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

Foreword: Well, we have here a relatively hyped game from Moonstone. I remember this company mainly from the game “Clear” which started out nicely, but had crappy-ass endings. WHAT DO YOU KNOW?! THIS GAME FOLLOWS THE SAME PATTERN!

It seriously does. From the beginning, I was hooked onto this game’s settings of the sibling’s family dying and the protagonist having some strange power. In addition to the introduction of this “Sunflower Eden”, I was hoping something good. You really don’t see much plotline like this, right? It’s mostly about a protagonist being normal as fuck and going to school and all that bullshit.

Well, I read a couple of reviews before trying this game myself, which effectively spoiled the game to a certain extent, but it wasn’t TOO bad. I’m mostly disappointed in the fact that I should’ve expected something like this from Moonstone: a game that makes no fucking sense and inserts its own logic without trying to help the reader understand it. Hmm, sounds like that one shit-game Astral Air.

For the reason that the previous reviews aren’t exactly the most descriptive about this game, I’m writing my own.

 Warning: This game will include intentional spoilers! Read at your own risk!

Title: 夏の色のノスタルジア
Producers: Moonstone
Release Date: January 30th, 2015
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v16069
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=828809
Game Type: A fantasy novel that TRIES to tell a story and TRIES to hold morals with APPARENT themes of psychology. Capitalized, bolded words are emphasized for a reason.

Summary: Ryouto has a strange ability of being able to see people in various “colors” of a jewel–this represents their emotions. Perhaps because of this, he was able to get by with relatives that he wasn’t even close to, after his parents died. Now, with Miu by his side, he returns to the country side where the accident happened three years ago and changed his life forever.

After the siblings spend the night at a makeshift house that was left as it is 3 years ago, they pack their belongings and head to the school where they were accepted to, and are invited by a gorgeous plain of sunflowers.

This sunflower brings back many memories, which includes how one of Ryouto’s childhood friends may be a murderer. However, shaking that thought aside, Ryouto follows Miu’s calls into a forested area with a strange gate that looks funny to him.

Soon, the siblings find themselves trapped in a place in time where you can’t leave no matter how hard they try. Time is stopped, and this area only repeats May 5th endlessly. Some characters call this “Eden” while others call this a “Labyrinth”. How does Ryouto see this mysterious place?

The sunflower field that greets the siblings

Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: The thing about this game is that it implements an “episodic story”, yet make it so easy for other weebs to get into the other heroine’s routes by giving the players a “shortcut” version of the game which is essentially 3 choices. This completely ruins the “visual novels” atmosphere, and quite frankly, it’s ridiculously stupid on behalf of the company to stick in something like this.

Character Design Rating: 1/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 2/10
Rating Comments: Character Design sucks, Story sucks, Protagonist sucks. Game sucks. Romance obviously sucks, and even the shock factor sucks.
Go play Witch’s House if you want REAL “shock factor”.

Character Summary:

Right. Characters. Frankly, none of them were really striking out to me. This was really unfortunate because some of them had a good design/setting. It just wasn’t followed up well. Others on the other hand, were plain crap, as I hope to explain rant as I go along.

First is Misaki, a girl full of justice which is also the trait that catches the attention of Ryouto. Pretty self-explanatory in the sense that this “straightforward” girl plays the role of “mutsuri-sukebe” character (this trait is often linked to each other), the entire story portrays this girl flushing at even the least suggestive phrases.

What really differentiates Misaki from the rest of the group is that like Ryouto, Misaki wishes to leave this Labyrinth. She does not think this is an “Eden”, and despite the fact that she wishes to leave (and should be able to, according to Shouko), she cannot find the exit. It’s so obvious at this point that this is then because Misaki SUBCONSCIOUSLY does not want to leave, but the game devotes the next 5-10 hours making the reader realize that through a series of events, which includes her finally falling in love with Ryouto, and overcoming her past trauma.

Overall, Misaki’s route can be considered “complete” in my dictionary, but wasn’t done so properly. You see the girl shrinking in fear of her trauma, yet it only takes one word from her “lover” to stand up and fight against it. It just worked out too conveniently–trauma is called that since a normal person wouldn’t be able to think properly against it. Moonstone does a good job at that point, but messes it up when it’s literally a single phrase from Ryouto “I’m standing beside you” which becomes the key to overcoming Misaki’s trauma.

Next is the overly attached girlfri– I mean, imouto Miu. Miu is the character who unfortunately had a very good setting, but one of the crappiest stories, in addition to her having a design of being a bitch to everyone (except Ryouto) as well. In fact, I see this characteristic consistent in those “Twin-sister heroines”: they’re usually a bitch to the people around them except for the protagonist.

At such a young age, she literally tells her own father to “go fuck yourself”. This bitch is messed up.

The “good setting” about Miu is that she is literally overprotective of her older brother. In the beginning, the game does show that this does not stem from jealousy or even romance, but due to her own instability. In that sense, it wasn’t a good thing–Miu was being extremely abusive to her only blood-relative left on this world by confining him and pretty much using him for her own satisfaction (This is how I interpreted it after finishing her route). While other routes involve her not doing this anymore, it was just so sudden and unnatural how a girl who would give death-glares to other girls around her brother changes so rapidly.

Regardless, her route was extremely boring in the sense that it was your typical “imouto falling in love with her brother”, except that the game does add to this cliche plotline Ryouto’s confession first, with a rejection from Miu. The bullshit is that literally right after this event, it shows Miu masturbating to her twin-brother’s belongings and slowly escalating to the point she masturbates on his bed as well.

It really doesn’t take long for them to have sex without any form of taboo even from their peers, and the route ends abruptly without anything happening; even in Misaki’s route, the game shows her “standing against” her trauma. The only thing is that the game shows Miu to have been a complete asshole in the past in addition to being a bitch to even her own dad (which ends up making him causing said “accident” 3 years ago) and not even being sorry about being one. Ryouto always blames himself that he was unable to do anything while his parents burned to death, and doesn’t do anything even after he realizes how Miu was pretty much the initiator of the fire and the shitstorm in his life. This is in addition to how Ryouto never really “loves” her; his affection for her comes literally with seeing her as a sexual partner, not of a romantic interest.

Despite me having an unusual “twin-sister fetish”, I could not find Miu attractive at all.

Third is the “older sister-type” heroine Ayane. Very calm and easy to approach, it’s not really an exaggeration to suggest that she was the center of the “Group” when they were young. However, Ayane herself rejects this fact, and states that it was indeed Ryouto who was the “center” due to him being the only guy (which by the way, doesn’t make sense because the others would often get him mistaken for his sister and vice versa).

Regardless, this character is shown to be working as a maid for Shouko, and her role is hinted as Ryouto finds a dark room deep in the mansion where he heard suffering moaning noises. This is when he is caught by Ayane, and calmly leaves the area after seeing a “different side” of her.

In fact, even Misaki continuously states that “She (Ayane) has changed” throughout the beginning of the game, quickly leading to the reader realizing that Ayane herself is hiding something. This “something” is also shown as Ayane herself continuously seems like she’s hearing something.

Ayane’s route was interesting enough, but also had an unorganized ending where a different heroine comes in randomly and reveals everything. This is in addition to Ayane being “unable” to leave this Eden, instead of “not wanting”–this was actually another one of those “unnecessary” elements. Which was also a stupid excuse to add a poorly-planned “drama” at the end of her route.

Last is Shouko, arguably the “central” heroine in the sense her route is indeed considered the “true route” of the game despite not seemingly like it. Nonetheless, the game does hint this fact with the other routes, when it’s Shouko coming out and giving hints or clues to how Ryouto and the respective heroine should solve their problems.

Shouko’s route involves her family, and her past which connects with other heroines.

In addition, Shouko’s route was pretty much the worst. *SPOILER ALERT* She pretty much flat out says “I hate all males” then go having sex with Ryouto in a couple of weeks because he’s “different” in her eyes, and you figure out that her “hatred for males” stemmed from her nymphomaniac father who she ASSUMES had sex with her greatly-adored mother who is already dead–only for her looks.

Then the story conveniently forces all characters to leave this “Eden” and solves each of the character’s traumas (as presented in each respective heroine’s routes) within a matter of minutes, and then has the couple make an attempt to figure out what the whole deal with Ryouto’s Color-Seeing ability is, and Shouko MAGICALLY happens to know that Ryouto was just being delusional and how he saw his parents “forgiving each other” in the fire as they died (which Ryouto also magically remembers). Ryouto himself forgets this and mopes around saying how he wasn’t able to help his parents from death as a young child and how his abilities were actually the reason for their grandmother chasing him out of her house and what the living fuck just happened in the last hour of this goddamned route? P.S. Spoiler Alert End

I fucking swear that this route did not make any sense nor did it have any planning. It’s just like reading Astral Air again, which opened up some painful wounds that only 50 hours of nukige will fix… Wait, this game’s a nukige in itself! But I still don’t want to play this piece of shit!

They also need more of these “nostalgia” scenes. Ironic how the game’s title never really matches up with that word, too

Sexual Content: High.

Comments: Right, let’s get to some complaints, the first is that the entire game is convenient as fuck and makes no freaking sense. This is especially true in Shouko’s route, which is essentially a deus-ex-machina all over the place. I really can’t express my frustration with just words at this shitty plot, so I’ll just keep it at that and save my own breath.

Just… don’t even give this game a try if you’re trying to read a story that makes sense. If you’re the type of person who just watches a novel and screams at how amazing it is without understanding the plot, be my guest and waste your time on this one, but if you need some definite story where things are explained to you and you have those “ah-ha” moments, you’ll do yourself a favor by avoiding this one.

Like its previous titles, the game itself is ridiculously predictable. I quote other reviewers with this that “if you don’t know what’s going to happen, you have seriously been living under a rock”. This gives you a game that’s both anticlimactic and predictable. My response? Oh HEEEELLLLLL to the NO.

This is in addition to a crapload of unnecessary things that was never explained including the following:

  • The “Guardian”, which is the job given to the two siblings to protect Eden, which had almost no role in the story except to allow the characters conveniently meet outside instead of indoors.
  • Nothing is explained about the date of this story; May 5th, which is essentially Children’s Day in the Asian countries
  • Extreme convenience where “desire” makes anything in the world

Like making an aquarium like this appear out of thin air.

This doesn’t include how the shock factor was used very inappropriately throughout the game. Every time they use one, it’s performed at the wrong time and the wrong moment in addition to being relatively mild, and doesn’t create that “shock”, but more of “disgust” than anything else. There’s your bloody and gore-y CGs, but that’s really not enough as a shock factor–what you really need is the words behind it which is pretty much the last “push” into making the readers feel that scary scene in a short period of time to get that “shock factor”. Aka, if you see those bloody CGs, you’re more likely to say “Ew” instead of “Oh shit!”

Mother of God, this game is more messed up than the Twilight Series. There’s no definite morale that this game was trying to convey, the story itself is messed up, and even its “unique” design is done poorly.

Quite random, but I can go for tonkatsu right now. I have some frozen in the freezer. Guess what I’m having for tomorrow’s lunch?

Affection for the Characters: Low.

CG Score: 7/10. Here it is guys–the best thing about this game: the art. As most other players will agree, Moonstone’s quite decent when it comes to art, and it’s not a surprise they’re hitting BIG with their nukige titles. This same trait follows over–H-scenes are very “usable” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) and you won’t have too much problem having a good time (If you know what I mean) with these intricate HCGs. Just sucks how there’s almost no normal CGs and no SDCGs (If I had taken points off for these, the score would be 3/10)
Music Score: 5/10. Moderate music, with Chata’s voice not really doing justice to the OP and ED. Seriously, Moonstone? You just ruined the skills of an amazing singer :|

Addictiveness: Do you need to ask?

Conclusion: A horrible game from Moonstone, which makes some people suggest that they stick to nukige. I readily agree with this comment, and suggest to other readers of this review to avoid this title unless they’re a masochist who can handle nonsense, or an idiot who would simply fanboy this game after finishing it for whatever the fuck reason you have.

This would be a good CG, only if the story made any fucking sense.

Just because I can, I’m going to link a review to another title with the theme of “Nostalgia” that’s actually quite decent, unlike this crap

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Comments on: "Eden, or Labyrinth? Review of [150130]Natsu no Iro no Nostalgia" (18)

  1. […] The Worst-Scoring Game(s) Rensou Relation, closely followed by Natsuiro no Nostalgica […]

  2. ah…
    when I saw these cute-and-beautiful CGs, I had a good feeling about this game, BUT when reviewers said this is a “tragedy” game, I though these artworks are “too cute” for this kind of genre. this game still can’t beat Higurashi or Grisaia, maybe.

    do you agree, “ONLY great art can’t deliver a good game”?

    by the way, Shouko is soooo cute! I’m girl but I like 2D girls more than 2D boys. but still, I like 3D boys too.

  3. Aria Kanzaki said:

    Will you be playing the newly released game by Yuzusoft, Sanoba Witch? I’m so hooked on to it!!

    • Most definitely. Yuzusoft is another company that I have the “completionist” attitude towards, after all. Just gotta finish with this crappy Whirlpool game ._.;;

  4. I admire you for actually trying to play the Galges you have interest in order to see for yourself if you like it or not, even though you read a few reviews talking shit about it. Unfortunately, this time, it turned out to be a shitty game for both of us, but you never know! After all, some of the titles that I hate are loved by you, and vice-versa. Humans are complex creatures with all kinds of tastes.

    • Definitely. With no Question. Agreed 100%.

      It’s just that this time, I’m kinda mad at myself because I somewhat knew that this was coming, and I still dived head-first towards it.

      Well, it doesn’t really help that both in real life and in RPGs, every trap there is I go “Ooh, what’s that?” and set it off, so maybe this trait follows over to when I pick galge to play as well.

      brb crying

    • I know how you feel! I just started a series of reviews that I categorize as “the black list”, dedicated to games that reviewers and even my friends said to be awful titles, but I just needed to experience those by myself, because those games didn’t look THAT bad…As for now, nothing good has surfaced from it.

  5. type03xx said:

    This game is more messed up than the Twilight Series.
    Seriously? -_- If any love story is worse than Twilight… What the heck is that anyway…?
    I know how VNDB score is not THAT accurate. But this game got quite a high score.
    PS: Complete Kami no Rhapsody trial. Pretty fun and challenging especially the last dungeon with hard difficulty and mania mode. (And low level) While gameplay is not perfect, I hope they will fix it in full game.

    • That’s exactly the reason why I left VNDB. Community doesn’t know how to rate jack-shit: same with EGS too. That’s what I mention in the review too; some of these idiots just fanboy over a title just because it’s there–it’s not even like they enjoyed the title. Why do they do this? I don’t know.

      Twilight series are bad too. Do yourself a favor and avoid it. (Think of it as a really bad shoujo manga with love triangles and vampires)

  6. Dropped it after reading through the first chapter. It was already apparent that it would turn out horrible since anyone who had read a moonstone title before and holds onto some general experience in regards to vns/novels saw basically everything coming right off, mainly that the game will never get truly “serious” and is nothing but moe/ero catering that TRIES to disguise itself by use of random, forced and nonsensical pseudo-dark elements. Judging by your review, it would appear my assessment hit the nail on the head.

    Another major minus of this game was the straight out horrible writing – by that I mean the author’s prose & literary merit, the plot writing is obviously horrid anyway. Seriously, I occasionally got the feeling the writer has the vocabulary of a grade schooler. Apart from that it was just bland, uncreative and invariant uncapable of creating suspense. Props for actually managing to successfully struggle through this literal mess.

    I’ll probably regret it, but I guess I’ll read that whirlpool title next… At least whirlpool doesn’t try to be something it isn’t and likely deliver the usual fluff.

    • Yep, that’s what I’m getting right now (started the Whirlpool game). I’m only playing it for the Mamizou artwork so I’m enjoying it so far, but the CVs are nice and the characters are pretty lovable. I’ll be getting to writing a review for this one soon…

      Yeah, let’s not talk about how horrible this game was. I still need more nukige

  7. Hmm… Maybe it’s a good thing I dropped this game due to a lack of time despite wanting to play it. I did try out the demo, but what bothers me is the lack of side characters, making the game feel very lonely. I do agree it is a nukige in disguise as the number of H scenes just overwhelms everything else (I did rip the CGs). Other reviews I’ve read coincides with yours – a lot of pointless drama and convenient solutions to problems plaguing the characters . But hey, you have to give it to Yamakaze Ran for the beautiful artwork (definitely not the bg though) though and the omake photoshop PSDs. I’d give the music a 9/10 for a third of the bgms and maybe 5/10 for the rest. Astral Air wasn’t that bad though except for the chuuni stuff and the confusing ending (like wtf is happening? If they have something to say then stop dragging on and say it clearly!). I’m glad I saved myself 25 hours of disappointment.

    PS: Shimotsuki Haruka and Chata really deserved better pieces of music!

    • You did yourself a favor, indeed! It’s quite amazing that you yourself take a look at multiple reviews to assure its validity before making a conclusion, and I find that very admirable.

      On that thought, you pointed out the major points I wanted to deliver exactly, although you are correct in the sense I should have said something about the complete lack of subcharacters, although I guess you can consider the “dolls and ghosts” that the characters create are subcharacters in a way, such as Misaki’s father/brother, Mayuki (?), etc…

      I tend to really hate games when they use chuuni and drag out things for way too long–that’s what happened with Astral Air, and no matter how many people fanboy over it, it’s still going to be on the worst games I’ve ever played. Heck, I’m scared to even go through with Irotori because of that.

    • Irotori is not bad! But I wouldn’t recommend it since its just a typical of all FAVORITE games – long, draggy and complicated. I remembered I spent almost half a year casually reading through the first irotori and then another full month for the fan disk. And even then I couldn’t really fully understand what was going on.

  8. It’s too bad that Moonstone has declined so much over the years. I quite enjoyed Princess Evangile despite the hitches the game had. However I played it YEARS ago, and I wasn’t really much of a critic back then. Though, I can’t really say I’m much of a critic now either =p.

    • What do you say about Princess Evangile? That’s also on my backlog at the moment, and if Moonstone wrote a non-sense game like this one back then as well, I might as well drop that before I even get started (fortunately, Moonstone isn’t one of those companies that I go “omgwtfbbq I play dis gaim to be a completionist”)

    • Well I liked it…at least at the time. Hell, my first review on the blog was about Princess Evangile, and it looks like I gave it a 9. However looking back, it’s probably more like a 7 or 7.5. Big difference I know, but I was incredibly noob back then. The game does have a nice line up of heroines, with some nice love comedy scenes to match. However very lacking in terms of story, and drama is quite forced for some of the routes. So using my current judgement of the game, I would probably advice that you NOT play it.

      But damn, looking back at my old stuff, it’s hard to believe that there was a time that my writing was even MORE crap.

    • Thanks for the suggestion–I’ll do as you say because I believe you already have a good idea on my preferences and what I look for in a game, as you make that advice to me.

      I guess that means no more Moonstone games for me; but I’ll still look out for their nukige.

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