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AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative |OT| Exploring Uchikoshi's Somnium


lmao
 
On the surface the character models look the same as the original game but it seems they have way more expression this time around.
More expressions (love the cartoony expressions they added to the AI-Ball characters), a bit more motion (hair will have momentum for transitions, etc), also the outlines for the cell shading are better about wrapping around forms within a model. There's a subtle layer of extra polish but it's appreciated.
 
The figure comes with the Collector's Edition. You can find some available if you search "nirvanA Initiative collector's edition switch," but they're very expensive at this point.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
The figure comes with the Collector's Edition. You can find some available if you search "nirvanA Initiative collector's edition switch," but they're very expensive at this point.
Still getting nirvanA Initiative's CE was faaaaaaar easier than gettign CE for Nintendo games, thats for sure.
 
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Played up to the 2nd Somnium, the one with Horadori, and so far what was mentioned in interviews and reviews holds true; the somniums are more logical this time around. In part due to the keys system and the characters more explicitly interpreting the dream through dialogue, but also because they're just designed with clearer goals. I do think the hints can go overboard sometimes but I'll mark that as a tepid critique for now and see how things progress over the full game.

Really enjoying it so far, also RIP the segment of fans who were hoping Uchikoshi would tone down the pervy jokes.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Really enjoying it so far, also RIP the segment of fans who were hoping Uchikoshi would tone down the pervy jokes.
There are people accuse the first of being “woke” because one line in the game, you can’t never make people happy no matter what, so I’m glad to see Uchikoshi have the freedom to make what he wants to make, thats what I like about his games.
 
This sounds cool, but never played the original. However, it also looks anime as hell. I'm guessing it's like Danganronpa?

Yeah, it's like Danganronpa in the general sense that they're both Japanese mystery adventures. The specifics of AI's system and puzzle mechanics are significantly different, though. Also the characters in AI are less psychotic.

The second game was designed so it could be played without spoiling the first. Conversely, the first game is currently on a deep sale across all platforms. So you can get it for like 8 dollars right now.
 
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indigo-cyclops

Gold Member
Played up to the

Yeah, it's like Danganronpa in the general sense that they're both Japanese mystery adventures. The specifics of AI's system and puzzle mechanics are significantly different, though. Also the characters in AI are less psychotic.

The second game was designed so it could be played without spoiling the first. Conversely, the first game is currently on a deep sale across all platforms. So you can get it for like 8 dollars right now.
Cool, definitely caught my eye and I like those sort of mystery adventure games.

How does the first one run on Switch?
 
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kurisu_1974

is on perm warning for being a low level troll
Damn was wondering why I didn't get a message for my in-store pick-up today when I saw it was delayed in the EU... wonder why that is.
 
Damn was wondering why I didn't get a message for my in-store pick-up today when I saw it was delayed in the EU... wonder why that is.
Some issue with their European distributer, Numskull Games. This is all I've seen Spike Chunsoft say about it.
Due to unforeseen manufacturing delays and global shipping slowdowns, Spike Chunsoft, Inc. and Numskull Games unfortunately must delay the European and Oceania release of this title across all platforms (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One). To maintain parity, the digital releases for these regions will be delayed to July 8 as well.
 
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Cheers for the heads up on that one, picked it up and will think about thr sequel depending on how this one goes.
I hope you enjoy it. I went into it blind and completely fell in love with it. It's just a visual novel the same way Phoenix Wright is, but there are some adult themes and great characters throughout the experience. I found myself really digging for more details just to understand more of their backstory. A really fun and surprising title imo.
 

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
I loved the first one aside from teh incredibly fucking cringe localization from some slacktivist that blatantly mischaracterized and mistranslated the original intent of specific lines. Does the sequel have that problem as well?
 
God damn, Tokiko's Somnium is ROUGH, at least on normal difficulty, I liked the puzzles but they give you barely just enough time to swim over to the book in the last part. (Ryuki Ch.2 Spoilers)
 
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I loved the first one aside from teh incredibly fucking cringe localization from some slacktivist that blatantly mischaracterized and mistranslated the original intent of specific lines. Does the sequel have that problem as well?
Not sure which lines you're referring to specifically, but assuming you mean the Mizuki dialogue with Mama, I haven't encountered anything like it.
 

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Not sure which lines you're referring to specifically, but assuming you mean the Mizuki dialogue with Mama, I haven't encountered anything like it.

Yep, that is one of the lines. There were a few others as well, but more minor compared to that. Really the only issues with that game as the JPN, while mentioning LGBT subjects, did so with more brevity and class. Less whiny slacktivist twitter nonsense.

Glad to hear there is so far nothing like that in the sequel. Maybe it was just one or two really cunty “localizers”.
 
Alright I'm officially all-in 100% loving the fuck out of this game. I just did the virtual reality section at Naix, got chewed out by boss, and had Ryuki give the back story about his dead twin. This is it, the mixture of science fiction concepts, conspiracy theories, and human drama that I love about Uchikoshi's games. Plus the pacing and interactivity is better than in the first game. Between the higher rate of Somniums and new investigation mechanics, you're much more frequently "involved" in the mystery solving process. It reminds me of the 2nd Ace Attorney game where they added the Psyche-Locks and it made the investigation parts way better.

I also dig Ryuki and Tama's relationship a lot, she drops a lot of sexual innuendo and the dominatrix vibe ties into that, but it's not just that. It's also about how, despite the fact that Ryuki is a genius student, he's still a rookie at the end of the day and needs strict guidance/a firm hand. I feel like a lot of people might look past that aspect of their relationship and just see sex jokes, but their dynamic goes further and can be genuinely touching (lol ;) ).
 
I loved the first one aside from teh incredibly fucking cringe localization from some slacktivist that blatantly mischaracterized and mistranslated the original intent of specific lines. Does the sequel have that problem as well?
I cant tell if something was lost in translation not knowing the Japanese words.. but I got the same feeling a couple of times that maybe the localisation was a bit off, or that they over translated and put some of their own words into it.

But in other places it seemed to be a general direction with the writing that Spke Chunsoft is trying to be a bit provocative with the themes and communication between characters, and the lexicon with all of the terms that are being used, that read more like a parody of wokeness sometimes and some other odd translations. And then the narrative turns to the player at one time and asks if we think they are being sexist or not inclusive enough - I cant remember the exact words. But they point out how they support the LBQT community and love all people winky winky. We’re just having some fun with tropes and ideals, dont worry about it kind of thing. I think the conversation happens in the Marble bar between Mizuki and Mama, who again is a close resemblance of Earth Angel Mama in the Yakuza games. And that they are inclusive in their work despite what some of the characters in the game are saying.

Which I think is okay in terms of making art, and being transparent about it. I would rather be provoked than bored. Boring is the wørst art, a waste of time.

But it does seem odd in a couple of places and that something was added here and there by the localisation team.
 
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Dthomp

Member
Ugh I want to play this, but Target was the only place I could get a ps4 collectors edition preorder that is preparing to ship still. Supposed to arrive on the 30th, but I’m terrified, have had more bad then good experiences with Target. Gonna lose my shit if I don’t get it, really wanted the Aiba figure
 

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
I cant tell if something was lost in translation not knowing the Japanese words.. but I got the same feeling a couple of times that maybe the localisation was a bit off, or that they over translated and put some of their own words into it.

But in other places it seemed to be a general direction with the writing that Spke Chunsoft is trying to be a bit provocative with the themes and communication between characters, and the lexicon with all of the terms that are being used, that read more like a parody of wokeness sometimes and some other odd translations. And then the narrative turns to the player at one time and asks if we think they are being sexist or not inclusive enough - I cant remember the exact words. But they point out how they support the LBQT community and love all people winky winky. We’re just having some fun with tropes and ideals, dont worry about it kind of thing. I think the conversation happens in the Marble bar between Mizuki and Mama, who again is a close resemblance of Earth Angel Mama in the Yakuza games. And that they are inclusive in their work despite what some of the characters in the game are saying.

Which I think is okay in terms of making art, and being transparent about it. I would rather be provoked than bored. Boring is the wørst art, a waste of time.

But it does seem odd in a couple of places and that something was added here and there by the localisation team.

A single bad scene or line can utterly ruin a piece of art. While I can’t say that this is such a case, it came *very* close. I am happier every day that I am getting further into mastering Japanese so I don’t have to suffer through cunty localizers trying to inject politics into games (which is exactly what is done here).
 
Just got up to the part where Date goes porno mag super saiyan on the docks, lmao. He hasn't been in the game much so that scene was spectacular. I also love how the UI calls it "Awoken Date" in the next scene. (Ryuki Chapter 4 R2 spoilers)
 

Lognor

Banned
Is the main character still a massive pervert in this game? That really turned me off of the first game.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
I hope you enjoy it. I went into it blind and completely fell in love with it. It's just a visual novel the same way Phoenix Wright is, but there are some adult themes and great characters throughout the experience. I found myself really digging for more details just to understand more of their backstory. A really fun and surprising title imo.

few hours into the original and slapped down £57 for the deluxe edition of the sequel, I generally thought it was off to a boring start but then decided to interact with everything... at which point I realised the main character was utterly insane. The ficken scene where the AI shouts "LOOK A PORNO MAG!" and the MC's slowmotion face of utter joy sealed it for me.

it sounds so fucking stupid but it just works so well and had me laughing my ass off. It reminds of Kazuma from Konosuba.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Encode

Explanation:
“To codify or turn to symbols. This means all information in existence is recorded o a flat surface. Your 2D waifu was closer than your thought!”



 
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Mame's Somnium might be my favorite so far, I also really liked Chikara's, but how creepy Mame's got toward the end combined with the reactions it elicited from Ryuki about his trauma was great. I wish there was a TellTale style percentage breakdown of everyone's "Ultimate 50/50" answers.
 
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YukiOnna

Member
So this is what Uchikoshi meant by "A much cooler Date"... anyone who got that far should know exactly what I mean.
Also, the lore that came after that from him regarding the origin of it. Glorious.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Is this game any good? I blind bought the collector's edition. I watched very small gameplay clips on Youtube and it seems to be a VN with actual gameplay elements tied in. Has a very good metacritic score.
 

YukiOnna

Member
Is this game any good? I blind bought the collector's edition. I watched very small gameplay clips on Youtube and it seems to be a VN with actual gameplay elements tied in. Has a very good metacritic score.
Well worth getting the prequel and this sequel if you want a story focused interactive Visual Novel. It's a low sci-fi murder mystery with a lot of ridiculous Spike Chunsoft style charm.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Is this game any good? I blind bought the collector's edition. I watched very small gameplay clips on Youtube and it seems to be a VN with actual gameplay elements tied in. Has a very good metacritic score.
Have you played any games like Ace Attorney or Zero Escape games? AI is similar to those games, in fact its made by Uchikoshi, same person who made Zero Escape series.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Have you played any games like Ace Attorney or Zero Escape games? AI is similar to those games, in fact its made by Uchikoshi, same person who made Zero Escape series.
Yeah, I really liked them, because they had actual gameplay. I'm not a fan of the visual novels though that have no gameplay at all and you're essentially reading text the entire game. I'd rather just read a book. How extensive is the gameplay in it? I would look up for gameplay videos, but being a VN, I don't want spoilers.

Well worth getting the prequel and this sequel if you want a story focused interactive Visual Novel. It's a low sci-fi murder mystery with a lot of ridiculous Spike Chunsoft style charm.
Are they required to know what's going on in this?
 
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Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Yeah, I really liked them, because they had actual gameplay. I'm not a fan of the visual novels though that have no gameplay at all and you're essentially reading text the entire game. I'd rather just read a book. How extensive is the gameplay in it? I would look up for gameplay videos, but being a VN, I don't want spoilers.


Are they required to know what's going on in this?
Similar to Ace Attorney you have story/investigation section and you have puzzle section which are the Somniums, basically a device that lets you get in to someone mind and try to find truth within them.

You have limited time but "time" works differently inside Somniums, when character standing still time moves very slowly while moving time runs faster. When interact with objects it cost time (think of it some type of currency).

Simple version is you want to solve the puzzle before your time runs out.
 
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Yeah, I really liked them, because they had actual gameplay. I'm not a fan of the visual novels though that have no gameplay at all and you're essentially reading text the entire game. I'd rather just read a book. How extensive is the gameplay in it? I would look up for gameplay videos, but being a VN, I don't want spoilers.


Are they required to know what's going on in this?
It's not actually a VN (the subgenre of Japanese adventures where interaction consists primarily of reading and making choices), It's a Japanese detective adventure game (to avoid getting too into it here, I made a thread about the genre and its different types), and as far as those go the interactivity is above average. Plus this sequel added more gameplay elements over the original with the virtual reality and truth reenactment parts. It's not as challenging as the Zero Escape series but the Somnium element of diving into people's dreams allows for a lot of variety and funny interactions.

Are they required to know what's going on in this?
No, this game was written intentionally so newcomers could play it without knowing the first game and it also won't spoil the first game either. That being said my personal recommendation would be to play AI: The Somium Files before nirvanA Initiative. This game incorporates a lot of the original game's cast, it's worth it to get their full characterization from the first game.
 

YukiOnna

Member
Are they required to know what's going on in this?
What Vampire On Titus Vampire On Titus said. Even if they are handling entirely different cases, it is a direct sequel. Seeing their full character arcs and the context will make the experience a lot better. Also, the games aren't that long.

The Sominums and different routes are a big highlight not only for understanding the full picture, but it's a great depiction of how the brain is.
 
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Spoilering just for folks who like to see this kinda changes firsthand for themselves, but Aiba in eyeball form floating via propeller is genuinely adorable. (Mizuki Ch.1)
 
Well, I hit the first part of the game that I truly didn't like: the Masked Woman's Somnium. It actually had the potential to be one of the best Somnium's in the game. Great atmosphere, engrossing tragic backstory, and nightmare Chikara was suitably creepy. The idea behind the puzzle is actually great too. But the execution of the stealth is so poor it bungles the whole thing. Plus some of the interactions are shitty design obtuse, not dream world obtuse. Like why is the option for hiding atop the pipes represented by "get on" in front of the shelf? That makes it seem like you're gonna hide on top of the shelf. This was a rare miss for AI2.
(Mizuki Ch. 3 spoilers)

At the end of the day these issues have no bearing on the story, so it doesn't impact my enjoyment of the rest of the game. But yeah, that part could have used some serious fine tuning. I'm pretty confident that there won't be any other issues like that, though.
 
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YukiOnna

Member
Stopped just after (Mizuki Route CH2/3) Mizuki discovers the underground facility and the diary. Should be able to finish the story tomorrow. Played 10 hours straight since I couldn't put it down. The big picture has gotten clearer and some of my initial theories might end up true.
 
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