Click this picture to see the OP video on YouTube!
NOTE: This review does not contain any sexually explicit content, but some hyperlinks lead to example photos of fashion models in NSFW attire.
90% of R18+ otome games come in three narrative tones: somewhat serious, moderately serious and deadly serious. The most well-received and beloved titles are all serious. To name a few examples: Tsuki no Hikari Taiyou no Kage (2006), Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari (2011), Koezaru wa Akai Hana (2012), Sakuya (2013) and more recently, Yoshiwara Higanbana (2015). The bestsellers with critical acclaim are the beautiful elites who can’t even crack a smile at you even after you paid approximately $70 for their time.
So that’s why the silly, gag-filled, almost hyperactive Bocchi Musume x Produce Keikaku. (“Bocchi“, from here on out) is quite surprising. To compound my surprise, Bocchi is nothing like Kalmia8’s first title, the darker and maturer Torikago no Marriage.
Categories: PC Visual Novel Reviews, R18+ Visual Novel Reviews, Trial Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews
Tags: Bocchi Musume Produce Keikaku, Kaibara Elena, Kalmia8, Kuroi Isamu, Okitsu Kazuyuki, Shirai Yuusuke, Yokote Kumiko, Yotsuya Cider
To check out the game’s OP, please click on the image.
NOTE: This review does not contain any sexually explicit content.
It’s no secret that I’ve been greatly looking forward to the trial of new adult otome game brand MariaCrown’s maiden title, Yoshiwara Higanbana. Technical difficulties meant that the trial was released on the 14th instead of the 11th of September. Honestly, that’s far from a good first impression (and if I were the creators, I’d be reeling). I remain worried about this bungle, but nevertheless eagerly downloaded the fixed, re-uploaded trial.
Anyway, the main things that attracted me to Yoshiwara Higanbana since its announcement are as follows: the darkly dramatic, tragic and mature aura, the brothel setting appearing to be utilised without any bowdlerisation and a protagonist who’s seemingly unlike the many others in the otome world. Plus I’m not gonna lie- the gorgeous art by Ranpumi really helps!
In my eyes, Yoshiwara Higanbana has the makings of a good game… However, does the trial live up to the hype?
Alongside Blind Prism ~Rainy Season~, Kare to Kanojo no Koi no Sankaku (from here on out, I’ll refer to it as just “KKKS”) is one of the few games I purchased during my monthly(-ish) DL Site shopping expeditions. Priced at just a mere 108 yen, I had even less expectations in KKKS than I did with Blind Prism. Just like Blind Prism, I’m sad to report that I had a baaad time with KKKS. Even moreso than with Blind Prism! The reason why I decided to try this game out (other than because it’s cheap, of course) was because it was created by Skip>>. Skip>> created Sensei no Goshujin-sama, which wasn’t too shabby.
The premise is very simple- the protagonist, Kugami Chika, is best friends with Takaoka Natsuo, and adores Natsuo. However, Natsuo is close to Satou Keita, who Chika dislikes. In order to be able to hang around Natsuo more, Chika tries to become better friends with Keita. As the story progresses, a love triangle emerges and complicates their relationship with each other. Unlike most otome games, and VNs involving love triangles in general, this is a kinetic VN. A kinetic VN is one in which the player simply reads through the text, and isn’t required to make choices or stat-raise. In other words, you merely read how the situation gets resolved, rather than having an active role in choosing who ends up with who.
*** This review will contain spoilers. You have been warned! ***
Since its release isn’t far away, I would like to share my predictions and thoughts about this game. ONEDARI ShareMate has an interesting system, where players determine which two of the four housemates Ayumi will live with. Though I can’t help but feel it’s a bit gimmicky, if executed well, the mundane premise will be made up for by the system of being able to explore the nuances of Ayumi, Guy 1 and Guy 2’s relationship towards one another. It should be interesting to see how Ayumi’s actions determines the course of the three’s relationships, which will branch in three ways- true love, “sordid affair” (i.e. cheating) or a love triangle. At its worst, it will be a borderline-nukige with a gimmick made to lure optimistic gamers like myself into playing a mediocre game. Given the shortness of the trial, ONEDARI ShareMate has left me with many doubts, which will be elaborated on further into this post.