Starlight of Aeons is a tragic and emotional visual novel about the unbreakable bond of love between a boy suffering a mysterious and incurable illness and a girl suffering from a chronic but curable illness. The visual novel was developed by Angels Blue, a Chinese game developer best known for their dark horror visual novel titled Notch-The Innocent LunA. The visual novel was published to Steam by DigitalEZ in early December of 2017 and is currently only available in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, and English for languages. Starlight of Aeons on Steam includes eight unlockable Achievements and a set of eight collectible Steam trading cards featuring some of the character art, there are also seven emoticons and nine backgrounds that you can obtain by purchasing them from the Steam Community Market or by crafting the badges. For anyone who greatly enjoys the visual novel’s soundtrack and would like to further support the developer there is a DLC for the OST.
Starlight of Aeons is broken up into three separate but connected stories with the first two being directly connected to one another and the third story being set in a parallel universe but surrounding the same two primary characters. The first story is set within a dreamlike world where the young pink haired girl awakens surrounded by a forest scenery, it is here that she meets a mysterious boy wearing a rabbit mask. The boy somehow seems familiar to her but she is unable to recall who he is or if they have met before, the boy knows that her name is Veronica and seems to have special feelings towards her. Veronica believes at first that she is dead but the boy later known as Sirius informs her that she is not and that they are in a world of dreams. Sirius guides Veronica to a place filled with bright shining stars where she begins to remember the boy soon after removing his mask, they share an incredibly special bond in reality that made it possible for Veronica to enter into the world where Sirius had remained. The second story takes place primarily in reality and tells the story of how Veronica and Sirius met, some of the details of their illnesses, and how it all came down to the two of them meeting in the other world. While the first story has a very enchanting fantasy feel to it the second story presents a more realistic string of events and in a few ways reminded me of the Narcissu visual novel series. The first story depends on the second to clarify the relationship between the two primary characters and make sense of the plot and setting. The visual novel takes a great deal of thought to piece together but is well worth it, it is one of those visual novels where you have to read through every one of the stories to understand it in its entirety. This is one of the most thoughtful and tragic visual novels on Steam since Narcissu: Sumire.
The gameplay is truly nothing remarkable for a visual novel since it is more of a kinetic visual novel than anything else. There are no choices to make and no other endings, the most unique feature of the gameplay is that it is separated into three stories two of which must be unlocked. The visual novel is focused more on storytelling than gameplay and is simply played by clicking through the text, it features only the most basic of visual novel menu options such as save and skip. The only replay value the visual novel has is for the sake of obtaining several of the Steam achievements and obtaining a few extra images in the gallery since there aren’t any changes to the story from playing through again. As far as gameplay goes it is nothing out of the ordinary but doesn’t really need to be, you will want to grab this one for the story not the gameplay.
The graphics are vibrant and absolutely stunning especially when compared to the other titles developed by Angels Blue. The characters look like they are straight out of a high quality anime and the backgrounds look beautifully hand painted, while they are rather different in artistic style they went unexpectedly well together. The animations are not particularly special but they do a good enough job at portraying a character’s emotions, honestly I feel they could have done more as far as the animations go but it is more than made up for by the quality of the graphics as a whole. Despite the voice acting being in Chinese language it is among some of the best non Japanese voice acting I have heard, the vocals to the opening theme were absolutely beautiful for such a cheap visual novel. The sound track as a whole was highly enjoyable though sometimes repetitive, each of the music tracks were emotional and added greatly to the overall quality of the visual novel. When it comes to graphics, voice acting, and the soundtrack I was thoroughly impressed by the quality.
Starlight of Aeons is a great visual novel for those just getting into the genre but has an intricate and thought story that is also perfect for long time fans of the genre. The gameplay is incredibly simple, making it the perfect choice for someone who enjoys a more laid back experience with visual novels. I cannot recommend this visual novel if you are hoping for something cheerful as this visual novel is incredibly sad. The tragic and thought out story is the strongest aspect of the visual novel, the story is further strengthened by the beautiful graphics and emotional soundtrack. This is the perfect addition to your game library if you enjoyed the Narcissu series and Ame no Marginal, it is easily one of the best visual novels in its price range.
PROS (+): Vibrant and Colorful Graphics, Tragic and Captivating Story, Great Voice Acting, Emotional Soundtrack.
CONS (-): Localization Issues, More Background Needed for Side Characters, The .exe File Gives a False Positive for a Virus.
SCORE - 8.5/10
This review is based on a purchased digital copy of Starlight of Aeons on Steam.