So in late March, pop electric band Anamanaguchi released a “HUGE ANNOUCEMENT” that they will be making a FPS video game with development team NHX that will be completely composed by the band, which they’ll even star as crucial characters the protagonists rescues. It was everything I never knew I wanted.
Prior to its “release,” they released character photos of the band in various landscapes with different vehicles and what looked like soldiers. This all seem like an appropriate teaser for what was to come, as we got the realistic style and very few details.
It wasn’t since their Scott Pilgrim Vs the World: The Video Game (which is no long available anywhere) OST that they had done any other video game collaboration, except for Bit Trip Runner and that was back in 2010. I found it to be an odd choice that they would do music for shooter game, but I was all for it!
Were the RPG elements the teaser mentioned going to be like Borderlands? Maybe more of a serious sci-fi story like Mass effect? Would there going to be co-op? Multiplayer? DLC? I kept cringing that it might be like a Call of Duty or Battlefield clone, but whatever they released, whatever they needed, my heart and wallet were there to support it.
Before I can start thinking further into what I thought the story might be, exactly three days later they released another Facebook post saying that the game was out for free and calling NHX a “Terrible Fu**cking Landlord”. That’s where I read no more, downloaded it to my shitty laptop and played the game in 6 fames per second glory.
Here’s the thing: before all that, I saw the download file of the game, a PDF giving information on fan stats, weird charts on Capsule Silence XXIV being a VR launch game, NHX being a VR developer (finally saying who they are), and other incoherent details. One of those details being the game’s budget being $33 Million!
Jumping to the start of the game, I felt it had a touch of VR programming, but once in it controlled just fine with keyboard and mouse. Everything I thought the game was possibly going to be was thrown out the window into this primitive game, but it handled it self pretty nicely.
The game starts out in chapter V and the cube from the Endless Fantasy cover acting as some sort of mysterious divine object, and then a stranger in the distance telling me how was it that I got there? That I was in search for an endless fantasy!
HELL Yeah I was! Immediately I was faced with a troll like thing found a gun, and started to shoot and the game ceased to continue due to no one programming the gun. Okay, so now what? Was that it? Was this as far as Capsule Silence XXIV went?
Eventually I found the “Developers_Sandbox” which was literally a virtual space in the game where Anamanaguchi worked on the game’s music. Some sort of living quarters fitted in a white heaven-scape with a Jacuzzi, a carport, floating platforms, and a sick fountain swirling from the sky.
Of course, you’re not allowed in there, but with the help of F.R.U.G, the flying, tube TV with a face robot-thing with the speech of a teenagers texting skills lets you in to explore. I’m guessing he’s the overseer of the place. He mentions that the band haven’t been back in quite a while and that scattered tapes that hold music from the game they were making.
This is what Capsule Silence XXIV is: a peek in to the band’s rooms and discovering bits and pieces of what happened to the main game, the search for all the music tapes, and finding little secrets, like a hidden music video for Japan Air, or a car ride with one of the members. But is that all to it?
Well, no, you can also export all the songs you find which I think is pretty sweet. With the announcement that they are working on a new album in Japan and receiving a mock album (roughly 2 hours long with 30+ tracks) though this game seemed pretty fun for a Anamanaguchi enthusiast and fan like myself.
I say mock album because the songs do feel incomplete, unfinished or unrefined, but that does not make them bad in any way. It feels like concepts and “Works in Progress” that didn’t make the cut for Endless Fantasy and from way earlier songs.
But is that REALLY it? From what I was about to find with a play through and a half, yes. But maybe we’re missing something. Did Anamanaguchi just do this as an early April fools joke? It sure fells like it, but maybe there’s more to discover.
Meanwhile I’ll just bust some moves on their DDR pad on the roof while F.R.U.G plays some Tunes.