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Floral Flowlove

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Clephas

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Now, as I stated in the previous post, Saga Planets' has two types of VNs it primarily produces... a story-focused type that doesn't avoid the kind of bitter drama that charage/moege tend to despite the moege-type visuals... and a 'strong charage' type that essentially is a more character-focused VN with many of the same strengths as the former type.  Floral Flowlove is the former type, being much closer to Hatsuyuki Sakura and the other 'Four Seasons Series' VNs. 

As such, as in all VNs by this company, there is a definite 'proper' play order, if you want to fully enjoy this game.  First, unless you are inexperienced at playing VNs, you probably would have figured out that Kano's path is the one that touches on the core elements of the story most intensively... and that is the case, so I seriously suggest you do her path last.  This is my suggested path order Adelheit>Aoi Suu>Kohane>Nanao>Kano.  My reasons are that Adelheit's ending is the one that goes the most out of its way to avoid touching on the protagonist's most intensely personal issues and is the most 'charage-like' path, and Suu is a sub-heroine whose path branches off of Kohane's path.  Nanao and Kano share a basic flow of events up to a point that basically requires you to choose one of them and it dramatically splits off, so it is best to play Kano's path right after Nanao's.

Now that I got that out of the way, I'll make a few comments on the setting and subject matter.  For those who dislike Christian mythology, this VN might make you feel uncomfortable, though - given that it is a Japanese story - it isn't full of the moralist excess that a Western Christian writer would have put into it.  The focus on angels does have meaning, but for most of the VN, you won't know what meaning it has.  Another issue is the protagonist.  He isn't a cipher in any way, shape, or form.  He is an extremely emotionally-scarred, somewhat self-derisive character who also happens to be eminently capable at whatever he chooses to do (my favorite type, lol).  However, his tendency to distrust everyone, despite his ability to see the nature of people's intentions, will probably drive some people up the wall.  The guy is fundamentally a rationalist (which is fairly rare in Japanese VNs), save on a few issues regarding his emotional scars and the need to protect Kano from her own bad luck.

The common route of this VN is fairly dramatic and interesting, and Adelheit's path branches off from the rest almost immediately after the first dramatic point.  A second turning point occurs after the turn-off for Adelheit's path that sends you digging through the protagonist's half-healed emotional wounds and his past, and it is actually pretty interesting.  Save for Suu's, the paths and endings are universally first-rate (Suu's path is this game's abortion, though it is fun to watch the protagonist seduce a nun, lol).  I will say that I - as always - have to complain a bit about the fact that the endings only go a few months to a few years past the climax of the story (I really, really wanted to see Adelheit five or six years later, because I thought it would be rofl-worthy).  However, for most people this won't be a problem.

Each of the paths gives you a final snippet of the past after the credits, and it is, in part, this that made me give you that order of completion.  To be blunt, Kano's revelation is a bit too big in comparison, and as a result, it would be problematic if you saw it too early on (it is meant to be viewed right before going to the final path). 

About nine out of ten people are going to spend this VN wondering 'who the hell is Riku?' because the protagonist never really explains her in any of the game's main paths.  So... I'm not going to spoil it for you (though a lot of you will probably figure it out anyway).

Emotionally, this VN definitely has impact... but a lot of it is pitying, sympathizing, or empathizing with the protagonist.  I will say that Kano has seriously awesome hidden depths that come out in all the paths (think a ditz with an intelligence of ten but a wisdom of five hundred in a D&D game), as she is perhaps the single wisest, most selfless and compassionate heroines I've seen.  She isn't terribly intelligent though.  On the other side, Adelheit is pretty hilarious... she is easily the laziest heroine I've ever seen (though she is also one of the more intelligent ones).  Kohane is the kind of girl who would make the perfect mother for a family of twenty adopted kids, and Nanao is basically your standard tsundere (on her own merits, she is probably the second-weakest heroine). 

The true route... you will cry, so I predict (lol).  Anyway, the true route had me crying for a while, and it was definitely worth playing.  Unfortunately, it is also impossible to talk much about this route without spoiling the entire mess, so I'll just stop here.  I will say that they did manage to avoid the 'true route renders all the other routes meaningless/relevant only relative to the true route' screwup, which is what happens in most VNs with a true route.

Overall, this VN is Saga Planets at its best, having learned from a lot of the little mistakes in their previous games.  For those who liked Saga Planets already, it is crack, and for those who like a good story-focused VN that isn't a chuunige, this is an excellent choice. 

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2 hours ago, starlessn1ght said:

You did classify Hatsusaku as a kamige. Then, is Floflo one as well?

Like Amatsutsumi, it stops slightly short of the kamige line.  Management of the musical end of things wasn't as competent, for one thing. 

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"  Floral Flowlove is the former type, being much closer to Hatsuyuki Sakura "

Nice! Now I'm definitely interested in this title. Hatsuyuki Sakura was very enjoyable and emotional (for me).

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