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Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru キミの声がきこえる [AXL]


kivandopulus

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Foreword: Unlike Hidamari this AXL work has no superficial elements, so I'm starting it with heavy heart. Can AXL pull it out with a SOL story?

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Synopsis: Naoya fails the university entrance examination, and starts to study at a preparatory school. He meets Sakura, Miyuki and Ouka there and enjoys his life. On the other hand, his father tells him to go and help the hotel, owned by his father. He also meets beautiful girls including Izumi, his childhood friend, there and enjoys his peaceful life. Naoya is busy with studying, loving and working! Sakura, Izumi and Miyuki... Love with girls, friendship with friends, long distance love and triple cohabitation...? What will happen to Naoya in the end?

Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqMbhWBS_vA&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_GNDXkWAd8Vb9u1nwXBH6K

Game type: Youth comedy

Character Design rating: 8/10

Protagonist rating: 7/10

Story rating: 6/10

Game quality: 9/10

Overall rating: 8/10

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Story is really absolutely normal, so I'm rather disappointed with it. But it's not a plotge, so game should be evaluated by different criteria. Still some words about the story. Naoya fails entrance exams to the university, so he attends a preparatory school for a year as a ronin. And it's a fantastic setting, actually. It's just a bit about school to get new acquaintances, but it's mostly free time to do anything characters want. Such a gracious way to avoid school-college-work dilemma. Recurring video addresses of Naoya's father is a huge repeating gag by itself, but among others it also gives an opportunity to help about family ryoukan. It's all about choice where to move now.

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Here comes the structure. Game presents an unusually complex structure that can be treated positively and negatively. Basically, there are three routes that can be roughly described as distance romance relations, cohabitation with heroine, and cohabitation with multiple heroines turning into harem. First branch is much more to my liking. Moreover, it seems to be initial plan for the story due to game's title that can be translated as "I can hear your voice". First part is all about telephone talks and sending photos to the telephones. As for heroine routes, it's also not that simple...

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There are three main heroines - step-sister Miyuki who comes to live together with Naoya, childhood friend and ryokan caretaker Izumi, genki classmate Sakura. Izumi and Sakura have an ending in each of three route branches while Miyuki has only one ending in third branch that can be described as harem. Can't stand Izumi, btw. There are also four sub-heroines that have just one ending each, but they are unjustly treated as bad endings. There is such feeling, because in every such branch choice there's either instant ending of sub-heroine or story continuation with several more choices for either Sakura or Izumi. It's ok for less funny heroines, but I feel that Ouka deserves better. 

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But where game especially shines is humor. Common route is an absolute paragon for comedy. Everything serves humor purpose here. Only bright and funny heroines like Sakura, Ouka and Miyuki show up here to set the drive. Needless to say that each heroine meeting is done masterfully. But that's not all. There are two baka friends that bring so much fun with them - otaku Masamune and moderately stupid sportsman Kenta. As if it's not enough two more silly characters are added - a self-proclaimed best-friend Gonjuurou and homosexual Shirou. Every time this many hilarious characters gather together it's in for a blast.

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As a result, Kimi no Koe ga Kikoeru is a fabulous comedy that deserves much more attention. I personally consider that game would win with only distance romance relations authentic branch present. It would be a cleaner and less confusing structure without loli step-sister Miyuki and harem additions. But bigger story can't possibly be described as disadvantage. Don't read extra routes if you don't want to. I just wish I knew that and read only first route.

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1 Comment


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AXL doesn't really vary its general formula where it involves heroines that much.  They reuse templates shamelessly, but the games they produce are almost universally enjoyable from beginning to end, which is in itself an accomplishment.  Rather than forcibly evolving their style to perfectly match trends, they've just polished their existing style, making incremental improvements and finding ways to use their existing toolkit more effectively.  AXL is the paragon of doing the same thing in new ways, and so if you have played any AXL game, other AXL games will feel familiar but different, which is surprisingly reassuring, since 'innovation' can become toxic when it goes too far.

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