Pyrite Heart: A Review
Released via PC gaming giants Steam on the 26th September 2014 and made in collaboration by Winged Cloud and Sekai Project, ‘Pyrite Heart’ is a visual novel game which involves the player making decisions which could sway the plot of the story and thus the overall ending.
The general plot of the story is quite simple: The main character is Princess Ahri Remono. She is a strong-willed and fiery girl who also happens to be highly competitive. In this game, a sibling squabble with her brother, Prince Kichiro, gets a little too out of hand and in her hot-headedness, the princess accepts a challenge to survive on her own outside of the palace walls for a week. Simple, right? Not for someone who is used to the life of royal luxuries. To add to matters, on her very first day in a school outside of the palace that Princess Ahri meets Ryuu, the class president. Immediately, she sees him as a rival and takes it upon herself to challenge and win against him in every way – not caring about how she is seen by others around her.
Having only ever played one similar kind of game before – which was ‘Game of Thrones – A Telltale Game Series’ – I was not really sure what to expect of ‘Pyrite Heart’. The trailer on Steam – and possibly game having a promotional sale – certainly enticed me to purchase it, and I felt I wanted to try something new. The graphics of the game are simple and pleasant; backgrounds are modest and not too distracting, giving the main focus to the characters themselves. Said characters, whilst not animated, do change their poses and expressions as the story progresses and emotions change.
Being a visual novel, one should expect to have to read a fair bit of text – however, I felt that the balance was just right with ‘Pyrite Heart’: There was enough text to maintain a good storyline but not too much script that it became overwhelming. At least, not for the majority of the game.
The soundtrack to ‘Pyrite Heart’ is sadly not much to write home about. It’s simple and for the most part maintains a sort of cute, anime-esque feel – unless any heated / hot-headed moments occur in the game; in which the soundtrack suddenly changes so a more rock-like feel. Personally, there was no part of the score that I felt was catchy enough that it would have the danger of getting stuck in my head.
On to the decision-making aspect of the game. Having heard so much about visual novels, I expected there would be a whirlwind of decision-making to do. Unfortunately, this was not the case for ‘Pyrite Heart’. In fact, I was rather disappointed by the lack of options available throughout this game, especially considering that the sum of all decision-making opportunities for the player could be counted on one hand. The ratio of story text to choices that could be made was very unbalanced.
Overall, I was quite glad that I had purchased this game during a promotional sales period. Personally, the most positive part of this game was the prettiness of the character illustrations, along with the ability to save the game whenever I wanted to. There seemed to be a lack of character-building in the plotline and the game really could have made more effort on this, especially when taking into consideration the length of the game itself: Personally, I felt my initial play-through of this game was done at a somewhat average pace and I still finished the game in just over 40 minutes of play-time. If you like short and simple visual novels to play, then ‘Pyrite Heart’ is for you, otherwise you may have to look elsewhere.
‘Pyrite Heart’ is currently available to purchase via Steam on PC.
All screenshots and images taken from my personal play-through of ‘Pyrite Heart’, © Winged Cloud, Sekai Project.