Review by w7n
Personally I hate the game! Well, I'll be rating this game from a different view but not really biased.
Air. The 2nd game of the Key 'Trilogy'(Kanon, Air, Clannad). The trilogy is said to be extremely moving... And that is why I got Air... And I wasn't moved. And it's not because I didn't pay attention to the story, or I didn't understand
Consider me cold-blooded as you please, but today I'm gonna share a different view with GAL-game players.
A successful visual novel must appeal to players in the early stages of the game(that is, until the important part of the story begins). The male protagonist, Yukito, meets a pretty girl KAMIO Misuzu(Capital=family name), and afterwards, for about 3 days, Misuzu continually asks Yukito to be friends with her, and Yukito acts as if he's ignoring Misuzu. Dialogues may be interesting to read, but when this goes on I guess people start to get bored, and eventually throw up. Oh well, that stuff always appeals to all those otakus, right?
A good visual novel must have a good story. The main storyline is about Misuzu, and it's quite OK, though I don't become touched when the story is too far from real life. The other routes(Kano route and Minagi route) are not developed enough. They are short, and the relation between the 2 routes and the core idea... Well, just like 'air'!
The common thing about the 3 routes is that the protagonist and the heroine fall in love easily. That's normal, but it's hard to imagine how they fall in love... e.g. In Misuzu route, Yukito ignores Misuzu at first, but ever since Misuzu start to behave strangely and then become sick, all of a sudden Yukito starts to care about Misuzu.
Rating: Misuzu--8/10, Kano--5/10, Minagi--3/10(What the hell is this route talking about??!!), Kanna--8/10, OVERALL--7/10
The replay value of a visual novel is probably what 'the novel tries to tell us'-- something behind the story. For example, while a lot of people consider the Misuzu ending a sad ending, it's not if you look at it from the 2nd chapter of the game.
The story's core idea seems to be 'Peace, no sins or fight'. That's good, but it's not real close to the story. However, the gamer goes in this order: Reading-Laughing-'What the?'-Reading on-Weeping-Crying-Thinking. At the final point, any idea seemingly related to the story makes sense. BAH!
Graphics: I don't really like the girls' graphics. The eyes occupy about 1/6 of the face! Nothing much to criticize, though.
Music: The soundtrack is brilliant! Especially 'Tori no Uta'(Bird's Poem) and 'Aozora'(Blue Skies). PS: I made an NES version of the tune Aozora some time ago...
Summary: The game is OK, with a lot of minor flaws. And also, this game appears to be a bit old-fashioned. If you are a Key fan you can't miss it, but if not, there is a (not low!) possibility that the game is a waste of time.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Air (Regular Version) (JP, 09/08/00)
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