One of KEY’s classic titles, Planetarian, launched on Steam over the weekend, marking a more proper official launch of KEY works in the English-speaking parts of the world. While the company previously released a somewhat awkward translation of the game for iOS, this release allows fans to buy a copy of the game and experience endless sobbing once again.
Planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ follows the story of a junker and a robot who meet in the ruins of a sealed-off city. While the whole world has fallen to pieces and those who are left alive fight for scraps, Hoshino Yumemi remains in a run-down planetarium, looking for customers. When the junker decides to stay in the planetarium against better judgement, he experiences something that no-one left alive will ever get to know.
Don’t look now, but almost a year ago, we covered Planetarian in its initial Windows and iOS release. With Sekai Project bringing the game to Steam, however, we get the best of both versions, with a few features that were new to the iOS version coming back to the Memorial Edition on Steam.
One of the more noticeable aspects of the Memorial Edition is the addition of full voice acting. Along with Yumemi’s dialogue, the protagonist has his few lines voiced, and a number of other small character lines are voiced closer to the end. There’s also the option to replay voice tracks if you view the text log. It gives the game a more complete feeling, with the protagonist’s quick interjections given sound and the final scene having a little more impact. The ending song, previously only heard in the iOS version, is also included in the Memorial Edition.
A more subtle change to the game involves a new translation (or at least editing), helping lines sound more natural and sometimes better fitting the text on-screen. “Reverie Planetarian” changes to “Hoshino Yumemi” with the furigana-like English across the top spelling “Wish Upon A Star”, giving the robot girl, well, an actual name while keeping the meaning of her name present. Nothing major changes with the script, but at the same time it sounds much more natural, although some hardcore fans may need to re-memerise Yumemi’s speech.
Of course, the core of Planetarian hasn’t changed. All things added with the Memorial Edition simply give it a final polish. Those looking to remember the simple story about finding unexpected beauty in the world – and perhaps hope for the future – will be met with the familiar sound of the game’s most prominent track, the warm planetarium backgrounds and the brightness of the stars (now scaled to fit larger screens). It’s a fine official addition to your game library to remind you about all the boxes of tissues you went through.
For those who haven’t yet touched Planetarian and are keen for more visual novel-type games, there’s no better time to dive in. Planetarian, a particular kind of visual novel with no choices, is a very simple read and comes to about two hours or less. Although made only a decade ago, it seems like the kind of story that reminds you that something simple can feel very powerful.
Planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ (Memorial Edition) is the culmination of all past editions, with full voice acting, a smooth translation and all the extras added from other versions. For those who have played it before, it’s a perfect time to revisit. And, of course, those who are new to it will find that this older gem still has quite a shine to it.
Planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ is available on Steam for $9.99 (or $7.49 until later this week).
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