Last Wednesday evening, I was minding my own business searching the internet for the latest gaming news. Suddenly, I was hit with the news of AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative being released on the Nintendo Switch. Because I had spent the day editing upcoming videos and my brain was fried, my first reaction was, “Oh that’s great that the Nintendo Switch is getting an enhanced version of AI: The Somnium Files.” But as I examined the article closer and saw that the protagonist was female, I realized that something was afoot. This was not the original AI: The Somnium Files that was being promoted. Spike Chunsoft is at it again. My favorite visual novel game is getting a sequel.
You could imagine that this was quite a surprise for me. Most people I know had never heard of AI: The Somnium Files and it’s not like I’ve heard it brought up with any type of regularity by gaming channels and message boards. So when I played the original game, I was under the assumption that was it. Sure I enjoyed it immensely, but there was no expectation that there would be any follow-up to my favorite visual novel. For starters, visual novels are more of a niche genre. Secondly, the story revolves around solving a murder mystery and using the power of an AI companion named Aiba to help you navigate the subconsciousness of other characters in the game while they are sleeping in order to find clues. I know that’s not material for everyone. Yet I am glad I was wrong about there not being a sequel.
Thank goodness Aiba is returning for the sequel to work alongside the new female protagonist. Aiba is literally the “AI” in AI: The Somnium Files. In many ways, she was just as much of a main character in the original game as Date. The banter between herself and Date was part of what gave life to the game. Aiba reminds me of Cortana from the Halo series even though their characters are different. Just like I view Cortana as linked to Halo’s main character, Master Chief, I felt the same with the link between Aiba and Date. Aiba will bring much needed familiarity to the upcoming A.I. The Somnium Files title for gamers like myself who enjoyed the first game.
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative is slated for a Spring 2022 release and will be available on all major gaming platforms including Steam, Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. That gives me close to a year to finish the other story branches in the original game. The tricky part with visual novels for me is that they typically have multiple endings. After obtaining one ending, I usually won’t play the game again for a long time. With all of the games I currently have in my rotation, that could be a really long time.
If you’re more interested in visual novels, check out a recent post I did on the topic. This is a genre that I love to indulge in when I want a break from the action-heavy games I normally play. There are some truly talented artists, writers, and musicians that help to make these games come to life. I recently did a visual novel grab, adding the remainder of the PixelFade collection (Crystaline, Kaoru After Story, Etheral Enigma) to my library because I enjoyed Ace Academy so much. MAGES’ developed Robotics;Notes Elite and Chaos;Child were also purchased. Needless to say, I find the genre very enjoyable. If you’re interested in checking out more information on the upcoming AI:The Somnium Files game, make sure to visit the official website.