Foreword: WARNING! EXTREME CUTENESS! Not for the faint of heart. I don’t make jokes about stuff like this: you will be sent into a coma from how cute this game is, unless you brace yourself for it.
One of my friends said that this game was an “…upgraded version of Wanko to Kurasou…”, and she was certainly correct; I found myself charmed to the bone with this game, that contained the most adorable characters that I’ve ever seen.
Title: しろのぴかぴかお星さま (Shiro no pikapika ohoshisama, Lit. Trans; Shiro’s sparkling Star)
Producers: Sweet Light
Release Date: January 25, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v11070
Game Type: Regular Novel
Summary: When Yuki was young, he had a pet dog named “Shiro”, that he loved with his life; they did almost everything together. However, ten years ago, Shiro died.
Yuki cried for weeks and months, and even believed at one point, that Shiro would come running through his door into his arms. Since then, he’s been having strange dreams where someone continuously calls out to him. He doesn’t know who is calling for him, so doesn’t really pay attention to it too much.
Before the 10th anniversary of Shiro’s death, Yuki is dragged into a strange dream, where a girl in a white one-piece and hair jumps into his arms. For some reason, she seems to know him, and claims that she is Shiro, his pet that passed away 10 years ago! Yuki does not believe this, and wakes up, but he realizes the same girl is now sleeping on his bed!
Shiro’s return as a human girl will cause chaos for Yuki, but he will soon realize that despite having a different form, he loves this girl who was once his best friend.
Story Length: Moderately Long (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Be sure to be “kind” to all four heroines before the split, where Yuki is trying to hide Aurora. The story splits when the group is preparing for the oceanside BBQ.
Aurora was arguably more of that “cliche” character that I didn’t like. At least she’s a loli nekomimi? (irresponsible)
Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Game Quality: Moderately Low
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: Another inferior game. Yes, the characters are super-adorable. Yes, I was cringing from the cute-ness for the duration of the entire story, but that was pretty much all of it. Nothing real special about this story other than the previous factor. It is possible to feel affection for Shiro, who comes back to Yuki because she loves him so much, but there’s also that “character contradiction” where Shiro doesn’t see Yuki as a “male”, but rather as a “master” until her route. Additionally, the character design was rather “cliche”, meaning that they were far too predictable. For experienced players like myself, we end up seeing how the story would end midway, and get bored with the game quickly. I was even able to realize the background factors of the “Fairytale Land” quite early on in the story. This hurt both the character design rating and the story rating quite a bit.
Eternal Dance… I wonder what that means?
Sexual Content: Moderately Low
Comments: Quite unfortunately, one of the more annoying factors of this game was the small cutscenes. Whenever Yuki would come from or go to the Fairytale Land, or whenever Aurora transforms into a cat from a human and vice versa. For these, you just need to hold the skip button, but that got annoying after a while too.
Nonetheless, if you’ve already played Wanko to Kurasou, you’ll realize that Mikan and Shiro has the same voice. I was unable to confirm that it was the same CV, but I’m guessing they are, because they seem so similar.
As stated above, extreme cuteness.
One other element of this game that I found as a minus was the side stories. Instead of a main plot, this game seems to favor more side-stories than creating one plot to support the background of all the other stories. These side-stories seem to usually take place in the Fairytale Land, and range from 100% correct fortune cookies or the “Life” game. The reader CAN get a few chuckles here and there, but these side stories really does nothing to the overall story, which was a disappointment.
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Quality: Low. While some CG is detailed, most of it was decorated unnecessarily with special effects like sparkles. While I can see that “pika pika” in the title, which translates to “sparkling” can be a plus for this special effect, too much of it kinda hurt my eyes.
Music Quality: Moderate. Most of the music is gentle and soothing, but they seemed too “plain”. I was hoping some theme of “nostalgia” within the music, but I didn’t see much of it.
Airi trying to lure a cat. She’s unfortunately avoided by animals, despite the fact that she loves them. Airi’s often jealous of Yuki, who is loved by animals in general.
Addictiveness: Low. Yes, this is a cute game, but otherwise, it gets pretty off-track and even annoying in some areas. If you’re not a hardcore loli maniac, you would get tired of this game very quickly.
Conclusion: Great story for drooling at loli characters, or if you like kemonomimi, then you might be okay with this story as well. Very inferior otherwise as a story as a whole, so not recommended for players who may want a “good story”.