Saturday, June 8, 2013

Obscure Video Game Sunday erm Saturday? - The Shinji Ikari Raising Project (Pic Heavy)

Shinji got a sword!
Hey all, Counterfett here. Welcome back to another edition of Obscure Video Game Sunday. Now, despite having the same name as one of my favorite Mangas, this game is really not that closely related.

Even in this continuity, Kensuke is a perv. Look at all these stalker pictures!
I don't know about you, but I never figured Gendo for an 'umbrella drink' kinda guy.
It's sort of a happier retelling of the events of the TV series and the 'End of Evangelion' movie. Basically all the big robot battles without as much twisted self loathing. Evangelion Lite, if you will.

Hey look, Mana's in this game! Sweet!
Quick, everyone violin!
Essentially, this is a slightly more sophisticated version of the Girlfriend of Steel games, where you play the role of Shinji's guardian, and guide his upbringing and training.

The idea of Rei taking as much martial arts classes as she does in this game amuses me, for some reason.
Uh, Asuka, are you sure cutting that thing in half is a good idea...I have a bad feeling.
I don't speak Japanese, and this game has not been translated to anything (AFAIK), so I took the liberty of finding a strategy guide and save game editor. Because the last thing I want to do is screw up my playthrough due to not clicking the right thing.

Not sure what's going on in this scene, or what Aoi is saying, but I'm pretty sure she's admiring Shiji's wood.
Unlike GoS, there is actually some robot fighting in this one, which is cool. Also, the choices you make, and the stats you build affect Shinji's relationship, fighting ability, and outcomes.

Hey look, Karaoke. Misato is such a good influence. Also, this is one of the few times you really see Hikari putting the moves on Toji. He looks a little uneasy, truth be told.
There is a 'main' ending, which is bad, like "End of Evangelion" bad. But there is an almost hidden Easter Egg ending, which is referred to on the interwebs as the 'Happyland' ending. My goal was the pursuit of Happyland!

I'm not sure what she's saying, but I am sure this is a pic of Rei executing a Harpy with an EVA size assault rifle. She's the best.
This game has been criticized for its art style, and while it is disconcerting in places, it's nice to see the characters portrayed in some new ways. I took a bunch of screen caps on my playthrough, since there is surprisingly little of this games' images available online.

Uh, why is everyone looking at me like that?
Epic pose is epic!
I did get the Happyland ending, and Shinji in fact became a professional Cellist (I think this has to do with what classes you have him take, I had him do a lot of music to cozy up to Mana Kirishima). Then, astonishingly, he married Mana!

D'awww, you can marry Mana!
Everyone seemed really happy. Except Rei, she seemed surprisingly pissed off! I couldn't understand what she was saying, but she seemed jealous. It made me feel so bad that I used a save game, and through the magic of save game editing, Shinji married her too! There, everyone's happy!

D'awww, she looks so happy!
Final Verdict? This is a hard one. This is a much better game than either Girlfriend of Steel titles, but since there is no English translation, this is very difficult to play through. I had to save and reload a LOT of times to get the outcomes I wanted. Also, several of the boss battles seem based on an absurd amount of luck. You don't want to know how many times I fought Zeruel (the last angel) before prevailing through, it seems, dumb luck. When it comes down to it, I wouldn't go searching this game out unless you speak and read Japanese, or have a good strategy guide and a lot of patience.

Edit: The Scheduler has betrayed me. I blame the Magi. Or Maybe Ritsuko. In any event, this is a day early.


Mike Howell said...

I want so bad to read these but since I have never finished watching NG:E I am afraid I will spoil something.

So... I am now on a sprint to finish the series. 8 down. I will be back!

Anonymous said...

"The idea of Rei taking as much martial arts classes as she does in this game amuses me, for some reason."

Why is that?

CounterFett said...

I found it amusing because in the original series (and rebuild for that matter), as well as in most of the manga continuities, Rei is shown as having very little in the way of physical skills. Sure, she's a sociopathic killing machine in the cockpit, but she can't make tea or use a kitchen knife without hurting herself.

In the Shinji Ikari Raising Project (game and Manga) she is more physically capable and more well adjusted, and also a skilled martial artist. It's sort of an outlier, as her portrayals go.