HomeVideo GamesPAX EAST 2023 | "Goodbye Volcano High"

PAX EAST 2023 | "Goodbye Volcano High"

PAX EAST 2023 | "Goodbye Volcano High"

First thing’s first: Goodbye Volcano High is not a dinosaur dating sim game. Rather, it’s a narrative-driven story about the last year of high school. Well…to be fair, it’s the last year ever, as there’s a meteorite coming down to destroy every living creature walking on Planet Earth. Nevertheless, even this impending doom can’t stop teenage angst and growing pains from rearing their ugly heads.

At PAX East, the opening scenes of Goodbye Volcano High were on display for eager players to experience. The narrative follows Fang, who is doing their best to get their group VVorm Drama in the Battle of the Bands. However, with their bandmates and fellow seniors looking towards the future, it would appear that Fang is the only one coasting on a dream of rock & roll stardom. This leads them to wonder what they truly desire in life, and if their forever friends really will last a lifetime.

Much of KO_OP’s game has players attempting to make choices in dialogue, with hopefully the right response leading to better outcomes. But the better interactive aspects involve Fang’s quest for fame. In the demo, you are given the opportunity to play Fang’s song to their friends. Much like the Hatsune Miku games, pressing the right buttons and extending your joystick in the right direction will help to make Fang’s song come out as its true self. Mess up too much, and Fang’s friends won’t seem impressed with their latest musical contribution.

The thing that impresses me the most about Goodbye Volcano High is its visual presentation. It feels like you’re playing a real interactive cartoon, with the characters moving and conversing in ways that look like a high-end [adult swim] program. While the demo did have some synching issues, these look to be easily fixable by the time the game’s launch. Nevertheless, this feels like a proper step in the right direction towards a truly hands-on animated series.

KO_OP’s game will be an easy pick-up for those who are familiar with the visual novel genre. Newcomers to that gaming scene might need a little extra incentive before giving Goodbye Volcano High a shot. Thankfully, that hook is there, thanks to its humorous dialogue and music-focused mini-games. Yes, the characters may look strange, but high school is truly the strangest of our growing-up periods, which makes their look pretty fitting.

Goodbye Volcano High arrives on PS5, PS4, and PC on June 15. No word yet on any future VVorm Drama tour plans.


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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)