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Natsuiro Kokoro Log

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Clephas

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To be honest, despite how much some people recommended this VN to me (or hyped it without playing it *smiles dryly*) this VN didn't seem even the least bit exciting to me.

This didn't change significantly even after I started playing it, and it never really felt like it got off the ground.  First of all, they plopped down a bunch of wastefully (and I do mean that as it sounds) colorful characters into a setting that felt kind of forcibly glued together.  Second, the story itself is brutally truncated, both in the sense of the heroines' personal stories - which feel weak and tacked on forcefully (except for Kuon's) - and in the sense of the protagonist's own personal story, which is as weak (closer to nonexistent) as he is as a character.

The common route is a pretty terrible offender on this front... understand, I do like the cast of characters in this VN.  The heroines are adorable, and giving them an alternate personality in the virtual world really had the potential to enhance the experience.  Unfortunately, there is a definite sense, at least to me, that the writers were deliberately hurrying on a common route that hadn't quite gone where it was meant to.  The protagonist's personal ambitions are fairly weak, and his single specialty is an area where he is left in the dust by one of the heroines.  To be honest, the rather blatant effort to strip the protagonist of what little stand-out quality he had was more than a little irritating.

Nagi Kisara's route, which was the first heroine route I played, had different issues.  To be blunt, way too much time is spent on the falling in love portion without making it seem like a real experience.  Ironically, the Kisara avatar's personality is far more interesting than Kisara's own... and I came to realize early on that this game's biggest weakness when it comes to characterization is the fact that the avatars are more stand-out than the heroines themselves.  The protagonist's own sense of rivalry toward Kisara is never brought to a real conclusion (unless you call that pathetically random fight a conclusion), thus basically cutting off any chance of a more complex development of Kisara and the protagonist as characters, beyond the hurried events at the end of the path.  Finally, the complete lack of an epilogue (as opposed to a short epilogue, as is common in charage) left me feeling betrayed, especially after the rushed events leading up to the end after they began going out with one another seriously.

Kotone's route was a marginally better experience, including Rai (her avatar) as an integral part of her personal story... unfortunately, the explanation for Rai is a bit forced (especially if you have even a surface knowledge of psychology).  It also actually has an epilogue... but considering that Kotone's basic personality, even with Rai added onto it, isn't the type that would seek that type of ending, it felt odd.   At its best, the route was 'cute', but at its worst it felt rough and unpolished... and not in a good (creative) way.

... seriously, I want to scream now that I've finished Kuon's path.  Of the three paths I've played so far, this one is incomparably better in writing, design, and pacing... so why the heck didn't they do this for Kisara's or Kotone's paths?  Of course, Kuon's face is on the game icon, and she is an osananajimi heroine+ojousama+student council member+tsundere, so it was rather blatantly obvious she was intended as the VN's main heroine.  However, considering that there is no route lock function in this VN, it is a bit ridiculous to create such a difference.

Mostly because it is pretty rare to have an actual adult heroine in a VN, I'd absolutely love to praise Hearts for adding in Kanae's path.  Unfortunately, that would be like praising a restaurant for giving you a cheap peace of cheesecake as an apology for feeding you an expensive but sub-standard meal.  To be blunt, this path is as badly truncated as Kisara's was (considering that Kisara was the heroine with the most immediate impact, that still pisses me off), and the only real advantage to it is the dating moments, which are fairly cute.

... I'm going to be honest, I can't bring myself to continue this VN.  Rin is probably one of the most fade-into-the-background imoutos I've encountered in a charage, and I honestly don't feel any desire to see the path my brain is predicting for her.  For better or worse, her character is set up so that the path they'll take to her ending is blatantly obvious, and after three sub-standard routes and one decent one, all I can think about is uninstalling this VN and ignoring the inevitable talk of a fandisc (which is obviously coming, lol). 

Strictly speaking, this isn't a horrible VN... but it both had immense potential in the setting and characters and utterly failed to realize that potential, for better or worse.  Kuon is the only heroine whose path feels 'fully realized' of the four I played, which is just sad, considering how standout some of the heroines in this VN had the potential to be.  My conclusion is that this VN is one of those cases where all the elements for a great charage were dumped in, but the VN itself never fulfilled the implied promise of all that material. 

Who would like this VN?  Ichaicha lovers, pretty much.  The game's concept is heavily focused on dating (this is one of its weaknesses for people like me), and people who like the interminable dating scenes that are standard with numerous VNs of the type will probably get a kick of this, at least to an extent.  There are some downsides... such as the fact that there isn't a clear partition between 'dating' and 'lovers' in most of the paths I played (actual confessions of love aren't always present), and so it feels a lot less serious than it might have.  This VN also had an immense potential to attract the near-future sci-fi crowd, but the choice to use the ND tech almost solely as a gaming and romance-related tool hurt the VN there, too.

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I didn't even have the strength to finish one route. I was literally sleeping in front of my computer lol. I guess this one is for a certain type of audience. 

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2 hours ago, LordBlane said:

I didn't even have the strength to finish one route. I was literally sleeping in front of my computer lol. I guess this one is for a certain type of audience. 

Maybe the more correct way to word it is that it wasn't for you :makina: 

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