Foreword: Wow. All I can say. This game was flat out perfect. Great story, character design, scenario was unpredictable and exciting, and throughout the game, I continuously forgot to finish Sakura Strasse, that I vowed to finish before completing this game. Before I get onto the review, let me take the time to STRONGLY RECOMMEND this game to you, dear readers. I will explain myself below.
Additionally, this game, for being approximately moderate in length, was finished in merely 4 days: my personal record for finishing games. While the fact that I was on Winter Vacation played a slight role in this record, it still does not subtract from the fact that the storyline is ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING!!
Title: 夏ノ雨 (Natsu no Ame, lit trans. Rain of Summer)
Release Date: September 25th, 2009
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v1898
Game Type: Novel
Summary: Sousuke reminiscences back to his childhood, when he fell in love with a girl: a love at first sight. As a young child, he had teased the poor girl into crying, and became sad as he did so. While he laughs at how dumb he was, he sees a beautiful girl coming towards him. However, before they can even greet each other, Sousuke sees a motorcycle about to crash into the girl, and saves the girl from being hit. As a sacrifice, the girl’s cellphone is dropped into the river, and through some trouble, Sousuke and the girl ends up soaking wet.
Nonetheless, he escorts the girl to her destination, and returns home, thinking about how pretty the girl was. However, he will be surprised to find out that the girl he was daydreaming about was at his house! According to his mother, she was his half-sister that was to live in the same house from now on.
Sousuke manages to drop a pretty girl into the river just as he meets her… Not bad!
Story Length: Moderate (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderately easy
Comments: Even as I played the game, I felt raging at Rikako. However, neglecting her throws you into a bad end. The real split comes at the night BBQ, so make sure to save there and properly choose the heroines to capture.
Rikako, Sousuke’s half-older sister. I’ll leave it to your imagination to why she’s crying.
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 11/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 10/10
Rating Comments: WOWZORS!! This was a really nice game. I had it saved for about a year now, and I’m so mad I haven’t gotten to playing it until now. Starting with character design, it is simply perfect. I had thought of an idealized character design for a story. You could tell I was delightfully surprised when I found this game; exactly what I had in mind of the “perfect” game. In addition, you’ll realize that EVERY CHARACTER has a role in one way or another, despite the fact that subcharacters are not given too much role in other games. In this sense, the subcharcters felt as if they were main characters as well. Additionally, there are also many dynamic characters that will leave you smiling pleasantly as you finish the game, and genuinely leave a warm feeling in your heart.
As for story, I cannot say anything more. Connecting plotline and flashbacks (even across different routes too!!), solid theme, intimate character interaction, and combined with the character design in general, the story was pulling out so many emotions from me. I was literally laughing in the comical scenes, and crying in the tragic scenes. Dear Readers, THIS, I tell you, is the pinnacle of any form of game: To Drag out the Emotions from the Player.
Do note that this game, in general, is more on the serious side than comedy. If you want laughs, this is not the game for you. If you want a heartwarming story with a great plotline and design, you will love this game.
Wait, who’s this?! O_O;; (Make sure you get to her route too!)
Sexual Content: Moderately Low
Comments: Despite all the compliments I have for this game, the game does have its bad points as well; it starts extremely slow. I believe this is why there are not many plays: the reader simply gets bored with the story before it gets any good. However, I ask all my readers to have an open mind and heart as you play this game, and sooner or later, it will captivate your very soul.
Another factor that was actually a double-edged sword (It was both good and bad), was the sexual content. If you look slightly below, you’ll find that the affection created for the characters are extremely high, meaning you won’t be skipping through the H-scenes like I do for most games. However, the H-scenes were unnecessary. H-scenes in general, should be utilized as a “proof to the reader” that the characters are feeling genuine affection towards the protagonist. However, some (Not all) H-scenes were poorly plastered on the end of the route, much to my discontent. Even with this complaint, I still give the story rating a 10/10 because each story has a very nice and satisfying conclusion.
Dear Readers, how many games have you experienced, that has this kind of plotline?
Characters Meet -> Events -> Split -> Characters Fall in Love -> CRISIS -> Resolution (Climax) -> Conclusion
Oh the cliche plotline; don’t you think? Instead, Natsu no Ame seems to follow this pattern:
Characters Meet -> Events -> CRISIS -> Resolution -> Split -> Events -> Characters Fall in Love -> CRISIS -> Resolution -> Events -> CRISIS -> Resolution (Climax) -> Conclusion.
As you can probably see, EVEN THE PLOTLINE IS OF HIGHER QUALITY THAN OTHER GAMES, due to the sheer number of elements that this game contains. Again generally speaking, “CRISIS -> Resolution” can be considered the main story of the game, and this game has three places where that happens. Meaning that there was much thought and effort put into this game.
Affection for the Characters: Extremely High
Whoa, Midori! Two people riding on a bicycle is dangerous!
CG Quality: Beautiful. Don’t be fooled by the sprites; the CG is actually very well drawn and detailed, despite being a game from 2009. Let the screenshots help you decide.
Music Quality: Stunningly Amazing. I’m not sure about you, dear reader, but I’m an absolute fan of string music. Even if you don’t like string music, you’ll find that the synthetic beats and tunes in this game is completely appropriate for where it is used in the story, and even contains a “fantasy” theme that is completely unrelated! Despite this difference, it will not be belittled, as it becomes complimentary to the “fantastic” plotline!
I actually had this wallpaper for a while, but it was after I started playing this game that I realized this was Midori.
Conclusion: Great game that I highly recommend even to non-Japanese players, as each difficult kanji is presented with how to read it right above it. While this got in the way of hooking, it’s a simple enough game that everyone should try.
Character Design and Story Rating are highly superior, and despite that the humor in this game will be inferior to other comedy games, it is similar to series by Key, in the sense that all the comedy stacks up and will be the reason why you’re crying in that one sad scene, or feeling satisfied by the conclusion.
As I enjoy the great soundtracks and beautiful CGs, I hope you can enjoy the following screenshots, and become encouraged to play the game itself.
*pfffttt* Rikako engaging in Customer Service?
Let’s not forget our cute and innocent senpai: Hinako! Here’s a small spoiler though; she becomes a succubus in her route. Haha.
I’m sure everyone has seen this screenshot from somewhere ^^