This is a difficult game series to write about, mostly because Umineko was a social experience. Me and a friend played them as they came out after discovering 07th Expansion had already done 3 of them. I had no idea, since the only series I knew of was Higurashi. So when I stumbled upon it, and very eagerly told my friend, we got on-board.
Umineko was a big fever, which I’m sure outsiders and people that didn’t experience it can’t understand because you had to have been there. There were forums filled with over 1000 pages discussing theories each time a new chapter came out, dissecting what was said and how it was said. Everything got turned over, discussions and very incensed arguing happened over theories. Me and my friend discussed theories and watched those forums talk, I’m a bit shy and I had no idea what to say, but I was there and reading and involved, even if it was in a more faraway way.
So it’s hard to speak about these games, they have a lot of nostalgia and memories outside of them but related to it.
I can tell you it was fun, and it felt like a community was born because of these games and theories, because it was and I felt really sad when Umineko finally finished and everyone went away.
But I’m here to be honest, brutally so, and I’ll say I was not as enamored of this series as I was with Higurashi. In fact, I only played EP7 when 8, and final, came out because I felt I had to have closure after years of waiting.
Mostly, I think Umineko suffers from some pacing issues. Much as I like Ryuukishi’s trolling, it also felt after EP4, everything got more annoying and out there just to mess with us. I’m sure lots loved how much he criticized and trolled us, but I felt my interest wan heavily after EP6, to the point I wasn’t sure if I was going to conclude the game. I just wanted the mysteries to be over with, because 6 and 7 were huge drags, slow and felt like they were there just to fill in space.
I’ll say the first arc, the 4 game episodes, were superb and I loved the fighting between Battler and Beato. Higurashi and Umineko drew me in because of the mysteries, which I kept guessing but didn’t get right which made me really happy. But the second arc, the other 4 game episodes, were centered around the fantasy side of things, and to me, it fell flat and boring. It was never why I was lured in to the series, and I found my interest waning and since then I haven’t felt like playing another 07th Expansion game 😅
I played Higanbana First Night, which was indeed nice, but, maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, I was craving more stories like Higurashi. Higurashi was why I fell in love with them, I understand their need to expand beyond that, but Higanbana also focused more on the fantasy side of the things. Plus it was pretty depressive.
I’ll always cherish Umineko, it gave me a lot, but it was also a game that started with a lot of hype and expectations and failed to deliver on them.
I’ll say that I know some people refuse to play 07th Expansion games because of the art, but I have no idea why. Ryuukishi’s art is extremely expressive, which the remakes and new sprites fail to deliver on, plus the games are extremely atmospheric. Music and sound effects deliver on all the fronts, and this was an amazing read.
So I’ll say this as a fan of the makers and the series, play this series, whichever version you prefer, if you’re a fan of mysteries with a fantasy bend.
Though personally, I’d say play the first 5 games and then jump to the last one. The community has pretty much died down, and some games were made just to make us think and guess, so the thrill of finally discovering the mystery and how it went down has gotten cold. You’ve got to remember these games were released twice a year, and were basically a conversation between us and Ryuukishi as we guessed and made theories, him rebutting or making of fun of them in-game.
I’m not going to talk about the decidedly poor anime adaptation, there’s really nothing to say. The manga is a very good adaptation, from what I’ve seen, but none of them will reach the level of the game.
Happy gaming everyone and keep on digging ~(＾◇^)/
Have you heard about this game before? Have you played it? If so, I’d love to know what you think of it!
have you tried reading Rosegunsdays? It is probably the least fantasy oriented series of the author.
I haven’t, since I got a bit disappointed by Umineko and I also didn’t have a laptop for a few years, so I haven’t looked at his other works since then 😅
I don’t have issues with fantasy, Higurashi is one of my faves and I was shook by Higanbana 1st Night’s dark themes and subjects 😃
But if you recommend it, I’ll add it to my pile to check it out. Atm I’m trying to clear out my backlog so I can tackle more things 😊
They used it for Umineko, but not for Higurashi. D: The manga’s pretty gorey; the artist(s?) did a great job drawing those scenes lol.
I don’t blame you for not reading, Rewrite’s a bit of a long haul. Lucia’s route was pretty good though, especially the beginning!
Aaah, I see. Now that I think about it, I remember Higurashi was not by Witch Hunt but actually got started off as a fan translation by the Sonozaki Sisters, and they even released the first full episode, before MangaGamer got the rights. I guess I got them mixed up haha, too many years now 😹
Ooh man yeah, the artists did great for the gore and crazy/cackling evil faces 👀👌
Ooh, Nice nice! Does this mean you’re stoked for The new game for Rewrite? I’m curious what your opinion about it is! 👀
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I vaguely heard about a new game for Rewrite, but I don’t remember too much about it–is it the one that’s supposed to be localized? I actually have two more character routes to finish for Rewrite (Shizuru and Akane) and the Terra and Moon routes so I actually have to finish those up, lol.
Oh, I LOVED the Higurashi series, and the first episode of Umineko. Unfortunately, MangaGamer’s translation of Higurashi is a bit dry (so I never finished it, just the anime and some of the manga), and I just never got around to playing more Umineko. I’ve played the route that Ryuukishi07 wrote for Rewrite (it was good), but I haven’t gotten around to his other works either. D:
Yay, fellow person that loves Higurashi woooo! 😼
Is it? I thought they had used Witch Hunt’s translation? :0
Umineko anime is…really not all that good, but the manga seems really great, specially the gorey scenes 👌👌👌
Oooh, how was that route? I haven’t played Rewrite, I’m fickle and lazy tbh 😹😹
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