Apr 07

Weekly Update #190: Differences Between GENBA & SHINRAI

Now that the demo for GENBA no Kizuna is finally out and you can get a first impression of what  it is going to look and feel like, I thought that for today’s blog post, it might be a good idea to once again compare it a little to our previous murder mystery visual novel. Especially in regards to how they actually differ from one another.

As you have most likely noticed, there are a lot of similarities between GENBA and SHINRAI, even on just a visual level.
The GUI, logo, sprites or backgrounds, for example, should all feel rather familiar.

There are also a lot of story and character-related connections, however, some of which you might have already noticed. This is actually a topic I have talked about a little before, so if you’re curious to learn more, you can check out this blog post.

GENBA is not a sequel to SHINRAI. As a matter of fact, it chronologically takes place before the events of SHINRAI. It’s not a prequel either, though. I personally see it more as a spin-off. A spin-off that, nevertheless, will eventually tie into the overall story and have a strong connection to SHINRAI‘s actual sequel titled Withering Without Hope.

Still, the main reason I’m referring to GENBA as a spin-off lies in the differences between the two games. So let’s talk about those.

For one, the writing style is different. This game is mostly going to be told through dialogue, so there aren’t going to be long stretches of narration this time around. Keiichi and the others will still have their inner monologues, but they will be much more restraint compared to what you might be used to from Raiko. Consequently, this also creates a somewhat faster pacing.

Another major difference is that we don’t have a single protagonist this time. As stated before, GENBA will be told through the eyes of four different characters, even if Keiichi could still be seen as the “real” protagonist among them.

Speaking of which, this brings me to another point. One major idea I had for GENBA was to do the exact opposite of what I did with SHINRAI in multiple regards, the main character’s personality being one example of that.

Whereas Raiko is a very young quiet girl who is rather smart and very difficult to shock, Keiichi is the exact opposite of her. He is often nervous, somewhat incompetent, very talkative and… it’s extremely easy to shock the poor guy and throw him into a panic.

But it’s not just restricted to that. Even when it comes to the case itself, I wanted to do the opposite of what you experienced in SHINRAI. I talked about this in last week’s blog post, but in GENBA, you are thrown right into the action while in our previous game, it took until the end of the second chapter before things took a grim turn.

Raiko was able to see all the mysteries unfold around her, while she was present at the scene herself. Keiichi and his team, on the other hand, arrive after everything has gone down and therefore need to reconstruct the chain of events from scratch.

Then there is also the fact that they deal with unknown people. The suspects, the witnesses, the victim… the police team has absolutely no connection to any of them, whereas Raiko (and therefore the player) already knew a lot about the people involved in SHINRAI‘s case, as they were her classmates.

There are many more differences, some more on the subtle side, some a bit more obvious. I will probably talk about this topic again in the future, once we have reached a point where I can reveal even more. But I guess for now, I will leave it at this.

This posting was, most of all, meant for those who have played SHINRAI more recently and have no idea what exactly GENBA is about. Again, there are going to be many similarities, but I think there will be just as many differences. SHINRAI was originally written as a novel, never intended to become an interactive VN. GENBA on the other hand has been created with the very idea of interactivity at its center. That alone should already indicate that this is going to be a somewhat different experience.

Withering Without Hope is certainly going to feel a lot more like Broken Beyond Despair again, even though with that one, I naturally want to do quite a few things differently, as well. After all, I’m not fond of doing the same thing over and over again.

Anyway, in the end, I would still say that, if you have enjoyed SHINRAI, GENBA should (hopefully) be just as enjoyable to you.

But I guess that’s about it for today. Just one last thing before we wrap this up! I have updated our gallery once again as we have received some beautiful artwork by Mochii (commissioned by Xolf) as well as a super cute and funny piece to celebrate the GENBA demo release by the ever-so-talented KUNA. They’re so great, I’m just going to post them here as well (click to enlarge):

Now please enjoy the rest of your weekend and, until next Saturday, take care! :3