Lost Love – Analogue: A Hate Story

By Alec Meer on January 16th, 2012 at 3:16 pm.

Yes, it uses a particular style of art.

Around a year after the fascinating, sinister but divisive saga of schooling, sex, duplicity and privacy infringement that was Don’t Take It Personally Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story, Christine Love is to release a fully-fledged sequel to her breakthrough game Digital: A Love Story. It’s called Analogue: A Hate Story but despite the inverted title aesthetically it has more in common with Don’t Take It Personally. It’s a semi-non-linear visual novel concerning mystery, transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay. Both building on and diverging from the Chan-fuelled ideas that informed her earlier work, then, plus, from its description, there’s a vague air of System Shock to it…

Here’s the back-of-the-box summary:

Back in the 25th century, Earth launched a generation ship into deep space, with the goal of establishing the first interstellar colony. It dropped out of contact and disappeared, never reaching its destination.

Thousands of years later, it has finally been found.

Uncover the mystery of what happened to the final generation aboard the generation ship Mugunghwa by reading through its dead crew’s logs, with the help of a spunky AI sidekick!

Spunky? Okay then. We’re also promised two “pursuable” characters and five endings. Does pursuable mean you’re trying to catch them or bed them? Or, er, both?

The ‘Analogue’ in the title is curious, given the sci-fi setting and the use of a clean, white, Applicious UI here. Will all be explained in the game, or is it just a knowing nod to a changed age?

It’s due later this month, it’ll cost $15, there’ll be a demo and there’ll be no DRM (something Christine’s been publicly chewing over on her Twitter feed; it’s a relief to see she ultimately fell on the side of the angels). More screenshots await you on this thoroughly digital website.

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72 Comments »

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  1. applecado says:

    Cool. A Love Story was a great game!

    • McDan says:

      It is indeed, it still languishes on my laptop as I speak. I’ll definetely be giving this a try.

  2. Chibithor says:

    A dialogue half-wheel? Sold! (Actually sold because I liked the previous one)

  3. v21 says:

    Been waiting for this for a while. It’s looking good!

  4. Echo Black says:

    Have John review it when it comes out. Guaranteed 300-comments-plus discussion megathread

    • Wulf says:

      Why John specifically versus any other reviewer?

      Ohhh, wait… this isn’t about being all scornful over that Modern Warfare fiasco, is it? Because, you know, he was kind of very right.

    • Chris D says:

      No, this is about John being scornful about Katawa Shouju.

  5. SophieH says:

    999/10 on the want-o-meter, loved digital and DTIPB.

  6. deadly.by.design says:

    Anything featuring anime art and romance themes creeps me out from the start.

    • jonfitt says:

      Yeah, I don’t think I can get past the idea of “pursuing” a character with the body of a adult but the facial characteristics of a doe-eyed child.
      Creepy.
      .
      Oh look, a tween french maid. http://scoutshonour.com/analogue/images/screen-maid.png
      Perhaps their cleaning bots are broken down?

    • thegooseking says:

      Haters gonna rationalise their hate and pretend it’s authoritative.

    • Wang Tang says:

      I have to second this. I really don’t get why it’s so popular (anime art in general). But then, I’m no car-loving man either (in Germany, mind you!).

    • deadly.by.design says:

      @thegooseking

      It’s not hate. It’s more like nausea, actually…

      Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go investigate the possible link between Brony-ism and anime romance game fan-dom. ;)

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Man, I really don’t get why people like (insert thing here). I don’t like (insert thing here) therefore it’s dumb that anyone else would like (insert thing here) since it creeps me out, and I’m going to make a pointless comment that nobody wants to read for the sole purpose of expressing that contrary opinion.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      Apparently, (insert thing here) is awesome and anyone who thinks/feels contrary should keep their opinion to themselves. They are also big meanies and just don’t understand.

      My response to the goose fella was a bit snarky, but my first post really wasn’t intended to be antagonistic. I just don’t get the appeal for this genre.

    • Vinraith says:

      Expressing an honest opinion about something is the same as claiming everyone should hold that opinion, or so the internet seems to believe.

      I find the whole childlike feature/adult sexuality juxtaposition pretty creepy too, but like the OP I’m not claiming anyone else has to.

    • zeroyuki92 says:

      While “having a honest option and stating it in public” is always okay, but the idea of avoiding everything with a certain kind of style always made me felt a kind of sad.

      I mean, seriously, I guess no people who are “open” to this kind of art style think this character as “a childface with adult body” (she looks like 19-20 in my eyes). While some artist are…sure, have too many “simplification” and “cuteness additive” to their style (which actually don’t indicate any effort of “hidden pedophile propaganda” like what some people think in their head. I believe many people just like cute things, and that’s it), this character and style is…totally out of that league. That same treatment to this case is just plain…sad. (I have no other word suitable for this, sorry) There are many good stories and good arts that were unappreciated just because of this thing.

      SIgh, the number of people with “anime style phobia” is much higher than my initial presumption…

    • jonfitt says:

      Hey whoaa there everybody. You are free to like anything you want to.
      I’m just saying I personally find the sexualised-childlike-girls aspect of a sub-set of anime, creepy. I’m not required to like it just because it’s popular with many people. I quite like the samurai-inspired robots.

      I can quite imagine that there are reasonable people who would find the creation of the ultra-realistic war simulators I like distasteful on an intellectual level. They are free to do so.

    • Alec Meer says:

      This conversation happens every time and is very boring.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      “Oh look, a tween french maid. http://scoutshonour.com/analogue/images/screen-maid.png
      Perhaps their cleaning bots are broken down? ”

      http://ahatestory.com/images/screen-intro.png

    • Vinraith says:

      Alec’s right, this is old, so let me throw out a thought that will at least make it a bit different:

      Art style informs content. Japanese art implies Japanese cultural mores, to at least some degree. As someone that finds Japanese culture’s treatment of women distasteful, and sees echoes of that in the anime art style as a whole, part of my objection to anime art is actually an objection to the kinds of plots and characterizations that often go with it.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      OK, so, can we just check on something first? There are, oh, let’s be conservative and say only several hundred styles of “anime art”. Are you guys talking specifically about the style in the screenshot above? Because if you’re reading that as a little-girl face, you’re REALLY unfamiliar with Asian art styles.

    • zeroyuki92 says:

      Art style informs content. Japanese art implies Japanese cultural mores, to at least some degree. As someone that finds Japanese culture’s treatment of women distasteful, and sees echoes of that in the anime art style as a whole, part of my objection to anime art is actually an objection to the kinds of plots and characterizations that often go with it.

      Yeah, I understand about that kind of reasoning, I also think it’s kind of half-ttrue and half-wrong. But well, too bad Japanese’s own image were destroyed by many negative publicity+badpicking and the fact that many of plots and characterizations that were brought to west are trashes, or were not suitable for western tastes. And too bad, now the Japanese seems to didn’t care about what westerners think anymore…What’s left are people who try to bridge both (for example : this game ,Katawa Shoujo,etc, who still face a big obstacle, I guess)

      Geez, just when will I can play/read/enjoy both of good western and eastern media/games/whatever without seeing my good games/whatever being badly prejudiced by both sides…

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      That face looks childlike, yes.

    • jonfitt says:

      I’m sorry if this has come up before, but it’s a first for me.
      Also, I think it’s relevant in this case as the art style of the sequel is completely different to the original!

    • Fox89 says:

      I don’t see where you guys are coming from where you say these characters have “child like” features. They have smooth skin and fair complexions I suppose… but that’s indicative of loads of fictional characters. Anime character eyes, for example, aren’t “child like”. They’re just massive!

      Which I rather enjoy for some reason. Realistic looking people are so boring in games like these. There are plenty of those in real life! ^_^/)

    • Edradour says:

      ‘These are neotenous traits in humans: flattened face, [2] broadened face,[10] large brain,[2] hairless body,[2] hairless face,[11] small nose,[11] reduction of brow ridge,[2] small teeth,[2] small upper jaw (maxilla),[2] small lower jaw (mandible),[2] thinness of skull bones,[10] limbs proportionately short compared to torso length,[10] longer leg than arm length,[12] larger eyes,[13] and upright stance.[14] [7] ‘

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

      Big head, big eyes, small nose (or virtually no nose whatsoever in this case) and almost everything else listed above form the anime depiction of female characters hence they look very young (underaged) in the eyes of many people (myself included) and certain activities theyre “used” for in those cartoons/games are consider offensive by many/those people.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Edradour

      That was an interesting read, thanks for the link. I was unaware of the term, but had a sense of the underlying phenomenon. Who’d have thought my major takeaway from RPS today would be an increased understanding of a specific element of developmental biology?

    • zeroyuki92 says:

      @Edradour Thanks for the link, that was very informative.

      Although… :
      In a cross-cultural study, more neotenized female faces were the most attractive to men while less neotenized female faces were the least attractive to men, regardless of the females’ actual age.

      Dr. Thomas Lamarre, professor of East Asian Studies and Art History at McGill University, claimed that after World War II Japanese people as shown in their manga (漫画?) and anime (アニメ?) became “fascinated” with “neoteny” and “cuteness”

      …I fail to see that it was something that should be considered as “creepy” or “offensive.
      – Everyone like to see attractive things. In film, anime, book, paintings, this point apply to all kind of media and style.
      – Men tend to see neotenized females to be more attractive.
      – Attractiveness of neotenized females is regardless to the females actual age.
      – That’s why, japanese obsession with neotenize isn’t related to any effort to “liking females with very young age”. They simply love cute females, and who the heck don’t?
      – Many male and animals were also neotenized. So, if people claim men who like anime style “like females with very young age”, female also like male with young age, too? So, this also didn’t have any correlation with sexualizing females.

      Seriously, this is just the case of culture shock. I respect some people who didn’t like this kind of art style, but yeah…Sometimes I can’t help to feel sad if some people didn’t respect this kind of art style. (Yeah, creepy is a bit offensive due to the indirect accusation behind it)

      I can’t comment objectively to “I found it creepy due to certain activities theyre “used” for in those cartoons/games are considered offensive by many/those people”, since in my country the only offensive accusation for Japanese animation/comic style in general is …that kind of art style is only for kids.
      I guess it has something to do with many early imported pornographic comic from Japan years ago, child pornography, or many news about negative erotic game such as…say, Rap*play? Come on, almost all people who enjoy Japanese animation style also didn’t enjoy them too, it’s just a minority representative which can’t represent anime fandom in general.

    • EthZee says:

      This will be the sixth time we have created this discussion and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.

  7. SnakeNuts says:

    Hmm, the plot reminds me a bit of the old (OLD!) ‘Portal’ interactive fiction game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal_(interactive_novel)

    Seeing that Portal (the above mentioned one) was one of my favourite games evar, I’m now officially looking forward to this.

    • DrBomb says:

      You sir, are my hero for showing me such a sublime game. I’m playing it right now

    • Nezuji says:

      Ha ha, I just made almost exactly the same comment about this on another site! Nice to know it’s not just me.

  8. rayne117 says:

    - “You’re being dishonest”
    – “You look good”
    – “What in the hell is wrong with your chin?”

    • Urthman says:

      - Did you get those bionic eyes to replace the ones you lost in the robot wars?
      – What kind of unobtainium is your coat made out of that it fits like that?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      That’s not her chin, that’s her luftwallvenj, a common trait of all the most beautiful females. You just wouldn’t appreciate it because you’re human.

    • sinister agent says:

      It’s set in the radioactive post-apocalyptic future, when humans have evolved natural tin openers.

  9. Crane says:

    “the generation ship Mugunghwa”

    Did they cough midway through naming it or something?

  10. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Ooh. I loved Don’t Take It Personally, and I hope I will finally get around to playing Digital. I will definitely buy this!

  11. djbriandamage says:

    $15 is more than most will want to pay, myself included, but in combination with her other (outstanding) free games it ill be my pleasure to foot the bill.

    • Premium User Badge

      WombatDeath says:

      Thank you, that’s very generous! My Steam ID is WombatDeath.

    • Reapy says:

      15 dollars for an IF game with pictures is too steep for me. I enjoyed her other games, somewhat… not enough to drop 15. The writing style was ok, and digital love story offered a nice trip down memory lane with the BBS thing, but again, 15…. Just seems like it makes more sense to go buy a sci fi book for 7.

      The game would need more than branching dialog trees I think to warrant the price. But then again I have a hard time dropping 15 on AAA sometimes.

      Eh, just seems like the wrong price point. I’d be more willing to try it for 4.99. Maybe in a few months we’ll find a good $2.75 sale or something and its just starting at 15.

  12. Premium User Badge

    _Nocturnal says:

    “It’s due later this month, it’ll cost $15, there’ll be a demo and there’ll be no DRM (something Christine’s been publicly chewing over on her Twitter feed; it’s a relief to see she ultimately fell on the side of the angels).”

    I saw that chewing over the DRM part.
    It almost felt like some kind of evil genius had orchestrated the whole thing.

  13. Lusit says:

    Love essentially wrote a novel for this game. I’ve been following her twitter account, and she would always update it wiht the wordcount for the game currently. I think it was at last count somewhere like 30-40k words.

    Also, I recommend following her Twitter account. It’s interesting to see a bunch of Canadian, lesbian games journos flit around with each other.

    • malkav11 says:

      That would qualify more as a novella than a novel. Just saying.

    • Unaco says:

      I was always told that it’s Quality, not Quantity, that’s important. Word counts mean very little.

    • Lusit says:

      Excuse me, I was wrong. Love corrected me on twitter. 59k words.

    • Zwebbie says:

      By comparison, I believe Don’t take it personally had just over 45k.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      I find it shocking that don’t take it personally had 45k. That’s equivalent to ~100 pages of a book. It certainly didn’t feel that long, nor did it feel like there was that much branching to account for a huge amount of missed content.

      I guess the format just makes all those words fly by.

  14. Urthman says:

    Word counts mean very little.

    One of the few things they mean is the difference between the words “novel” and “novella.”

    • Unaco says:

      And… the difference is? Definitively, of course. What’s the limit for a Novella, that, if exceeded, it becomes a novel?

    • Lusit says:

      Something like 40k words is the boundary. But really I don’t care.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah the boundry is usually about 50k words +/-10k. It’s a fairly soft boundry with not a lot of agreement on the exact amount, but a nice consensus on roughly where the border lies.

  15. ezekiel2517 says:

    But I have no monies D=

  16. lordfrikk says:

    I find it funny that her name is Christine Love.

  17. Walter Heisenberg says:

    This genre sure did explode let’s see what we have
    Anime dating sims
    Anime porn dating sims
    Anime porn dating sims masquerading as “thoughtful” pieces on love and trust
    Ironic anime porn sim that in reality isn’t ironic at all
    Bioware dating sim masquerading as a action game where choice matters, in reality only your choice of space wife matters

    • Wulf says:

      Well, choice actually does matter in some of them. Frankly, choice matters in some of them more than it did in Bethesda’s latest, as a visual novel aficionado would certainly tell you.

      And some of it is actually pretty thoughtful, too. I suppose you’d have to play them to discover that though, but you have that barrier there that’s stopping you from doing it, so instead it’s easier to just comment out of ignorance. Which a lot of people find easy to do!

      Other than that? You’re right on the money. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’d have to be some repressed and chaste crazy-person to have anything against that. The sort that eventually ends up snapping and goes around raping people due to their unexpressed sexuality. And you’re not like that, are you? Of course you aren’t.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Don’t beat around the bush here just tell me to “fuck off and go away”

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Another comment like that, Wulf, and I will ban you.

  18. Wulf says:

    This fascinates me. Really, it sounds like a visual novel that’s boldly going where no visual novel has gone before, and in more ways than just the obvious one that I just covered. Colour me intrigued. And I’ve picked up quite a taste for these visual novels. Not so surprising I suppose since there’s lots of manga that I like. (I’ve picked up quite a kemono-coveting habit.)

    So I’ll be giving this a gander. $15 really isn’t a huge price to pay if the writing is good. And the art is pretty great too. And yes, I’m terribly amused by the Mass Effect parody-ish half wheel.

  19. Hydrogene says:

    Maybe it’s analogue because the dialog wheel is actually a wheel. Where you can choose for instance: “You look 27% good”, or “You’re being 9% dishonest”.
    That would be interesting.

  20. BigJonno says:

    After the free goodness of her previous output, I’m going to have to fork out for this one, just as an act of support.

  21. Kadayi says:

    I love how in Chrome the tab for this article just reads ‘lost love – Anal’

  22. michal.lewtak says:

    I absolutely loved Digital and Don’t Take It Personally, Babe. The latter changed many things about me in a positive way. I’m buying this without even trying the demo.

  23. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    I absolutely loved Digital: A Love Story, and recommended it to many peers.

    I was annoyed with and somewhat repulsed by Don’t Take it Personally, Babe. The game was railroading me down paths I had no interest in taking while supposing to put me in the seat of the teacher. I gave up after the second day or so.

    Based on the similarity to the second work, I’m not really willing to give this one a chance, unless I find out enough to realize it doesn’t have any stylistic overlap. The invocation of cosplay is a minus as well.

  24. Fox89 says:

    I’ll probably get this at some point. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Don’t Take it Personally Babe, but I was pleasantly surprised. Spent ages trying to remember if I had ever heard Kendell’s middle name.

    I learned I would be a terrible teacher.

  25. ziusudra says:

    Alll the visuals novels I experienced were pretty bad. Bad writing, but some at least full of heart soul. I actually liked one called Remember11, pretty good. I dont enjoy Christine writing style however. The best writing ive seen in the indie scene recently was Korsakovia and Dear Esther, haunted me for weeks.

    Never really liked dating sims, but iam willing to give a try again, Digital was pretty interesting.

  26. John P says:

    So should we expect more of this from RPS? A PC games site writing about things that aren’t games? I don’t know how you can (correctly) slam Modern Warfare 3 as an ungame, and then get all excited (or not) about visual novels. Maybe you could start reviewing word processors next.

  27. absolofdoom says:

    Day…1.