Title: Beyond Eden
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 6 Oct, 2017
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Beautiful game with stunning graphics and a fitting soundtrack. I love the fact that by playing through every ending you can get that special prize, which is perfect. Sure there were a few typos, like Teodore instead of Theodore and other little things that you would have to look twice to see, but that is to be expected of a translation and a game of this size. This game deserves more love and praise.
11/10 I would replay this monthly.. I love this game. It's one of my favorites. The story is great. Revenge, love, lust, and mystery.. one of the best bl of this freaking place. artwork is completely gorgeous, the voices are amazing too. beware for non-con, dont play if you dont feel comfortable with that. the story is nice too, you learn a bit more of it in each route. i loved this game, i want more.. I’ve been meaning to write a review for this game for a long time, so I’ll just pour my heart out a little here...
I found this game when I was looking to splurge on a good M/M dating sim (something along those lines), and I was drawn to this one over the others for the nice art style and historical setting. I went in expecting a typical dating VN; simple story, romantic routes with your stereotypical character ‘types,’ etc.
Let me tell you, it blew my expectations out of the water...
Beyond Eden follows Alex Wake, a man returning to his childhood home after 12 years with intent to take revenge for sins of the past.
You play as the antagonist, which is a unique twist. There are 6 character routes, and 17 endings. Each route further uncovers his deep-seated resentment toward the house and its occupants, and underlying reasoning behind his scheme of vengeance.
The story moves slow at first. It’s a buildup, but the conversations aren’t empty by any means. As you play through and replay from the start, you notice things. Subtle actions and dialogue that allude to the bigger picture. (All this time spent on it and I still catch little things here and there.) It’s brilliantly written.
The relationship dynamics between these characters are realistic and very interesting. They aren’t just a roster of love interests with entirely separate stories pertaining solely to them when you pursue them. Everything is connected in a shared history in that house. Same people, different perceptions, years of buried regrets.
Being that it’s a revenge story, the mood of it isn’t all that romantic. (Which was fine by me, I actually prefer to watch character relationships develop in non-romantic settings.) This game doesn’t give off that cliché romance vibe, nor does it really resemble a ‘dating game’ in any way. Actually if I were to re-categorize this, it’s more of a drama / psychological drama, with a dash of suspense, mystery, and tragedy; and a core element of complex M/M relationships.
So while it’s definitely BL, the cast and overall story can stand alone strong enough to be genuinely intriguing even to those typically uninterested in BL novels. (As long as you aren’t put off by it, as it is unavoidably explicit in all but 4 of the 17 paths.)
As for the visuals, the art style is clean, consistent, and very pleasing to the eye.
There are 72 CGs total, about 26 of which are sexual in nature. The sexual CGs do not show genitals. The writing however is very explicit, and extremely well-written. (You know how word choice is everything with sex scenes? Dancing that fine line to avoid sounding cringey? Well...these guys do an incredible job.) The scenes are fantastic, and feel very fitting to the characters. (And as far as my experience goes, non-cringey, in-character erotic writing has been a rare find in M/M VNs, so I was thrilled with this.)
>A side note for those who want to know in advance if the protagonist is a top or bottom:
Alex is a bisexual switch/power bottom.
2 routes he’s 100% top, 1 route he’s 100% bottom, 2 routes you get to pick. So in total, Top/Bottom it’s about a 60/40 split.
Like others already said, if noncon is an absolute deal breaker for you, you probably shouldn’t play. Though I will say it’s actually handled in a way that fits the plot, and I never felt it was gratuitous.
If you’d like a quick overview of the types of noncon, amount of it, etc., of the 6 routes we have:
1 with hard noncon via physical overpowering.
2 with noncon via blackmail/extortion, (levels of consent ranging from highly resistant to dubious.)
1 with some dubious consent and just generally twisted encounters.
1 completely consensual route.
And one non-sexual route. (The child, Jeremy. This is a friendship/familial route and more or less the canon route of the entire game.)
A few other notes:
- The music is beautiful.
- It has partial Korean voice acting for the more important scenes.
- There’s a scene replay feature that allows you to replay any scene without having to keep track of save files. (I personally don’t remember seeing this feature in any other VN I’ve played, so it was a huge plus for me.)
- Like other reviews mentioned, there are some typos here and there, but the devs are actively working to fix them. Otherwise it is very polished, especially being the first game from an indie studio.
So to conclude.
The overall quality of this game exceeds anything else I’ve ever played in the same genre. It's set the bar so high, nothing I’ve played since has even come close to competing with it.
Beyond Eden is a forever favorite of mine and I can’t recommend it enough.. Even if I really love BL games (and wish for more BL games to be available on Steam)... I just can't recommend "Beyond Eden".
But at first let me say what I liked about it:
+ the music isn't something to remember but it sounds good and soothing
+ the characters voices are relaxing and they sound professional
+ the art is really lovable (and oh how I love some of the pictures)
+ there are very different love interests to pick from
+ the protagonist can be both seme or uke based on the route/choices
+ if you like 18+ scenes... well there are many to choose from
Nevertheless... now for the reasons why I am disappointed after playing the game:
- the protagonist (Alex Wake) is simply an ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥... I didn't want a sweet and innocent protagonist for a story about revenge but there is just no chance for me to like him.. As the player I have to like the main character even a little bit or else I can't enjoy the game
- the background story about said protagonist is good and it has some shocking moments but it doesn't justify the things that Alex is doing to his love interests (some of them didn't even do anything wrong to Alex)
- I can't understand how some routes are all about Alex r@ping someone and yet there is still a chance for the choosen character to fall in love with Alex.. just how?!
- the choices that you have to make while playing are kinda obvious
- there should have been more time to talk about the characters and to develop deep feelings between them and Alex
- there was so much potential about the story but I have the feeling that it was kinda rushed
All in all it was not really worth the money. That's kinda sad because I waited so long for this game. Nevertheless it had some good sides and I am always happy to support visual novels.
(Oh and English is not my mother tongue so if I made any mistakes you can keep them xD). Normally, every novel is designed to give you about 2-3 hours of playtime, but depending on the decision, you'll end up with something different.
But in Beyond Eden, it's totally different!
Every path you can choose includes several hours of unique history!
You have more than 20 hours of play time before you really know all aspects of the story. There are also 17 different ends!
I have to admit that I really loved this game until the last minute. I laughed, was shocked and especially sad when I came to an end after 24 hours of playtime. I hope there will be a second part at some point!
It was also very refreshing to play from the point of view of the antagonist.
For every BL fan, this game is a must.. This VN was really good! The stories for each of the characters are different enough to be interesting yet they are all interconnected so that by playing them all you get the full story of what happened. I love the music, the artwork is amazing and those sound effects (I died laughing when I first heard them because I thought of the people in the sound booth recording them and different ways those effects could be procured).
The one thing that I have to say is that for $30 I expected to have ALL of the characters to have a route and was upset that Edward did not have one...his could have been the most exciting and dramatic!! Instead, my pervy self died instantly having to read the child's mandatory route... don't get me wrong it's nice for the backstory but I seriously wanted to walk into the fire!! Please give Edward a route; he deserves one after all the sh*t he has gone through lol!!
The crazed and unstable butler is my Fav (btw I was seriously shocked that he didn't kill himself, I really thought that he did and I was kinda sad that he didn't but I got over it when I saw his face)! Also, I kinda wanted to see some more serious yaoi jealousy (possibly though the "use" of the easy chick?) because there were plenty of chances to throw that in there.
Despite the two small gripes above this is a good game to have in your collection!! I will be on the lookout for Edward's route And any future projects from you guys...Thank you for your hard work!!. I don't write reviews often so I'm kinda of a newbie, but this needed one!
I bought this game earlier today and all I have done is complete Jeremy's endings but I had to say something otherwise I'll find a reason not to, this game is incredible! The writing is smart, the characters are all enjoyable in their own way except for one certain, hateful ♥♥♥♥♥ (I think it was a shame that Edward didn't have his own ending but I'm sure if I play more then it'll become more evident why) and Alex Wake himself is one hell of a lead!
I have to give special kudos here to the music composer and the singer, the music composed is always top knotch in my opinion and there was such a variety, I would occassionally stop playing the game just to listen to it, I noticed you can buy the soundtrack so I think I will when I get my next paycheck. Also the singer has such a voice and range that I actually saved before Jeremys good end just to listen to that ending song a few more times.
Like I have said, I have only done Jeremy's route -at first I was worried cosidering this game does have sex in it but then read that the game doesn't include sexual depiction of minors (or women) so I was curious how this could play out and played this route first- and at first I was wondering if Jeremy would change Alex's mind and heart away from revenge since he reminds him of his sister which is something I picked up before the reveal but considering the game and time it is set I shouldn't have been so optimistic, and those endings! That bad ending felt like an arrow to my chest. Honestly, I was waiting for that gun to come back into play and when it did I admit to smiling like a madwoman, not from happiness though, I think I just became Alex for a second there haha But seriously, I had to reload immediately after the credits and choose to grab Jeremys hand instead.
I will admit, I had to turn off a few of the voices since I had my own image of how they spoke but there was more voices that I kept on from how pleasant they sounded and how they just became the character. The art in this game is beautiful, especially the garden CG, that was especially sweet~ I also enjoyed interactive mode, it felt like it had added to the story in my mind, you could have just as easily written these in but having such a small new mode was interesting and felt,well, interactive~
I likely have more to say but I literally have just finished getting both endings for Jeremy and am feeling a little high on the image of Jeremy holding onto Alex's arm, I don't even know how to describe that relationship except maybe an uncle and a nephew but even putting it in those plain terms doesn't feel too right.
I love revenge stories so this was bread and butter, if you like them too then I do recommend buying this~
Also, Studio Pieplus, thank you for making this game, it was an experience that I can't wait to continue with the other characters~ And if there's an Eddy DLC in the future then I'll buy it That's a half joke~
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