Apr 06

Weekly Update #505: Which Order…?

I’ve talked about the differences and similarities between GENBA no Kizuna and SHINRAI – Broken Beyond Despair before, particularly when it comes to the feel of both projects, how we approached them or how the mysteries and characters are handled (which you can read all about here). However, I haven’t properly addressed yet how exactly the two projects tie into each other and how they are connected in terms of their plots. And since I’m currently working on the GENBA stuff that really highlights its connection to SHINRAI, I figured it’s a good time to finally tackle this topic and answer an important question:

In which order should you ideally play them?

Well, to give you the quick and easy answer: it really doesn’t matter and I think that, whichever project you start with, it will enhance your experience with the other. But let me elaborate!

  • Sequel Or Prequel?

Although GENBA may be our second project and takes place in the same world as SHINRAI, even featuring a couple of recurring characters, GENBA is not a sequel. In fact, it chronologically takes place a month and a half before the events of SHINRAI!
Yet, it isn’t a prequel, either!

Both VNs were primarily designed to work as standalone stories and the connective tissue between them is more on the thin side.
That said, SHINRAI ended with a number of unanswered questions which will be answered by GENBA. Those two mysterious characters that suddenly popped up at the very end, for instance? Well, in GENBA, you will learn who exactly they are and what they do, which will also give you an idea as to what the main conflict in SHINRAI‘s actual sequel is going to be about.

And that will hopefully be a neat little “oh shit” moment, haha.

  • Enhacing The Experience In Both Directions

So, after hearing this, you might now wonder if it thus wouldn’t be a better idea to start with SHINRAI first, so it wouldn’t ruin said “oh shit” moment. However, that’s the thing! It still works either way! Because if you were to start with GENBA, the knowledge you will gain about those two characters will result in a similar yet slightly different “oh shit” type of realization at the end of SHINRAI!

It’s once again very difficult to properly explain things here without getting into spoilers, but really, the way I’ve tried to write it is that it works both ways. As for some of the other connections between the two projects, well… it’s the same deal.

If you start out with GENBA, you can go into SHINRAI with some prior knowledge about some of the characters, which might make certain story twists a bit more impactful. But if you decide to jump into SHINRAI first, it will make some moments in GENBA more meaningful. There’s an equal tradeoff here I think, where I can genuinely say: it’s fine to play them in any order you please!

  • WWH

Now, with Withering Without Hope, things will obviously be a bit different, because for that, it will be necessary to have played both SHINRAI and GENBA. After all, it’s going to be a direct continuation of SHINRAI‘s story, whereas GENBA serves to flesh out the world some more and set up some very important plot points and characters for WWH. But of course, that’s a topic for another day, because, as of right now, GENBA isn’t even out yet!

Anyway, if you’ve already played SHINRAI, there will be a lot of stuff for you to look forward to, from seeing familiar faces to learning more about some characters you already know and, at long last, getting some answers to certain questions!

But if you’re someone who’s just found out about us and decides to jump into GENBA first, you’ll definitely have an enhanced experience with SHINRAI afterwards (well, except when it comes to the visual presentation, because at least in that regard, SHINRAI is a really obvious downgrade, ahaha…).

Now then, it’s time for me to get back to working on them credits and extras! As for you, I hope you’ll enjoy a pleasant remainder of your weekend! Until next Saturday, take care :3