Amaterasu Blog

12Feb/113

Kana… Okaeri! Review

Another nice short story about a dying girl. Except this one is protag's little sister.

Good news is: the game does succeed at making the incest plausible. This is partly because it tells their whole life's story starting from childhood, and because the characters are believably human. Said complexity also ensures the slice-of-life is just as fun to read as the drama.

Most of the problems come from predictability: of course she'll get bullied in her youth, some love rival/classmate will try to protect her, the other heroine will notice the relationship someday, the ending is her death (except when it isn't). Early on there's also a mild tendency to rely on stupidity to create an extra scene or two.

Fortunately, all of that gets less and less egregious later on. The endings (which are different enough it's worth reading them all) even manage to be entirely devoid of melodrama, so it's easy to empathize with the protagonist when it really matters.

Score: 7.5/10

Polarization: (+1/-1)

As usual, depends on how moved you are by soap opera disease.

Routes/Endings Played: All six.

4Feb/1123

Saihate no Ima Review

Romeo returns with a bigger budget, a more complicated plot and perhaps even more insanity than you remember.

The consequences are, in fact, staggering. This time the mind screw is much harder to follow than it was in Cross Channel, and the writing does a phenomenal job of giving out *just* enough information to drive you mad wanting more without allowing you to guess anything important in advance. This is in part because the very plot structure of the game makes no sense until the second to last scene.

Stylistically speaking, everything you'd expect from Romeo is here: very complicated characters spending a lot of time together on nigh-incomprehensible comedy in-between pieces of actual plot. However, while in Cross Channel everything was fundamentally character driven, this time it's much closer to being plot driven, if only because character motivations won't make much sense until the end.

But sadly, it was not perfect this time. Sometimes, there was simply too much unnecessary text between major plot points, or a random link to an amusing but also unnecessary infodump would kill a scene's momentum. Still, although many parts of the game felt like a slog to get to some answers, this never lasted for very long and it always felt worth it since almost every significant question gets an explicit answer somewhere.

Score: 9.5/10

Polarization: (-2.5)

It's hard to read, hard to understand, and if you're not a fan of mind screws and metaphysics it may be difficult to even finish this game. But everyone should at least enjoy some of the comedy/action/pseudoscience even if they're not following everything.

Routes/Endings Played: I laugh at how meaningless those terms are now. But yes, all of them.

P.S.: If you're considering playing this, remember to click on every single link no matter what. You'll hate yourself at first, but trust me, it's better that way.