Title: fault - milestone one
Developer: ALICE IN DISSONANCE
Release Date: October 3, 2019
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Sekai Games
Genre: Visual Novel
Since I started reading visual novels in 2015, there is a handful that I hear a lot about. Being relatively new to the genre, I know I have a lot of catching up to do. However, one series I continuously hear about is Alice in Dissonance’s Fault Milestone Series. Now, the first entry in the series, Fault Milestone One is coming to Switch with a few updates. There’s a lot to this story that players will need to consume through fast and witty dialogue, but it definitely has all the makings of a memorable adventure.
Fault Milestone One opens with a battle. Unknown to the reader at the time, an assault is taking place on castle Rughzenhaide. Through this opening, you meet a handful of antagonist characters as well as learn a little about their pure distaste for the Rughzenhaide family. The mission was to capture the princess, Selphine, but her friend and guard Ritona wasn’t about to allow that to happen. After putting up a tough fight, Ritona and Selphine had almost met their match. That is until they were able to teleport hundreds of miles away to what is known as the Outer Circle.
However, it’s here that the story takes on a different tone. The opening of the game felt like an action movie with epic cuts and animated scenes. This is all comes to a standstill after Ritona and Selphine set out on an adventure to get back home. With that said, even with the change of pacing, I wouldn’t say that the story is hurt because of it. Instead, I felt that the story delivery is excellent here with providing information about the world, characters, and even hiding who the real protagonists are.
Shortly after arriving, the two girls meet Rune, a strange girl who gets exciting easily. What begins as a simple request to guide them through the city of Kadia, turns into a much larger mystery that unfolds. You see, Rune is a huge part of this story and you begin to understand this early on. Everything about her is unique and somehow the writing here hides that from the reader for a slow reveal.
It’s interesting as the reader you experience this new region along with Ritona and Selphine. Even though they are what caused this adventure, you are just as much of a passenger as they are. Their relationship together is pure and light-hearted, but they aren’t afraid to speak up or let each other know when the other is wrong. It’s also good to point out that their personalities are vastly different, and yet, they often end up at the same conclusion even if they take different paths. It’s easy to see why these two are friends and I can only commend the game’s writing for conveying that so expertly.
The issues with the game are that, while it’s short, the scenes can become a bit too chatty. Each character likes to reiterate things they’ve already said or just repeat something. The story also like to deliver its knowledge in parts and pieces, which had me begging for them to just explain everything in one scene so we could move on from it.
Aside from the story, the best part about this game is the in-depth encyclopedia found in the game’s menu. Each key term and region spoken about show up here to give players an easy way to explain what things mean. The game doesn’t go out of its way to explain this to you, but at one point I thought, “I could really use an encyclopedia for all this.” And there it was.
Fault Milestone One’s presentation is of the highest quality. Each illustration is beautiful and the CGs provide a great look at the events that take place. However, sometimes I found it hard to keep track of who was talking during dialog since the game doesn’t have voice over. Still, every emotional scene has a way of sticking with you.
On the Switch, the soundtrack for the game has also been updated and it’s lovely. Being that this is a short visual novel, the Switch’s portability allows you to put in 30 minutes here and there throughout your day. There isn’t a rush to get through the story which makes it satisfying in short bursts.
Fault Milestone One is unlike any visual novel I have played. The quality and presentation are so unique that it can only be described as a labor of love. It’s as if a developer knew exactly what they wanted from a visual novel and decided to make it, even if they have to use unconventional means. The level of quality in storytelling and character development in such a short adventure is simply inspiring.
While the scenes can be a bit chatty, but I found it difficult to put this game down. It’s unique and a breath of fresh air compared to other visual novels. Most surprisingly, it doesn’t resemble a game that was released more than 5 years ago. I’m glad to have finally experienced this adventure and can now recommend it to others as it was recommended to me.
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