A blog for reviews… that's really not much of a blog

Foreword: I tried, guys… I swear that I tried my best to NOT become disgusted at this title, but just as how chocolate has some bitter taste or how watermelon tastes sweeter if you put salt on it, this game reminded me of what “romance” shouldn’t be.

Well, it’s Hook that we’re talking about… I’ve only played a few games from them, and this happens to be my third one. I kinda had a good impression with the two games before this, but I didn’t expect the third one to be as if I was forced table sugar down my throat. Actually, that’s a damn good metaphor; I was forced table sugar down my throat.

In short, I didn’t like this. No drama; cute but highly cliche characters; corresponding storyline, but oh-so-boringly slow and leads to really nothing. When it comes to the “romance” genre, pass on Hook’s games and try something else. You’ll thank me for doing that.

Title: Lovely Quest
Producers: Hook
Release Date: September 28, 2012
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v10341
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=740659
Game Type: Romance Novel with RTC (real-time choices)

Summary: Zenichi is a normal student involved in a school that’s involved in a merging of a male school with a female school. This merge soon formed couples all over the place, and the school has recently been struggling with the fact that some couples would be too brazen about their actions within the school. This is why the school decided to formulate a “Lovely Smile” group, who would go about determining what kinds of actions are “pure” and “impure”.

Zenichi is naturally scouted into this group, and despite it being a “group”, he’s pretty much the only member. He does, however, have the freedom to ask any girl to become his partner to determine the “purity” of a given action, and perhaps this event will allow Zenichi to realize his feelings for a girl that he didn’t have before…

Story Length: Moderately Short (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: RTC refers to the system where you are given a “choice” (in this game, there’s only one choice), but you can do it within a certain time period. The time period you select becomes your choice, and the dialogue seems to vary depending on how long you “wait” before you make the decision.

Frankly, this is highly unnecessary. I’d want the storyline to improve instead, but as far as I’m concerned, Hooksoft is the only company that does this (let me know if I’m wrong), so I guess they’re “unique” in this sense. (LB had this element for their mini-game, but it didn’t affect the overall story, so I exclude it)

Character Design Rating: 4/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Game Quality: Moderately High
Overall Rating: 3/10
Rating Comments: A huge cut in the ratings, the story because there’s really no flow, and the settings are highly cliche. The same plots repeat pretty much endlessly, and there’s no theme within each of the heroine routes. I’ll try to get into detail of this with the character summaries.

Character design gets a cut for the same reason, except it gets salvaged somewhat by the CG. In a sense, this game is even worse than many of the nukige out there…

Character Summary: One of the plus sides of games like this is that it’s oh-so-easy to write up character summaries, because of the fact that there’s no plot to spoil. LOL!

Hami is first. As the childhood friend of Zenichi and the granddaughter of the school headmaster, this cliche character is considered a “deredere” character, or someone who is helplessly in love with the protagonist. Obviously, this characteristic is not explained (why would character design fall so much if it was?) throughout the story, and most of Hami’s route involves being bewildered by Zenichi’s actions in the most exaggerated manner.

Then we go to Mizuho, who is Zenichi’s younger sister. The two are blood-related by birth, but while the younger one is beautiful, intelligent, and extremely popular, the older sibling is just a normal guy. This cliche setting is increased by the fact that Mizuho has some traits of a tsundere as well, which is shown early within the game. Despite the CV being Yoshida Mayumi (an awesome CV), I couldn’t really appreciate this character for being too “unreal”.

Next is Aino, a transfer student from Europe, with my best guess being France according to her route. Energetic and always curious, this stereotypical character fits in the role of a “genkiko” (Energetic girl). Always looking for something new, everything in Japan seems to amazes this girl who spent most of her life in Europe. It also seems as if Zenichi’s dad was Aino’s original teacher, and the initiation for her to transfer over in the first place. Because of this, Aino finds Zenichi comfortable, and agrees to assist him with the “Lovely Smile” activities.

Then we have Iroha, another tsundere/sadistic character. She loves to enjoy seeing others suffer mentally, and Zenichi is not an exception. Despite this, what I hate about this character is that she has a “cute side” that she tries to hide from everyone else… but it appears so easily in front of the protagonist, easily mesmerizing him to this girl who always act coldly. CV is the same as Yune from Amairo Islenauts, so this character correspondence made me laugh originally.

Last Ayaka, the Vice President of the Student Council. She originally agrees to the Lovely Smile activities, and even agrees to assist Zenichi with the differentiation between “pure” and “impure”. An upperclassman adored by many of the students including Zenichi himself, this is your typical “senpai-route” that you can literally find in many other titles. Ayaka is also detached from the rest of the members; many of the scenes only involve the four heroines mentioned previously.

Sexual Content: Slightly High

Comments: So the greatest irony within this story is its entire plot. Originally, Zenichi is supposed to differentiate what’s pure from impure, but often ends up performing those same “impure” activities right in school, regardless of whether or not if it’s in public or private (aka, H-scenes in an empty classroom). Simply put, the beginning scenes show couples perhaps doing something that would be deemed acceptable in public, but Zenichi (in an effort to clear up this “impurity”) ends up doing something worse. So this “overall irony” ultimately slashed down the story rating to near 0.

I guess it’s a plus that H-scenes for the subheroines were also included…?
Yeah, no. Focus on the damn storyline, not H-scenes.

The “embarrassment” of both the protagonist and the heroine was also highly exaggerated, and this really disgusted me. Call me cynical if you want, but such a personality is very contradictory in my eyes–if you’re too embarrassed to even look at your partner, how do you even manage to engage in sexual activities or spend quality time together? It’s also a minus that each route seems way too short–the characters fall in love for the most trivial reasons (sometimes, no reason at all).

Affection for the Characters: Low

CG Quality: Moderately High
Music Quality: Moderate

Addictiveness: Very Low

Conclusion: A very poor Hooksoft game that I thought was a waste of time. It’s really sad how these kinds of companies would immediately tag “romance” with blushed faces and H-scenes, which doesn’t apply to the real world, nor is pleasing for the eyes of the reader like me.

Comments on: "Judgment between Pure and Impure: Review of [120928] Lovely Quest" (8)

  1. If you want strong heroine, with even stronger MC… played Eushully. One of the company that take time to design MC sprite, face, personality and male MC is always the first to appear in character profile page.

    • This is the sole reason why Eushully will always top my lists, period.

      Although I haven’t seen many games from them recently… I wonder why?

    • Eushully released only 1 game per year. They really take their time to make it as good as possible. Tenbin no La DEA is their latest product and I really anticipate it since I’m quite a fan of Battle Goddess series.

  2. […] but the number of H-scenes can compete against one any day! The characters also suffer from “Lovely Quest” syndrome, meaning that they act all embarrassed by trivial things like touching hands, but they […]

  3. Haha! I also played this game before and totally agree with you! I am not not quite fond of weak protagonist with a bunch of “Mary Sue”s either. However, when I played this title, I thought: “I’ve played much worse!”. So it did not bother me too much, it was just boring. On the other hand, there are Galges that even managed to make me hate the developers for all eternity!

    • Haha, nice metaphor you use there! I actually had to look up “Mary Sue” since I’m not too good with English idioms, but now that I know what that means, I’m very glad I’m not the only one who hates such an element.

      But on the other hand, you really must tell me the names of the companies you hate! Since our tastes and preferences seem to be very similar, your suggestions may really help me avoid crappy games in the future!

      Thank you in advance :)

    • Wow! Are you sure you want to know that? Because there are a lot! For example:
      – Recently I have come to despise Whitesoft and Wheel (The Double W of “Waste”), which makes me really sad, because I used to LOVE both of them, until the release of their last titles, which I really hated to the core! The reason being useless protagonists and Mary Sues in excess (I actually wanted to include AXL here too, but then, it would not be two “W”s).
      – Be aware for EX-ONE titles too! You already reviewed one of their games, so I can warn you that they don’t get any better later!
      – I am currently unable to appreciate any recent Windmill title, but there are different reasons for each game. There ARE Mary Sues on some of their titles though…
      – I tend to run away from games that have battles or magical powers (of both) because it usually means the heroines will be overly powerful while the protagonist will be pathetic for sure (exceptions are very rare in this case).
      – Nowadays, being aware of a specific company is not so sucure anymore, as it mostly depends on the writer working in the game. While some of them are regulars in some companies, many work as freelancers. However, there are cases where those writters suddenly decide to change their tastes or style, so even this method is not as useful anymore. I usually have some very few companies who I trust, because it seems its part of their politics and rules to never have a game with weak protagonists and god-like heroines, so it doesn’t matter who is the writter, their games always have enjoyable characters. A few examples of companies I trust (for now) are: OVERDRIVE (Nice name they got there!), Yuzu-soft, UNiSONSHIFT and, specially, Nitro+!
      – There are a lot of other companies I avoid by all means possible, but it will be difficult to remember every single one. For now, here is a good tip: Before playing a game, read the character profiles in the official page, if two or more heroines are described as: “perfect”, “super genius”, “the best”, “number one”, “the strongest (⑨) in Japan”, “with no rivals in the whole world”, “Chuck Norris’s worst nightmare”, etc. Any of those combined with a protagonist who is just “a normal guy” who “got no special talents whatsoever” will be a good sign that this game will be…boring for you…probably. I don’t know, I still think it’s wrong to assume someone will hate something without trying for himself.
      – Sorry for being an asshole by writing this at the very end but, my advices could still be very useless to you, since I believe that what works for some might not please everyone. So, if you feel like you might enjoy a game that I hated, I encourage you to play it!

    • Thank you so much for your advice! Your suggestions are completely valid and reasonable, and I think I am right when I say we have similar tastes–Ex-One, Whitesoft are both companies that I didn’t like the titles they released, and this corresponds with your comment.

      it’s not surprising to see that your “liked” companies also correspond with companies that I like (although for Nitro+, I seem to have a relatively hard time understanding the plot, for SOME reason…), so I feel very safe taking your suggestions to look carefully at Character Descriptions for a game (I only looked at who the Scenario Writers in the past, so….)

      Your comments are extremely valuable for me, so please make them frequently! :)

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