Ougon Musou Kyoku – Symphony of Golden Dreams (Umineko Fighting Game)

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Seeing as how successful the visual novel Umineko no Naku Koro ni (and now it’s sequel/answer arcs, Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru) is, everyone was stoked for Comiket 79, where the final episode (8) was going to be released. A month or so before C79 though, 07th Expansion made an announcement that surprised many fans, and also made them very excited.

Umineko was getting a fighting game.

Since an update to 1.01 from 1.00 for the game came out today (available at this link), I figured now would be a good time to write about Ougon Musou Kyoku. Or I could have meant to do this days ago and was just lazy. But I’m pretty sure it’s that first one. Almost positive. Yup.
Also, this came out later today than I wanted because it proved to be a massive pain in the ass to get screenshots. I play with an Xbox360 controller, and I have to hit two different keys on my keyboard to take a screenshot. T’was not fun.

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Observe bottom right. Version 1.01, baby!

From the main menu, you have five options. I’ll go over each.

Arcade starts “story mode.” You choose your characters and then fight 7 battles until you win or lose/give up. If you choose to play as two character who “make sense” to fight together lore-wise, then you’ll get a story along with the fights, along with a CG at the end.

Versus gives you three options. Play against another person, play against the computer, or host/join a network match (fight someone over the Internet). Before version 1.01, the Netplay was really broken, and lots of matches got dropped, but now I’m hearing that with 1.01 the disconnects are much, MUCH less frequent.

Training is training. No real explanation needed.

Options allows you to do a few things. I’m not actually sure what the first option does though. The next ones allow you to adjust the BGM and sound effects volumes, the next allows you to choose which announcer voice you want. You only have the first three when you start, and you unlock more through specific methods. The next allows you to turn on or off a frames per second detector that’s in the top-right corner during fights. The last exists the menu.

Exit exits the game. Duh. Hitting the ‘ESC’ key also allows you to exit, but it’s through a forced termination of the program, so the game sometimes doesn’t save when you do that.

Anyways, all we care about is arcade mode, so I’ll explain the details behind that and the fights.

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Character select screen.

Each character gets their own portrait. Sexy.

Matches are all done 2-vs-2, which allows the game to incorporate some interesting tag mechanics. And, as I said earlier, if you choose two characters who would make sense lore-wise to have a story together, there’s a 99% chance they do.

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Battler and Bronove's (Ronove's) story opening.

Characters usually talk some kind of smack against the other team before a match starts, but these set-piece discussions between characters on the same team only happen with stories. In fact, that’s how you know if a character has a story: if they start with a discussion to each other.

There are also set pieces before the 4th and 7th (last) fights, where they’ll talk to the enemy team about whatever the story is about. It’s obvious when you’re at a story set piece because the characters will say more than one page worth of text.

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Chat before the 4th match.

Now, the actual fights.

Fights are only one round, but you have three bars worth of health which is shared between your two characters. Each character does get their own SP gauge, which is used for special moves, activating Meta World, and for different kinds of tag-ins.

Meta-world runs on an interesting mechanic. It costs 1 SP gauge to activate, but your opponent can nullify your activation for 2 SP gauges. You can counter their counter to re-activate it for 2 SP gauges, but it’ll shorten the duration by 25% of it’s normal time. But guess what? Your opponent can cancel your activation again for 3 more SP gauges (leaving them with none). Though, you guess it, you can counter that to re-activate it for your last 2 SP gauges, but it’ll shorten the duration by 50% of it’s normal time.
This is all actually much simpler than I make it sound, and it all happens within a few seconds. Well, that’s if it actually happens. If you don’t have the SP, you can’t activate/re-activate/nullify Meta-world.

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Meta-world activation causes a glass-shatter effect.

Why do you want to activate Meta-world? Well, a few reasons.

First of all, each character has a special “ability” which usually only takes effect once they’re being swapped out (dunno how that makes logical sense since you aren’t even using them anymore, but it does make you think about team combinations more), however, in Meta-world, BOTH of your characters’ abilities take effect for its duration.

Second, you’re able to use your Meta-super. It’s unique to each character, and does the most damage of any move as far as single hits go. These moves aren’t too hard to dodge/block though, and some combos can even do more damage. The moves are mainly for looks and ending combos with.snap7

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The game even knows which side you're on.

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Fights go until one team’s health hits 0, or time runs out (in which case the team with the higher health wins).snap13

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The story modes all end with a CG, which is your reward for completing that storyline.

Some of the ends are pretty serious or dramatic.

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Beatrice/Ronove end.

Other ends, however, are extremely humorous.

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Battler/Ronove end. BEST END.

What I mainly love about the game (other than the fact that it’s Umineko), is that it doesn’t have the one thing that pisses me most off about fighting games. Most fighting games allow people to use basically endless combos until you lose and you can’t do crap about it. However, in Ougon, while you can get hit by a long combo, you can usually block at some point, or you can do a defensive tag-out where you knock back your opponent and stop their attacks. I just love that.

Another thing to be noticed about the game is the amount of detail that went into it. There’s a LOT of audio files for almost everything you can think of, and all of the backgrounds are amazing. All of the effects are also really smooth, such as the dust you pick up when running, and the Meta-world activation glass shatter effect. There are usually things going on in the environment in the background, too.

Oh, and all the music is from the visual novel, so it’s all amazing.

Anyways, there isn’t too much else I want to say. I didn’t explain some stuff, but if you’re curious about the game, just visit this link.

For the rest of this post, I’ll dump the images I didn’t use but liked. Enjoy.snap17

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