Well, here we are. Eight months after The House In Fata Morgana was released, and six months after our first diary entry “A Game Better Than Breath of the Wild”, it’s finally time to really, finally overview This.
Fata Morgana is the subject of bewilderment, tantalizing riddles and frequent ridicule, all because her Metacritic score (which was perfect 100 and now wretched 97) promoted it to describe it as “one of the best games of all time“on Switch. This puts it alongside classics like the aforementioned Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Hades. PC Gamer has included it in their latest.”Top 100 PC Games“in September. Fans of visual novels of course already knew this – it’s been well researched for good reason – but anyone outside the genre was left wondering how good visual anime novels are. actually be, and note that Fata Morgana’s high score is based on just nine reviews from critics, as opposed to the dozens of titles mentioned above. There must be a catch, right?
After 40+ hours of play, we can safely say that The House In Fata Morgana is, after all, quite legitimately as fantastic as they say … albeit with a few caveats.
If you’re a fan of visual novels, you probably already know these caveats. Fata Morgana’s Dreams of the Revenants edition – about 40 hours for the base game, plus 15 hours for the Requiem for Innocence prequel DLC, plus 8 hours for the Reincarnation sequel DLC – requires lot your time, especially since the DLCs are unlocked sequentially.
Much of this time is spent waiting. Waiting for everything to make sense, waiting for the story to develop, waiting for certain parts to complete. The start, in particular, is slow and boring, with a bunch of dissimilar characters getting stuck with annoying personality traits. People will constantly find themselves in painful situations due to inaction or poor decision making at the beginning, and this can be frustrating.
A darker caveat is that Fata Morgana can be incredibly, potentially annoyingly dark. The story is about abuse, bigotry, sexism, torture and basically any kind of abuse you can think of. This gloomy… But it doesn’t sound like torture porn like something like Danganronpa, because Fata Morgana doesn’t revel in his suffering; Fata Morgana puts you firmly in the place of suffering. But this is something addictive furious…
One final caveat: this may not be a “game” for many people. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to this review, but if you’re not into mostly static and laid-back visual novels, then it definitely won’t convince you of their value – just like blue cheese. it’s fantastic, but whoever hates dairy will never enjoy it. This does not make blue cheese less tasty for those who love it.
But with the slips of the tongue and cheese metaphors removed, it’s time to talk about everything that makes Fata Morgana worthy of brilliant praise and the title of “one of the greatest visual novels of all time.”
The story of Home in Fata Morgana is difficult to describe without spoiling it, but it starts with the house, the maid and you, the protagonist, who cannot remember who they are, where they are and why they are here. There are also dozens of supporting characters, from the central mystery of the White Haired Girl’s personality to the men and women in her life who support and use her. Over the next few hours, the story slowly unfolds as The Handmaiden begins to explain things to you – with an emphasis on the slow and the workarounds – and you will eventually be able to fill some of those gaps in your memory. But you might regret it.
And yes, the first few hours are slow, but the results are worth it. It requires investment from the start, and most of that investment is simply believing that it will get better, but not knowing how… After a few twists and turns – at least one of which is incredibly organic and gives you a chill down your spine – momentum begins to build, turning the story from tedious things in a spiral into gripping, gripping grief.
It’s incredible how fantastically well written and well translated the game is, given the sheer amount of words it contains. Smaller script or poor localization can make the story overwhelmed or extremely pathetic, but Fata Morgan’s story, even in its slow moments, even in its slightly silly dramatic moments, always manages to keep you hooked. By the time you’ve worked for about ten hours, you won’t be able to tear yourself away.
What is most remarkable about Fata Morgana, however, is the use of new storytelling techniques that we don’t have to screw up in order to break the rules a little. Unreliable storytellers and unreliable memories abound, and it can even be a little difficult to trace exactly what happens at certain points, but for a story that’s pretty much Only narrated through images, music and text, it’s amazing how much he can play with these instruments to surprise you.
At times, Fata Morgana will be like therapy. You will be asked to explore situations that seemed black and white from all angles, until each story seems like nothing more than a dark, Shakespearean tragedy. But ultimately the game is not about sadness, but about getting over what happened to you through no fault of yours, and then using those painful experiences to form your own feelings of empathy and become a better person for people. Quite frankly, this is a lesson most people could learn from learning.
Listen, there’s a lot of good in there and bad in this review, and you might be wondering how we came to such a brilliant conclusion with a game that has flaws … but Fata Morgana is truly a rough diamond. You just have to be ready to open the diamond, that’s all. Not everyone has the time or patience to stick with it, and that’s perfectly fine. But if you have 40+ hours to savor such a good story – even if it might have to do with a faster pace at points – you hopefully want to ignore the pain points to appreciate just how gorgeous and unwaveringly human this one is. the game.
A house in Fata Morgana lasts more than 40 hours, and in those 40 hours you may be there are about three decisions to be made. This is a visual novel in the strictest sense of the word, and you should be prepared for it. But with a fantastic, original, slow story of love, loss, pain, forgiveness and recovery, this is one of the best visual novels – and your patience will pay off in the end.