So my expectations were low, don't get me wrong, but this was and is one of those games that is so fucking... Japanese I had to have it.
I popped in the game and to my surprise I understood a lot more than I thought I would, most of the menu's are in English, the swap of the circle button for the X did throw me off just a tad, but like with Catherine I got used to it quick. I took to the tutorial first, the concept is very simple. Survive. You have a Health gauge, a Hungry gauge and your stamina meter. Being Hungry is your main threat, it run's out rather quickly, but thankfully drinking water does help lessen that other than just meat, but your going to be hunting, and your going to be doing a lot of it if your a carnivore. For those who'd rather play as a deer or other herbies and the like, you'll be going after certain grasses and water sources.
Can you hunt as a Herb?
Unlike with a carnivore the Herb's use hunt's to take out the carnivores or other herb's that will eat the grasses and flowers your after. As a Deer I was attacked by a group of rabbit's for donkey kicking one of it's brethren cause I wanted that group of plants to eat or I would die. It's a dog eat dog world and I wasn't planning to share. With the Herbs you don't get points for hunting, you get points for markers you find (think of establishing territory) and the plants you eat which goes into a point system that 'level's up your rank.
The better your rank, the stronger you can become, and the better the mates you can get and the more babies you'll have and if you manage to live and hunt and survive long enough with them to grow up, they become your extra lives.
The thing is though, to get a mate you need to clear the area so to speak of other animals that hold the territory as their own, once for me it was a family of beagles, then Hyena, then some toy terrier's and cats. If you don't get rid of them, your mate won't be escorted to the nesting area to breed.
Novice: (not good mates, no stat bonus/crap bonus not worth trying to breed.)
Veteran: (decent mates, but the stat bonus are better and more babies)
Boss: (fantastic mates and boosts for Heath and strength and speed and more babies)
Mates are an intricate part of this game, not just because the babies you make can become your extra lives. Why?
Because your animals do get old and they can die. (did not find that out until last night, I lived 20 years and keeled over.) During Survival you could say the years tick by like minutes, each minute a year goes by and you'll get points for how long you manage to live and how well you can hunt and find food. The longest I managed to live was 30 minutes with 3 generations on my belt.
It sounds a little harsh, but the game itself hides presents, sometimes inside the animals you kill, be it a bottle of water or even a revive pill (so far very rare) which come in very handy in a time where water is scarce or your too far out exploring to find food. Let alone the hazards of the animal life itself (I came back to my territory to find a tiger family had invaded. Not good for a family of Pomeranian's.) or the weather changes.
Yes, from extreme heat that makes the water dry up, to torrential rain or dark night, even a poison gas spilling out and slowly killing you and the other animals around you. (the gas is the worst, the prompt will warn you when it's about to happen) There was a point where the gas came through and I was low on health and was desperately hungry and found a dead animal, I jumped at it to eat but it only poisoned me further. Not worth it.
There is plenty to unlock and even a store to spend the points you make in survival on to make sure you last a lot longer the next time. (i haven't figured out how to work that just yet.) But there is plenty of animals to unlock and choose from, some just DLC and others you can earn (even a fucking Rapter and a Wooly-mammoth.. i kid you not) Right now I am using the Pom and a Japanese Deer. I find it EXTREMELY satisfying killing deer and large wolves with a Pom. (I plan to move up and strike my revenge against tigers next.)
There is a story mode but from what I can tell you need to unlock it during survival, which isn't exactly a con for me, it's just more incentive to get better at it.
This little gem IS coming over which i did not think it would, but I don't regret buying it.
I was going to post what the scoring system kinda looks like, but GB won't let me do it, so I'll just link from my twitter.Thats my second best score, the best one was 30K which I neglected to take a picture of :C
Anyway, this is my hands on, as I figure things out I might add more to the blog.