Details of the latest title in Overflow’s at times overly ambitious interactive ero-anime/eroge School Days series have emerged; the sequel is titled “Cross Days”, and is due in January.
There look to be some interesting developments, so if Overflow manage to get things right this time, they may be onto a winner. There are, however, some slightly ominous signs as well…
The game’s story is said to follow in the same setting as the previous School and Summer Days, which the developers stress is a difficult undertaking where multi-linear branching storylines are involved. The game also takes place contemporaneously with prior titles, so further difficulties of continuity arise, especially if we consider the “bad end” severity the series is notorious for.
The protagonist is said to be reworked, and will be much more capable than previously, with the result that some new story directions become possible, and the narrative is apparently more morally ambiguous, without a strong antagonist or otherwise.
It looks as though Cross Days is to be a much more nuanced (or perhaps simply confused or ambiguous) title than previous ones.
One element remains a constant – the tasteless and jarring yandere bad ends (I presume these now have far too much of a following to get rid of) will still be present, so expect some ludicrous murder-suicides to appear out of nowhere from time to time.
On the technological front, the (partial) introduction of 3D animation is promised. It’s far from clear what this will entail (presumably pre-rendered CG), and whether Overflow are up to the task.
In a series where some titles remained barely playable even after gigabytes of patches and countless months, even years, of waiting, I think we can be forgiven for having misgivings about what would otherwise be a very welcome and innovative title (at least, the original School Days was innovative), in the pathetically stagnant genre of visual novels.
Hopefully, they have learnt from past mistakes and can get the series firmly on track for even greater successes, although I would not care to wager on the matter.
The good source is the December issue of Tech Gian.