Foreword: Back when I was still a boring weeaboo, (which happens to be quite a long time ago), the name “Lump of Sugar” immediately corresponded to a great game called “Tayutama”, a heart-warming story about accepting each other’s differences and even finding love across those differences that one would normally be prejudiced for.
Fast forward to today, and their newest game, Unmei Senjou no Phi, is actually… (brace yourselves) a nonsense game. It is directly contradicting with their previous styles (including how it’s completely opposite to their world-famous kamige), and most of this game was focused on the “nonsense routes” that were emphasized more explicitly than the heroines themselves. If you remember Girls in Black from Whirlpool, it’s safe to say that this game is resembling this.
However, unlike the former title, this game was hilarious. Despite being a nonsense game, I also want to say it’s a well-made charage due to its great design of characters, including heroines and protagonists. In addition, some of these “nonsense routes” were the very elements that added to the game’s humor, and while I understand that most of you have different standards of humor than I do, but I’m sure you’ll crack a grin at least at some of the silliness that the characters present.
Unfortunately, those things don’t necessary make up a “good game”. Here goes the review for Unmei Senjou no Phi!
P.S. As I write this, I have started four nukige titles, two of them decent, but the other two so horrible that I can’t even find the desire to fap to them. Don’t expect a review for these, and it might take me a while to finish these and move on to some other games
Please note that this review contains intentional minor spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Title: 運命戦場のΦ (Unmei Senjou no Phi) [Lit. Trans: The Destiny Line of Phi]
Producers: Lump of Sugar
Release Date: October 31, 2014
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v15281
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=812830
Game Type: Interactive Nonsense game with several different “character arcs”
Summary: “Kotodama”, a spiritual and mysterious energy contained in the words of humans is present in some of the selected humans, and Iori is definitely one who has such powers as well as he arrives at the Shintenjima, a mysterious island thought to be just an illusion and not even present on maps.
Through various reasons he makes this visit, one thing is clear; and it’s that his lost memory from 5 years ago has something to do with this island, and its residents. Little does he know, however, that him nosing into this “Kotodama” business will make him go into the depths of the truth, and help him realize about his lost past, relationships, powers, and destiny.
Kotodama, 言霊, literally means “Word Spirit” and is equivalent to a super power related to the “word” that the individual possesses. For Iori, the word is “Zan” (斬) or to “cut and throw away”. However, the usage of this superpower also induces a side-effect…
Nagisa used Neko-Charm! It’s Super Effective!
Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Difficult
Comments: So the difficulty of this game stems from its mini-games, or the nonsense routes, where you’re pretty much using what you’ve learned so far within the game to the best of your knowledge to complete “missions”. Other than this, the main story itself is straightforward and there’s nothing too challenging.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: A mediocre game, which is still not too bad for how it turned out to be. Most of the points for the story came from the non-sense routes, which were actually challenging and funny.
On the other hand, this game is HIGHLY interactive. There are choices that you need to “slice” into different choices, and for some of the choices, you need to have cleared a heroine route to “cut” it. The Harem route is a perfect example of this feature, where you need to borrow the powers of all four heroines to reach. (As obvious as it is, you can use the powers of a heroine once you clear her story; not her entire arc). Some scenes also involve the “cutting” of CGs, and it pretty much cuts exactly how you run your cursor through the screen, so that was pretty cool.
So as you can see guys: there are several of different character “arcs”. This is why I had to be so vague with the summary, because the story changes with how you react to the “letter” in the very beginning. As a general rule, I recommend going through the arcs in this order: Nagisa -> Karin -> Linja -> Shino. Obviously, the steps to get to each respective “arc” will be explained within the character summary.
Let’s first start with Nagisa, a girl with an unusually large breast size of which is often used to tease the poor girl. Her arc is opened by directly clicking on the letter, which is revealed to be a letter written to Iori himself from his younger sister. The strange thing is that Iori doesn’t remember if he had a sister; after all, he lost all his memories from 5 years ago. Iori is now a detective, and was sent to Shintenjima to solve a case that was entrusted to him.
His first meeting with Nagisa is when he walks into her room while she was changing (Courtesy of Karin). The irony of this event is that while it should be Nagisa that screams, it’s actually Iori that screams instead. Nonetheless, Nagisa is quickly shown to be very mature and well behaved. In addition, this character immediately takes a liking to Iori, who she says she feels “comfortable” about, and even offers to be his “assistant” for this case that he’s working on.
Nagisa’s route includes a side-route into Yuiko’s route, who is Nagisa’s friend and another visitor of the island. Yuiko herself is very cheerful and friendly, so Iori gets along with her very well.
And this would be Yuiko
Quite unfortunately, I forgot what Nagisa’s Kotodama was; since it was her route that I went through first. Sorry! (omgI’mafailureasareviewwriter)
Next to Karin, who gave me a thorough and clear reminder that my “loli-fetish” started with Lump of Sugar’s games. Achieved by clicking on the black background of the letter (so the letter flips), this letter is actually an order for Iori to go serve Karin at her mansion as a butler. Iori obliges, and although he does at first fear who his master will be, he immediately becomes affectionate for Karin’s high sympathy and swears his loyalty to her.
Karin’s route actually side-tracks into a relatively frustrating event where the mansion is ambushed by a cat-like monster which is actually fucking creepy. The monster kills everyone except Iori and Nagisa, and is considered one of the nonsense events. It’s hard to explain how to clear this event, but just keep in mind that you can only use your sword once to repel the monster, and must “survive” 15 movements, with the last one being to the Great Hall.
So yeah… Creepy as fuck.
Nonetheless, Karin’s route herself was actually quite decent since the game explains her kotodama “Natsu” (to stamp) also doubles up into “summer”, which makes the poor girl unable to tolerate the outside world and pretty much stuck on this island only to be able to dream of someday being able to leave the island.
Of course, after Iori hears of this “lament”, he places his everything into finding a way to get Karin to be able to leave the island. He works together with Linja and Karin to find a solution, but soon find out that there must be a sacrifice to this ritual, and this sacrifice is something that can’t be relinquished easily.
Next is Linja, the Denmark-origin maid who is extremely fluent with Japanese and serves Karin on this Shintenjima. Linja herself loves her job and Karin, and does everything in her power to protect her master, and this includes how she treats Iori with caution even after she saves him from drowning. Iori came to this island to meet the “Helper Phi”, who was rumored to be able to do anything, and he wished to ask for a favor. As his boat gets torn up and he’s about to drown, a beautiful girl who he mistakes as a mermaid saves him.
It is quickly revealed that Iori was not welcome on this island, as he does not have the “Invitation” which is required to enter the island in the first place. This causes the two have a somewhat awkward relationship.
Linja’s kotodama “Kan” (to pierce) is involved with her gun being able to pierce even the thickest of tree trunks, but also double up to “kan” as in (feel) in a *ahem* sexual manner, which… puts the people around her in a rather troubled condition.
Kinda like this
Oh yes, Linja’s arc is opened by leaving the letter alone for about 3-4 seconds.
Last but definitely not least is Shino, a beautiful girl who is seemingly perfect at everything. Achieved by performing “HOLD” and cutting the letter in the beginning, Iori in this “arc” is a skilled swordsman who received a challenge from an unknown individual and heads to the island. On his way, he meets Shino, who dominates his attention; Iori pretty much falls in love at first sight.
Nonetheless, having sea-sickness doesn’t help the poor guy as he is literally dragged into the mansion by Linja and Shino, and even afterwards, he gets mistaken for someone cuckoo in the head as he talks about fighting and duels. To Iori’s disappointment, he does not meet his challenger on this island–instead, he spends his days practicing and being involved with Karin’s “School-Simulation”.
However, the subcharacter Ayaka is shown to have a clear and distinct motive about something involving Iori, and will do anything to complete her mission, and her disdainful expressions towards Shino will soon escalate into something terrible.
Shino’s kotodama is “Setsu”, which has the same English meaning as Iori’s “Zan”, which is to cut. However, “Setsu” leans toward the meaning of “relinquish” while “Zan” is more of “throw away” (so there are minor differences). In Shino’s case, “Seshitsu” or (come in contact with) is her “rebound”
Despite being the “end” of the game, Shino’s route is far from being a true or even a complete route. Much of its later portions are a repeat of Nagisa’s arc, and if there was anything that’s changed, it’s pretty much the outcome of the entire story. No background information, no reasoning, and no explanation of why everything happened. The whole thing with Ayaka was also pretty random and unrelated to the main theme/plot, so that was something really weird
I guess in that sense, I was really disappointed with Shino’s route, but in return, it was the funniest, with the rest of the heroines pretty much bullying Iori (in a comical sense) and Iori having the wildest imaginations during some of the scenes present. He received most of his protagonist points there.
It would’ve been nice if they added more combat scenes, too
Sexual Content: Moderate and unnecessary. Seriously, it really had H-scenes back-to-back. They could have replaced those with more event CGs or a better conclusion :|
Comments: So I found this game to be interesting mostly due to its high level of interaction. There are “Osawari Mode” (touch and fondle mode) which was pretty… stimulating *cough*, while mini-games present throughout some parts of the game added to the fun. Lump of Sugar’s “Using the blade to create choices” concept was very interesting (or at least more unique than your typical pick-a-choice kind of system) as well.
However, the story sucks. Not only do they randomly bring out subcharacters seemingly unrelated to the story, they also do not explain most of the “Why’s” of the entire story. As with any other disappointing games out there, the “common routes” of the story is much more interesting than the heroine’s route itself because it’s pretty much H-scenes and that was it.
I did, however, enjoy Karin (as a character) very much.
That hammer looks really familiar…
Affection for the Characters: Moderately High
CG Score: 5/10. Pretty normal, yet the new artist (don’t know the artist’s name…) wasn’t that proficient with the whole concept of “moe-art”
Music Score: 6/10. Slightly above average. I’m still waiting for Saori (which is the person who sings the OP) to voice an eroge character. Hue
Conclusion: A rather inferior game considering it’s LoS we’re talking about. Unique style of creating a nonsense game this time, and while there are laughs, that’s pretty much it. Don’t even touch this game if you want a serious story.
On the other hand, Loli = Justice!