Birthdays the Beginning Review
A wide amount of world-building games released today have potential (and tend to implement it) but Birthdays the Beginning is the first case where a publisher has given me more intrigue into a title in this genre. Distributed by NIS America, the publisher is mostly known for their RPG’s or visual novels, so I’m curious to see if the change affects Birthdays the Beginning with more polish. Of course there’s always a possibility that its so far behind in quality that this doesn’t matter to begin with. So which of the three spots does the game occupy?
The scope of Birthdays the Beginning is felt immediately, and appears widely in the gameplay too. This isn’t just due to how you control the game and implement changes in the world, but also how these affect the game’s ecosystem. It seems basic at first, but is developed on further and further.
This sets up the goal of Birthdays: The Beginning, which is creating a perfect planet. While it can be frustrating due to the amount of factors at hand, there’s no denying setting the right patterns up is satisfying. Its also easy to cut to the result thanks to a handful of features, which I’m thankful for. (The game could have been incredibly tedious with this removed).
Story & Design:
While the gameplay of Birthdays the Beginning is mostly set up well, there are structural issues that certainly hamper its surroundings. The first of these is the game’s story mode, which cuts down on freedom. Since the latter is something that makes the game so expressive and rewarding, its unfortunate to see such a trait ruined.
A present narrative doesn’t help either, and is not only confusing, but doesn’t set up into the given content well. It gets worse when a long set of tutorials follow, and I’m concerned that most playing this starting portion will lose hope in the game, besides its later ingenuity.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
I had hopes that the presentation in Birthdays the Beginning could redeem some struggles, but after much deliberation, it manages to be just as mixed as its narrative and structural elements. For instance, the game’s graphics and music are creative and soothing, but menus take way too much time to get used to. Birthdays The Beginning always helms features that contradict the others, and the presentation just happens to be another reason for why.
If you can get through some of Birthdays the Beggining’s nonsense, then you’ll not only notice the game start to shine, but a large bout of replay value as well. This is cemented by two modes (Challenge and Free Play) that present the game’s essential features at their best points, and happened to be designed better than the story.
Birthdays the Beginning sets itself up for success, but crosses too many poor design decisions to truly reach it. Fortunately, I still think you should give the game a shot if you’re interested, but it looks like it won’t break any boundaries for its niche audience this time.
Birthdays the Beginning gets a 5/10 (Flawed)
We’d like to thank NIS America for giving us a code!
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