I tried to write a proper review for this game in the other post…
…this entry, however, is just for me to go WTF at the game. Read at your own risk; what I have to say about the game isn’t really favourable… ^^; Expect comparisons to eroge, since that is what this game should had been.
Playing this game was a bizarre feeling. My mood swung between “Moeeee~~” to “…this is very, very creepy.” to “You @#^% kidding me?!” to “…well this is pointless.” and back to “Moeeee~~”… repeat. Below is my interpretation of the characters if they had been in an eroge.
- Daiba Minato: The token childhood friend, a standard fare of any eroge. Being an awesome cook, she’ll be the one who’ll get the nude apron scene.
- Umeda Minami: Her presence will serve no purpose other than to be an excuse for a yuri scene with Ena.
- Uwajima Iyo: In an eroge, she’ll be the mature older woman who’ll “teach” the main character on how to make women “happy”.
- Asakura Miyako: Seeing as this tsundere is good at tennis, her H-scenes will be rather frightening to any normal women… if you don’t understand what I’m trying to say, that means your mind isn’t as corrupted as mine. That is a *good* thing. Move on.
- Hidaka Yakumo: This kuudere is a bookworm, so her H-scenes will mostly be in the library. In an eroge she’ll have glasses on all the time to cater for that market.
- Tenryu Ena: Yuri character who’ll learn the healing power of p3n0s mid-way and get a threesome scene with Minami and main character.
- Shinjou Otoha: In an eroge, this imouto chara will be a loli. Definitely.
- Akita Komachi: Depending on the sort of eroge you play… this ojou-san character will probably has a hidden S&M fetish or something.
- Hamayu Ebino: In eroge, this otaku chara will be the one wearing big glasses and who’ll only be revealed to be good looking when her glasses accidentally comes off.
- Sanjou Asahi: Reverse trap.
- Saeki Sera: Shy gothic loli.
- Nago Uruma: Airheaded character. Will most likely be the dojikko.
- Miku & Miu: Maids. Meido. …do I still need to explain what they do in eroge…?
First thing first, the main character, Hinomoto Tsukasa… can’t be human. No living human can ever be that patient. Unless he’s secretly a doM…? Anyways. I found it incredulous that he got told that he’s adopted and all, and he just… accepted it. No question asked. Didn’t even question why he was given away for adoption in the first place. No confusion, no anger, nothing. And as the game went, it just continued… when some of the girls played prank on him and admitted that it was a prank, he didn’t get angry. Just relieved that it’s only a prank, that everyone’s still getting along well, etc.
The next thing that bothered me early in the game was Otoha. She showed up declaring that she’d always been in love with her Onii-chan not as an imouto but as an adult woman. Now look at her character design and tell me if she looks like an adult to you. If the bunny hair accessories and pink hair wasn’t bad enough, she also referred to herself in third person. I only learnt later from Wikipedia that she’s actually the niece of Tsukasa’s adoptive father… so they’re unrelated cousins. Strangely, finding out this detail didn’t make the character any less creepy for me. Everytime she declared that she’d always loved Tsukasa since forever in the game and how she wouldn’t lose, I shuddered.
All the girls are NICE. As Aaeru’s comment said, the characters are very shallow. Despite all of them competing for the same thing (some willingly, others reluctantly), they all get along with each other. No catty fight, no argument, no jealousy. In an eroge, all the girls would already be competing so hard that they’d start having a sex competition before the game would end with a 12-girls harem ending.
I tried to play the game in a positive light. Fine, I thought, maybe it’s not meant to be taken as a romance game, maybe it’s more of a slice-of-life game, and maybe the fanservice wouldn’t be so bad as you get to know the characters better… Just when I thought the game would have some semblance of non-fanservice segment… it threw in a swimsuit contest. At that point in the game I gave up trying to see this game as anything but fanservice.
Below are the 3 routes I managed to
finish stomach before giving up.
My first attempt, and I got lucky. My top 3 girls were Sera, Komachi and Asahi, so the game threw me into the Sera-Asahi-Uruma group route and from there to Sera’s White route.
To quote Wiki: “Due to a traumatic event when she was a child, she has developed a fear of men.”
I wasn’t that interested in the character or her design, but I thought, given the character background, it sounded like this would be an interesting development, story-wise. I mean, in a fanservice game like this, what kind of traumatic event could it be? And how would Tsukasa overcome her fear to get close to her?
Turned out all he needed to do was to be considerate of her fear of men and be nice to her. No different from how he treated the other girls. Over time Sera wasn’t as scared of Tsukasa anymore, often mentioning how he’s “different”. As for the cause of her fear of men…
…apparently whenever Sera had to talk to her father, he had always had a stern look on his face and never smiled… so she felt that her father hated her. That. That is. That is the cause of her fear of men.
Are you shitting me (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ ┻━┻
Then some drama where she got a phone call saying that her dad’s got into an accident and sounded like he’d die or something, but Sera’s too scared to go back home to see him. So Tsukasa tried to be wise here and told her, hey, you know, maybe your dad always had such a stern look on his face because he’s unsure what else to do when talking to his cute daughter, and this worked as Sera resolved to go back and visit her father. WHAT DA FUQ. Turned out it was a misunderstanding as her dad actually only had a twisted ankle or something. Sera then won Marriage Royale and got married to Tsukasa in the end.
After the last disappointment, I was reluctant to play another route. For a few months I’d glance at my PSP, consider continuing the game… and turn away to do something else. I couldn’t start a new game either, as I try to only play 1 game at a time to make sure I’d actually finish them… the main reason I started blogging about the games I play.
I thought… I played Sera’s route because of her background story, so let’s try to play another route based on character design. Started the game aiming for Komachi, and made the mistake of having 2 girls from a different group on my top 3… so the game put me on the Miyako-Yakumo-Ena route. Started again from the beginning, and managed to get into Komachi’s group route… which included creepy imouto Otoha and stalker otaku Ebino. …playing the group route was painful and full of grimace.
I managed to get to Komachi’s White route with minimum emotional scarring, curious as to what “crisis” would happen before the ending. One night Tsukasa overheard the girls talking about how they’re all trying their best, aware that there could only be 1 winner at the end. Tsukasa then realised that while 1 girl would win and be happy, the rest would be sad and he didn’t want to make anyone sad… so his miniscule balls shrunk to non-existence and he didn’t want to do Marriage Royale anymore.
In the middle of a competition Tsukasa ran off; Komachi chased him and told him that everyone’s trying their best knowing the risk so he should accept their efforts and watch over the competition properly. This lowered Tsukasa’s oestrogen level and he came back with Komachi. Komachi then won Marriage Royale and they got married. The End.
┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ﾉ︵ ┻━┻
…oh, and somehow, after finishing Komachi’s route I was told that the Red route had been unlocked. Not sure how.
Sanjou Asahi Red Route
I seriously considered giving up after the last route, but I thought… I should give the game 1 more chance. 3 chances should be adequate. I started the game and did the same like what I did for Sera… last time the game threw me into the Sera-Asahi-Uruma route, so this time having Sera, Asahi and Komachi as my top 3 girls should work again… not.
For whatever bizarre reason, the game threw me into the Red route. Fine, I thought, let’s see if the other routes is any worthwhile. The game started with 2 of the girls discovering the entrance to an underground maze/dungeon. The maid then informed everyone that it’s probably the dungeon where a fabled amulet was said to have been hidden, a rosary of some sort which could grant a wish. Hearing this Uruma started behaving strangely… and the next morning she was gone from her room, having gone into the underground maze on her own.
Tsukasa and the girls quickly formed a search party which felt more like a traditional RPG group with Asahi being the archer, Yakumo being the magician (for her knowledge etc). Tsukasa left with the 3 girls while the other girls waited at the mansion. In the maze they found the unconscious Uruma, and she told them that her grandma was sick and that her family couldn’t afford the medication cost, and that she thought to use the rosary to cure granny.
Tsukasa then said that Uruma should had just asked him, definitely he’d be able to help with something like that. …just when I was about to applause for the first redeeming quality I can see in the main character, the maids then told him that no, he couldn’t. Yea, he’s the heir to a large corporate group, but until he actually took over he couldn’t do shit with the money or anything else.
Well then. They decided to move forward and find the rosary to cure Uruma’s granny. And this was where the game trolled me. Apparently the ‘quest’ to find the rosary was filled with riddles. One of the riddles was… they had to navigate a maze with left and right turns. On the wall was a plaque with English words like LINE, RAIL, LION, RAIN etc. You look at that and think, oh, that’s pretty easy, they started with either L or R, so that’s the order of path we’d need to take. Wrong. The game decided to be clever by making it so that you need to go based on the *sound*. Write the words in katakana and you’ll get RA or RE as the first letter. RA means go right (RAI-TO) and RE means… you get the point.
The next puzzle was a variation of the rickety boat when the group encountered a river. Normally that wouldn’t be a hard puzzle… but it was all pure text with no visual representation (which means you have to keep track on which side the boat is at yourself), coupled with the fact that it’s in Japanese and I had no idea what the rules were… got me quite frustrated. After that though, it’s finally the final room where the team found a treasure chest. They couldn’t seem to open it, and suddenly the entrance collapsed trapping them inside. Everyone started to lose consciousness from the lack of oxygen, and as Tsukasa passed out he could hear the maid’s voice coming to rescue… the next moment he opened his eyes he was at his room, everyone having been rescued. And they failed to get the rosary too.
RAGERAGERAGERAGERAGERAGEI’MNOTGONNATAKETHISNONSENSEANYMORE (ﾉಥ益ಥ）ﾉ ┻━┻
…needless to say, I quit this game like a plague. Not recommending this game to anyone with better things to do, ie., breathing etc. If you want a moe fanservicey game just go get an eroge. Seriously. At least with eroge you get some action; this thing… the closest you get to a kiss CG was a close-up of the girl blushing with her eyes closed. If you want to see cute swimsuits… again, go get a summer-themed eroge. At least you’ll get to see cute bikinis AND some action. You want to see cute school uniforms? Eroge has plenty of those. And you’ll get to learn anatomy while you’re at it. Want a scenario where all the girls are fighting for your affection? Go get an eroge; you’ll at least get some harem action. Anything this game has… an eroge can and does it better.
…I have Shikkoku no Sharnoth lined up on my to-play list, 2-3 games down the list… hopefully that game will heal the scarring left by this game.