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

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…
OMGTHISTITLEISSOGOOD*CRY*

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.

Character Summary:

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.

Addictiveness: Low

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:

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Comments on: "A New Life in an Old Environment: Review of [130426] Lovely x Cation 2" (20)

  1. […] though, I found this title was pretty much a copy-paste of another dating sim I found to be good, Lovely x Cation 2, so that was something I didn’t […]

  2. Mazryonh said:

    Wakoto was voiced by Hitomi Nabatame, the same seiyuu for Kazusa Touma in White Album 2. I believe she also voiced Stacy Connor in a fandisc for Majikoi around this time as well, so she’s been very busy lately.

    Did you mean that all the CGs in the game are rather bland, or only Seine’s CGs? Tasuku Iizuki’s work has never looked better to me.

    As for what you found wanting about Seine’s voice acting, I’d say it wasn’t because of her seiyuu’s shortcomings (Mai Gotou) but rather how she was directed and the scripts she was given. If you’re familiar with her work, then you know she’s seriously underappreciated (and it’s clear she knows what she’s doing). If you want to hear one of her more recent appearances as a main character in a non-eroge game title, take a look at this youtube playlist:

    The game is yandere-centric, and I don’t remember Mai Gotou voicing many of these characters, but she seems to voice her character Haruka Arisue pretty well.

    Will you make a full review of TsuriOtsu 2, covering each of the character, rather than the mini-review you made of the original game? That heroine in the middle looks like it could be an older version of Luna or a relative or the like.

    • Hi again!

      WHAT. WHAT?!! WAKOTO CV = KAZUMA CV?!?!?
      Mind = blown. I could never tell. Maybe that was because it was a while since I’ve went through WA2 and (blah blah blah *insert more excuses here*)

      When I talk about the CGs, I refer to pretty much all of them. I do believe it’s the same artist, so unless they were trolling and changed up their style for each character, the comments for them would be very similar.

      As for Seine, yes, Mai Goto is actually one of my favorite CVs (the other being Aoba Ringo). I’ve seen many of her works, and can even detect her voice in a “certain Hentai OVA” where her name isn’t listed *hint hint*. It’s just that when her voice is “suppressed” like that, it doesn’t really work out… I mean… Look at how she acted out Sana from Tenshin Ranman! THAT, my friend, is her full potential. (and she also did Natsuki from Astraythem, another great title)

      TsuriOtsu 2 will definitely be the top priority when it’s released I believe in October. You’ll see a full fledged review for it, and DAMN HELL YES am I looking forward to it.

      Thanks for your comment! ^^

    • Mazryonh said:

      Sometimes it pays to find out which CVs are in which eroge titles (a shame about all those pseudonyms, because it makes it harder to track down just which ones specific seiyuus worked on), because if that’s CV’s consistently good it’s likely that you’ll like their performance in that game too.

      Hitomi “Nabacchi” Nabatame was extremely busy in the last quarter of 2013, including her work in a starring role in DokiDoki! Precure (which started airing in Feb. 2013) as Mana Aida, her role as Akane Ryuuzouji in Walkure Romanze, and, of course, her stellar performance as Kazusa Touma in White Album 2. I hope all that hard work really paid off for her–hearing her do so well in so many diverse roles in the same general “season” of anime scheduling sure was nice. She’s one of my all-time favourite seiyuus in general, my other all-time favourite being Shizuka “Shizu-sama” Itou (though in all likelihood the latter stopped doing eroge titles once she got married).

      I thought you might like to know that Mai Gotou made her first appearance at a foreign convention recently (is the 18+ OVA you’re talking about named 15 Bishoujo Hyouryuuki?). You can watch one of her Q&A panels here:

      By the way, did you play an older eroge title named Ashita No Kimi To Au Tame Ni where she got to be the main heroine? You can listen to Mai Gotou talk a bit about her time portraying the character (albeit in a related Drama CD), starting at around 53 seconds in the following video:

      The seiyuu just before her is Ryoko Ono (calling herself by her pseudonym “Nazuna Gogyou”), and the one just after her is Shizuka Itou (using her pseudonym “Teruha Neno”), but the voice of “Shizu-sama” is simply too distinctive to hide this way.

      Any chance you’d be so kind as to tell us about the details already released for the characters that are going to appear in TsuriOtsu 2? Most of us English-speaking eroge fans can’t read Japanese, after all. It’d be great if you could go through the individual character routes in your review, but it’d also be nice if you could tell us what the official website says about them later.

    • Thanks for those two videos! I’m really really surprised that Mai Goto was actually at AN recently! (Currently kicking myself for not realizing this. OMG I HATE MYSELF)

      Other than that, I’ve heard of plenty of Mai Goto’s works, which likely includes her role in a Hentai OVA called “Hatsu Inu”.

      Nonetheless, I’ve written up a basic post about Tsukiyori2 as you’ve requested. Thanks again for your comment!

    • Mazryonh said:

      Your enthusiasm makes me wonder what you would have asked Mai Gotou had you been at that specific convention and what you might have had her autograph.

      Anyway, have you already played Ashita No Kimi To Au Tame Ni? It’s not often that she gets to star as a main character in a game, and I think that since you’re a fan you’d find writing up a review for that game fun.

      And thanks again for your hard work on this blog.

    • Thank you for your encouragement! I also appreciate your game suggestion, and would like to take a look into it very soon. On that thought, Mai Goto also worked on Astraythem (http://vndb.org/v7423) which was a relatively recent title where she was pretty much the central (and perhaps only) heroine. There are other characters plastered there for the lawls though.

      Man… if I was there at AN, I would first ask her to call me “oni-chan”, or some of her lines in the various works I remember her performing (coff tenshin ranman coff) and cringe/cry in joy if she does as I ask.

    • Mazryonh said:

      Yep, her extensive CV in the good titles you know just goes to show that she deserves a lot more praise than she’s been getting.

      I do hope that she gets her big break in mainstream anime soon, like Harumi Sakurai did in the anime TV series Angel Beats!.

    • I know we’re like totally going off track, but whatever.

      Mai Goto really needs more attention. She has a relatively “smooth” voice which I found to be very attractive. On the other hand, all her H-scenes seem to be pretty much the same which kinda got me to skip all H-scenes that she voices…

      I only know Harumi Sakurai as “Kasane”, and pretty much the CV who is the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none individual. She did SO many characters that I can recognize her voice, but can’t really match her up with a character trait (e.g. Mai Goto often voices calm and well-behaved characters).

    • Mazryonh said:

      I don’t mind going off track if it’s interesting.

      I thought Harumi Sakurai was known as “Kazane.” Anyway, another eroge seiyuu who is similarly versatile would be Ryoko Tanaka, AKA “Hikaru Isshiki.” Both Tanaka and Sakurai are in the following clip:

      If you’re used to Tanaka’s more deep-voiced roles (such as Yahiro Ifukube from Yosuga no Sora) you wouldn’t recognize her as the higher-pitched Hinata Kagura (the blonde-haired girl) from this show. Hayami Kohinata (voiced by Sakurai) is a somewhat uncommon voice for Sakurai to use as well.

      By the way, the now-famous seiyuu named Ami Koshimizu voiced the male protagonist in this show, Takuma Hirose. That makes me wonder if she got along with her eroge seiyuu co-stars, since eroge-focused seiyuus don’t usually work with famous mainstream seiyuus.

      Looking forward to seeing you review that Mai Gotou game title I mentioned earlier soon.

  3. christfall said:

    That kinda explains where most your reviews are filled by dating-sim esque stories, glad to know that you enjoy reading those. I don’t know why but those stories that seems like slice-of-life at first glance and standard romcom plot does not pique my interest most of the time. (When it does, it is usually because of art or contain a character I really really like at first glance) Maybe it is because I do not like force drama (pretty common) and it gets kinda cliche after a while.

    Few things to agree:
    1. NTR is unacceptable to me as drama material in dating-sims. I can accept if it is a story-oriented game that has a dark/serious setting but it must not go overboard and should not be the main source of conflict.
    2. No/poor buildup is one reason that usually kills these games because character relationships are the most important factor in dating sims, period!
    3. H-scenes, I am not a fan of them as well, so I don’t like it when a game gives me a heroine that I don’t really like/adore 4+ H scenes (especially if they come one after another) or scenes that are extremely long-winded and repetitive. Of course, don’t throw a H-scene out of nowhere as well. Thankfully story-based games usually avoid this (but sadly not always).

    Currently on the game where bashing are the norm for all reviewers : Majokoi. I am not a Niijima fan (never touched any of his previous works because I am not fond of utsuge and depression without salvation, I bet many will disagree with me on this) but are interested to see how he managed to push readers’ rage buttons every time. I must be crazy here. :O

  4. Tsuki ni yorisou otome no sahou 2 !!!
    the return of kokura asahi with luna version xDDDDDD

  5. So you DID end up playing this =D

    So I skimmed through the review, and it seems that we share opinions on the most part. LOL, Quoting ‘myself’ from my blog’s review of LxC2:

    “With the exception of Hinata, I found it weird how the protag didn’t know the other heroines. I mean they’re all apparently super hot, so he should have at least seen them around or something.”.

    So yeah…I guess it’s just an element they were too lazy to put effort into. I mean it doesn’t change much overall, so I didn’t really think much of it. I rated the game much more highly (85/100) because I wasn’t really as bothered by the games downfalls. Also, I quite liked the game’s CG style, and didn’t really care that the side characters didn’t have character sprites. The H-scenes for this game were also something I really liked. However, I know you’re a critic at heart. So I can understand your views and the score you gave the game, even if I don’t entirely agree with them ^^.

    I’m currently trying to finish “Hikoukigumo no Mukougawa” before “Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki” comes out. I have about 7 days…Given that my Japanese isn’t great, and my limited time, I MIGHT be able to make it >____>

    • Thanks for your comment, Aero!

      You should note that despite my “relatively critical” review, I’m very grateful that you told me about this game for two reasons:
      1) I love dating sims like this in general, and
      2) I appreciate that you gave me undeniable proof that hibiki works normally doesn’t produce crap like PxC.

      Hikoukigumo! That title was definitely one of the better ones. You’ll hear mixed opinions (comparing gangrelion to myself), but it’s generally very good.

      Although… I might have to warn you about something in Mina’s route… Well, I think I’ll just keep it a surprise. If you’re really paranoid, head over to my own review of Hikoukigumo where one of the comments mention what I want to “warn” you about xD

    • Well I’m glad you liked LxC2, and I hope you understand why we had “hopes” for PxC ^^. You may or may not know this, but LxC2 also have 12 append patches which add extra content to the game. I’m warning you now; they’re mostly H-scenes.

      As for Hikoukigumo, I’ve finished all the routes except for the extra route. I JUST finished Eiri’s route, and man THAT ENDING. My eyes were watering for the most part, and I even cried at the end because it was just so damn touching. It goes without saying that I loved Eiri, and her route. Iroha’s route was good as well, but maybe a little bit too much emphasis on “bullying”. Though I suppose that’s good in it’s own way. I tell you, one of Anzu’s appearances in Iroha’s route got me so pissed that I could literally feel my blood boiling (insert angry face). So both the above routes had awesome character development, and the romance progressed in a very interesting way.

      Now I hope it also goes without saying that I HATED Mina’s route. Seriously, her route was just crap. You pretty much get Kouji swtiching between thinking he’s gonna watch over Mina and him getting annoyed when he sees her getting close to Tesuya. And that misunderstanding they threw in there was stupid. It wasn’t funny or interested, it was just WTF. The worst part is that since they spent like 4/5s of route with all that Mina x Tesuya crap, there isn’t much to build up on between Mina and Kouji once they actually get into a relationship. Needless to say, I didn’t care for Mina’s ending either.

      The Aya ending they chuck into Mina’s route was also stupid, and a huge waste to her character. Aya would have done much better in Iroha’s route >____>.

      FORTUNATELY, I played Mina’s route first, followed by Iroha, then Eiri. So I think I got the ranking order spot on this time, because I try to play worst to best =D

      Sorry for the wall of text. I’m gonna go play that extra route now, which I’m assuming is Risa’s.

    • Wow, it seems that our opinions are dead on EXACT this time!

      Mina’s route = crap because of the “NTR”-ish atmosphere and no build up
      Eiri and Iroha = good, with Eiri’s probably being better because of the ending. THE ENDING. I LOVE HOW THEY DID THAT.

      As for LxC2’s append, I don’t think I’ll be getting to that this time since I’m not too great of a fan of H-scenes, especially so if they’re “random” like it probably would be in the append.

  6. giaphong296 said:

    Nishimata Aoi? Sameface is coming~~~

  7. I am glad you have some Galges you’re really loving, I kinda forget how this feels. The last really good title I played from this genre was so long ago…Recently, the best I get are good games, but nothing fantastic, and even those are rare. I have been reading games that are so shitty that I got sick…literally!
    I hope this dark period change soon, or I will have to pic the second Persona 4 Arena as my favorite VN for this year.
    So…LovelyxCation2! I played this in a time when I had nothing better to do and had no new Galges to play. I picked Seine because I love those mysterious and weird characters, but she was boring..EXTREMELY CUTE, Yes! But boring! At least I can relate to her, since I also love Mas…Kamen Rider!
    I agree with you about the lack of graphics for the supporting cast, but overall, I felt like the world of LxC2 was a really lonely one. It had few characters interacting with the heroes, and most of the remaining heroines disapear once you choose your main girl.
    “it’s so strange how other games simply has the protagonist fall in love with the heroine for no reason”
    What you mean “for no reason”? Those heroines are cute! Isn’t this enough? They can torture you or try to kill you, but for most people, if they are cute, it’s hey ok! It’s sad, but it’s true…
    “The mere fact that CGs like this exist show quality in the story. (It’s quite amazing how low our standards have fallen…)”
    Similar to the “cuteness is justice” law, all we need are CGs showing some big boobs. We can have enough drama with the tachi-e jumping a little to express how shocked are the heroines…
    I hope for a better future in this Eroge world! Let’s see if we can survive the loli season that is coming now!

    • Haha, the “loli-June”, huh?

      I actually only have a few that I want to play during the month of June, so I’m pretty free to finish up other titles… if I actually can get to them in my busy-ass schedule Q_Q

      I’m sure you’ll also agree with me that games have been getting more sucky lately, though… It’s a real pity.

      Have you ever considered going back to some old games, perhaps? Most of the great games I found were from the past, and I’m not sure if you’ve even touched White Album 2… It’d be awesome if you can do a “funny” review on that :D

    • White Album, huh? This is a good one! I love Leaf games! I got interested in it when I read your review about it.
      I hope it’s better than the anime version that my brother said to be boring. I will keep it along side with Eden* to play later, but I want to give priority to the new ones for now.

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