Amaterasu Blog


Narcissu Trilogy Review

This is a review of Narcissu, Narcissu Side 2nd, and Narcissu 3rd Die Dritte Welt (The Third World) all at the same time, since they are all quite short and in my opinion have about the same level of quality. Note that since N3 is four separate stories, I'll refer to them as N3.1 through N3.4 in this review and elsewhere.

The Narcissu games are all short, simple and bittersweet tragedies. The characters, though also simple, are consistently believable and interesting enough to make you care about them. The plots tend to air somewhat on the predictable side, since you pretty much know from the get-go that a certain character is going to die from a terminal illness (except N3.4), and the rest revolves around dealing with that. But most of the little events in the middle nonetheless remain interesting, and every so often manage to also be insightful or surprising. Also, the music was very nice, which for simple stories like this I tend to find more important than usual.

The main reason these stories never come close to "awesome" is simply because they're simple (or "unambitious" if you want to be mean about it). Also, a number of stories (especially N2 in relation to N1) tend to repeat or reuse some of the best details without much variation, thus missing a lot of opportunities to add complexity, and you're bound to feel at least one Untwist sooner or later (for me it was N3.3), and the art is underwhelming in parts of N3.

Still, what matters most is that everyone felt human, and the tragedies felt real. If you like short, simple and bittersweet, you will not be disappointed.

Score: 8/10

Polarization: Low (+/-1)

As a result of its simplicity, there's really not much here that someone would like or dislike much more than anyone else.

Routes/Endings Played: All games were linear, and I did play all four stories in N3.

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  1. Oh, I think there’s a bigger polarization here. There are actually people who dislike these kind of stories. I mean “we are both terminally ill, it’s so sad. Now please cry everyone.”

  2. If you’re reading the wrong genre, then you don’t care how good/bad the game is, and review scores are entirely meaningless. To take into account what you’re describing, all polarization margins would have to be about +5/-5. Not happening.

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