Foreword: WOW. FINALLY finished with this game. Yes, I know it was ridiculously long since my last review, but I just finished my exams and now I have to work my behind off just so I can get by everyday and eat cereal in the morning T_T;
Hopefully, I still get through with the upcoming games… Or else I’ll see my “to-play” pile becoming bigger and bigger XD
Right onto the review! Frankly, all my experience with Alcot came from its one title, named “My Girlfriend is the President”. As people would know, I hated that game. Parody that’s not even funny, protagonist is a wimp that has nothing special about him, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I hated it so much that I refused to even consider this game at all at first. Thankfully, some of my friends gave me a slap-in-the-face and brought me back to sanity.
A game definitely worth your time, Clover Day’s is not your average charage: filled with climactic stories (although it does have its own flaws), it’s rather unfortunate that the game loses points in the end for not containing a solid theme. Nonetheless, it scores higher than many other games, and is worthy of being one of my most recommended titles.
Title: Clover Day’s
Release Date: March 28, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v13325
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=783217
Game Type: Slice of Life Romance Comedy involving “Twins”
Summary: Yuuto is the adopted heir to the Takakura family, who only has a twin girls as the successor. Perhaps because of this, his foster father picked him up while he was in an orphanage in England, and brought him back to Japan to become the successor to the family. All this happened over 10 years ago, when his childhood was filled with memories of his friends and imouto that supported him all the way. He vowed to become more strong and independent for these friends, and dreams of the day they will all be reunited.
In fact, that very dream happens unexpectedly, with Hekiru and Hikaru returning suddenly. This event is followed by Hekiru kissing Yuuto and asking him for marriage, which incites the rest of the childhood friend group. Yuuto’s future is like a four-leaf clover: a symbol of good luck and happiness.
Story Length: Long (35 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: Even when it seems like I took my time finishing this game, it was actually because everything was anti-climactic except for the climactic scenes (if that makes any sense). Scenes involved very weak drama that never really got to piquing my interest, and I use this as an excuse that I was slow to finish the game in the first place.
Despite this, the story’s route is so easy to clear, I was almost disappointed. Game clearing is one of the enjoyment in Visual Novels and certainly games (ever heard of a video game where you press “A” several million times to clear it sell well?), and it was certainly disappointing to find that all of the choices that influence protagonist emotions occur in the past.
Yuuto is so lucky…
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 9/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Rating Comments: I’ll be perfectly honest and say that this game was a bit too good for an “8/10”, but not really that great to be called a “kamige” or even given a 9/10. Great story earns the main focus for this game, but the character design fell significantly due to certain elements I’ll discuss later on. Overall a great game, this really caught me off guard after my first game from Alcot as described above. I guess it goes to show that one can’t be too judgmental about a company after a single game.
Character Summary: Right. On to character summaries. There’s quite a few characters, so I’ll try to divide them up as appropriately.
Let’s start with the Hekiru and Hikaru twins. These girls are the ones who are introduced in the beginning of the story to have returned from a long absence in a different country. It’s been 10 years since they last met Yuuto, and one of the twins, Hekiru, greets him by stealing his first kiss! As with all kiss scenes in the beginning, this act is spotted by every heroine who has affection for Yuuto, and causes the utmost chaos.
Hekiru is the girl who talks slowly, while Hikaru is the one who seems to act coldly to Yuuto. Because of how similar they are in addition to having the same CV (of which, Gogyou Nazuna-sama did a splendid job), the only way to differentiate them is by their hairstyle: Hekiru has twin-tails, while Hikaru has her hair in a bun.
The Hekiru/Hikaru route, as it strongly suggests even from the beginning, is a typical “shimaidon” route, where the protagonist hooks up with both sisters. But before that, Alcot didn’t fail in including a love triangle in there, and the fact that the twins can even switch places becomes a huge element of surprise for which I offer my greatest compliments.
Next is Anzu, a super-adorable character who is shown to have a very close relationship to Yuuto, and the older twin of Anri. Despite being the older twin, the two do not look alike, nor is she recognized as the older twin due to her childish personality compared to Anri’s responsible and cool facade (I use this term for a reason).
Anzu is very skilled with cooking sweets, which become a factor that brings Yuuto and her together despite the fact they once avoided each other at one point. This skill makes her close to Shion, the house maid, who teaches her about various things as well. Anzu’s childishness is often represented by her weakness towards sexual topics, and her usage of the phrase “Yayaya!” when surprised or startled.
Anzu’s past mostly involves her experience with the people around her, who often teased her blond hair and blue eyes which set her apart from many other kids (because pink hair *coff* Tsubame *coff* wasn’t rare, right?), and her conflict with her biological mother, who died very shortly after Anzu cursed her for being born this way. This event then transitions to how Shion is in very good relationship with her father, and possibly become her step-mother. With the regret that Anzu has for her real mother, she becomes awkward to Shion as they hear of the news that the two will soon marry. Meanwhile, as Yuuto and Anzu become closer, they realize that Anri becomes more and more distant…
This is the younger twin, Anri! With a tsundere design and a strange behavioral pattern of “trying to be more adult-like”, Anri unfortunately becomes more of a comical character than an “adult-like” character.
With the CV as the same person who voiced Resona from Tsuki yori, I’m wondering if this was done on purpose…
Nonetheless, her loli-appearance (along with a flat chest) won’t help her cause no matter how hard she tries, so the reader can have some good laughs about the futile efforts of this character, who tries on various clothes she orders online to improve her “maturity”. This effort, as shown in the game, is because of her admiration for Shion. Anri, as shown in the flashbacks, is shown to be very cautious of Yuuto at first.
However, seeing how Yuuto wasn’t good in Japanese or doing well in school, Anri starts to help her step-brother and soon falls in love as she sees “how hard-working Yuuto was”. Perhaps because of her wanting to seem more mature and her affection for Yuuto, she addresses him as “Yuuto-san” instead of “oni-chan”.
Anri’s route is the route which contains the “sibling incest taboo” element, which is taken to a great extent, much to my pleasure. Seriously. In recent games, sibling incest is just brushed off, which is so unrealistic… although I’m now wondering why it wasn’t present as much in Anzu’s route. Quite unfortunately, Anri’s route doesn’t have much of a love triangle with Anzu, than it does in Anzu’s route. In this sense, both routes were missing something…
Let’s get to Yuuto’s childhood friend, Tsubame. Very calm and mature (in more than one areas, huehuehue), Tsubame is an important friend to Yuuto, since they were together for so many years. Tsubame also has a twin older brother, Torakichi, who is the best friend of Yuuto, but plays the “idiotic friend” role in the entire story.
Kind, beautiful, great at housework, Tsubame seems like the “perfect” character in the reader’s eyes, and even to Yuuto, who mentions once or twice that she’s “out of my league”. Despite this, both characters joke around very frequently, including some jokes regarding sexuality. For the reference, most of them involve her large breast size.
Tsubame’s route revolves around their past as former acting club members, but Yuuto had to leave due to him becoming the successor to the Takakura Corporation, and this forced him to learn more about business and marketing. Yuuto’s lifestyle couldn’t fit in the acting club’s activities. However, Yuuto gets involved with producing a play for the kids for the town, of which Torakichi writes and the other characters act the roles. As Yuuto gets chosen for the role of the “Prince”, other characters fight furiously? for the role of the princess, but Hikaru receives it in the end. Of course, Tsubame is not satisfied with this result. As she works beyond her limits, she realizes she’s missing something.
Last is Izumi, a strange character who I can’t even define as a “tsundere” because there’s really not even much “tsun” in this character. Izumi acts somewhat coldly to Yuuto despite being one of the childhood friends, and while she does receive top grades in school, she’s also very childish and to a certain extent, dumb. For the reference, despite how she wears a maid outfit in the above CG, she’s not a maid–it’s her outfit for her part time job.
Izumi’s background is that she is from a more poor family, so she had to become a scholarship student as well as work part time jobs in order to support her mother with their daily lives. This is why she becomes surprised when Yuuto is placed in the very shop she works in, to “learn more about society” (remember that Yuuto is the successor to a relatively rich business)
As all kinds of stories that involve the convenient placing of two characters in the same environment, the two start to fall in love with each other. Actually, scratch that. Izumi apparently loved Yuuto from a long time ago to the point she has to restrain her masturbating habits.
As with Tsubame’s route, Izumi’s route also involves a love triangle with Tsubame. The thing I really appreciate about this is that they don’t simply “reuse” the scenario: there’s a completely different story with Izumi’s love triangle than Tsubame’s, even though they involve the same characters.
I personally think this is the best CG of Anri.
Her eyes emit a gentle and loving emotion that I find very attractive.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: Regardless of the compliments I shower this game with, as a critic, I must point out its flaws as well. Similar to the predecessor game, Daitoryou, this game also had a character design where heroines randomly falls in love with the protagonist for the smallest reasons, if any even happens to exist. As always, the protagonist’s emotions are also unexplained (it’s so strange how Yuuto’s playful affection towards someone like Anzu changes into romantic affection without any transition), and the only thing that made this game better than its sucky predecessor was the love triangles and climactic scenes.
I don’t know… a protagonist scoring really cute girls just because they were friends in the past doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, Yuuto does have his qualities as a good protagonist, but all of his “good stuff” is shown AFTER the heroines fall in love with him.
In addition, the climactic scenes were too short for my liking. A climax is where most of the information regarding the conflict should be displayed (as an example, Anri and Yuuto responding to their father after he finds out about their relationship), but all of the climaxes in the game (ironically except for the Hekiru/Hikaru twins route) seems rushed. It really pales in comparison to the beginning or even the middle portions of the game.
This is Mizuho, the class rep for Yuuto’s class. I’m sure there are already reviews out there that reveal her identity, but just keep in mind that she’s an important character too!
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
Conclusion: An expectantly good game from Alcot, it does change my perspectives on them quite a bit. While I wouldn’t rate this game as “omgwtfbbq awesome”, it’s still a game you should definitely try.
On the other hand, stay tuned for another review for a game I finished today! (which also delayed this review quite a bit as well)
By now, readers might have figured out that Anri’s my favorite character.