Sequel blight is an independent h-game developed on RPG Maker, by the doujin circle Leaf Geometry. It is composed only of hakika, who has developed many games over the years. The game is available on DLSite. You can find a (awesome) fan translation here.
Sequel blight is a huge surprise for me. I had really a lot of fun, the gameplay is solid, the dialogs are funny and the graphics are cute. I would play it even if it was not a h-game! I appreciated this game wholly and this can make me oblivious to its downside. Just to warn the reader, but I’m not complaining when a game manages that.
At first glance, Sequel fantasy setting and RPG Maker graphics can seem very generic. However, nothing is. It contains original monsters, quests, and fun interactions. Sequel tricks you by being one of this “old game” from simpler times while being fresh, modern, and enticing. Sequel main appeal would be its pacing. Similar to Ateliers games, it revolves around a very short gameplay loop. You explore, fight monsters, have some banter/story, maybe get back to the base for gear and (occasionally lewd) interactions and you start it again. This makes the game play itself for long or short playtime. If your party gets wiped, judiciously placed teleporters ensure that it’s never a pain to get back where you died. You can build your character wisely, but it’s easy to respec at any time. Hakika the game dev, had made a lot of games already, learned from it, and refined Sequel.
Gameplay-wise, it’s a classical turn-based JRPG, with HP/MP and TP (for some special skills). For the stats, you have the usual physical/magic attack and defense coupled with Agility/Evasion and critical attacks. The building system is job-based, with a skill tree for each job. There is no restriction for skills or jobs, so as long as you spend enough points, you can mix and match every skill in the game. This gives some occasion to have fun for min-maxers, but also pushes you to find some combos if you are a more casual player. The main game is not very difficult, but there is always an easy mode available if you don’t want to spend too much time. Some bosses require you to adapt your strategy or your equipment, but the whole game is doable without farming or optimizing. Post Games bosses are much more a challenge and might require you to farm or respec some of your characters. Overall, the gameplay was satisfying, making you feel like the decision you make impact the end of the battle.
Presentation-wise, I have nothing to complain about. The maps can feel a bit “Generic RPG Maker Asset” at times, but they’ve always well constructed enough that this feeling disappear. Traveling and exploring in the game is bliss, thanks to good designs, teleporters, and shortcuts. It’s pretty fun opening a shortcut to an old zone since everything is interconnected. Menus are pretty and functional enough. Playing with the controller, I had some trouble performing some actions without the keyboard during menuing, but probably because my binding was not correct. The music of the game is really good. You might not listen to the OST at work later, but I would feel pumped up by certain tunes, and they will definitely stay in my memory. Even the battle theme, which repeats quite often, didn’t get on my nerves. I believe the author is doing his music himself, which is impressive regarding that he’s also doing the art. Again, it’s very subjective, but I enjoyed the art of the game a lot. Spritework is clear and readable. Monster sprites are very recognizable and some designs are pretty good. You will find a lot of enemies recolored though, but it’s normal for this type of game and scope. Characters' designs are pretty cute but can give a very chiby vibe that can put you off. Most characters don’t seem to like clothes that cover a lot of skin, but given it’s an H-game it’s pretty normal. Art is in my opinion well done, even though you can see some shortcuts here and there.
While the story is not the strong point of Sequel, it doesn’t have to be. You wake up as a human male in a sort of post-apocalyptic world, where males have grown gradually instinct. Monsters and Human Women prey on human males giving opportunities for many H-scenes. You’re soon found by Rabi, a cute adventurer girl, that explains to you that you are endangered. You then go back to the main village, and embark on an adventure, meeting other companions along the way and generally having fun. Despite its bleak setting (the world is slowly dying), Sequel is a wholesome game. The girls accompanying you are full of charm and banter constantly. Weirdly, this builds their character and your attachment to them more than lore dumps, long conversations, or origin stories. Who would have known? The plot of Sequel is in the background. You just have adventures with your girls and happen to save the world while doing it. The post-game of Sequel, has much more implications and ties in with the second game, so it’s a bit more serious in that regard, but not by much. The delivery is still very light. I’m not saying that the story is not interesting. With 4 games in the series, and other old game lore tying with it, you can have a blast, trying to connect the dots in between the game and achieve a bigger understanding of what happens in Sequel universe. The game contains a lot of sidequest and secondary characters that expand the world-building and your interest in the game.
To summarize this review, I really had a good moment with Sequel and I was really surprised to enjoy it that much. The game plays like a breeze is fun to play, has cool music and cool girls, and on top of that some quality H-Scenes. I can’t convey enough how after playing games for many years, and becoming cynical about it, it is a pleasure to find something you enjoy and look forward to play. Sequel Blight is a big recommendation for me, and I can’t wait to get into Sequel Awake