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

Foreword: I lied. Despite starting to write the review for Oretsuba first, I felt inclined to finish and publish this review as soon as I can, so here it is.

Yep, I’m gonna have to say that this was a miss from the start.
Pure x Connect, which is SMEE’s “3rd” game (I exclude fandisks) was pretty much hyped by me and a lot others, but it was simply not good. It has the same atmosphere as the previous SMEE games, but has a considerably weaker story as I’ll explain. Plus, the company even got lazy and copy-pasted some things too, which was a huge let-down.

I may have had higher standards for this game, I was actually quite disappointed even aside those expectations. Let’s get on with the review for Pure Connect.

Title: ピュアxコネクト (Pure x Connect)
Producers: SMEE
Release Date: May 29, 2015
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v16166
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=832646
Game Type: Dating-sim romance novel

Summary: Usami Hayato is a college student who hates “kuso-onna”, or pretty much girls who take advantage of their sexuality against guys. His previous “girlfriend” was similar to this, and since he’s so tired and fed up with these kinds of girls, he goes around shouting “I hate kuso-onna!” all over the place.

The thing is, though, he still wants a girlfriend. He’s obviously lonely by himself and without any friends in college and working part-time jobs whenever he has time, there really wasn’t a chance for him to get to know anyone.

This is when his cousin named Ayumi is added to the story, as well as his new job at the Cafe Pivoine, a fancy bakery which doubles as a restaurant.

Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: As ironic as it is, none of the choices really seem to matter except for when you’re texting a girl at certain points in the story. Even after choosing your heroine, you’re asked to make several ‘replies’ as you did in Lover Able, but that only affects how early the heroine pretty much calls you, which was pointless to the story.
Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 2/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 3/10
Rating Comments: Dem ratings man… The previous Smee games were over a 6/10 and now here we have a game that’s actually BAD. The main reason for this is because there’s barely any interaction between Hayato and the heroine. Sure, there are some events within the common route that may contribute to “romance”, but that’s supposed to be the tip of the iceberg. In addition, the previous games had the two characters meeting face-to-face in terms of interactions, but this game gets rid of that and uses a fucking smartphone. WHAT?! AND YOU EXPECT EACH OTHER TO LOVEY DOVEY EACH OTHER IN SERIOUSLY LESS THAN A COUPLE OF WEEKS?!

Normally, one would be jealous of Hayato to have bishoujo on both of his arms, but that wasn’t the case for me.

Adding salt to the wound, this game wasn’t even funny: The game utilizes too many jokes relating to Hayato’s sexual activity instead of actually creating jokes relating to the heroines. The protagonist was pretty much a copy-paste from the game “Fureraba” with the exception of being a college student, and the game seems to try to merge the environment of the two previous games together instead of trying to create a new enviornment (aka, having the environment of a restuarant instead of something else, while having the “college student” status for pretty much no reason). Also, the game needs to shut up about said “protagonists” being a chicken or a coward, because they’re seriously fucking not.

On the other hand, this is a dating-sim for a reason; heroine routes were generally acceptable (which earns back that 3 points in the story rating), but really nothing too special. While I usually give greater scores for these “lovey-dovey” scenarios (which do not annoy the heck out of me unlike some other romance titles), the basis (aka, common route and transition into being lovers) was pretty much crap. Think about someone taking a sour crabapple and making sweet apple juice from it: you know there’s some weird shit going on.

It’s REALLY unnatural how your childhood friend who used to be immune to sexual jokes suddenly finds you attractive.

Character Summary:

Alright, let’s get through this!

Sora is going to be first. As the childhood friend of Hayato, they have been together for as long as they can remember; according to their mothers, they were even born in the same hospital, went to the same school for years, and now even attend the same college. Unlike Hayato, Sora is relatively popular in college due to her looks, but always rejects everyone that confesses to her, much to the curiosity of Hayato.

At first, Sora and Hayato can’t see each other as a romantic interest; Sora would often play with Hayato’s penis in the mornings (dead serious) and Hayato wouldn’t really become flabbergasted even if Sora was marching through the house in her underwear.

As expected, the game actually has absolutely no “transition” for these two childhood friends, with Sora randomly falling in love with Hayato after a few exchanges of texts, and Hayato suddenly finding his childhood friend irresistibly cute. Their route then moves onto how no one believes that they’re actually dating and the two having to go to the extremes to prove that they indeed love each other.

Next is going to be the “Conqueror”, aka, Shiho. As the manager for the shop Pivoine, this fancy restaurant/bakery is actually a branch from a main store located elsewhere. The beginning scenes show this woman being harassed by her peers to come have some fun, but her choosing work instead.

Relatively generic, Shiho’s common route is very similar to Sora’s in the sense there is no transition for the two characters with the exception of a few texts. While there is the comical scenes introducing Shiho’s father and his plea to Hayato to “impregnate my daughter”, this is quickly disregarded as a joke.

Shiho’s route, however, does focus more on her character and past, as a girl who lost her mother and was essentially forced to take care of herself. Ironically, Shiho’s cooking skills are very poor and it’s usually Hayato who contributes to this area instead.

Next is Moemi, and as strange as this may sound, I actually enjoyed her route more than the other routes. As a co-worker at the same restaurant, Moemi often lightens up the mood for the group when things get rough (but more frequently becomes the pursuer of sexual topics, which was annoying in a way =_=;;)

Cheerful and friendly describes this character, but like any archetypes out there, she strangely doesn’t have a boyfriend nor is “popular”, as inquired by one of her younger siblings, that she takes care of.

Moemi’s confession was arguably the one of the factors that made her route “better” than the other ones, as this girl who is often cheerful timidly “offers herself” to be the girlfriend of Hayato when the topic is brought up during the Christmas party. Now the problem I have here is that at this point, Hayato does not really see Moemi as a romantic interest but accepts anyways: the story could have been elongated over here for a better effect, but this is again another one of those incidents where the characters are MADE to fall in love with each other. Forced Romance.

Even with this kind of bullshit scenario that was bone-piercing painful, Moemi’s route has the most amount of FAVORABLE “ichaicha”. It’s shown that this cheerful character does have her own fears and uncertainties that relate to her younger sisters, which also doubles up to why she hasn’t had romantic interest in a while.

If you think about it, her “confession” actually contradicts with her mindset of avoiding relationships due to her siblings. Dat inconsistency, mate.

In addition, some players may become annoyed at her lack of self-confidence in certain areas. A small amount of shyness or timidness is great, but excessive just kills it entirely.

Originally, Hayato and Arisa are “set-up” by Sora on a date, since Sora found it necessary for this girl to have the company of someone else for a change. Her reason? Androphobia. While not exactly “fear”, Arisa seems to have a hatred for males. The thing is, this trait is never really shown in game, just stated. Like the protagonist’s description of “being the King of Cowards”, just saying something doesn’t warrant it to be a heroine trait, and is actually bad planning, so minus points here.

Arisa is relatively “good-looking” according to the story, and she even admits to receiving invitations to become a model due to this. Again, DON’T JUST SAY SHIT AND BE DONE: SHOW A DAMN SCENE WITH HER BEING INVITED BY SOME RANDOM RECRUITMENT OFFICER.

Outside of these poorly designed “heroine traits” that aren’t even followed-through, Arisa’s route really involves her literally being nothing good except for her looks; she can’t cook, her academic abilities are low, and with her hatred of men (which again, isn’t followed up), her social levels are lacking as well.

While this CAN allow the reader to somewhat sympathize with the poor girl, this DOES make Arisa’s character become very shallow; as if the protagonist really only fell in love with her just because she’s cute and nothing else. In return, there’s essentially no transition from Arisa’s hatred for males to falling in love with Hayato, who is (obviously) a guy.

Last is Ayumi, who is OH-SO-GENERIC that it’s not even funny.

More of a fanservice character than an actual heroine (loli-kyonyuu design), it shows how this character is the cousin of Hayato, and moved to his house after her parents left overseas. Hayato admires Ayumi’s “growth” (especially around the breasts area) but treats her well like a normal cousin (perhaps a bit more since his own younger sister is always an annoying bitch).

Ayumi’s route is actually pretty boring. In fact, since the “cousin-incest” (is that even a thing?) does not become a taboo, there is literally NO STORY. It’s just the ichaicha repeated for a couple of hours with sex scenes in the middle and the end. I’m honestly baffled to the point I have nothing else to say. In reality, there isn’t anything I can comment  on Ayumi’s route in the first place.

“Welcome Party” for Hayato and Ayumi. Notice some weird, distorted fingers.

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: Okay, so for some comments. I’m not sure if you guys recognized this feature or not, but if you hide the dialog window and click the heroine’s character sprite at certain points, they’ll actually “speak” to you based on their affection. While there’s only two “states” (non-lovers and lovers), I actually had some fun “clicking” on the heroines at various parts of the game. This trait unfortunately doesn’t correspond to actual CGs though.

Also, the game doesn’t have an appearance-change system like it does in Fureraba and Lover Able, but it does have changing “eyes”. Whenever a heroine is in a “romantic state” with Hayato, her eyes would become sparkly and brighter.

Ayumi used as example: Here’s the normal version

And here’s the alternate. Notice the sparkles and greater details in the eyes.

But she does have some scarier expressions at times

But even then these two “features” are infinitely abysmal compared to how poor the game was set up in the first place. Again, the game had NO BASIS for the character’s affections to each other, effectively ruining its purpose as a dating-sim and making it seem more like a nukige instead. Actually, that’s probably a good conclusion, so I’ll repeat that later.

As I see it, this game was really just a copy-paste from the two previous games, with the setting and heroine designs copied from Lover Able, while the location and the protagonist design was almost identical to the one from Fureraba (except downgraded considerably),

In addition, I see Smee hopping on that Large-breasts hype-boat. WHERE THE FACK ARE MAH LOLIS?!

As regretful as it is to admit, Ayumi’s breasts aren’t the only things abnormally huge in this CG.

One last thing is that despite making this game have the same setting as the previous game “Fureraba”, AND making some scenes involve the very locations that were keypoints in the previous game (e.g. Sawatari Vegetable shop), the only character shared is this one really weird-ass guy named “Sato”, who most of you know of as Mochoppi.

Affection for the Characters: Low

CG Score: 3/10. Cute CGs, but the occasional deformed fingers and body proportions are even scary to a certain extent
Music Score: 5/10. Average at best. Smee really needs to pick up their game. (Double entendre intentional)

Addictiveness: Not surprisingly, this game’s going into the trash for me

Conclusion: Smee’s first and hopefully its last failed project which many factors made its dating-sim atmosphere seem more like a nukige instead. Generic characters and copy-pasted protagonist/setting wasn’t a good trait for me, and lacks creativity on Smee’s part. The lack of interaction between the heroine and protagonist was the greatest flaw for this game, and my advice to Smee is to take things a bit more slowly, add more heroine-protagonist interactions, get a bit more creative with character design/settings, and actually have some drama in the game to hold a story.

Okay fine. I still admit that Moemi’s route was decent.

Comments on: "Our Love is always Connected! [150529] Review of Pure x Connect" (22)

  1. I can’t overstate how fucking sick to death I am of these unrealistically stupid, ridiculous tit sizes you see in every other VN these days, on most of the heroines. They look like fucking dairy cows with mastitis. Bring back the Bs and Cs! They look better, and you don’t waste any!

  2. […] this one; you really can’t get any worse than this. Remember how I said Suzukaze no Melt and Pure x Connect had very little transition with romance? THIS GAME HAD FUCKING NONE. In literally one scene, the […]

  3. […] Readers may have noticed that the beginning parts of the game are relatively slow, and even the character routes are pretty much your typical galge-style scenario with conflict -> resolution -> H-scenes. In fact, if you’re sensitive to the game’s romance at all, you’d also notice that there’s a fatal flaw in the sense that there’s almost no development. This was the small but critical “con” that I noticed in the game; how the characters literally felt affection for each other within a couple of days to even instantly with little transitioning. Basically, the initiation of the romance, although it was more well-developed in the later portions of the story, was extremely shallow; kinda like this game. […]

  4. […] A Game that I had high expectations for, but horribly disappointed me was… Tsukiyori 2 and Pure Connect. […]

  5. right…imma skip this

  6. I’ve read previous smee titles and the common route didn’t exactly feel like a copy paste. Certain elements yes, overall not really. I don’t mean to say the game was good with that, just that the common route was the strongest part of the game with the common route being decent at best…
    Personally, I experienced huge disappointment due to the out of nowhere romance. I really liked Sora as a character since it’s rather rare to see that kind of childhood friend with the “friend zone” being so clear-cut. That made me look forward to how it all plays out, what would make their relationship change and instead… there was just nothing. It’s kind of ridiculous since they game itself states that there needs to be some sort of enormous impact to change their relationship and it doesn’t happen nonetheless. Furthermore, the element with every character doubting their relationship in her route just added salt to the wound since that was almost 4th wall break level because you as a reader actually took the side of those characters – you couldn’t understand how it happened yourself.

    Funny enough, I think her route was still the best since at the very least her character remained consistent. She was basically the same, eccentric person as before. That doesn’t hold true for Ayumi, Moemi and especially Arisa. The betabeta ichaicha & love towards the protagonist was so inexplicably extreme that it effectively killed their personalities, which in turn made all three routes almost cardboard copies of each other. It took me forever to finish the game because I got so fucking bored, I couldn’t read on for an extended period of time. Shiho’s route sort of sucked as well since it made you feel like the protagonist was basically just her toyboy or something with the protagonist himself acting out of character.

    Overall, I can only say I just pointlessly consumed my time with this game.

    I’m surprised you still have the tenacity in you to read LoS games. Every game released after hgb just sucked big time. I can’t comprehend wtf they’re thinking. Judging by the sales, tayutama and hgb were their most successful titles and both are “serious” games, so the naturally conclusion would be producing that type of game would be more remunerative, instead they choose to recycle bullshit plots that are supposed to be funny. The tayutama 2 announcement almost seems like an act of desperation…

    • The problem with games like this is that the THEME is considered a “romance dating sim” and they just plain butcher the “romance” and the “dating sim” portions effectively making this “a game with sex scenes”.

      That’s why I call it a nukige and pretty much neglect any form of character design since it plays no role in the story.

      When I say copy-paste, I mean literally its settings and “location”. Maybe they didn’t want to use “school-life” twice in a row, so they just went ahead and used the “cafe/restaurant” setting that they have already used in the past. The protagonist design is pretty much the same in all three games: excessively brazen but timid when it comes to the heroine and her family… I’m sure someone else can put this in better words than me.

      On the other hand, I am well aware that LoS are messing up quite a bit. The last two games are pretty much shit with no theme, and it doesn’t seem like they’re even trying at this point. I’ll still play their games because Tayutama is still one of the absolute best games I’ve played (it’s easily top 5 for me), and this announcement of Tayutama 2 got me so hyped. No idea why the hell I’m playing this crap though (Rensou Relation). Maybe I subconsciously wanted to waste my time playing a trashy game, lol

  7. I play Pure x Connect for few hours until I finished downloading Evenicle and I found it decent (or maybe mediocre). Pure x Connect has great Opening, but that’s the good thing that I see from it and nothing else besides that so far. I even come to hate Karina because I think she is an idiot and very annoying little sister. Even I wish her to die.

    At least I was right to put Pure x Connect aside and play Evenicle instead. Definitely no regret there because Evenicle is so damn good. I recommend you to play Evenicle. One thing for sure is Evenicle is definitely much better than Pure x Connect.

    p.s: I already replied your mail.

    • I’ll also reply as soon as I can. With hospital rotations and thing to do, I’m quite busy with real life. Then I’m trying to finish writing up another really long review and the newest LoS game, which actually kinda sucks. Evenicle will be my next game on queue seeing how I’m getting multiple recommendations for it.

    • Great to know you will play Evenicle next. I wonder how long it will take you to finish Evenicle. it’s already been 2 weeks since I begin playing Evenicle and I still don’t finish it. I’m at chapter 5 of Evenicle now.

      Btw, what is LoS?

    • LoS is “Lump of Sugar”. Evenicle may be delayed slightly, but I tend to finish titles with gameplay elements relatively quickly. Let’s see how it goes :)

    • Oh, Rensou Relation. Waste of time from what I see.
      Well, you can finish Evenicle quickly if you skip other side things like side quests, optional boss, and collection. If you have problem in continue the story in Evenicle, you can ask me or maybe Aero. There are few parts where you will get confused on how to continue its story.

    • I’m actually gonna be pretty busy this week with 3 days when I’ll essentially be living in the hospital (from 8AM to 10:30 PM) No time for Evenicle for now, but hopefully I can get finished with it before the hype dies down…

      Rensou Relation sucks.

    • Kinda remind me to my older brother. He is also essentially living in the hospital lately with every 2 days went home at 9PM and then the next morning (7AM) go to the hospital again.
      Well, too bad for you. It looks like I will finish Evenicle first.

      That’s why I said it’s waste of time. I would rather play Angel Beats! 1st beat than Rensou Relation.

  8. I actually really liked the work’s common route, because it seemed really fresh to me (I haven’t read the previous works). I think that the work’s greatest strength was its rather lackluster, rushed romance, and it’s uniformity in branching (the texts weren’t very meaningful, they felt really lazy).

    I did like the heroines though. Their respective routes however were really disappointing. Some of them felt lackluster in ending on rather random points, while some of them were better thought out.

    • So wait, you thought those rushed romance or similar routes are considered “strengths”? Sounds like you meant the opposite to me! XP
      If this was really the first game for you, I’d suggest playing the older titles. You may not like them, but you can definitely see for yourself that this game was just a copy-paste from the previous titles.

    • No no. I thought that the rushed romance & the similar routes were weaknesses. I miswrote that entirely.

      The work’s greatest strength (to me) was how it opened. It seemed to have good pacing at the least. The common route, while uniform, did adequately develop each heroine (although very superficially — but equally). It’s just that in most instances, with a structure like this, the heroines are developed more within their respective heroine routes. But in this case, it was left off at that entirely.

    • I can definitely agree that the beginning did hype me up a bit since it was, as you said, well balanced and unique. The story just doesn’t follow up with it with successive plot and instead leaves everything with meaningless texts…

  9. I didn’t even feel this was a good VN at all. I was wrong to assume that there would be some sort of story, but the flow and coherence wasn’t even there. It was mostly a sort of random everyday events mixed to make a something readable. It was seriously quite a chore to read through. The seiyuus weren’t that great either in my opinion. Secondly, I didn’t like the oversized oppais at all. It’s all about good proportions, not the size. Lastly, I can’t help but feel embarrassed for SMEE for their bad and corny “jokes”. They were really forced and awkward, popping up every few seconds. I don’t recall laughing or blowing more air out of my nose at any of them. Unsurprisingly, I dropped the game after 2 routes. It’s a lesson learnt, I will not play a game from SMEE , or a pseudo-dating sim vn again.

    • Oh man, it seems that you had an even worse experience than I did! I’m just bewildered to how even anyone can say this is a good game (as seen on VNDB, Twitter, and EGS) when there are signs just pointing to a bad game. Sure, the character design is “okay”, but the story just sucks. And this is coming from someone who has a ridiculous bias for dating sims in general!

  10. Now I bet you’re glad that you’re not using twitter, because everyone in the galge community was praising this game during the whole month non-stop!
    I did mentioned “Movie 43” to you when you said about this review. This was because I think it gives a nice comparison! Its awkward and often disgusting humor may work for some people, but it’s really awful when it doesn’t! (And, of course: Movie 43 is still way worse!)
    What really doomed this game for me was the protagonist. He is constantly compared to his childhood friend Sora and many even say the only difference between them is their gender. “It’s like you’re a male version of Sora” they say. Ha! Sure! Besides the fact he is dumb, slow and has below-average looks. To make matters worse, he does have a “wimp” side for him in the way how he is easily manipulated and outsmarted by the heroines. He’s even considered to be Sora’s little slave or pet-dog. They don’t look too “equal” to me, and I don’t find that relationship too lovely, either.
    The only occasion he is allowed to look smart and to be the main attraction of a scene is when he’s interacting with the other male employees of the restaurant, because they are men and nobody cares when the male lead outsmart them!
    I’m not asking for a Super Gary Stu as a protagonist, but at least give me someone that makes me believe why all those different girls with different tastes would fall in love for the same guy and are even able to keep an everlasting relationship with him.
    And, Yes! The humor! I don’t usually laugh at Galges, even when they are trying hard to be funny, but at least I find them to be harmless. This sure wasn’t the case here! It may be because I never used a “onahole” in my life and never intend to, but I really doubt this was the only reason. They repeat the same joke over and over again throught out the game too many times! It wasn’t funny at the first time and it only gets more disgusting with each try!
    Another thing that really didn’t work for me was the acting. The heroines’ voices aren’t bad for the most part, except for Moemi! She sounds annoying even when she isn’t trying to be! Thus, her serious dramatic scenes got ruined for me! But what is really awful is the acting skills of the supporting cast! They were all awful! The Invisible friends at college and specially Shiho’s father! It was painful to listen to his dialog!
    And if you’re going to talk about how bad the CG is, don’t forget to mention the many weird physics involving breasts and clothes. Like that Shiho CG you’re using up there! It’s like her breasts are a black hole sucking her clothes, just so her shirt can show the format of her oppais. Ok, guys, I got it! You are making a “ERO”-ge!
    To be honest, in my opinion, this wasn’t the first miss for SMEE. Believe or not, I hate Fureraba! This is because of how much of a loser the protagonist was. But once I heard this new game would be written by the same guy who worked on Lover Able, I started to expect good things from it, because I find Lover Able to be an ok game. While I can notice it is indeed by the same writer, it was a huge disappointment for me!
    And then, I go back to console Galges!

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