Review by furygods
Reviewed: 07/19/12 | Updated: 08/09/12
Truly a legendary visual novel.
School Days HQ, the remastered version of the highly notable "School Days" visual novel presents itself differently compared to other games of its type. The animation quality was upgraded as well as extra options and paths. School Days HQ truly sets the bar for the other visual novels.
Uncensored and in English, the legendary Visual Novel presents the player into a highly engrossing love story, and it is not just any ordinary generic love story either... School Days HQ possesses a enormous impact in your mind and continues to be remembered despite it being a eroge.
Unlike traditional visual novels, every scene in the game is comprised of multiple animated videos and occasionally have some 2D static pictures. This style allows it to truly be different than the others, allowing you to watch it like you watch a anime episode. The videos are of high quality, however, it lacks the modern transitioning of quality as one would expect from this day and age, for example, it lacks 1920x1080 resolution or even 1400x900 resolution. However, the video's quality is still quite prominent.
Aside from the resolution, the game reuses a lot of animations, most noticeable when you are viewing a h scene. This is due to the majority of the game's animation are short, and I mean really short, so you would often see it loop over and over again in the worse way possible (as in you could actually tell that the animation is looping due to the camera moving away and then restarts back in its initial position), which cheapens the experience if you are watching a h scene or a ordinary scene. The 2D static pictures are not well made,when compared with Shiny Days, and frankly, it makes the game look weird.
The story is separated into a multiple episodes, and it is non-linear. Allowing the player to decide how the story continues/end. Mostly known for the famous bad endings of the original game, this contains all of the endings of the previous game, and more, with just one replaced. A story that is highly emotional with each episode ending with a dramatic scene keeping the player interested in what would happen next. Multiple paths, each with their own animation, as well as a multitude of choices that directly changes how the characters see you as, their relationship towards you, what places you would visit, and ultimately what kind of ending you would obtain. You would undoubtedly "feel" for the characters yourself. The story is the main selling point of this game, so it is advised that you do not spoil yourself.
As a visual novel, the game's animation pauses at key moments for you to add your input into the game by allowing you to choose from several choices, you could also not choose, that would impact the game's story. However, due to this style, you usually won't be directly participating in playing the game, which may be bad if you are looking for a action game. But, since this is a visual novel, it executes perfectly. You may pause your game at any time, fast forward through the scenes, rewind, skip to the end of the scene, skip to the beginning of the scene, as well as saving or loading at any time, allowing you to play the game and stopping according to your own time.
The music for this game is highly fitting, as well as contributing to the dramatic feel of the game.
Final Grade: [8/10]
As a visual novel, this game succeeded to be entertaining, as well as keeping you interested at what is going to happen next, which many failed to do. The vast number of endings as well as paths allow you to experience a different story every time you play. Being animated from the start, the game allows the play without mindlessly clicking for every dialogue that plays, not to mention, you could see their facial animations as well as what they are doing when they are talking, rather than looking at still 2D pictures with a static background. The game is indeed one of the most memorable visual novels I had ever played, the only fault I found with this is that the game does not truly meet the graphical standards of modern day gaming, which is support for higher resolutions such as 1400x900 or even 1920x1080, as well as the constant looping of animation. As an eroge, the game is not quite there yet, since the h scenes are not well made. If you are looking for a visual novel with a prominent story and is animated, then this game is just for you but if you are searching for well animated h scenes then I suggest you look elsewhere.
Product Release: School Days (HQ) (JP, 10/08/10)
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