DN.d: Poisoned is a visual novel that truly deserves more recognition, at least inside the OELVN circle. It seems to have some level of popularity on the outside, thankfully. There are probably three reasons for the lack of reknown within the circle. 1) The 18+ rating. It’s possible to avoid an 18+ path, though. 2) It’s a BL game. *shrug* I’m just saying. 3) It’s a Death Note fangame, not a purely original tale.
Months ago, I decided to play this game, despite number three on the list above. I had never seen Death Note before. Well, maybe I had seen fanart posted around a few times and heard about it a little bit. Other than that, I was entirely clueless. As of now, I still kind of am, as I’ve only seen the first six episodes. And, guess what? Poisoned doesn’t play assuming you’ve seen an episode or read a page of DN. That doesn’t mean it’s telling you all about the series, no… The game just plays. It’s a story you don’t have to know about Death Note to play. It’s not even a massive spoiler if you’re planning to watch DN later.
So, anyway, as most of you may know BL stands for Boys Love AKA two boys loving on eachother or some version of that. A doujinshi is a fanwork and, in this case, it’s a fangame. The game is by the talented Akane, whom has made a few doujin games before for other anime series. The engine used to make this game was RPG Maker XP, so warning to those spoiled by Ren’Py.
The story is about a group of kids at the Wammy’s House Orphanage. Among these kids is Mello, the chocolate loving “protagonist.” He spends his time mainly pissed off at Near, another boy who’s bright and soft. Mello is one of those types who’s obsessed with being #1. Near is more mellow than Mello, by far. There’s also Matt, a kid who’s friends with Mello and is repeatedly called a dog by said friend. How nice! There’s also Roger, who’s head of the House, and a little girl who’s a little annoying atleast to me.
When Roger gives Mello and Near a project they have to work on together, Mello is mad beyond belief. The story pretty much takes off from there. You’re given three days to complete the project and control Mello. Choose where he goes around the House, what he says, and what he thinks in true visual novel fashion.
Some of the story is a bit simple, but it was a fun read. The steamier parts were great, too.
I can’t think of any moment where the music didn’t match. Very well done. The music and SFX are part of what makes DN.d: Poisoned shine. It’s doubtful that anyone could hate the game music. I can remember once leaving the game up so I could listen to it while browsing sites. Yeah, it’s that good. Okay…actually, not really. It’s not on that level, buuut it fits the game like it should.
Awesome. What else is there to say? There’s not an off-thing about any of the art work. In fact, the art is such that I was mad that there wasn’t a CG gallery. Some have even said the graphics are on an amazing professional level. I wholeheartedly agree. I’m no drawn artist, but I really can’t find anything wrong. It all…works. One day, I might take the time to take screenshots of every CG. Heh…that’d have to be a really boring Sunday. 😛
And, fine. I take it back. The hands and feet sometimes look a little disturbing. Otherwise, it’s all awesome.
There isn’t a skip feature or anything, so replaying might be an issue. A lot of people have complained about getting one ending everytime they play. All I can say is to find a guide on the game’s forum if you have to. Oh yeah and if you want to get the special ending or whatever, SAVE ALL YOUR ENDINGS TO ONE GAME SLOT!
Don’t miss out. Download DN.d: Poisoned here at its website.
Game originally released in 2004. Review written about the 04/17/2007 version. Looking for more games to try? Check out my list of reviews!