FINALLY!!! Do you have any idea how often I’ve checked your blog hoping to find a demo there?
First of all, thank you. And thanks for always providing such long demos so one can really get a feel for the story.
Here’s what I think about it.
[spoiler] I had some problems with the premade characters, because the premades don’t fit my own ronin. My favored skills were chivalrous, charming, calculated, finesse, protective, and the options don’t allow for that combination. This hindered immersion somewhat, but I guess it’s fine for a demo. As with the first book I had hoped to use the demo for a few playthroughs to determine which choices raise which stat, but that doesn’t really work when my demo-ronin responds in a way my mc wouldn’t.
My feelings towards Junko are… complex.
I don’t like her. In fact, I absolutely despise her (because everyone who points a blade at Masami will earn my eternal wrath), but I love the idea of my chivalrous, protective ronin still having feelings for her. That adds an interesting dynamic to the romance. I hope I can take this as a sign that you plan to implement romance not as merely a fun subplot, but actually take the time to flesh things out.
And it’s awesome that Junko and Masami are jealous of each other. I have half a mind to pursue Toshie just because it will make both angry with me.
Although I must admit I was hoping for more introspection after Junko was introduced. I think it’s somewhat surprising that the mc shakes off his meeting without his former lover so quickly without even trying to analyze his feelings for her.
I’m also still holding out hope for some flashbacks - how did my ronin meet Masami, and why did my ronin ever fall in love with Junko? That last part would be especially great to see, because as of now I only care about her as an enemy. She is obviously carzy now, but I would also like to see what she was like before… whatever happened that caused their relationship to end.
The Shogi tournament was definitely something I did not see coming. I’ve enjoyed it so far, even though I know only slightly more about the game than my ronin. But if there will be more matches of similar length they could become somewhat dragging - it was a very long scene, after all. The Shogi match took about as long as the confrontation with Junko, and I was much more invested in the latter. [/spoiler]
That is all that comes to mind right now. I might add more later when I have had some more time to think about the demo.