Time has finally come for me to write my thoughts about this wonderful game from the creator of Higurashi. I can say that I have no regret spending my weekend in front of my comp (and occasionally flipping through my kanji dictionary).
Unlike Higurashi, Umineko feels more like a typical crime stories where the main casts are trapped somewhere and murder takes place. There are jokes here and there but I think the story is more serious than Higurashi. The story takes place in a private island called Rokkenjima. The island is owned by the wealthy Ushiromiya family. On October 4 1986, the head of the family, Kinzo, was dying and the whole family gathered in Rokkenjima to discuss how his assets will be divided. Then a storm took place and the family members along with six workers were trapped there. Shortly, the people on the island started to get murdered or vanished. Could it be the action of a human? Or it’s the action of the mysterious golden witch?
Umineko gives us a great number of casts for its first chapter compared to Higurashi. Maybe because of that, it’s harder to dig deeper into their characters. But it’s not a bad factor as of now since it’s just the first game. Although majority of the casts have bland personality, the main focus of this game is the four youngest members of the Ushiromiya family. They seem to be paralelling Keiichi’s gang from Higurashi. The graphic is still as simple as ever. I guess it’s futile to be expecting great graphics from 07th Expansion. But the soundtrack is AWESOME! The opening song is also great which makes me wonder when they will release the single. There’s also a little cameo from two Higurashi characters. I still don’t know if they have direct involvement with the story or it was a joke, but I think the story will be ruined if it turns out that their explanation on their presence there is real.
The Golden Witch is the first part of Umineko series and this game has already gave a great impression on me. I’m hoping Umineko can live up to its predecessor and finally gets its own anime (or PS2 port with better graphics).