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Review Heileen serie

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:01 pm
by candesco
Here is my review of all of the 3 games or actually the whole saga. I could make seperate topics for each game, but since it's one long story spread over 3 games i figured one big thread would fit better.
I purchased all 3 and also played them, just from 1 up to 3. I'm glad i did that, otherwise i got the feeling i miss something. Therefore i strongly recommend just to go for the whole serie and start with the first one, just to get a better view and understanding on the story. Ok, up to the review.

The story
The Heileen serie goes about the adventures of a daughter from some nobles back in the 17th century somewhere in Liverpool, Uk. This nobles daughter is called Heileen and she was for a large part of her life raised by her uncle when her parents died when she was 10 years old.This uncle Otto, as the man is called, is a merchant and always busy with business. He never married nor have any kids. Bit of a pride, arrogant and greedy man. He used to visit the brothels in the city, but he seems to have a woman in his house now. This Lora, as she is called, seems to be plucked from a brothel. Lora helps Otto with the raise of Heileen, as it was her own daughter. When Heileen turns 18 Otto goes on a trip to the new world. And Heileen has to come with him, if she liked it or not.

Heileen: Sail Away
The first game is called Heileen: Sail Away or just simply Heileen. This is where the serie starts. It all starts in the city of Liverpool where Heileen and her Uncle Otto make arrangements for a trip to the new world. Heileen doesn't seem to be happy about it though. Luckily her friend Marie is coming along, as well as some others. The game takes place at one location; a large ship. During the journey you visit some places aboard the ship, such as the kitchen or the deck. Your answers during conversations with others will influence the relationship towards some people. You can even romance 3 people. Who is for you to discover. It's all pretty straightforward. I think the music and the story itself ain't bad. The game is divided into 7 chapters and a sortkind of outtro, which is more or less the intro to the next installment. It is a pretty short game. Bit like a ride in a rollercoaster; just when you have fun it is over. Nevertheless it is worth it.

Heileen 2: The Hands of Fate
The game just starts where the other have finished. You're stranded on an island and you soon discover there are 3 others stranded with you; ebele and robert and the cat from the ship's captain.
But it's just you, ebele, robert and the cat. The others are nowhere to be found. Soon you also will have cards. These cards represents the seven sins and virtues and plays a big role in this game.
This sequel is different from the first game. Relations doesn't play a big role here and there ain't any romance. You can also built up only a relation with either robert or ebele, since there is simply no one else.
You have more freedom now though and you visit more locations. You also discover things of your past, even what happened really with your parents and why you were adopted. This makes the game in my opinion interesting. I like myself to read lore and history, so people who are just like me have a knack with lore and history stuff would find this game more interesting then the first one. I also don't think this game is that bad and i don't know why it sold so badly.
Probably because of the more serious tone and the lack of the romance and maybe also of the dreamings. Well, it is something different yes, but not that bad as some say. This game takes longer, although if you take the wrong deciscion it could end quick. I discovered this once i made such a deciscion and soon the game was over and unlocked limbo. So i loaded a save before that deciscion and now the game took longer. I noticed also that this game ain't divided into chapters. It's actually one long journey as you dream dreams about your past and in the meantime move around on the island. Just as in the first game this game has also an outtro which marks the beginning of the next game.

Heileen 3: New Horizons
You find yourself now aboard a pirate ship. Yoohoo and a bottle of rum. This game is the grand finale. Here everything comes together; your friends, new friends, past as well as the mechanics of both previous games. Well, this third installment is actually for a large part the second game with the cards system and the ongoing story without chapters, but then with the romance option from the first game mixed up with new things such as skills and professions. It also combines a boat with activities on land. One thing you surely notice when starting the game is the vocal soundtrack. Whether the first 2 games has to do it with "simple" tunes you're now greeted by a sweet female voice who sings about the subtitle of the game, new horizons that is. Not sure who the vocalist is, but to me this is the finishing touch of the game. If you start a new game you have the option to see a little intro. This was probably done for those who had straight bought heileen 3. It gives a quick summary of what has happened so far. Then later also the card system is briefly explained. Although this game has officially no chapters you could say that it is divided into two parts. The first half is about the search of your friends and in the meantime you learn about the skills, colonies and the consequences of the actions you do. The sins/virtues is now linked to what you say to others. No cards this time. The second half then is about the search of a treasure and the new life. You can now also invite someone to join you in the advanced skills and those happen skilled in that profession gives you a niece bonus. You will then also see a scene if you happen to discover it. Which person gives the highest bonus is up to you to solve that, but it ain't that hard. Pay attention to what they do. The game could be ended in two ways: by the meanings of a profession or romance. Probably it could also end by not following each of them and let the days just finish. Anyway, there are 14 professions which you can do, each linked to a sin or a virtue. Could be a missionary or a pirate for example. For romances there are originally 4 possibilities, but with the expansion sea maidens this is expanded up to eight. Some persons are easier to get as others and sometimes you please one and lost relationship with the other. I went myself for juliet this time. The game has also some humor in it and some scenes made my laugh, especially with juliet. Some language which is used ain't something for everyone.
As the final game this is also the longest of the 3. But that's because of the options you get. It is also the best. You couldn't get a better finale then this.

Final thoughts
The Heileen serie is probably one of the better VN's floating on the internet. And it ain't half work or so. No, you got a rather lenghty story divided over 3 full games. Those who have a knack about the 17th century and things like pirates, boats, islands and such would like this serie. No fantasy here, no sci-fi,but things from the history. Have to say for myself it's rather refreshing between all the fantasy and sci-fi stuff.
You can see that the games evolve and then not only the story. First there is only a bit of romance, then the sins/virtues thing and then it got combined and expanded.
To experience the full story i highly recommend to buy the whole serie. In that way you get a better view on the story behind and about the characters.
But is this replayable? Yep, although the first one not so much. But there are different outcomes. Try them all. I think i go for another round myself.

Re: Review Heileen serie

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:05 pm
by jack1974
Thanks for the VERY detailed review! glad you liked the game. About the second one, I think I wrote it when watching Lost so probably got a bit carried away with the mystery/supernatural... :mrgreen:
The third is clearly the best one. My favorite romance is Juliet too, though I liked also Ebele and Lora, and in the otome Morgan/Sebastian :)

Re: Review Heileen serie

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:25 pm
by candesco
Oh, i just went for juliet now, cause that seemed the most interesting. But i'm not sure if that's the best. Haven't tried the others yet. Also, near the end was quite shocking at first.
Had the full 100 points with her, thought she should like heileen and then sudden.. bam.. the rather rude comment if heileen would leave the ship. ehh, what?
And then later on when heileen was attacked by some thugs they come together after all.
Have to say that juliet is quite a weird one.
By the way: who did actually the vocals of the heileen 3 OST? She has quite a nice voice. It fits with the game.

Re: Review Heileen serie

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:32 pm
by jack1974
Is a canadian singer (she can also sing in French) the name if I remember correctly should be K.Irulanne Boucher.