Foreword: Well, I finally decided to get on with the Lump of Sugar games that I’ve been pretty much holding back because I’m a lazy butt like that.
And now I bring you their 6th game, “Hello, Good-bye”! Strange title as it is, I was immediately pulled in with its opening movie, and I definitely knew I was in it for a treat when I finished the prologue and moved into the main story.
It’s so strange… How a game that’s over 3 years old can be such a great quality in terms of both gameplay, scenario, and art while other games currently fall greatly inferior. Looks like I’ll be playing some older games while I don’t keep too high-hopes of other recent releases.
Enough chatting. Finished in literally two days, it just shows the quality of this game! I’m very proud to present you my review of “Hello, Good-bye”!
This is the end, and also the beginning…
Title: Hello, Good-bye
Producers: Lump of Sugar
Release Date: December 17, 2010
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v5316
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=686380
Game Type: Sci-Fi Mystery Novel with themes of Remembrance and Memory
Summary: He woke up due to the trembling of the monorail, and this was actually quite fortunate since the next stop was his destination. He takes a look at his fake identity he’ll be using to infiltrate the school: “Tobu Kaito”, and wonders if this would go well.
As soon as he arrives, he finishes up the preparations for transfer, and decide to get a good view of the town, since it’s the place he’ll be living here until his superiors order otherwise.
As he climbs a hill, he sees the entire town glittering in the sunset. He stares blankly into space, as he is suddenly greeted by a girl who was taking care of the lilies that bloomed on that hill.
“Don’t Forget”… That quote will continuously haunt him as he manages his life in Morino with the help of this girl, May.
Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: N/A
Comments: Quite an easy story to clear, all you need to do for the first three heroines is watch what “scenes” are being presented with each choice. The scenes you haven’t seen dive into each heroine’s route, while choosing the dialogue with the scenes you’ve already seen are leading to the ‘completion’ of the game.
Last route for Koharu opens only if you start from the beginning and skip all the way past the prologue to the message “Don’t Forget”.
Black-haired character + goth-loli outfit = Very much win.
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: Extremely high rating game, I was truthfully surprised at such a design. Not only are the routes very descriptive, but each of the elements (such as the scenes being presented at each choice) represent the ultimate truth of the entire story. Story rating and character design rating falls slightly due to there being some holes in the story, but I’ll be getting to that in the comments section.
Overall GREAT game with consistent plot, lovable characters, and top-quality music/CG. Lump of Sugar has once again created a game worthy of being called “the Best Game” on Getchu. While not comparable to games like Tayutama, it still stands as one of my “highly recommended” games.
May is first! The first girl that Kaito meets when he arrives in Morino (Sister Teresa doesn’t count), the readers can immediately see that this girl is calm and reserved, but also very friendly. In the consecutive scenes, it is shown that May is actually pretty oblivious to many things, and quite unique in the sense she has a different mindset than others.
Slightly into the game, her “difference in mindset” is different in the sense that what might be considered “volunteering” to everyone in society is something that “she must do” for May. Simply put, when it comes to the uncivilized people who are being taken care of at the church, May is the first one to help out and offer her kindness.
This is why Sister Teresa sighs and comments that “You (Kaito) are also one of the people that May reached out to, huh?”
It is also shown that May’s family is actually rather wealthy (this is contradictory to her selfless personality), and her background is revealed in each route as the daughter of the newest president.
Despite seeming to be the main heroine, May’s route doesn’t seem to have much significance except to show the truth about Kaito. This is one of the reasons why story rating is lower than what it could have been, since there was nothing important in May’s route, at least relative to Koharu’s route.
Suguri is next. A very energetic girl, I kinda assumed this girl to be a “tsundere” type character at first, but my expectations were betrayed as I heard her voice and read her description on the homepage. Probably more “anaenbo” than even May, it is shown that Suguri somehow knows Tobu Kaito from somewhere, but Kaito himself obviously does not remember her. This is only after the reader is shown a scene where this girl suddenly bursts into tears (which is rare for Suguri), and this action keeps Kaito only more confused.
Well-known for her friendliness in class, Suguri’s CV, who is actually Gotouza-sama (I remember Yuko Goto by this name, because of her role in Lucky Star as that gangster woman who suddenly appears on one of the later episodes of Lucky Channel), and really… This gap is what makes me so attracted to her voice.
The infamous “Gotouza-sama”, with the artist trying to fully replicate her real-life looks (below)
I mean, it’s a biker woman who has the voice who can infatuate any freaking guy out there! WHY!?! HOW?!
I digress. Nonetheless, you can bet that I enjoyed Suguri’s route thoroughly (despite it sounding pretty cliche), admittedly due to her CV.
Third is Natsume, who transfers in after Kaito. Labeled as “Good transfer student” and immediately gaining popularity for her good looks, the reader’s first impression of this girl is that she is shy and introverted. Despite this, the earliest scenes involving Natsume suggests that Natsume has something against Kaito, as immediately hearing his name makes her expression change sharply.
After this, the reader is shown a series of scenes where Natsume follows Kaito. The funny part of this plot is that while the new transfer student tries to do this secretively, but others around Kaito realize this action quite early on.
Kaito, obviously being uncomfortable with this girl’s stares, confronts her–only to have the girl accidentally blurt out that she’s also someone like him.
Natsume’s route is utilized to introduce a certain character named “Masaki Jin”. This name appears occasionally in other places, and the reader may want to focus their attention whenever this name is used–since he is supposedly the story’s antagonist.
Other than that, Natsume’s route mostly involves her being unable to properly choose what side she wants to be in, since the main story reveals that she’s also a soldier sent to watch the actions of Tobu Kaito–this was really why she acted differently to Kaito than other classmates.
Despite this obvious flaw to her military abilities, Natsume is shown to be extremely skilled at sniping. The game uses the comparison that she casually scored 1107 in 12 rounds (92.25%), but the world record for 300m rifle is 1727 in 18 rounds (95.94%) according to ISSF (For the reference, anything over 90% is olympic-grade skills). This shows that this girl is highly skilled with all types of guns, and this is shown several times in her route, both when she aims the gun at Kaito or their enemies.
… and for the main dish, the Tower of Meat!
Last is Koharu, a young girl who makes a painful introduction (at least to Kaito), but doesn’t appear in the “main story” at all. Instead, she returns as the central heroine after you clear the other three heroines, and reveals the truth about the settings and background knowledge.
Ranked #1 on the heroine popularity ranking, I also found this character to be greatly favorable over other characters. Despite this, what I DIDN’T like was that this character did not make an appearance AT ALL throughout the entire game.
The only time Koharu appears is when she is first introduced in the prologue, and her own route, only available at the very end. I would’ve really liked it if Koharu made subtle and infrequent appearances within the main game, since she IS the heroine who explains everything and is considered the “omniscient” character. Really, this element (of how the most important heroine doesn’t make an appearance until her own route, and how every other heroine disappears in Koharu’s route) is what brought the story rating down greatly. Other than this factor, everything else was near perfect.
This is an SDCG in Koharu’s route, where it confirms that despite Kaito admitting to never have met Suguri, she still has some feelings for this person she has just met.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: Okay. First, let’s discuss some of the holes in the story. The biggest one is the question about Kaito’s original assignment. Even though it was given to him by his superior (who also happens to double-up as his foster father), but it’s never clearly stated why he sent Kaito for this “ambiguous mission”.
Also despite how Getchu or other sites may represent the other characters, May isn’t really that important to the “true route” which is really Koharu’s route. She’s the “initiator”, but not the “critical factor” of the storyline. I guess they’re both important, but I would’ve really liked an extra “true route” where Kaito’s mission is clearly revealed, and he goes about finishing it.
…and May should also be involved in this “True Route” if at all possible.
Regarding the character design, Getchu (as well as the HP) listed some individuals I didn’t realize as the CV. A quick check on the database showed that most of these CVs are actually not active in the eroge producing, and rather work in anime or console-gaming markets. As I’ve predicted, this lead to really weak H-scenes, but I can’t really blame them for being inexperienced with eroge-voicing (or can I? +w+)
Natsume being really obvious in “observing” Kaito.
But there’s a LOT of background information in the prologue. The game explains that the current “fiction” Japan is divided into the United States of Japan, as well as the Japanese Federation. This actually reminded me slightly of Korea, my home country, since it’s divided into a Republican and Communist area, and still under a flimsy piece of paper (treaty) that can break anytime.
Nonetheless, the game explains that Morino, where the story’s setting takes place, is the place where the peace treaty for these two countries were signed, and therefore pretty darn important since it kept the peace for a long time.
Affection for the Characters: High
May’s actually a character who doesn’t get embarrassed easily since she’s so oblivious. You’ll see that this gets overturned in her own route.
CG Quality: High. LoS always has great CG worthy of coming back to. It’s no wonder they’re still in business as one of the best eroge producers.
Music Quality: Very high. Contradictory to much of the “cheerful” and “happy” kind of themes that LoS produced previously (and is constantly producing even now), this title had a darker theme I enjoyed thoroughly. Many of the songs contain a dark theme with a great e-guitar + bass. A lot of the background music also has “vocals” involving English.
I think the SDCG is really adorable :D
Conclusion: A superior Lump of Sugar game, which doesn’t come close to Tayutama in terms of quality, but still worth your time (in my opinion) compared to some of the more recent LoS releases like Heptagram or Magical Charming. Despite having a great story with a clear-cut plot, there are a lot of holes that may make the reader irritated (because I’m actually used to seeing these “holes” in LoS games), but if you don’t concern yourself with inconsistencies and just want to enjoy a game with great music and CG, this is definitely the game for you.
Just a random CG of Suguri, because I still like her best as a character.