Title: Victory Project
Release Date: May 15, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
I typically have an understanding of a visual novel’s premise before I jump into the game. However, with the 33ParadoX-developed Victory Project, I honestly had nothing to go off of, and I couldn’t actually find any substantial information about it. While the game has some unique story beats and excellent character illustrations, the pacing and relationships might leave you scratching your head.
Victory Project introduces Ramon, an ex-entrepreneur who has been sentenced to prison after an incident related to his business. During his sentence, he is offered a chance to leave prison and volunteer on a military-ran research facility known as Hive Island. Once arrived, he discovers that many of the citizens on the island are attractive females. This is where he meets Durian, our main heroine. Ramon and Durian don’t really hit it off at first, but that changes when he finds out that they are now roommates.
Here’s where the most significant issue of the game is introduced. You see, this is supposed to a suspenseful romance, but Durian pretty much confuses her love for Ramon on their first night together. It’s not believable at all, and I was hoping that it was all some ploy of Durian to get Ramon to do something for her, but no, by the morning, they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
What’s more confusing is the number of times the story likes to bring up that Durian is young, even though she says she’s 19. Frequently, characters will make comments about calling the cops on Ramon, or he’ll apologize for his age and for taking advantage of such a young girl. I didn’t understand why the story returned to this time and time again, but it got to the point where the humor of it faded.
However, if you disregard their sudden relationship, they do find feelings for each other, and it is somewhat adorable. Still, I couldn’t help but see him having more in common with one of the other girls. That said, he does talk about his preference for small breasts quite often, so I guess that’s all you need to date this catch.
Ramon is an interesting male protagonist. He is kind of clueless at times and overly dramatic, but he’s the type who finds a way to get questions answered. This actually makes the events in the game almost too convenient. Everything just happens. Does Ramon have a device on his ankle that tracks him? No worries, Durian knows how to hack it and get it off without any consequences. Does Durian need more power to hack into something? Well, she has superpowers. This game has it all, and nothing is off the table.
Regardless of the pacing, there were fun moments of dialogue between the characters, and I ended up enjoying the story as I would a Korean drama with ridiculous new realizations and outlandish plot discoveries hours into the narrative. The game becomes more enjoyable when you are forced with choices that could lead you to a bad end.
The developers were kind here and reminded you to save beforehand. However, I’m not sure why you aren’t able to save the game on the choice screen, which is more in line with the standard of death scene choices. The pacing becomes a much more significant hindrance for the narrative when the characters spend a night running for their lives only to casually go home an hour later and have a bath together or go shopping without a care in the world.
I’m tough on Victory Project, but I feel like there’s a ton of potential in the suspense that it does add during the later chapters. If you don’t pay too much attention to the foundation, you have an exciting romance between two people who won’t let anything get in their way. The story also does an excellent job of wrapping up plot points and explaining the backstories of characters, even if it all comes off as rather convenient. Also, I should mention that the last few chapters are an information dump of knowledge and “ah-ha” moments, which you will be used to be the time they are introduced and just accept them.
I really liked how the story switches perspective between Ramon and Durian throughout the story. This allows the readers to understand Durian’s feelings a little more since she is the one who seduced Ramon in the first place. The character animations and illustrations are also exceptionally well done as the developer found unique ways to give the character’s life through their static designs. The CGs are also beautiful, but the light h-scene is used over and over in the game, and it just gets a little old. Also, the main protagonist is voiced, which I personally loved.
Victory Project has a problem with pacing, and it all stems from its flimsy foundation. Everything that happens comes off like a string of coincidences that will cause any player to roll their eyes. It makes the entire narrative more like a day time soap opera than a visual novel full of shocking discoveries, romantic outings, and near-death experiences. Still, it has its moments until the story reminds you of the character’s age difference for what seems like the 50th time.
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