Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel (PC) Review

By Ofisil 02.10.2016

Review for Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel on PC

Ah, Sometimes You… the indie equivalent of good ol' LJN. Every single release makes people wonder: "Was this even tested?" (or is it just the author of this review?) Its games are technically okay for the most part, but in terms of enjoyment they tend to be as bad as they are unique in style and concept, as well as very indie… in a bad way. Is Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel the same kind of mess? Well, it's certainly unique.

No, there's nothing wrong with Cubed3, your monitor, or the game itself. The distorted, very low-res, Commodore 64-like "photos" are exactly what this is supposed to look. Now, while an interesting idea, such ancient visuals need a lot of effort not to look ugly, and this one actually looks worse than titles from the era this was inspired from! The good thing is that the blurry, pixelated images work in unison with the weird, ambient music to enhance the already strange and mysterious atmosphere of Cyber City 2157. Unfortunately, that is probably the only good thing that can be said about this visual novel.

Initially, the basic premise starts of as one that's very intriguing. The protagonist, an introverted... someone, is trying to cope with the life in the titular city; a place where the sun never sets and just changes colour, a place that seems to constantly change, expand, and "evolve" before the eyes of the main character. His job revolves around the creation of Molds; holographic copies of real people, with all of the flaws of the original wiped out. He enjoys his work, but he is an otherwise very troubled man.

Screenshot for Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel on PC

This tries to tell a story heavily inspired by works of existentialism. At times it feels like Franz Kafka's The Trial, with the main character feeling unable to comprehend what's going on. At others, it's like Fight Club, or, the similar in theme, Blade Runner. Is the world obscure and bizarre, or is the protagonist a wacko? Unfortunately, while this tale will make you want to learn more about the universe it takes place in, you'll never do so.

The story is a disjointed mess, has tons of loose ends, and thus, despite the overall weirdness, becomes something worse than bad… it becomes boring and uninteresting. As a visual novel it has multiple paths to follow (despite its tiny length), but none of this will help the viewer comprehend what's going on - and, yes, mystery is fine and all, but only when used right.

The final nail in this coffin? For a text-heavy video game it sure has some of the worst English ever found a visual novel, and not the funny, "I am Error or Conglaturation!!! kind of translation errors, but phrases that simply don't make any sense at all, or ones that simply sound stupid. PS: why is this a 1GB title? Well, like many things about this visual novel, you will never know…

Screenshot for Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel on PC

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Boring as it is strange, ugly as it is atmospheric, and with a storyline that is simply a mess although it has some nice ideas going for it, Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel is not a good, or, at least, comprehensible read. While the concepts it delves in are intriguing, the final outcome is a heavily flawed written piece of pseudo-intellectual science fiction.

Developer

Harotobira

Publisher

Sometimes You

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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