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2236 A.D. Secretary Stories Review

Official Score

Overal - 20%

20%

If 2236 A.D. Secretary Stories shows the future of visual novels, then things look bleak. This title manages to make nearly every mistake in the book, making this AI PASS an easy pass.

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Elon Musk and the otaku among us may be pining for the day catgirls are real, but Chloro and Sekai Project envision an AI girl-driven future with their new visual novel 2236 A.D. Secretary Stories. The idea of having a cute personal assistant at your beck and call certainly sounds appealing, but the reality here leaves something to be desired.

2236 A.D. Secretary Stories Review

The protagonist Masuko is a lucky guy – this student was able to score for himself an AI assistant that helps him at his beck and call. Dubbed the “Personal AI Secretary for Smart Tools” (or “PASS” for short), this blonde-haired beauty goes by the name Yotsuba. What follows is a journey between human and computer across a number of different situations.

Or it would be a journey, if it wasn’t so caught up in the mundane. Broken down into different parts, the plot has a nasty habit of meandering. One moment players are looking into the 300 million coin payout from a scratch-off Yostuba bought offscreen, with the next moment dealing with a bunny outfit (yes, really) that Masuko bought for his assistant.

On that note, 2236 A.D. Secretary Stories leans far too hard on anime cliches. It is clear as day that the author has a thing for anime girls, as he has Yotsuba dress up, undress, and even use her lap as a pillow. It’s incredibly tacky and honestly makes the experience an embarrassment for all those playing. The creator is aware as well, trying to make light of the situation with a cheeky “Cut for Content” segment popping up on multiple occasions.

These cliches extend to other characters as well. Also making their appearance is Hime Shion, who has an icy attitude and hates AI systems. There is also a first-generation PASS system that makes an appearance, but she disappears as quickly as she shows up without any sort of character development. As a result, the game focuses on one AI and one AI alone, which simply isn’t enough to keep this visual novel afloat.

There are oftentimes periods where things will continue with a … or — for multiple lines for added effect. While it gets the point across, the fact that it happens so often makes it an annoying occurrence. When added with the “wah” and the lack of choice – not a single option is provided – it can be a real struggle to get invested.

The art and audio of this visual novel suffer greatly as well. While the AI itself looks fine, everything else was rushed. Coloring jobs are amateur, some characters are simple line drawings, and there are stock images used for scenes like classrooms. The choice to use dissonant music and grating sounds like dial-up modems on multiple occasions also drags this title down.

If 2236 A.D. Secretary Stories shows the future of visual novels, then things look bleak. This title manages to make nearly every mistake in the book, making this AI PASS an easy pass.

This review of 2236 A.D. Secretary Stories was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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