Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star - PC Review

Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star by developers Eyeguys, Lorenzo Redaelli and publisher Santa RagionePC (Steam) review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Be careful what you wish for as sometimes what you’ve wanted the most is the thing that you needed the least. Coming from Eyeguys and Lorenzo Redaelli, Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star is a visually beautiful thing that will both draw you in while it takes multiple stabs at your emotional heart as you try to find the "right" thing to say.

Even after six years of reviewing and three decades of playing games, Visual Novels are something that still remain fairly new to me. From the limited amounts that I’ve seen, there’s always been a blend of emotion through text with background music. What surprised me with the Milky Way Prince is that it ranges from deep resonating musical scores to absolutely nothing making the sound of your machine the only thing that you hear as you read the words. It makes the words stand out so much more as it’s the only thing going on short of any other ambient noises like a neighbor's dog or a passing car.

Now all of this is only accentuated further by the artstyle. As a graphic designer, color is everything. From the posters on billboards to those at bus stops or the ads on televisions to websites for products that people are trying to sell. If it doesn’t draw you in. It failed. Colors are so important and choosing well isn’t always easy. So for the overall design to use black, I say that it’s a bold move in an art piece as it’s one of the easiest things to get wrong and only adding to that monumental task is a bright pink that creates quite the visual contrast and highlights what is needed with accents of white to give a bit more depth to it. While the pink may not be the most accessible, it contrasts enough with the black to make it easy on the eyes.

Moving onto a darker time however, and there's nothing pretty or gorgeous about the "adventure" you're set upon. The Milky Way Prince is, and to quote,:

“A visual novel about an abusive relationship, idealization, and intimacy. Live a summer of dysfunctional love through branching storylines, twists, sudden changes, and a special mechanic where you choose which senses to use with your boyfriend.”

And it doesn't hold it's punches. I'll state for the record that I'm currently in a wonderful and loving relationship based off of communication and mutual respect. That said, I've had friendships in which I've seen the elements and you don't notice it at the time just how toxic it is and how draining it can be. And no one's perfect which is why these choices "work so well" to get their point across. At least, the first time.

For the core of the story, you're not set into the role of a white knight prince on a stallion. You're instead set into the role of a rather emotionally needy young adult who borders on the submissive line. Do you as Nuki give in and give Sune what they want? Or do you try to take the harder route and ask questions that could shatter everything into a thousand pieces? Sune is anything but stable as their personality is crystal glass fragile and somewhat bipolar. In the beginning everything just feels like a honeymooned phase tossing of lovey dovey ness, however, you soon come to realize that the promises of forever were far from being able to last and it’s all your fault for bringing up all of Sune’s faults.

We've all said things that at the time we thought was perfectly acceptable but when looking back you think… oh dear… and the Milky Way Prince suckers you into some of these said oh dear moments. The dialog choices are well done to represent just how hurtful even the most sincere thoughts could be because you don't know what's in the other person's mind at that point in time. Only adding to this is that sometimes your "brain" goes to say one thing but your "mouth" says another. Same with texting and you can just hear the screaming at yourself to stop even if you don't.

To properly showcase this, the Milky Way Prince is a tale done right in this regard. There’s a second half that shows you exactly what those choices did to the other person as everything you did as Nuki, is shown through Sune’s eyes. In a TL/DR scenario, there's nothing healthy on either side as both are emotionally unstable, require validation and while one can come with a savior complex the other thinks about ending it all. It honestly wasn't easy to go through. But, it wasn't easy to go through because of how it was written. Your choices held weight as you had to decide what to say while never knowing if it would blow up in your face or potentially turn into a night of sadistic pleasures and passion.

Now, it worked, the first time. There are multiple endings that can be unlocked depending on your choices however after going back through it becomes clear that some of these “choices” are already destined to fail. There’s no way out. Sune will explode regardless of what you do or do not say continuing to lead you down that path. There are multiple paths, but the ease of navigation through them doesn’t lend itself to being easy. You’ll probably more or less wind up in the same spot the second and third time around because you probably chose something early enough on to set you on that other path. It has replayability, but I also found that because you can’t skip through certain portions, the “novelty” wore off and the emotional impact is gone as you’ve already seen it a few times over in two points of view.


So overall, this will NOT be for everyone. It’s well done, it’s well designed both graphically and audibly, but with the subjects that it touches, it could very much be too much for a person to handle especially if they’ve been in that sort of situation before. To counter this, what the Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star does is both list exactly what it’s about in the description as well as give you a very upfront disclaimer before even hitting the main title screen. While the first time through was impactful, I just wish that the subsequent playthroughs carried the same weight.

Score: 6.75 / 10



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