[review] Anton’s Vacation Episode 1

Anton's Vacation Episode 1
Anton
genre sci-fi bishoujo
creator IDHAS Studios
summary Master of the universe decides to go on a vacation

Story

Anton Rogers is the supreme commander of an intergalactic superpower. After writing a political thesis 600 years ago, he was cryogenically frozen (why?). His writing was apparently so godly the Katajion dictatorship based their organization on Anton’s writings. Then, after randomly waiting 600 years they woke him up and named him supreme commander. Even though he has no experience and his knowledge is 600 years out of date. After saving the world numerous times, the one thing Anton really needs is a vacation.

This is all explained in a lengthy monologue by Anton, immediately at the start of the VN. The story then shifts away from the sci-fi and turns into a romantic comedy when Anton is forced to take three underlings, all young attractive females, with him on his trip. A lot of the conversation between characters is awkward or unpleasant. The girls don’t really get along all that well it seems, especially Nàme seems to be hated by Syl and Yoi. What also doesn’t help is that a lot of choices don’t have a neutral response. When your options are "compliment girl X" and "be a giant douche", you end up acting like an asshole a lot.

Midway through, the plot is suddenly interrupted by someone calling himself "Chief Editor". This wisecracking fourth-wall breaking Uncle Mugen-alike adds nothing to the plot and feels incredibly out of place. After this, the plot meanders back to the sci-fi and Anton is ordered to personally save the world. In the next episode.

Presentation

The (stock art) sprites look good, with a dozen different facial expressions for each of the heroines. Different poses aren’t used, aside from some subtle variations when characters change outfits. There are some small inconsistencies, mostly with Syl’s sprite. Her head is much smaller than the other female characters and her sprite is the only one ankle-up instead of cutting off around mid lower leg. Nàme’s nose looks like a bird beak.

The few (also stock) backgrounds look fine as well. None of them gives a futuristic feel to match the setting however — they all look like current-day earth. The supreme commander’s office (building) looks suspiciously like a Japanese high school. The event graphics were created by multiple artists and it shows. The art style and quality wildly differs from one CG to another.

The user interface is functional, but the font is slightly hard to read. The preference/save screens use tiny buttons and make poor use of the available screen space. It looks like the default 800×600 Ren’Py interface inside a much larger 1280×960 window. The background for these screens is a picture of a toilet. Don’t ask me why, I got nothin’.

The music feels like an afterthought. The soundtrack consists of a handful of creative commons tracks — several of which are in other English language VNs. Does everyone fish in the same small pond, or are some people taking their music from other VNS? There should be plenty royalty-free music to go around, so why do I keep hearing some tracks over and over again?

Conclusion

I’m not sure what the writer was going for; there’s a good chance he doesn’t know either. The sci-fi parts feel like an excuse plot with the entire universe seemingly revolving around Anton. Unfortunately the plot keeps coming back and growing in importance. The romance and character development relies too much on events external to the story. Casual dialogue is made unpleasant by spiteful remarks and angry responses.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>