Review by tarot

Reviewed: 01/16/02 | Updated: 01/16/02

Excellent scenario, but hero is a jerk

First, this is a Japanese novel-adventure game. Japanese language barrier class E (know katakana only) is 100%. You need class B (pass JLPT level 2) ability to enjoy this game.

The scenario is a romance story. You are a high school student, and you have a cute girlfriend, Hotaru. But something is not going very right between the two of you, and your relationship is threatened. Depending on your choices in the game, you may either mend your relationship, or you may break up with Hotaru and start or fail to start a new one with one of five other girls.

Because of this background, the scenarios are interesting and can get quite emotional. But this also causes a problem which has lead to many complaints. Namely, unless you're playing Hotaru's scenario, the hero character is a jerk who dumps his girlfriend for another girl. While Hotaru is still loving him loyally, he gets interested in another girl, who is in some cases a friend or family (!) of Hotaru. And the game shows no reservation towards condemning this as wrong: it is explicitly mentioned many times in the game that the hero is feeling guilt for that, and he is repeatedly called a jerk (/saitei/, etc.) by himself and the girls.

Thus, an important advice when playing this game: unless you are feeling sadistic and want to experience guilt and feel like a jerk, you should, in one corner of your head, keep in mind that this is just a game, and the hero is not really yourself, and his outragrous behavior is not really yours. If you can keep this clear while experiencing the emotional turbulence, you will be able to get the best enjoyment out of the excellent scenario. But if not, you'll probably feel unhappy and frustrated, and you'll be joining the ranks of dissatisfied players who complain against this. Even though the scenario seemingly gets serious at times, don't get /too/ serious about the game.

KID has built a reputation with a cult following for its recent high-quality adventure games, and this game too is strong in many aspects: the girls look cute and have attractive personalities, the scenario is interesting with some good surprises, the music and the voice acting is very good, and the interface is superb. (The late KID games have handy interface features such as ''quick load'' [load from a choice point] and ''voice mode'' within the ''past message mode''.) This game is recommendable, provided that the player doesn't get too serious.

You'll probably be able to enjoy this game if you think the crazy settings of Yoshizumi Wataru manga (Marmalade Boy etc.) are fun rather than annoying or sick.

Rating: 9

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