[VN] Re:LieF

re-lief

An interesting idea ran into the ground by a bunch of inexperienced writers.

Release: 2016 (RASK)
Writers:  Earu, Hirano Hira, Tobe Akira
Japanese difficulty: Medium
English: Not Available
Ratings: VNDB (7.48); EGS (8.01)

relief

Re:Lief is so far the biggest disappointment I’ve read from the better rated games of 2016. It has an interesting theme that mixes inability to fit in with the modern society and a few ideas about artificial intelligence, but discussing that in any detail would pretty much spoil the sole thing it has going for it.

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Unfortunately, despite a fairly interesting premise and absolutely stunning artwork Re:Lief comes off as aimless and incredibly boring. Pretty much the entire thing up until the “true” route is a never-ending string of slice of life scenes with the blandest humor ever interspersed with such clumsy hints to some sort of a mystery that rather than catching your interest they only serve to confuse and make you question the coherency of the writing.

Basically, all of the routes until the true one are for the most part aimless and ultimately unsatisfying (they don’t even have proper endings). Not to mention some of the lousiest romance I’d ever witnessed in a VN — the guys have zero chemistry and just randomly hook up because the plot says so.

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But what about the true route, then? Does it make the trip worth it? No. Not in the slightest. It shares all of the same problems as the previous routes, actually managing to be even worse at romance than the rest, while the revelations it offers are either underwhelming or barely make sense and fall flat completely.

By the end of the route I was just praying for it to end faster as despite the actually somewhat interesting idea, everything — from the execution to characters — fails to trigger any sort of emotional response and the whole thing is just a pain to get through.

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Although Re:Lief is not the worst visual novel I have ever read and it has a couple of ups here and there, I just simply can’t imagine whom I could possibly recommend it to. Even with Yuzusoft games I comprehend that there is an audience for mindless moe and then they also offer some pretty good porn, but with Re:Lief… whatever it could have possibly have had going for it is ran into the ground by the bad writing.

Positive: Negative:
Fantastic artwork Prose and dialogue are so bland the whole thing is painful to read
An interesting premise / idea Abysmally small font that can turn you blind
 Gorgeous h-scenes Some characters are not fleshed out properly
The protagonist doesn’t even have a consistent personality
Awkward, forced romance that falls flat completely
Mystery elements are so poorly foreshadowed they rather come off like plot holes
Plot keeps going in circles until it ends in the most painfully predictable and underwhelming way possible
Daily life scenes are painfully bland and boring
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6 thoughts on “[VN] Re:LieF

  1. Yeesh, that score. :O Well, seeing as the majority of the staff (even some VAs) were a bunch of first-timers, this is to be expected. I got into it for the art and I guess will just admire the CGs rather than playing it.

    Btw, without any deep knowledge of the story itself, I found the premise on the outside to be quite similar to the manga/anime ReLIFE (even the name bears a striking similarity to it). Since I absolutely loved ReLIFE, I thought I would give this a try at the time. Guess it’s back to admiring the CGs.

    Would you recommend this as a guilty pleasure or not bother with it at all?

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    1. I got it for the art as well, but I can’t even recommend it as a guilty pleasure because I can’t imagine what could be enjoyed there, guiltily or not, except for its CG gallery (which is probably upped at ex-hentai anyway).

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    1. Yeah, but unlike Yuzusoft they don’t really utilize them… they feel kind of out of place as far as the plot is concerned and are just a few minutes long (not to mention more than half of them are extras unlocked in the menu).

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  2. >Even with Yuzusoft games I comprehend that there is an audience for mindless moe

    Didn’t Re:LieF sell extremely well though? I guess there’s an audience for it after all.

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    1. It got relatively good ratings on egs too which is a mystery I can’t wrap my head around. In most popular games I don’t like I at least understand what caught the attention of others but didn’t work for me, but here I’m just baffled.

      It’s as though JP erogamers will like anything if you base your themes around “it’s okay to be a loser” even if it doesn’t make sense.

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