Total Eclipse Worth It 1

After a successful KickStarter, the Muv-Luv visual novels have been getting a steady stream of English releases. The franchise has changed publishers in the West, but the visual novel version of one of the franchise’s entries is now available on PC. If you’re an anime fan, the name probably rings a bell. Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse had an anime air in 2012. It was based off of the first half of the light novel series. This visual novel, originally released in 2013, is also an adaptation of said light novel. But the question stands: is Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse worth it, or will this visual novel mech you crazy?

If you’re not already familiar with the series, Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse needs a bit of an introduction. While it’s perfectly enjoyable without reading its predecessors, you might be a bit lost for a couple hours early on. Okay, and for the entire time after, depending. This VN is a spinoff to Muv-Luv Alternative, but it takes place simultaneously and stars an entirely different cast of characters. The gist is that the Earth was invaded by a species known as BETA decades prior. The majority of the human population has been decimated, but with humanity’s combined battle strength, the alien menace is fought back.

 

The linchpin of this strength are the Tactical Surface Fighters (TSFs), which are a kind of mech. One thing that sets this franchise apart is just how dedicated it is to the facets of its backstory, militaries, and, yes, mechs. Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse is mostly from the perspective of a disgraced American soldier, Yuuya Bridges. He’s been sent to the UN’s Yukon Base so the US can collaborate with Japan on a TSF program. Yuuya is an ace test pilot who ends up butting heads with the VN’s female lead, Yui Takamura. The Yukon Base is on American soil, but it’s right by Soviet Union territory, so a duo of Russian twin pilots also figure heavily in the plot.

Total Eclipse Worth It 2

The what and the huh?

Complex enough for you? If you’re into mecha and terminology heavy visual novels, Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse is probably right up your alley. As a visual novel, it certainly has the most involved visual presentation I’ve seen in the medium. Combat sequences feature a mix of CG and static 2D art that rapidly changes and moves depending on what’s happening in the plot. I never thought a visual novel could be this kinetic. Character models all have mouth flaps, plus they all blink. Dialogue is fully voiced, save for Yuuya. He does talk, his lines just don’t have voice acting.

The voice cast has some greats in it, such as Sugita Tomokazu, Nakahara Mai, Noto Mamiko, and Hikasa Youko, making it a pleasure to listen to. As for the translation, it’s uniformly excellent. I didn’t notice any typos, and the text doesn’t seem to take many liberties with the original Japanese script. Though the language can be, uh, colorful. Despite not having read earlier visual novels, I quite like this one, although I’m sure I’d like it a lot more if I had read those. I’m considering doing so because of this, honestly. It is worth mentioning that Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse‘s short prequel VN is not included in this translation. The first two episodes of the anime cover the same content, so you could just watch those. Then again, fans have not responded positively to the anime.Total Eclipse Worth It 3

One issue I did have with Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse came when setting the visual novel to fullscreen. It automatically sets the resolution to my monitor’s maximum and not what I have my desktop set to, which is a bit annoying. However, it works windowed, regardless. If you’re a returning enjoyer, you’ll no doubt want to partake in this. Newbies like me, however, should probably start elsewhere and work their way to it, lest they be drowned in the deluge of terminology.

Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.

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