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volume 3 issue 6

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Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ayanami Raising Project (Shin Seiki Evangelion: Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku)
The dream of all Rei Ayanami fanatics can now be realized.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ayanami Raising Project
By Ever Cheung

It have been a year since the release of the original PC version of the Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku (Ayanami Raising Project) in Japan, now fans of the Evangelion series will have the pleasure of enjoying this limited edition game without worrying about the incapability of the OS on their PCs. In response to the requests by many of the gamers in Japan, GAINAX, through the hands of Broccoli, creator of famous characters such as Digiko from Digi Charat, gaming magazine and retail store franchise GAMERS,finally released the limited Dreamcast version on April 18th with 30,000 to be shared by the fans across the globe.

To allow players to get the same level of gaming experience, the DC version of the Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku was programmed to be compatible with both the Dreamcast keyboard and mouse, to mimic the exact feel as it was originally on the PC version (and to a certain degree... having a keyboard hooked up can be a big help). As special gifts to fans, the limited edition is packaged with a special Dreamcast mouse with a NERV transparent shell, an Rei Ayanami mouse pad and a three "Puka-Puka Rei-chan" pins set.

As many of otaku already knew, Rei Ayanami had been a huge name in terms of popularity from the year when Shinseiki Evangelion (aka "Neon Genesis Evangelion" in the US) was first released in 1997, all the way onto the turn of the century. Constantly voted as the top of the top in female anime character popularity poles in the anime world across the globe, on top of the enormous fan-based response in the forms of fan fictions, fan arts, doujinshi among many others, it was no surprised that GAINAX finally decided to create a game based on Rei, and her alone.

In Ayanami Raising Project, players will take on the role as a recently promoted military personnel returning to the NERV headquarters in Tokyo-3 from a mission on the field, who must now tackle the unfamiliar task of being a guardian of one of the three Evangelion pilots. Player will be responsible for scheduling all of Rei's daily activities from April 1st (2015) onward, several days after the training accident that left her badly injured as seen at the beginning of the original Evangelion anime series. Given an apartment next to Ayanami's in Tokyo-3 and 20,000Yen per month, player will meet with the First Children every Sunday to setup the schedule for the upcoming week, to shop, to engage in conversations and check on Rei's progress and profile. Activities that are available (depending on the occasion) for players to fill into the weekly schedule can range from school, physical training, mental training, one-on-one studies, sychro-rate training, battle with Angels to recreational activities such as a visit to the theme park, movie theatres and the beach. In one-on-one studies, players will have the opportunities to teach Rei new words and phrases from scratch, phrases which she will use in future conversations (this is when the keyboard comes in handy). And of course, as all Ayanami fanatics hoped, the storyline in Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku can be heavily influenced by the action of the player, so can the romantic interest of Rei. Though unlike most relationship games, in this game, players only have to compete for Ayanami's love against Ikari Shinji and Ikari Gendou.

During Sundays player will have the option of shopping with Rei for cloths ranging from casual dress to bikini swimsuits, household items from coffee mugs to carpet, anime goods like costumes to anime CDs, each with their pros and cons toward the mental and physical grow of our heroine. And depending on the value in each of the profile categories, Rei may refuse to grant certain requests such as wearing relatively more revealing cloths in comparison to regular jeans and T-shirts. At the end of the one year period, after the destruction of all Angels (the story may extend into the movie's story line if certain conditions are met) players will be able to reach one of the over 30 different endings. Elements that can influence on which ending the player will be able to obtain varies from "Mental Strength", "Physical Strength", "Morality", "Sychro Rate", "Ph Secretion" (an important element that deals with the sensitivity toward romantic stimuli), "Basic Vocabulary", etc.

A special Dreamcast-only opening was added to the game with original animations made specifically for the game and a theme song previously released on the second Evangelion soundtrack titled as "Shiawase was Tsumi no Nioi" (Happiness is the Smell of Sin), most likely the single item that have the effect to make the game seems more interesting than it is. To anybody who may be just a regular anime fan, a huge fan of the Evangelion series or even a moderate fan of Rei Ayanami, buying Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku is undoubtfully an unwise idea. In order to fully enjoy (or at the least, have the mental strength to 'endure') the entire game - a game with little excitement or surprises, a game that lack in both good music or noticeable animation of any kind (except the opening), the drag of having to teach a girl phrases over and over and over and over and over and over and over again... (you get the picture), having to go through a whole month worth of hassle before getting the chance to see her smile and blush for the first time, it will take much more than just an average fan, much more. BUT, if you are a REAL Ayanami fan, this would be a game you cannot miss out on.

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