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

Foreword: It’s quite an interesting idea to have our daily  household belongings take on a human form especially because most of us use said things without really a second thought. While it does create some room for discrepancy in reasoning and logic, these clever ideas are often the ones that make the game fun, which is exactly what happened in this game here.

Despite this, unlike its predecessor that was released WAAAAAY back in 2004, this game did have some flaws within which was somewhat of a turnoff for me. I may reference said predecessor a couple of times within this review purely for comparison’s sake, but will make sure to explain myself thoroughly.

Please note that this review will contain mild spoilers about “Amenity’s Life” as well as for “Like Life”!

P.S. Due to grad school, work, and hobbies outside of galge such as mobage and MMOs, I’ve been quite heavily swamped with too much to do and too little time. I’m working on completing titles one by one, but they’ll be slow–as I’ve mentioned in this post.

Title: Amenity’s Life
Producers: Hooksoft
Release Date: December 22, 2016
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19609
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=911418
Game Type: Comedy School-life Romance Novel

Summary: It would have been a normal day for Reiji if he didn’t wake up one morning to find a naked bishoujo where his smartphone was supposed to be. Immediately panicking doesn’t do well for him as both his mom and his childhood friend gets involved, and they soon find out that this girl with weird accessories on her head is actually Reiji’s smartphone that turned into a human being for some reason. She became human in order to repay Reiji for “using her” (?) appropriately, but obviously he can’t take her to school and they separate that morning.

It’s only a matter of time until other objects around his house are turned into girls, and cause even more chaos!

Notice the head ornaments which characterizes the “corners” of a phone

Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: Very easy game to complete, most of the choices don’t really make too much of a difference and all you need to do is select the heroine you want to pursue 6 times in the choices selection. You can actually pursue up to 3 heroines at a time, so there’s a bit of protip for you completionists out there. The other three stories are more as a filler and comedy than anything else.

Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 2/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: As with any other “charage” out there, the characters are what really makes this game worth your time. Starting with heroines who are rather colorful, some of the subcharacters such as Rezona sometimes take the spotlight as the most attractive characters similar to how Hyouka (one of the subcharacters in Like Life) topped #1 on the popularity poll and received a full route of her own kek. On that same note, the design of these heroines were rather unique and original, which added greatly to this score. As I see the writer was one who wrote games like Fureraba, I had no trouble laughing at some of the nonsense humor presented in this game.

The charming characters really helped this as well.

Story is greatly lacking and very much a disappointment as there is essentially no conflict throughout the game. The entirety of the game reads and feels like a nonsense comedy like Sankaku Renai, and as with any of these games liberally displaying jokes, their effort to create a serious atmosphere regarding romance instead made things choppy and lacking a good transition to said romance in the first place. It’s even worse to find that each heroine route was quite archetypical, boring, and instead stuffed with generic plot, so as someone who expected more from this title, I was unfortunately greatly disdainful about this lack.

Protagonist is low purely because of the lack of “protagonist” moments in Reiji, as well as his entire character being a boring cardboard cut-out of an archetypical galge protagonist. He participates in the humor, but is way too “average” to be leaving a good impression on readers, and there’s also the unspoken fact that the romance he’s involved is absolute shit. Wait I just said it

Character Summary:

Maho is the smartphone who Reiji finds naked and in his bed at the beginning of the story, and it’s shown that she herself is greatly appreciative of Reiji as her owner and wants to do anything she can to support him. Always wanting to cling to him as she should be doing as a smartphone, she eventually starts to attend the same school as Reiji after seeing she wasn’t the only object that turned into human.

More calm and well-mannered, Maho does have some clumsy moment of her own, but generally modest about herself and her role and speaks in a formal language to everyone, even “underclassman”. It’s quite hilarious to see her “drinking” electricity in order to be charged up or displaying traits of an electrical device throughout the story. Her route delves more into whether or not she should live as an object or a human being, though this “self-existential crisis” occurs extremely abruptly at the very end of her route.

Maho’s route was overall not to my liking. I actually expected a more bittersweet ending like in Like Life where Himeko turns back into a cellphone, but I’m guessing the writers didn’t really want to adventure out like that.

As the childhood friend completely infatuated with the protagonist, Mikuri was highly archetypical and thus wasn’t too immersive. On the other hand, her character is unique in the sense during the prologue, she is involved in a huge “makeover” regarding her appearance, making her look much more feminine and appealing to the protagonist.

Other than this, I found Mikuri’s route to be very generic as that “deredere childhood friend” type of heroine, and how her theoretical question to Reiji “Would you still have fallen in love with me if I didn’t have a change in appearance?” was literally disregarded in seconds was the real deal-sealer to me hating her route.

While her character was cute, it was highly generic and her route adds nothing to the otherwise common pattern of similar heroines.

The classmate who’s always cold and very much a lone-wolf, Kanade is someone who acts a bit surprised (unlike other characters who do not believe him) when she hears of Reiji’s smartphone turning into a human. She’s someone who is actually quite snobby, however, since Kanade is always talking about how certain activities are a waste of time.

First impressions on this character is obviously not the best, but this wasn’t the case for Reiji who makes multiple attempts to befriend this cold girl who soon open up to him with secrets that no one else knew. Her real identity as someone Reiji knew was a design I thought to be decent, but poorly foreshadowed considering the only one made it too obvious.

Overall, Kanade was that “cool beauty” type heroine that I personally thought didn’t have a good introduction. It’s never really implied why Reiji decided to befriend this heroine while no one else did, and unlike characters like Yuzuyu from Fureraba (who had a similar design), there was a great lack of transition of this character to actually becoming friendly with the others.

Mostly a comedy character than anything else, Naru is a character who has a large amount of impact in the beginning due to her wild personality and liberal display of disdain for her older brother. Also known as the “Imouto of the Saint”, she doesn’t have a good relationship to her brother who is also Reiji’s friend purely due to the term “Saint” being used because Toshio is a peerless expert when it comes to erotic material.

Naru’s character design was quite unique in the sense she is the younger sister of a friend of the protagonist. (Well at least for me I didn’t really see this design too often…) She tends to be rather childish in correspondence to her looks and acts like one as well at times, and like Kanade, doesn’t see herself getting along with her peers because of her older brother.

While their romance wasn’t that great either (as with all the characters in this game), Naru’s route was one that I cleared first and in my personal opinion not as boring as the others. It’s far from being “good” in terms of story, which is the unfortunate thing

Chuunibyou might describe this character quite well, as the tomboy (?) ish girl who calls other girls “princesses” might seem like a psycho to the readers. Her personality almost seems forced from the beginning (since it’s so unrealistic), but it’s soon revealed that Miki really acts like this for some reason and is her “natural” self.

Originally the two meet when Miki witnesses Reiji standing against a robber, for which Miki expresses the utmost respect. She then starts to call him “Prince” and keeps asking about how she can be like him, which startles the protagonist. Miki herself is actually quite popular with the other girls with this kind of personality/mindset, and this makes her following Reiji around a bit more unnatural (i.e. she never really saw her ideal example of a “prince” previously).

Because of the aforementioned “unnatural-ness” if you will of this heroine, I was originally intrigued with how her route would turn out, but it was more-or-less the typical tomboy heroine scenario where the heroine struggles to find her feminine self. Here I was expecting something unique. Boo.

Though to be fair Miki in feminine outfit was quite refreshing

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: So comments. Overall a game that’s quite funny within the beginning, the humor should be the main reason to start or continue to play this game. It was similar to the humor presented in games like Fureraba (from Smee, which is pretty much a Hooksoft branch), which was greatly to my liking, and I personally had no trouble laughing at some of the intricate and nonsense humor. It’s different than Sankaku Renai in my opinion because the latter involves humor that’s a bit more specific and only recognized by certain people.

Otherwise though, I really didn’t like the fact that this game involved essentially nothing about its main theme about “humanized objects”. No form of explanation, contradictions everywhere, and the least the writers could have done was to create a good romantic transition between the characters or an impactful ending (like they did in Like Life!), which was not the case either.

They have these rather lengthy confession scenes, but they’re pretty much worthless if the romance sucks

On the other hand, each of the “items” that take on a human form receives specific side-stories and has unusually high involvement in some of the heroine routes, which was the main reason the character score is so high for this game and something I’d like to compliment this game for doing. If you can’t create quality characters, at least cover it with quantity and that’s what they did here unlike other charage that reuses CVs You know who you are

One thing that I should mention is that each route seemed very monotone. By that, I mean that once the confession occurs and you go into the heroine route, the events that happen afterwards at least regarding to dates, H-scenes, or the general icha-icha was pretty much consistent throughout the entire game. This made the game have that weird bland feeling where you feel like you’ve seen this scene somewhere, and really represents the lack of creativity for the writers.

Although the creativity was quite off the charts when designing characters such as these

Affection for the Characters: Moderate

CG Score: 6/10. Decent number of CGs
Music Score: 4/10. Not really a fan of the music to be honest. Sounds too generic

Addictiveness: Low

Conclusion:

Pros:

  • Amenity’s Life has amazing humor with a large cast which is the main selling point of this game. Unlike games from ASa Project, this kind of humor may be well received and do not require specific knowledge of subculture.
  • Heroines are well designed for the most part outside of being rather generic
  • The idea of this game was unique, though it is somewhat of a copy-paste from a previous title from a long time ago

Cons:

  • Story is heavily lacking in this title especially as it fails to maintain that theme of humanized objects.
  • Romance, as with almost all of the titles nowadays, is poor
  • Each route is rather generic and revolves around archetypical heroines

Overall, Amenity’s Life is that game which really had solid fluff (……?) almost to the point they failed the bare basics of a good galge. Said “fluff” which comprised of the humor and charming heroines covered the flaws up until a certain point until readers would likely get sick of seeing the same trope or pattern which is when the game goes downhill.

I’d be as brazen to call this game a failure since it even failed to copy-paste what its predecessor did to obtain its fame, and even fall short of my expectations even when it was already pretty low.

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Comments on: "The Successor of Like Life??? Review of [161222] Amenity’s Life" (3)

  1. You announced the review nearly a month ago and I said I would try and complete the game then, but I still haven’t… (currently halfway through Miki’s route, and with Maho’s left) which should be a pretty good hint as to what I thought of the game.

    It’s interesting that you also went for Naru’s route first, as that’s what I did too. She being the little sister of one the protagonist’s friend was an interesting concept, and I liked her route the most as it was the most detailed about the heroine’s family : her brother and parents and their interactions with the protagonist was funny and sometimes a little touching. There was also a bit of that in Mikuri’s and Kanade’s route, and a tiny bit in Miki so far, that’s the kind of scenes I really like in the similar SMEE games.

    I completely agree with you on the game being, to put it bluntly, boring. I’m having a hard time going back to it, though being unusually busy and also having more interesting games to read like Akiyume Kukuru didn’t help. When I do, I would read one chapter and just go “Meh, okay” and shut the game down, because what little character development there is is so cliche and predictable… I’ll admit some of the jokes make me chuckle a few time, but to compare to Sankaku Ren’ai, I found the general mood of the game was too relaxed and the tension of the characters too low to make the humor enough to hold the game on its own. While Sankaku Ren’ai jokes required some subculture knowledge that I often lacked, the tension alone was enough to convey a very cheerful mood, and Amenity’s Life in this respects remained too quiet and didn’t push its characters enough.

    I won’t elaborate on the lack of romance, you’ve done it enough already, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. To compare it to SMEE games like Fureraba, I’ll just say that six mini events don’t replace the day-to-day interactions to get to know the heroines better, and wasn’t nearly enough to either convince me that the two fell in love, or spark much of an interest in the heroines in the first place. I liked Naru’s concept, Miki seemed interesting but turned out to be a disappointment, Mikuri was as expected, and Kanade was alright but her secret is way too obvious.

    As far as story goes, I would have liked the game to go a least a little bit into details as to why the objects took human form in the first place, and explain why it seems to be so centered around Reiji. Apart from him, we see the backboard cleaner and elevator girls, but there is no mention of any other object taking human form, which makes his case really unique for no apparent reason. You could argue it’s because he takes unusually good care of his things, but he doesn’t (as seen in Kanade route and with the eroge sub-character). He’s just too average to explain why this happens to him, and also accepts it too readily without looking much into it. While the game does explore the concept of objects turning into humans a little bit (probably the most in Maho’s route, that I haven’t played yet), I can’t help but think the whole idea is poorly exploited, and more than half of the heroines being “normal” humans didn’t help.

    Finally, I liked the TECMA idea and its contents was sometimes funny, but having messages pop-up in the middle of character lines was pretty distracting, so I disabled the notifications and just read the threads at the end of each chapter. I’m not that good at multi-tasking or listening to multiple conversations at once, so that’s probably just me. Still, it helped give the mob characters a voice and not make it seem like the school only has a dozen students as it so often does.

    • Once again our opinions on this game is essentially the same! That slow progression is what’s been happening with me with other games recently, which is another excuse reason that I’ve been slow on reviews. I can’t blame you at all for not finishing this game in a month especially considering it took me this long to drag my fat behind to write a review.

      Your comment reminds me that I completely forgot to include the TECMA feature! It greatly emulates the Japanese social media, but like yourself, the sounds and popping up of messages which were really not relevant to the main game was the big turn-off to me turning the feature off (no pun intended).

      Out of pure curiosity, have you played “Like Life” at all? (Completely fine if you didn’t. It was released in 2003, and is a super old title) I wouldn’t say it was amazing, but it essentially has the same setting/concept with objects turning into humans, and at least within that game, I actually liked Himeno’s route.

    • “Amenity’s Life” was my first Hooksoft game, so no, I haven’t played “Like Life” or any of its other sequels. Being a Japanese-only 2003 title is probably why, as until I had the opportunity to take Japanese classes in University (around 2007) I had only read titles that were translated in a language I could understand (usually English). I’ve read some really old titles like “Bible Black”, “Divi-Dead” or “Three Sisters Story”, but I essentially haven’t played much until I tried “Ano Harewataru Sora yori Takaku” in 2014, that I started on a whim to test my Japanese and that got me hooked. I did however play some older games by companies whose recent releases I enjoyed (like Nitroplus, SMEE or Key). /endoflifestory

      That’s why I’m always eager for suggestions for those gems I have most likely missed over the years.

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