Official Website: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1033420/9nineEpisode_2/
9-nine-:Episode 2 Trailer
Who it Caters to
Publisher Sekai Project has worked on several big visual novels, but their most recent series 9-nine- has intrigued us greatly. Set to be five different episodes with no need to play previous episodes—as all episodes are self-contained stories set in the same world—we have to wonder if such a task could be accomplished. That’s why we went into episode 2 of 9-nine with worries but also glee. Could developer PALETTE perform such a huge task? We find out in our full review of 9-nine-:Episode 2 for the PC! Just scroll on down to read more and find out if you should be playing this supernatural themed VN!
What to Expect
9-nine-:Episode 2 has players controlling a young man named Kakeru who has ended up being thrown into a world straight out of fantasy. Numerous townsfolk around him have gained superpowers due to artifacts they gained and this causes some of them to use their powers in cruel ways. Alongside friends who also possess powers, Kakeru must save those around him by piecing together what is going on and how he can stop a supernatural war from occurring. Make various choices and see how Kakeru’s fate will play out in 9-nine-:Episode 2! Just be ready for the possibility that missed choices could lead to lives being lost…
A rather strange incident occurred to those within a small town called Shiromitsugawa. After an earthquake strikes the town, multiple artifacts containing mysterious supernatural powers spilled out. Various people then gained odd powers leading to chaos ensuing. Kakeru Niimi—an artifact user without knowing his power yet—is aware of the incident happening around him and joins forces with Miyako Kujo as they try to stop strange murders/accidents happening around town. In this second episode, Kakeru and his sister—Sora Niimi—will find their bonds tested as they hunt down more artifact users and try to stop an evil organization from rising up. A supernatural battle is about to begin once more in 9-nine-:Episode 2!
As with most visual novels, 9-nine-:Episode 2 doesn’t do much to break the mold we’ve seen hundreds of times before. Players will read through Kakeru’s journey to help stop supernatural horrors from unfolding around him. Occasionally, you’ll be forced to make choices—only a handful of them mind you—that dictate what happens to Kakeru and his world. One little extra concept not seen too often in VNs is a button that allows you to skip between choices made to see how things play out differently. It might be a small little detail, but it’s a nice touch. Ultimately though, if you expect huge amounts of gameplay from 9-nine-:Episode 2, then you’ve probably not played a VN before or are expecting too much from PALETTE, but that’s understandable. Just note that while 9-nine-:Episode 2 might not break the usual concepts of most visual novels, it does do some interesting things that make the overall experience worth investing time and energy in.
From out of the gate, 9-nine-:Episode 2’s biggest strength comes from its cast of characters. Many of the men and women of 9-nine-:Episode 2 might come across as anime inspired to a T, but that doesn’t stop them from being oddly unique and thought provoking. Kakeru might seem cold at times and even crass, but often, he acts human trying to help those around him from facing the unknown threat of artifacts blooming all around him. Sora might seem annoying with her cocky attitude and sister-like persona, but it makes her character more real and as she settles in as an artifact user she realizes things aren’t to be taken lightly. Even the villains that appear in 9-nine-:Episode 2 have strong personalities that keep you interested and wondering what they will do next to escape from being found out. 9-nine-:Episode 2 isn’t the most complex supernatural VN we’ve played, but with its cast, you can’t help but want to follow these characters through their tale. Plus, those who love sister-related anime/visual novels might find some interesting paths to choose in this second episode…
Speaking of tale, 9-nine-:Episode 2’s story is also something we enjoyed. While it’s a short ride—about 3-4 hours depending on your reading speed—the story has some rather cool moments. To avoid spoilers, we can only say that Kakeru has it rough trying to juggle saving the town and getting involved with some lovely ladies. You don’t need to play episode 1 to know the whole plot of 9-nine-:Episode 2—which we mentioned above—but in our minds, you miss out on some earlier back stories and beginning plot pieces. 9-nine-:Episode 2 expects some players to enter from this area as a starting point, but if you want the full experience and see the various situations in full, we recommend buying and playing 9-nine-:Episode 1. Still, the various endings and main narrative in 9-nine-:Episode 2 is solid and quite worth the time we put into it.
Lastly, let’s not forget our favorite part about 9-nine-:Episode 2…the art/OST. Not only does 9-nine-:Episode 2 look like an anime—seriously this screams anime—but its OST is solid with some really good tunes. The voice acting also mixes in quite well with strong vocal performances that give each character depth. We loved how characters had almost manga-like images pop up around them when angry or happy it adds a nice layer to the stills you’re going to see multiple times while playing 9-nine-:Episode 2.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
9-nine-:Episode 2 has a lot of depth for a rather short visual novel and we loved the supernatural themes and anime inspired concepts. While playing the first episode will help understand the world a bit better 9-nine-:Episode 2 can indeed be played without knowledge of the first and that makes the experience quite intriguing. 9-nine-:Episode 2e 2 can be a bit lacking in choices, but with several endings and some truly engaging narrative that screams a third episode is needed, we forgive the short experience. Overall, 9-nine-:Episode 2 is a solid VN and we could honestly see this game becoming an anime in the near future. If you loved episode one then you need to buy episode two of 9-Nine-!
Solid CG images with some colorful characters that show a lot of emotion despite being stills.
Great story with plenty of twists and turns.
Wonderful soundtrack and voice acting that makes the game flow quite nicely.
Multiple endings for a nice amount of replay value.
Having the ability to skip between choices after making them is a nice little touch.
Feels a bit short for the high price tag.
While you don’t need to play the previous game to understand episode 2, it still helps a bit to fill in some plot points
Honey's Final Verdict:
Visual novels have it rough in the current era. Constantly indie developers need to push through the trope heavy genre and that can be quite tough. 9-nine-:Episode 2 isn’t perfect, but it does what a visual novel needs to do, be interesting and keep you engaged from start to finish. Did you like the previous 9-Nine- and are now excited to play episode 2? Let us know in the comments below as we love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to keep stuck to our amazing hive for even more game reviews done by us here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!