which is not a part of Elite gameplay. You can sit in and pilot your ship which is not something you actually do in EVE. One major difference between X4 and the other games is that it doesn’t have a Player v Player element. That doesn’t bother me too much. Both EVE and Elite have their share of gankers – players that hang out in groups where new players spawn and kill them for fun. I know that in Elite, some vigilante groups came into being to hunt down gankers and kill them in an effort to discourage the practise. There were other groups that would fly to the rescue of anyone out of fuel and stranded in the galaxy. PVP often brings out the worst in gamers but sometimes it can also bring out the best! In my time in Elite I always played in the PVP world. I was never killed by another player but I did get to make a couple of good friends along the way 😎
I do have one ‘Space’ game that I have already re-started, Hardspace: Shipbreaker, so I will probably post some screenshots from that one soon. But it’s a very claustrophobic space – imprisoned in a dockyard area, dismantling old ships. There are no grand vistas here 😓
So that’s where I’m at – hurrying through the Winds of Change story, driving my trucks, preparing to do some farming, cutting up some old vessels and looking seriously at another space game – Variety, as they say, is the spice of life 😂
I still have one more post to do for the Truck Simulator beginners series that I have been working through recently – I hope to complete that early next week and I will probably mention ‘skins’ in that one😅 This is different though.
Almost all of the games I tell you about on my blog are Simulation games. As well as trucking, I currently do farming, hunting, fishing and occasionally some other activities. Even Elite could be viewed as a Space Trucking Simulation 😂 This is probably a result of some of my early gaming experiences when I found that I wasn’t particularly good at platformer’s and first person shooters. You can lose interest when you repeatedly can’t get past the N’th level in a game. Basically – I don’t enjoy games that require spamming a key repeatedly to make progress and my reaction times have never been up to the speed required for many FPS type games.
This week I have taken a step into unknown territory – The Visual Novel. I have sometimes looked at these games and wondered what they would be like to play. In general they are a mix of point and click combined with choices to be made by the player that may affect the outcome of the game. Judging by the reviews on Steam, quite a few pretend that your choices affect the outcome when actually they don’t. There are a couple that have stood out as being good examples of the Visual Novel. One is Disco Elysium – which I will be trying in the future – and another is Winds of Change. I actually put Winds of Change in my followed games list over a year ago and I hummed and hawed about buying it. The game is populated by anthropomorphic animals, which I think is something I was struggling with. Anyway, I’ve bitten the dog-biscuit and I’m playing the game👍
I’m not going to go into too much depth because I don’t want to ruin the game for any prospective new players reading this. As I’ve only worked through the first passage of play (which has taken me 5 hours), I can’t tell you much detail about the story anyway. The basic tenet of the tale however is that you are The Seer of Valinorth – a village in the land of Alestia. You will set off on a quest to defeat an evil – along the lines of a Lord of the Rings type of fantasy. You have a Scribe and her apprentice as companions at the start. Valessa is the Scribe…
and Fortaime is the apprentice…
The characters don’t always appear in the same pose – here’s Valessa being a bit flirty😂
As you progress through the game your entourage grows with new companions joining your quest. In each location there will be things to find and interactions to have. Some will be simply a direct involvement to progress the story but others require some hard choices to be made and, reading between the lines of the reviews, they do matter! Meanwhile, you also get glimpses of things that are happening elsewhere in Alestia. Some of what you see may help you with your difficult choices, or it may not 😅
One aspect of the game that is important is gaining the trust and loyalty of your companions and you do that during conversations with them. You can also listen in to chats they have between themselves which can be helpful in knowing their state of mind. Not only can you gain their loyalty, you can go so far as to form a romantic liaison. From the developer’s notes on Steam, the game lets you Pursue friendships, and even romances! (not limited by gender). That’s just as well since Valessa seems to be the only female character in the game!
Although you will need to read a lot of text on the screen, all of the characters are voiced by actors and this helps you to engage with them. That has certainly made it much easier for me to get into the game and I am really enjoying it – I certainly feel invested in my companions👍