Foreword: So it’s really hard to believe that this game came from Hibiki Works, mainly due to the fact that my first experience with them was PxC. In addition to this, I learned rather late that the “cation” is pronounced “cay-shun”, not “cat-ion” as in the positively charged ion. This is probably a derivative from the word “communiCATION”
Wow, I’m an idiot.
But even with all the compliments I’ll be showering this game with, I hope to include a bit of criticisms because that’s really what I’m here for. Definitely placing in some of the best dating sims I’ve played, here’s the review for Lovely Cay-Shun!
P.S. Is it just me, or is it kinda hard to add tags for games like this…?
Completely Off-Topic: Due to someone requesting a copy of Damekoi (you know who you are!), I’ve gotten into playing it as well. I’m already through with Mitoko’s route and heading to completing the game a second time. I was hoping that’ll keep me busy until the 27th (which is when sakusaku is released), but I guess that won’t work out well…
Title: Lovely x Cation 2
Producers: Hibiki Works
Release Date: April 26, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v10288
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=814060
Game Type: School-life Dating Simulation Game
Summary: The protagonist has recently moved near his school, because he didn’t want to follow his parents moving to a different place. It was mostly his own stubbornness that caused this situation, and despite the hardships he faces from day one, he enjoys his life.
He takes a walk through the town, and stumbles on a shrine, where an old man tries to force him into buying things, but also informs him that he will need to find a partner, or he will spend his youth alone and lonely. This becomes the push for this protagonist as he encounters four girls who he meets in the same time period.
Story Length: Moderate (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Difficult
Comments: Again, we have a game where specific “items” you acquire determines CG within the game. There’s really no effect on the flow of the story otherwise, so it’s probably best if you simply enjoyed the game and used a savedata at the very end just to unlock the CGs
Even without a walkthrough, I was able to get all the non-HCG like this one over here.
That suggests that the item -> CG/Scenes is only another tool for extra H-scenes XD
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: It’s really unfortunate that games like this loses major points for the smallest things (which I’ll describe in a bit). With a bit more effort, this is definitely a game that could have received a perfect (10/10) score on either of the rankings, but I guess when it comes to the “perfect” game, it’s pretty rare in the first place.
Completely different from its successor PxC, I’m actually kinda sorry for the people who had to deal with the piece of shit that the successor was after playing one like this. Again, I am flabbergasted at how different a quality for the game is even with the same company.
Let’s start with Hime, a cheerful character whom our protagonist “falls in love at first sight” due to her beauty. This was when he visits her restaurant on the first day, and it’s only the next school day he realizes that she’s in the same class as him. As fate unwinds, he’s placed in the same cleaning group as her, and it’s only a matter of time until his “kindness” makes Hime consider him a good person.
In contrast, despite her good looks, Hime has never really received a confession. Her personality of being tomboy-ish from a young age may have caused guys to avoid her.
However, this is also Hime’s taboo because of her older sister, who was seen to be very feminine unlike our heroine. It wasn’t until recently that Hime tries to become a bit more like her sister.
The protagonist originally approaches her with caution, but would it really work towards someone who is usually frank, honest, and straightforward…?
Next is Hinata, who is revealed to be the daughter of our protagonist’s neighbor. The protagonist becomes close with Mr. Nirasaki during his move in day, when the kind man helps him move his belongings to his room. Because of the kindness he received, the protagonist decides to become closer to Hinata, as a sign of gratitude. In return, Hinata tries to offer the protagonist kindness of her own.
Great with sports, Hinata is often seen running within many parts of the game. This becomes of the connecting factors between her and the protagonist as they become closer, to the point Hinata asks if she can call him “onii-chan” (the player can choose this or a different Lovely Call).
However, before all of this, the protagonist is shown that Hinata is actually two-faced; while not obvious, her efforts to be a “good girl” makes her keep her distance around others. While it’s not really a bad thing, perhaps our protagonist can be someone who can accept Hinata for who she really is.
Let’s move onto Seine, a very beautiful girl with long blonde hair that makes others mistake her to be a foreigner. Despite her good looks, it is shown clearly that Seine is alone most of the time, and very quiet. Despite this, our protagonist approaches her from curiosity, and finds her enacting the role of Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) at a boat platform near the ocean.
Rather reluctantly, the protagonist informs her (after being spotted) that her acting did not contain any emotions or feelings, but does realize that her good looks and passion may help her achieve her goal to become better at acting.
This is when he asks various people to help Seine, and she in return starts to appreciate the one person who seems to accept her while all others would not. She starts to follow him around as he tours around the town.
Seine’s route briefly loses focus on her passive attitude as the game introduces various interesting traits about this character (like her eating habits or interest in “Mask Rider”), but soon gets to a point where Seine offers to give up on her goal as an actress, and asks to become the protagonist’s “everything”.
Last is an interesting upperclassman named Wakoto. Similar to other “popular senpai” archetypes, this is a common design among various games. However, our protagonist doesn’t really have an easy time acquiring that “flower-on-a-cliff”, which is the thing I really appreciate about Wakoto’s route. In fact, the protagonist is shown to suffer and feel jealous of Wakoto’s popularity before the actual confession–it’s actually the initiator of it too!
Regardless, it is shown that Wakako herself had rejected many guys previously, and our protagonist wouldn’t really be an exception… except he is portrayed as slightly unique to this seemingly-perfect upperclassman.
Wakoto was actually a heroine that I found to be relatively unique. There’s always that cliche “perfect upperclassman or senpai being helplessly in love with the protagonist” plotline that I’ve seen several times until now, and as ironic as it is, Wakoto does seem to fit into that role.
Despite this, I didn’t really become irritated. I can’t remember exactly why, but I have the notion that I saw some drama within her route that kept things interesting.
I will come and eat your soooouuuul~
Sexual Content: High.
Comments: The game has a GREAT introduction. Seriously, the game deserves at least a 9/10 for how the game starts. The crap simply starts to come in right after the confession occurs, when the H-scene happens literally in succession. Goddamnit Japan. Stop giving weeaboos the wrong idea that couples = sex.
The game does become extremely slow from the first H-scene to the last scenes where a small but definite “conflict” is placed. This is actually a bit too small for my liking, and warrants another minus.
Minuses: So first the bad parts, which jumped out quite a bit at me, was some of the contradictions such as the fact that the protagonist went to this school, but never got accustomed to its surroundings even after a year (which is pretty weird).
In addition, I’m sorry Seine. I love your CV and all that, but I really don’t like your design to be an emotionless character whose voice only becomes loud during the H-scenes when you moan =_=;
But she DOES have a scene where she distinctively expresses emotions…
… although it’s the only one in the game ._.;
Also, where’s the freaking subcharacter sprites?! If you don’t have them, DRAW ONE FOR GOD’S SAKE! They play too big of a role in each heroine route for you to simply ignore their presence like this :|
Quite unfortunately, hibiki works has a SERIOUS lack in the humor department. It’s not even a drama they’re trying to create, and most of their jokes are pretty crappy. Maybe this is why I found the story’s “drama” to be of good quality? I’m not sure…
Lastly, the protagonist really needs to ditch the camera habits. It’s really unusual and creepy for a guy to take pictures of girls like that, and ruins the “novel” mood for me.
Pluses: I like the UI design–small animations that enhance the gameplay, and how you have “unlockable side stories” depending on the item you acquire is also pretty nice (if only it was more obvious though, so I didn’t have to use a walkthrough =3=)
I also appreciate the time they took to introduce the characters. It seems like I’m repeating myself (since I said the intro was great), but they’re really two different things. Yes, the setting is pretty cliche (Hey, I live by myself in an apartment and go to school. Why aren’t I scoring these bishoujos?) and I could predict most of the plot, but at least it’s there right? Unlike our *coff* trashgamePxC *coff*
In relation, the game’s intro is where the protagonist is shown everything about the heroine, so there’s actually a reason for the two characters to fall in love with each other. In my eyes, this is the biggest plus there is: it’s so strange how other games simply has the protagonist fall in love with the heroine for no reason.
The mere fact that CGs like this exist show quality in the story. (It’s quite amazing how low our standards have fallen…)
Affection for the Characters: Moderately High
CG Score: 3/10. Frankly, the CG wasn’t that great, as well as the lack of subcharacter sprites being a huge cut in the score. I’ll say this again: the subcharacters really need a sprite if they become a crucial factor in heroine routes such as this game.
One of Seine’s habits: her eating! For some reason, the CGs seem kinda bland to me…
Music Score: 4/10. Likewise, the music doesn’t really achieve that great of a score either, considering some tracks were used only once or twice throughout the entire game. There’s also very little variation within track genre, but my favor for the game’s OP salvages this score quite a bit.
Conclusion: A good game from hibiki works which is a great surprise since my last game from them. Dating Sims are usually my favorite genre anyways, so I enjoyed this game thoroughly, and thinking about getting into LxC, too.
It does have your archetypical story and plot, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem so boring. They (hibiki works) can really improve on many things as I described in the “minus” section above, but considering the crap they produced rather recently (and I was oh-so-horribly-disappointed at), I don’t really think they’re going in the right direction.
Off Topic: Okay, which derpface did this? =_=
Is this even allowed…?
And also, one of the people who likes to mentally torture me sent me this:
My face after seeing it: