Garnet Cradle Portable – review

…so… there’s been a slew of new otome games on PSP, and yet… I’m not sure why I decided to replay an older game instead. Especially when some of those new releases were ones I’d been eagerly waiting for, anticipating their arrival at my doorstep… ah well.

This review is… mostly a comparison to the PC version, with additional, most likely spoiler-y thoughts and rambles. So really this is more for people who’ve played the PC version and wondered if the PSP port is worth replaying. Read at your own risk.

First thing first. The PSP port was freaking SLOW. See, I’m used to pressing a button and having the next wall of text showing up instantly. But this game… the loading time was simply slow. From one bit of dialogue to the next, there’s a noticeable split second wait whenever the following happened:

  • someone’s portrait/paper doll changes (almost unnoticeable)
  • the next bit of voiced dialogue is getting loaded (very noticeable)

…since Garnet Cradle was “blessed” with so many different paper dolls and voiced dialogues, any voiced scene with frequently changing paper dolls was… rather trying on my patience. Basically, the only scenes that could breeze through the loading times were the ones that were not voiced. I’m guessing that’s why this game has an “Install” option to speed up the loading time… I was playing the UMD though and had no free space on my memory card :-/ At least the skip function worked properly… The game has an in-built screencap function though, and that’s always a plus.

I noticed one thing on this playthrough… I actually noticed more details/hints being dropped in the story. See, when I played the PC version, I played about half an hour every night… it was a good pace, except that by Friday usually I wouldn’t remember anymore what I read last Monday. Now, re-reading the story with an established understanding of what was happening… I noticed more hints/clues being dropped early in the story, whereas when I was playing the first time around I was too busy trying to understand the story to remember all of these clues. …just a note from someone who was playing the game from the start for a second time I guess. Also, playing this game the second time made me realise just how cheesy some of the dialogues in the story was.

I’ll keep this review short (you can read my review for the original PC version here). Basically… if you haven’t played the PC version, play the PSP version. If you have played the PC version, give the PSP port a miss. There’s not a lot added to it… it felt like a financial blackmail for only a few new CGs, to be honest.

Also, I noticed something else… the way the story was written, and the way they revealed some things in one route and not the other… I have a feeling that the recommended play order should be Rihito -> Touya -> Kiichi -> Sou -> Saaliya.

Comparisons and personal thoughts I had as I played each route… spoiler-y, avoid if you don’t want spoilers/planning to play the PSP port.

Sou

  • …even though I thought that now I had a better understanding of the storyline… I still had no clue what Emma’s motivation was. It was mentioned that she loved a man enough to follow him to hell, but… who’s the man? Sounded like it could be Miku’s dad, but that can’t be…
  • Re-observation… Sou’s route was the only one where Rihito didn’t butt in to cockblock with intrigues etc. …why? Especially since Rihito did it to everyone else…
  • Sou’s extended ED… really felt more like a 3P ending with Sou->Miku<-Tsubaki.
  • …1 extra CG for the ending? That’s it…? And it’s not even a kiss CG…

Kiichi

  • Starting Kiichi’s route made me realise… I couldn’t remember a single thing about his ED in the PC version (-v-  ;;) I guess to me his route was simply not memorable…?
  • …can’t remember if I thought of this before, but Kiichi’s route felt like a standard shoujo manga. Girl started liking the captain of the soccer team, they started spending time together, with the guy intending to confess if he won a match etc… I mean, the whole thing about Miftaf felt more like a side-plot.
  • …hrm. Near the end, after the whole “Kiichi I’m your mother” revelation… he was sad etc trying to accept the reality… then the next thing he did was to confess to Miku. Again, can’t remember if I thought of this before, but the timing felt rather… abrupt?
  • 1 extra kiss CG for the ending. …felt like I got trolled.

Rihito

  • …playing this with more understanding of Rihito’s motivation… again, made me understand why he’s so desperate and why he did the things he did. At the same time, it made me feel rather bad to see how desperate he was, when I was on another guy’s route…
  • Considering just how far Ema would go to troll Miku and whichever guy whose route she’s on (to prevent Miku from destroying Garnet Cradle), for everyone else… I still don’t understand why she didn’t lift a finger in Rihito’s route.
  • …I only realised it now, but Rihito’s character really got shafted in this game. He’s painted as a villain in other guys’ route… and they still painted the guy as a villain in his own dang route.
  • Again… only 1 extra kiss CG in the extended ending. But… this might only be my bias speaking, at least they gave Rihito’s extended ending some killer lines (* v *  )

Touya

  • Definitely biased, but TOUYAAAAAA ❤
  • In the original game, near the end there was a scene where Miku hugged Touya, and he hugged her back after overcoming his reluctance. In the original game there was only a black screen, and I remember finding it odd since it seemed like a significant event, and yet there was no CG for it… a CG has been added to the PSP port for it. And if I’m correct, they extended the dialogue for the scene. (I probably replayed that scene way too many times in the original game, to notice this…)
  • Touya got 2 extra CGs in his extended ending, one of which being a kiss (” v ”   ) and his extended ending, much like the original ending… was more amusing/funny rather than romantic.

Saaliya

  • Saaliya got 2 extra CG for his fight against the big bad, plus 2 extra CGs in the extended ending.
  • I can’t remember if I noticed this the first time around… but the way Saaliya would alternatively say something sweet and then say something mean to Miku… it’s almost as if he was PMS-ing. No, really.
  • Nope, still no understanding on who Kagami-sensei or what his motive was.
  • Understanding Saaliya’s story more… felt like the whole plot could had been avoided if only Sayaraan took the time to sit down and talk properly with Iblis to explain just what she was trying to do (-__- ;;)

…unfortunately, I was more disappointed overall… the extended ending basically continued right where the original ending ended, adding a paragraph of dialogue or two for each character. I rather if it had been an epilogue instead… but well. Felt like it wasn’t worth the time I spent *sigh*

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Camille
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 23:51:35

    hi =) i love your blog =D i want to play this game too~ how did you play it? did you download the patch from torrent? or you bought your own UMD? O_O pls reply. thankyou.

    Reply

  2. Hinano
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 01:11:26

    is the lag possibly because your PSP/firmware is too old maybe? Although I had a similar lag issue with RenAi Bancho even though I’m on 6.39. I do agree that loading stuff can really put a damper on gameplay (*cough Arcana Famiglia)

    Reply

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About…

Just an otome game fan. ...who spends a lot of weekends playing otome games on PC with a Japanese dictionary propped open on her lap.
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