top of page

DO NOT DELETE

Imaginary future - Review


Imaginary future is Seventeen horns's second RPG Maker-based game in Steam, featuring a young girl Gu Shuoye who changed her ways from a gang leader to become a freelance police officer after a crackdown on criminal elements in the steampunk nation of Serbia. As Gu Shuoye takes up her new role with the Serbian police department, she is dragged into a conspiracy that threatens the world, making some friends along the way, and falls in love with a female companion.


In the DLC expansion 耶尔与地底世界 (which means Yel and the Underground World), Gu Shuoye and her partner Banaime decide to visit Shiro who played an instrumental role in bringing the two of them together. Shiro will send Gu Shuoye's party to a different world in which they find themselves in a quest to save the world again while making additional friends and facing tougher challenges than before.


Plot and Character Backgrounds

The English version suffers from a rough translation that may reduce the enjoyment of those looking for a compelling narrative RPG. Despite some pacing issues, text spilling out of page, and inconsistent dialogue, I was still able to follow through the story and complete all quests. I appreciate the developer adding a warning in the form of different coloured dialogue choices when the player has to choose between the routes for the normal ending and the true ending.


As yuri is part of the story, it will also have some adult content and fanservice elements that are mentioned in the text regardless of whether the uncensored patch on the developer's website is applied or not.


It is a bit disappointing to see some of the supporting characters and party members become virtually silent companions after completing their quest arcs though. This makes the player feel less invested in them. Although some attempt has been made to add more dialogue among the new companions in the DLC, the characters with CGs of them are more memorable than the rest.


Artwork and Visuals

The artwork and animations are the game's best features, as I also gave this game a try to see the combat animations in an RPG Maker game. The game boasts an updated title screen and a set of CGs that unlock in a gallery mode upon reaching the true ending in the main game and DLC. Every character also has a distinct set of combat animations to make the game stand out, although it suffers from frame rate drops on my PC which doesn't meet the recommended system requirements stated on the game's store page. I would have also liked the male NPCs to have proper artwork sprites instead of just black silhouettes.


I hope the game will qualify for normal Steam profile features and trading cards in the future allowing us to feature some of the game art on our personal Steam pages.


Audio

The game and DLC have a large variety of background and combat music to keep it interesting with different music being played in each area, fight or cutscene. My favourite BGM are To_you_traveling during the fast travel option and tam-g12loop in a crystal maze which both serve to highlight the protagonist going about her quest, and her newfound friendship with a major character, respectively. Although I like the inclusion of voice acting in the combat segments, they are in Japanese which might be difficult for players not versed in the language to understand fully. Furthermore, the significant frame rate drops during combat has the tendency to produce jarring noises in the various special effects or moves, preventing me from fully appreciating some of the combat BGM.


Gameplay

The game has day and night cycles which will have an influence on the type of enemies that show up in certain areas. Although the feature is nice, it is limited to only a few areas and quests, and the window which shows the time and day of the week tends to be hidden after certain cutscenes with no instructions on how to reopen it other than completing the chapter, which is permanently hidden in the DLC.


Gathering resources, cooking food, pastries, brewing potions, and combat are a tedious grind. Many of the lower tier craftable items and skills are too weak to be worth getting and training on because bosses and even some of the regular mobs have powerful abilities that could defeat the entire party easily. Therefore, it is important to save the game frequently. In the main game, defeating the regular mobs will not yield any experience, so the player has to rely on cooking food and pastries to raise the character levels to progress in the main story and obtain some achievements.


With that said, I like how the developer places certain epic items deep inside nearly every dungeon area to reward players who are thorough in their exploration of a mob-infested area. There is also an unlockable CG when a major character uses the highest-tier skill during combat.


The DLC is a large open-world dungeon crawler with challenging mobs, complex mazes, and puzzles that allows the party to gain experience and reach their maximum level cap from defeating the regular mobs, adding new and bigger challenges. It is only accessible after reaching the true ending.


Lastly, I did experience asset loading errors on multiple occasions. I will give big props to the developer as I contacted them for awareness, and they quickly responded with patches for the issues within a day.


Overall Thoughts

I have spent more than one hundred hours in levelling up all characters and their skills, completing all quests, getting all achievements in the main game plus DLC.


Imaginary future brings some interesting new features to the RPG Maker genre with voice acting, combat animations, good artwork, a decent narrative despite the current English translation, some mystery, puzzle solving, and stealth-based segments.


Although, the tedious grinding mechanics, frustrating combat encounters, rough English translation, and high PC hardware requirements might also be a turn off for some players.


Therefore, I can only recommend a buy now for this game if you are a hardcore, experienced RPG fan who likes a good challenge with good visuals, background music, and would like to support the developer. Having some knowledge of the Chinese language is also helpful in understanding and appreciating some of the finer details in the story, regardless of whether you are playing the English or Chinese version. If you are on the fence about buying this game, I would recommend waiting for the English translation to be fixed or at least qualify for normal Steam profile features to justify the long play time required for the game.


Pros

Cons

Interesting new features in an RPG Maker game

Comes with the existing faults in an RPG Maker-based game

Good visuals and audio

Rough English translation

Interesting fantasy and mystery narrative

Tedious grinding mechanics and frustrating combat

Challenging gameplay and puzzle solving for experienced RPG fans

Limited supporting character development

Helpful and responsive developer

High PC hardware requirements



Media





Links


For more reviews, check the curator list in:

Comments


bottom of page