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  1. #1

    [NSW/PS4] Jinrui No Minnasama He (To All Mankind)

    I think I know why Nippon Ichi stick to 2D games: otherwise you get things like Jinrui No Minnasama He. The game is done in Unity, and while it's not as cheaply made as Bandai Namco normally do with this engine, it's far from being good: polygonal complexity is low (although the game only has to render blocky buildings and one on-screen character), textures are repetitive (albeit at a decent resolution), and at least on the Switch the framerate takes a nosedive when the game needs to render something as complex as an intersection. Strangely enough the framerate is (slightly) better in portable mode, probably due to the lower resolution. The blur effect applied to buildings far away is incredibly strong and out of places most of the times, and you can clearly see the anisotropic filtering kicking in a few virtual meters in front of your character. Your character floats above the ground, and so do a few buildings; other buildings might have textured windows goung through the terrain or mirrored. There's also at least one door with the whole building map applied to it.

    But let's backtrack a bit: Jinrui No Minnasama He is an adventure game set in a dilapidated and deserted Akihabara where five girls have to survive. Or at least that's what I thought, in reality Jinrui is more of a visual novel sprinkled with inventory management and a very basic crafting system.
    The first two hours are very boring: you are introduced to the five girls and have to go around Akihabara from hotspot to hotspot witnessing the girls not realizing that there's no one else here and the place is "a bit" rundown. During these hours interaction is very limited: there are collection spots for various objects, but it's not until after the second hour you get things like crafting, fishing, or cooking.
    Which, by the way, are just simple menus, no activity is associated with a minigame. You want an item and you have everything needed for it? You have that item, no questions asked.

    Girls can only go around Akihabara for 12 hours a day. Simply strolling around the place will not tick the timer down, in-game time only passes when you search for things. After reaching a collection spot you are told how many minutes the search will take and then you can take only one of the items found.
    But what can you find in Akihabara? Well: metal sheets, iron wire, piping, solder packs, scraps of paper, Japanese and American coins, fish bait, fertilizer, assorted nuts, and once you get a fishing rod and traps, fishes, wild chickens, and tsuchinokos. Oh, and the fishing spot is right in the middle of an intersection rather than near the Kandagawa river to the west or the "sea" to the north.
    Yep, Akihabara here is isolated from the rest of the world, and what lies beyond is a bright light blue skybox with no cloud, sun, or horizon have visible. Have I said how basic this game looks?
    Most collection points are from shops, but you can't enter any building, everything is done via a static background image and the interface showing the results. Invisible walls abound, there are a lot instances were you can't go into open spaces or even can't pass between building even if there's clearly enough space and you can see the other road from where you are.
    Your character normally walks, to run you need to hold down the R button. There's absolutely no reason not to run, no stamina or hunger meter, and even within a couple of hours you've seen everything this dilapidated Akihabara has to offer. There's a map but no minimap, and when you bring it up, it doesn't show where you are. The story only progresses when you visit the designated area or perform a specific action, so the game is a giant fetch quest: get there to find the item, go somewhere else for a second item, return to the "hotel" (where the girls sleep...clearly not an hotel) to craft something, go with the item to a third place.
    The game teases special items in the tutorial screens, but their icons are hidden and frankly running face-first into all buildings all day long isn't a particularly enticing activity.
    Aside from the time mechanic there's also a hunger mechanic, and at the start of the game the "hotel" the girls are staying in offers only 360 cup ramen, so you'd think getting food is crucial part of the game...but that is solved pretty easily, you need to eat only once a day, and even a simple plate of chestnuts is enough for 12 hours of rummaging through the ruins of Akihabara.

    What remains is the story, which is brought forward by the usual portraits talking and few illustrations here and there. Voiceworks are unimpressive, but from what I've seen Jinrui doesn't setup a particularly tragic backstory, and all girls are very happy-go-lucky. It might change, but my gripe with this kind of setup is that the "game" portion of the game is absolutely basic and uninteresting, which creates a rift between me and the story: I can't get involved by characters when the only thing I can think off is how boring the task in between cutscenes is.
    This is almost the opposite of 13 Sentinels, or at least its prologue: there the story and characters were interesting, dialogues were kept short and the basic interactions you had to do didn't require to run across a whole city block just to fetch a pair of scissors.
    The concept of surviving in a ruined city while unravelling a mystery has potential, and probably Jinrui started with very lofty ambitions, that were cut short most probably by budgetary reasons and because Nippon Ichi don't have enough expertise in 3D games.

    I will see the game to its end, but I'm not particularly enticed by it.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Oh, uhm, thread resurrection!
    I did complete the game and it's not worth playing. I'm lazy, so I'll just link to a video.


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