Backstage Pass is a really well made game, and for early access it seems quite polished to me! I really can't wait to be able to hear voice acting, because the samples sound good, and it would add a lot to the dialogue. The dialogue is fun, and I found myself giggling on more than one occassion - this game really sucked me and got me excited to keep playing. I really wanted Sian to do her best, so I tried my hardest to build her good states and keep her career on track. Honestly, stat raising games can get a little tedious; I've played my fair share of them and while they've never particularly bothered me personally, I find Backstage Pass general has a good interplay between story and stat raising gameplay.
Notably the art is fantastic, though I always felt Adam looked a little... awkward. I dunno, something about his sprite. But aside from that, I loved the character expressions, and the change in clothes, and the cg's were looooveellyyyy - I remember seeing the one where Benito broke his arm and I just - wow, nice gore dude!
I have to say I love the way the story handles issues like social anxiety and other disorders as well - it's not mocking or insensitive, and it really made the whole experience and plot better as a whole. There was also the forum for Vice/Versus which I personally loved reading - the fans were funny and totally accurate to life. That's another thing about Backstage Pass - with a few exceptions, the dialogue often doesn't feel forced.
Having said all this however, I do have my gripes about the game. While it's mentioned that excercise is supposed to lower your stress, no matter what I did with it, my rates never really seemed to change, and it seemed I was having to sleep more often than not just to prevent Sian from getting sick, with no real improvement. This was frustrating, and if I hadn't been so convinced my stats just werent high enough, I would have just stopped having Sian excercise altogether.
Another thing, having only had the time to play through Benito's route, I'm not entirely sure if it's just my ending or what, but it ends verrrryyy suddenly. Sian and Benito kiss and pronounce love for one another and the game just ends. Suddenly I'm done playing. It was very jarring, and kind of completely tore me out of the experience - it was really frustrating. I didn't feel like I reached any closure. Forgive me if the comparison isn't known, but in Tokimeki Memorial you get a follow up from your year; "I did this well in school and this happened for me" etc, and then a short piece about the protagonist and their love interests continued relationship.
I didn't feel that at all with the ending I got; Benito's arm was still broken, Sian's future was up in the air, and while I could speculate all I like about what happened after I never got any of that closure. Did Benito become world famous??? What happened to Sian's career? Did they end up travelling together? Did Benito ever talk to his parents?? Not even a little hint of that. They kissed and confessed their love and that was the end. I honestly thought my game messed up and reloaded a save but it was the same.
So basically, I really hope the endings are fleshed out way more in the future - and hey maybe it was just the route I took, or maybe I had to do something else?? I don't know. Either way, it was kind of a sad finish for a really good game.
Having said that, people should totally buy this game, it is well worth the price, and considering this is still early access there is plently of room for improvement in all areas! Backstage Pass is a wonderful game with a good outlook.