Foreword: A nostalgic post in quite a while! This game pushed itself in front of me when the anime variations came out. Viewers who have already played the game will realize that the anime variation follows the common route exactly, and even dives into each of the routes, which is actually kinda hard to do in an anime.
The version that I review today is the Ecstasy version, which contains adult material (aka, H-scenes for all characters). Despite this, the H-scenes themselves are not as explicit as other games, and play very little role in the actual story itself. This is why I recommend the Perfect Edition (which was released quite recently) if you haven’t gotten a chance to grab the ecstasy variation.
Title: リトルバスターズ (Little Busters)
Release Date: Ecstasy Variation released July 25, 2008
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v5
Game Type: Novel with small minigames.
Summary: Kyousuke has returned, and Riki knows that something will begin again. From when they were young, the Little Busters were the Ally of Justice who sought out evil. Even in high school, Riki wants the same experience he felt several years ago, when Kyousuke pulled him to the outside world. Along with Rin, Masato, Kengo, and Kyousuke, the Little Busters will soon find that there will be more people who joins their group, and will enjoy their time left as high school students, with each other.
Story Length: Very Long (40+ hours, includes minigames)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Hard
Comments: Long stories, where the reader is HIGHLY suggested to use a walkthrough, mainly because the routes are that complicated. There are lots of choices to make, and especially in the climax of some of the scenes, if you make a mistake, you’re forced into a bad route.
Rin, arguably the main heroine of this game!
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 12/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 10/10
Rating Comments: You can disagree all you want or complain that the story isn’t that good. I wouldn’t care. Little Busters exceeded my expectations, despite the fact that I already have experience with Clannad and even Angel Beats. Their theme of “life and death” is hidden until the very end, and all the events that happen before that only make the readers sympathize with the characters even more. Another thing I appreciate is that the routes are synchronized: the plotline in one route WILL match up with the different plot in another. (The major example being Kanata and Haruka’s routes). In addition, you’ll find that characters are extremely dynamic. Masato, who is a character designed for comedy, has his own, extremely dark, route.
At the end, the very last route: the Muscle Sensation Route, obliterated every “sad moments” in the game and left a satisfied emotion in my mind.
Yuiko “confessing” to Riki.
Sexual Content: Very low.
Comments: A very good game, it is imperative to realize that Little Busters is filled with symbolism; an object that represents another story element. Without seeing this, it is extremely hard to understand or feel any affection for the plotline. Some of these are explained in the spoilers below, but I suggest playing the game before reading the spoilers.
Affection for the Characters: EXTREMELY HIGH.
The Loli of this game, Kudo! If you don’t know already, there’s a fandisk for Kudo called Kud-wafter.
CG Quality: Moderately High. Yes, many can argue that the CG isn’t the best looking, but I’m talking about quality, not personal preference. Games nowadays lack various special effects that Little Busters contain, and this was the reason for being rated slightly higher in terms of CG.
Music Quality: VERY HIGH. Key arguably makes the greatest music; ones that pull out the reader’s emotions. It is actually very hard to even believe that this game was created in 2008, due to the high quality of various scenes and music.
Komari plays an important role in some of the routes.
Addictiveness: High. Despite the fact that all the story is known to the player, they may want to try their luck with other minigames, such as the baseball minigame, or Saya’s dungeon crawling game.
Conclusion: An extremely satisfying and pleasant game, with great sound effects, gameplay, and overall storyline. Little Busters is your typical “KEY” game, but unless you’ve actually read the story somewhere, you will not be able to predict any of its plotline. The added bonus is the Kanata + Sasami + Saya routes, which add in more fun, laughs, and heartwarming moments.