Amaterasu Blog

30Aug/1019

Souten no Celenaria ~What a beautiful world~

Steampunk. Catgirls. Evil Empire. Evil Geniuses. Bright Colors (especially blue). Assorted Fantasy Races. Exploration Minigame. What could go wrong? As it turns out, more than I'd hoped.

First, Celenaria is fun. All the characters are amusing, the writing is stylish, the mythos is sufficiently complex, there are a lot of nice random events during the minigame, and the pacing is varied but never annoying. There are even genuinely cool moments, clever twists and intriguing revelations on a regular basis.

There are a long list of miniscule problems though, from that scene being a bit trite to that one being predictable or that character being a bit dense or that piece of art falling flat or that sex scene being totally unnecessary. Overall, they all manage to add up to a significant nuisance, but nothing more.

The real problem is that what could have been an impressive if not awesome plot is undermined by a laundry list of unanswered questions, seemingly outnumbering the ones that did get answered. While it's okay to leave some things up to the reader's imagination, if you never explain the very catalyst/premise of the story, it's hard to feel satisfied by any ending. The silver lining is that, despite the huge list of hints and details, there were no apparent contradictions, so I remain convinced that the answers I wanted do at least exist and it never felt like the writer was improvising.

Score: 7/10

Polarization: Mild (+1/-2)

Pretty much entirely depends on the unanswered questions issue. If you lack my faith that the writer wasn't making it up as she went, this game will suck. If you flat out don't care about explanations and are just in it for the proverbial journey, you might love it anyway.

Routes/Endings Played: Linear (also read the fandisc and webnovels)

See this post for my opinion of the fandisc.

Comments (19) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I’m quite pleased to hear you gave it a 7/10, I was afraid it would have scored lower…

    I’m curious though, now that you’ve played two of the WaB series; do you see the series occuring in the same world, at a similar time period? Do the games harmoniously build upon each other to create a bigger picture of the same world (at least somewhat)?

  2. Sakurai needs to release a fucking 設定資料 for the WAB series

    or like, actually explain WTF her settings are supposed to be, because seriously now. Inganock works because it’s self-contained, but Sharnoth has a bunch of shit that she apparently expects you to know and never explains and it’s really fucking annoying

  3. It’s an objective fact that they all occur in the same universe. To give you an outline of what I know so far:

    There are two worlds. World A, we live in. World B, fictional people live in.

    People who live in World A call World A “Earth.” People who live in World B call World A “Seikyou.” People who live in World A call World B “Kadath.”

    World B/Kadath is effectively split into two halves. One half is connected to World A/Earth/Seikyou, is post-industrial/steampunk, and is split into three continents: the Central Northern Continent, the Eastern Continent, and the Southeastern Continent.

    Inhabitants of the steampunk half of World B/Kadath call their half the Known World, the other half the Unknown World, and the border between them the World Water Shell. Inhabitants of the other half call their half Celenaria, the border the Dragon Cloud Wall, and don’t appear to have a name for the steampunk half.

    Souten no Celenaria starts in the Central Northern Empire, goes through the World Water Shell, then takes place primarily in the Unkown World/Celenaria.
    Sekien no Inganock takes place entirely in Inganock itself, which is on “the Southern tip of the Eastern Continent.”
    Shikkoku no Sharnoth is set in London, which is obviously part of Earth/Seikyou.

    So far, it is obvious that all three games share many setting details, locutions and perhaps even some plot points. However, I have yet to see anything to imply that reading any one game first would improve the quality of any another, or any concrete information regarding the timeline between the games.

  4. What game is coming up next for a review?
    Sharnoth?

  5. Read the main page. It lists what I’m going to read next, in order. Next on the list is Sharnoth, which is what I’m reading at the moment.

    If you ever want to know whether I’m actually reading the next VN on the list, simply start lurking in #Ammy and watch my nick change. These days, for instance, you’ll see a lot of Ixrec|SnS.

  6. Alright thanks.

  7. Holy crap, a noticeable lack of TV troupe links… :P

    On another note… I can’t believe the game didn’t come out that great, after playing SnI and seeing your review of Forest. Here’s for hoping Sharnoth turns out amazing.

  8. I often forget the trope links when I am unsure how to rate a game or explain said rating (Celenaria, Ruitomo, I think KGNE too). In this case, that hesitation was because of the same exact disappointment you expressed.

    And yes, we shall pray for Sharnoth.

  9. Don’t you mean Sona-Nyl? Sharnoth came out ages ago

  10. @Asceai
    I think he means
    “Lets hope Sharnoth is a 8”

  11. btw, a thanks for the outline you painted above~
    Two worlds one planet? I wonder what this Dragon Wall/Water Shell looks like…

  12. >Two worlds one planet

    Depends on who you ask. Post-Celenaria a lot of stuff says 世界(惑星) which implies “world” equals “planet,” and from what I’ve seen of Valusia so far (apparently it takes place far to the South in Celenaria, on the “Desert Continent”) it may just be that the Central Northern Empire finally publicized the existence of the Unknown World (since many Central Northerners have moved there).

    >Dragon Wall/Water Shell

    Celenaria has images and descriptions of it of course, but I’ll leave this unanswered in case a later WAB goes back to them. Not to mention they seem kind of irrelevant post-Celenaria.

  13. You might as well TL this. You plan to TL the rest of the series (some of which have references to this, apparently) and seem to find this one at least enjoyable.

    Just a thought. I haven’t played any of the WAB series, and am thus not a fan. That’s just what I would hope for if I -was- a fan.

  14. Celenaria is a massive outlier in terms of quality alone, and barring one very obvious shoutout at the end of Valusia, is completely unnecessary to understanding or enjoying the rest of the series (sure there are references like when Inganock mentioned the “Ten Scholars,” but playing Celenaria didn’t give me any special insight into that line). Odds are it’ll never happen unless I somehow end up tling the WABs officially and they ask me to do this one too.

  15. You really should try contacting LS or age if you want to officially TL visual novels.

  16. You make it sound as if I’d publicly announce any and all of my efforts to do so.

    (heh)

  17. I wonder how one -would- even properly contact a VN company though. “Hi, I’m Ixrec and I illegally translated your games into English. Can I partner with you?” lol xD

  18. For the most part, that’s pretty much it. The only real reason I’m not dead set on making at least one of my projects official is that that method is a complete crapshoot and no one seems to have any alternatives.


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