New Pokémon Snap is the perfect blend of nostalgic and modern, accommodating for the fact that Pokémon is so much more now than what it was over 20 years ago. Just as the series has developed a life all its own, New Pokémon Snap gives the Pokémon, region, and cast the polish they need to truly shine. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and New Pokémon Snap proves it, as it captures everything there is to love about Pokémon into one package.
All the pieces of Olympia Soirée work together seamlessly like the colors of a rainbow naturally drawing together. Just as we all comprise multiple roles, some given to us by family or tradition and others that we seek out ourselves, Olympia Soirée takes its roles of comfortingly traditional and refreshingly modern otome with pride and executes them with great skill. The welcome mixture of seeking out a soulmate and working towards societal change bestows great merit on the game’s storytelling as a whole: just like how looking for love in real life doesn’t have to get in the way of your other goals, an emphasis on romance doesn’t have to get in the way of an interesting story. Olympia Soirée is proof positive that an emphasis on romance, or that being “a game for the female audience,” should never by itself be used as a point of contention against a game.
For visual novel fans, these shortcomings are a small price to pay for such a stunningly polished product, but they still stick out like a sore thumb amidst the rest of the jaw-dropping surroundings. Mystery fans and visual novel fans alike would be remiss not to check out this brilliant revival of a classic title, but they must be prepared with an extra set of thinking caps that otherwise shouldn’t be necessary.
It feels like a bit of a shame that this is the case, because The Girl Who Stands Behind‘s visuals and full voice acting act as firm yet soft cushioning that can very well welcome onlookers and entice them to take those first steps into the genre. Nevertheless, It’s a solid enough game that makes it worth a try for those interested in the subject matter—remember to check out The Missing Heir first—but be prepared for a few rocky patches on the way up.
But there’s a moment just as the wave breaks, as it all comes crashing down, where the sea spray lingers in the air and a rainbow appears against the blue sky. From where you stand, you only see its upper arc, but there’s comfort in knowing it’s a complete circle somewhere, the rest of Bustafellows that had built up to this moment. And it’s fleeting, perhaps even quickly forgotten, but it’s beautiful.