Higurashi Daybreak

Creator: Twilight Frontier
(Home Page)
Genre: Action / Fighting

A little while back, I discussed Melty Blood, and how it was an early example of doujin circles working together (in this case software creator French Bread, and manga circle Type-Moon) to create a game that was not only popular with doujin fans, but also found a wider level of appeal among the general public. Today I want to discuss another game to do this: Higurashi Daybreak. The game was a runaway hit in Japan as more and more people discovered it, leading to major magazines and web sites starting to discuss it. Higarashi Daybreak was a result of a collaborative effort between Twilight Frontier, and 07th Expansion, the creators of the visual soft manga on which this game is based. Moreover, the game proved popular enough for Alchemist to eventually come along and port the game to the PSP, PS2, and DS.

Based on the soft sound novel Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the game's story revolves around one of the series main characters (Rika Furude) stumbling across a pair of magatama (a type of bead originally from Japan's ancient past). This pair in particular possesses magical properties. One is red, and the other is white, and if two people possess them, they'll fall hopelessly in love. As such, a competition erupts in Higurashi as to who will get to have them.

Action plays out in a bit of a hybridized action / fighting game fashion where players can either fight up close, and personal for some melee combat, or fight from a distance with ranged weapons. I actually like the ranged battles more for no other reason than to watch the cute characters blasting each other with what are sometimes some rather oversized weaponry, all the while thinking what sensationalist news media types would say if they saw such a game released over here. It's a fun, fluid fighting system made all the more exciting by the fact that it is all done in a 2 vs 2 style that you can play with friends, or with computer controlled players. There are about a dozen characters to choose from in Higurashi Daybreak, and then it's up to players how they want to combine them for fights.

Visually the game goes for a cel shaded look, and it's actually the first time 07th Expansion took a stab at making a 3D game...and a very good first attempt it is. The settings are reasonably simple, with straightforward anime-inspired character designs, but it works.

Ultimately, though, it's the action that makes Higurashi Daybreak work, and it's made all the better by its multiplayer options. It's just an all-around fun game.

2 Responses to "Higurashi Daybreak"

  1. gravatar Genius says:

    Link for download please!

  2. You didn't mention this, but there's a partial fan translation ( http://rogerpepitone.blogspot.com/ )

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