Exam month = procrastinating month = writing month = no-study month = play-game month.
Deducted Conclusion: I did not study. I wrote. I procrastinated. I took exam. I played game(s).
This will probably be the first and last time I recommend a japanese game...or a visual novel, to be precise.
For one, that's because I have barely any knowledge of japanese language. And secondly, visual novels are often linked to 18+ rated material for obvious reasons, which is why I never really tried any of the japanese games aside from a few that really caught my interest; such as Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night. Those two were the only ones I have actually bothered to try, really. They are in japanese, of course, but there are english patches available on the internet, which is why I did play them.
In anycase, the game that I do want to point out has no need for patches -- because it has already been translated to English officially. Yes, there is a PC version. And no, there's no 18-rated scenes in here.
Ever 17 -Out of Infinity-
There are two characters that can be controlled, and by the time the prologue ends, you will be sticking to just one of them. The story starts off rather typically...a visit to a theme park deep in the oceans. And, of course, the theme park gets flooded, and a few people gets trapped. But that's really just a prologue.
You're probably predicting a...fairly predictable game from this little prologue. Guy flirts with girl, get girl, save girl from flood, win game, end story. It is. Buuuuuuuuuut that's just the general gist to it. The story goes much further than just wooing some girls, which made this game so interesting.
...I don't really want to spoil anything, really. Though I'm usually fine on getting spoilers or giving them out, this game was exceptionally well done that I just refuse to say anything. XD Let's just say there's more to it than just some random flood.
As this site would put it, and probably better than I could ever say, I quote:
"Wonder not, Ever 17 keeps player guessing, give some incomplete information, and the entire picture is like a being put together piece by piece. First time the an ending is achieved, the players would find that not all questions are answered. Not until you are able to jump out of the box of common plot, the story is incomplete. During the process, as you are motivated by "get a better ending" or "get to the bottom of things", you become a character of the game. It is wholesomely different, from any traditional RPG/AVG where you "role-playing" a character. Everything you do, save game, load game, start a new game, achieve an ending... can be rationalized as a part of the game universe. Not until the very last, you don't realize that you are being deceived by a paradox which the ultimate creator is you, Blick Winkel..."
Also, I do not advise you to explore said site aside from the page I specifically linked to. At least until you have finished the game. It's full of spoilers. Seriously.
It's not very often I get this confused, and this game had done a remarkable job of just making me want to solve this little mystery.
But, of course, there are several problems with the translated game. For one, translations are not very accurate...though I'm going to say it's...okay. It's not bad, some little grammatical and whatnot here and there, but on the whole, good enough. Better than I have expected it to be, really. Unless if you're really picky about it, the errors you may notice in the game probably wouldn't irritate you. And two, there was a certain ending...or scenario...that felt a little flat, but, well. Other than that, I don't really have any complaints for this game. Just be prepared to sit for a long time as you read and read and read.. >.>
If you don't feel like playing but just want to read, go ahead and google the walkthrough. It's a visual novel, after all. Mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, philosophy, logic issues, of what is right and wrong (is there any right and wrong?), some little mix of psychological problems...and, of course, realism. If those things are stuff align to your taste, it's probably the game/novel for you. It definitely is for me.
I'm tempted to say give it a shot, because I did find it to be my kind of thing, not to mention well done. Though, this game is probably the type of game that you will either love or hate. Or maybe get uncomfortable with. Or maybe annoyed, though I imagine that's mostly because you're missing pieces of puzzle to solve the mystery. But if you like what I like, then I'll recommend it to you. :P
There is a trial version (official) of this game somewhere, I believe. Could be found with googling if you're interested. I'm too lazy to find links. On the other hand, some of you may find going to TokyoTosho to be a good idea for some reason...
That said, to end this little review..
Ever 17 -Out of Infinity- Scorecard:
Ever 17 has definitely piqued my interest in visual novels. My next probable target of game to check out?
Phantom of Inferno.
I heard it's good, and it is translated, but I've also heard a lot of technical issues that may just stop me from obtaining it...but, well. I guess we will see.