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Crescendo - Old game, still good - 8/10


LostPomegranate

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I originally read Crescendo nearly 20 years ago at the time of writing this review, and I decided to reread it. The only thing I could clearly remember going into the reread was that I got emotional during the first read. Well...it's still got it. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a well written pretty believable emotional story. There are some topics touched on that will upset some people. If you're sensitive to the following you may want avoid this VN: moderate to heavy spoilers

Spoiler

rape, prostitution, suicide attempt

very heavy spoiler

Spoiler

terminal illness.

 

Systems are about as standard as you'd expect from a VN that was released in the early 00's. The OST is actually really good and uses many Scott Joplin classical songs. Voice acting was also pretty good, especially given the age of the VN. Only frustrations really come from it being 640x480 so it's either in a small window or a weird full screen unless you upscale it yourself - which I would recommend doing using something like magpie if you have a larger monitor.

 

The writing here is good with no real lulls in the story, so even though it's a 10 or so hour read, there's not really any wasted fluff reading. A lot of the story is told through flashbacks as the characters recall their time in high school as they (MC and some heroines) are graduating in a few days. I personally appreciated this storytelling method as it also helped give a sense of time passing through the various stories rather than everything just being done in a whirlwind 4 days. Characters are believeable in their motivations and actions, which brings weight to the story. I personally enjoyed every heroine, but they each had their flaws as well, which just made them feel more human. I'm not going to go into the routes themselves in detail as they would be difficult to discuss completely spoiler free. I don't really think there's any obvious outlier routes in regards to writing quality present in Crescendo, all of the routes are well written and have their arguments.

 

For those of you wondering how sad it gets on the nakige / utsuge front to help you decide whether you want to read it:

Spoiler

initial 5 heroine routes (including bad ends) get a bit emotional, but I only recall getting teary a few times. The 6th heroine's route alone though made me cry like a small child whose favorite toy was broken.

I'd recommend this VN to anyone who likes well written emotional stories.

Edited by LostPomegranate

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Crescendo has been on my list of VN's to read for over a decade now. I just need to find the right time for it, because I know I'll love it. But I know I'll love it even more if I read it when I'm fully in the mood for it

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