Forest: Visual novel review

Name of developer: Liar-soft

Release date: 13/02/2004

Genre: Comedy/ mystery/ mind screw

Description

“I am Alice. Do let me hear a story.”

Here and there – in the space between buildings, in back alleys, perhaps even in the underground – the Forest bleeds into our world. The Forest is a forbidden place where the rules of our world do not apply.

Our heroes must struggle against the Forest, without so much as the hope of assistance or understanding from the outside world.

They do battle against the “riddles” the Forest imposes upon them with the aid of superhuman abilities known as “gifts.”

And should they know defeat in their battle against the Forest, they will face that which they fear most – expulsion from Shinjuku.

(Translated from Getchu)

The review bit

Forest is odd from the start, lots of seemingly ridiculous, silly and downright weird things happen, so suspend any disbelief and logic ’cause you wont need it. Forest features and astonishing amount of popular fantasy characters ranging from Winney the pooh, Cap’n hook right to the Nazgul, many of the fantasy characters appearing from other works of literature you will know from either reading the source materiel, common knowledge or watching a film adaptation.

Akeru, Amenomori, Kariya, Nagatsuki and Mayuzumi are suddenly summon to a strange tea party and find out that theymust fight against “Riddles” the forest gives them using each of their gifts.

Forest really is quite confusing with all the insane stuff the writer throws at us the reader for seemingly no reason, it’s not till much later in the game, when all the pieces are falling into place, that you will begin to really understand the meaning behind the story and what it’s trying to do. While forest has it’s comedy moments and trust me some of them are really amusing, it can really set a sort of dark under tone as it’s not afraid to kill acouple characters and makes use of some quite mature and philosophical topics.

 

(What you’ll probably be saying when you start)

I’d strongly recommend using a guide to play through as you’ll probably want to see all the interesting ends and bits within the game and some of them it’s unlikely you’ll easily come across them not to mention there are acouple of choices that only have a certain probability to even show up making it frustrating and difficult to get to some interesting scenes. It’s really worth while to get even the bad ends just so you can see the funny skits and odd ways in what they meet their doom.

(for a guide just use Amaterasu’s walkthrough as they are the ones who did the fan translation they know what they are talking aobut)

 

Artwork and music

Forest has an unique art style it has all it’s character sprites and cg’s like any other game but it’s background seems to be a photo-realistic picture printed on a fabric. I specially like how in each background you can spot abit of the “Forest” peeking in and blending in the the city space surprisingly well.

Forest’s background music is well fitted to any given scene While playing I never noticed a piece of music that didn’t suit any scene it was played to, but while the music used is good  what Forest does do well sound wise is it’s use of sound effects; a ticking clock, the roll of the dice e.c.t.

 

Summary

Forest is really good read. Not your standard visual novel. While it’s not that long Forest really throws some fairly deep topics your way and does make you think and wonder about things. So if you want to read something crazy, witty and overall greatly interesting I’d recommend forest, I certainly enjoyed the experience of reading it and I hope you do to.

(A Selection of the Fantasy characters that appear)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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