fault - StP - LIGHTKRAVTE Review

by developer ALICE IN DISSONANCE and publisher Phoenixx Inc.PC (Steam) review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time:  5 minutes.

fault-stp-Lightkravte is a tale of a young boy struggling to make his way in the world. A part of the "fault" series, but working as a stand-alone title, Lightkravte will delve into a story of what it means to chase after your dreams.

Lightkravte gives a look at the boy Khaji Oberg, the son of a fruit farmer in a kingdom where peace along the border is tentative, and refugees are being taken in. During this time, Khaji is more concerned about his future. Instead of looking to take over his father's fruit farm, he wants to be something different: a painter. The quality of his work, however, may leave a bit to be desired. In this Visual Novel, we get to see Khaji's story, and how he hopes to overcome the gap in talent in order to become a painter.

Lightkravte is, 100%, the definition of Visual Novel. What I mean is that there are no choices, no gimmicks, it's 100% text with pictures. No voiceover, either. Needless to say, that makes this more of a "book review" than a game review, really, but hey, it is what it is. Lightkravte takes about, maybe 5 hours or so to get through, reading speed pending, and has some dynamic 2D character models, a few sort of action like scenes, but will largely be characters talking to each other, or Khaji monologuing. On an interesting side note, I have not actually played any of the other fault titles, but Lightkravte has made me want to, although maybe not in the sense you're expecting.

So all in all, without giving away spoilers, the story is…fairly entertaining, for the most part. Most of the characters are pretty interesting, and have a decently fleshed out character personality and backstory, some being more enlightening than others, but they're all there. Unfortunately for me, Khaji himself is one of the two types of characters I distinctly loathe. It isn't until probably the last 5 minutes or so of Lightkravte until his character actually evolved to a point I was content with, although perhaps you may enjoy it a little more. Incidentally, my favourite character was Ritona, who doesn't really get a whole lot of screen time until the end. I didn't know this until after finishing Lightkravte, but apparently she is a main character for the rest of the fault series, and this is more of a spin-off prequel type deal. Go figure.

In terms of presentation, I have to say it is rather well done. The backgrounds are pretty and have a lot of depth, the character designs are all pretty neat, and the environments on display are nice to view. The soundtrack does a very good job of being unobtrusive yet matching and emphasizing the tone at the right time, and the character expressions, while a little corny or over emotive at times, do a good job at expressing how the character is feeling. The only real issue I had with Lightkravte is the second time I booted it up, it switched to Japanese language and I had to mess around trying to find the language settings. Annoying, but nothing happened mid…read? Playthrough? that caused any sort of issue.

You know, I do need to hand it to the developer, ALICE IN DISSONANCE, because they've managed to very artistically, and successfully, set up a story that's more or less about "just some guy". No, seriously, despite there being a huge political drama, conflict, and magical background, a lot of it is almost irrelevant to Khaji, as he just wants to focus on his goal of being a painter, often neglecting those around him to do so. There's a wonderful world full of plenty of backstory and tidbits, most of which may be found in an Encyclopedia that is available both from the menu, and when a new world pops up you can click on it to explore the meaning and context. But that conflict and political drama? Pretty much entirely unused with Khaji, that's for the other characters that appear in the other titles in the series. Khaji is, by and large, just some random guy trying to get his life together. It's both endearing and frustrating at the same time.

The fantasy elements are integrated really well too, where people will practice different forms of manakravte, the act of using what is essentially magic to impose their will on the world. This isn't full fantasy either, as the world still has to follow the laws of physics, there is just an extra element added that can interact with the world. It's really neat, and I always enjoy seeing magic and technology integrated well. One of the only complaints I have is that it seems like 90% of the cast is some sort of genius savant in some way or another, which is a little weird, but hard to tell really, because Khaji himself could just be a bit more of a dolt than I thought.

Oddly enough, despite my extreme dislike for the main character, I kept coming back for more, which is a great point towards ALICE IN DISSONANCE for their wonderful storytelling. The visuals are really impressive, character personalities are unique and actually realistic, and despite being a surprisingly fantasy reflection of real world issues, still manages to draw you in, despite how close to home some of the concepts may hit.

fault-StP-Lightkravte has done a really good job of making me want to pick up the entire rest of the series, and maybe you should too.

Score: 8.5 / 10



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