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2 Sept 2020

REVIEW: Road to Guangdong on Xbox One - By Jon Donnis

Review By Jon Donnis
Now if you said to me "here is a visual novel to play", I have to admit that I would be skeptical, I like my action games, I like life or death situations in my games, and a visual novel is something that I have rarely enjoyed, saying that I did give this game the benefit of the doubt.

You play as Sunny, a young art graduate who has just inherited her family's restaurant in Guangdong, South China in the 1990s the problem is that the restaurant is in trouble, so along with her old aunt Guu Ma you journey to find old family friends and relatives in an effort to find recipes and secrets that will help you bring back this restaurant to it's full potential.

As you play through the game you will realise this is about thecultural differences between older and younger Chinese people, you have to make tough choices which will decide in the long run where things will end up.

You also have an old car (Sandy) that you need to take care of, the car is falling apart and keeping it running is a serious part of the game, whether that is fixing the engine, or filling it up with fuel and so on. You will drive between locations, where you can listen to interesting Chinese music on the radio, you will stop at junk yards to get parts of the car, as well as petrol stations to fill up.

As you play through the game you will come across interesting characters that you will interact with and learn their stories, and that is the part of the game that you will get the most from, and that is where the term "visual novel" is mostly talking about.

Unfortunately the parts of the game I did not like were the driving and car mechanics, it just seems a bit boring for a game that is mainly attractive due to it's stories.

This is a hard game to score, the graphics are lovely, the sound effects are also great, and the characters are wonderful. The problem is, it is not a game that will ever raise your heart beat, it is more like reading a book with interesting characters, but you have to go through annoying bits to get to the next page.

It is a visual novel, it is advertised as such, but for me, I am just not that interested in visual novels, I kinda like my games to be games.

So although this game does have a market, and I think people interested in Chinese culture might find it enjoyable, I think outside of that demographic, it is hard sell.

I score Road to Guangdong on Xbox One a 5/10 - Not for me.

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