Today, we’ll take a close look at a VN with a little bit of irrational among a lot of rational.
What I am talking about is a VN known to English speakers as Snow Sakura. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but… well, let’s not skip the things.
We start with the strong points of this game. Surely, it’s humor. I found this game really funny, mainly because of Saki, Uncle, Dad and Sumiyoshi, but other characters help from time to time as well with their bits.
We continue with the settings. The idea of a guy abandoned by his parents, which is a ticket to a harem full of beautiful girls is kind of overused, but at least we get setting full of snow, nice city (or should I say village) in Hokkaido and Sakura which blooms only in winter. Reminded me of “Season of Sakura” a little (but that thing was more normal). I only expected some action at the train, which never happened. Shiku shiku shiku…
With that we get to the next point, and that is sex. It’s eroge after all and you will probably play it for that as well. Perverts. The dialogues are *beep*ed out time to time in these moments (which I didn’t care, as I find them a little fake and disturbing anyways) and I think I saw one un-depixalated place in the game, but who cares.
We also get romance. That is fairly strong point of this game, as almost all of the game seems pretty much natural. The hero struggles, but it’s not that “wishy-washy” standard of many VNs, he seems to really think about it and those few lacks of common sense we can add to the bill of him being unused to relationships. The girls don’t stay behind, each of them has their own problems, which are there for you to solve. You can even spot them on other paths (although you can’t solve them there), considering you have played them first.
And we get characters. I will mention only the main girls… sorry to Sumiyoshi (but he already raised his flag, so… ;+)
Miko with a cigarette? Hmmm…
The first character is Rei. A girl helping at her family’s shrine, cutie, who smokes secretly and has untold wish for her future. Also a big fan of mahjong. If you go for her path, prepare for many mahjong-themed discussions.
I played Rei’s path first (as I can’t resist the deadly blue hair/glasses combo) and I must tell, I was half disappointed. The gameplay screens were pretty nice (see above), but the CG screens weren’t such to my expectations. The progress and the end was satisfying, though, and I consider it being on the higher half of the rating.
And because I kinda bashed the CGs now… some of them are fairly good, really:
Isn’t it sweet?
Let’s move along…
Nya, nya, nyaaa~
Next person is Misato. Your homeroom teacher, likes to drink time to time, drives horribly and is clumsy so much it hurts. For some reason cooks pretty well, so Valentine is very nice in this scenario. The main problem of this path is obviously the student-teacher love problematics and the open ending wasn’t such as satisfying as I thought this path would be, but still… The VA for Misato is great (can’t be bothered to find who it is, I would forget anyway).
Also prepare for saving her many times from angry snow.
Taaa~ suu~ kee~ teeeeeee~
Misato is pretty much like lost kitten, which makes her awesomely cute. And is also shorter than her sister, even when older.
The next person is…
Misato’s sister Misaki. She is the same age as you, clumsy as her sister but nowhere near as good in cooking. She is also kind of jealous when in relationship. And she falls in love with you on the first sight.
The main problem of her path is one big misunderstanding and love from other side than expected. Her path is mainly the most normal one, just a high school lovey-dovey dating, usual problems and the end is fairly normal as well.
Calm and peaceful
The fourth character is Kozue. Another of the two or three relatively normal paths. Kozue comes from wealthy family and is a little obsessed with Misaki, taking her pictures wherever she goes with her handy camera. She tries to get you and Misaki together, which is the main problem of this way – two best friends arguing over one boy.
This path was pretty short, I think, and I don’t have much more to say about it. The end was nice, so to the last we go…
Sleepy and cute
The last one for me was Saki. This was easy to guess, as I usually go for the blondes last. Also she has some tsundere-ish tendencies. Well, that is the way I saw it in the start. Later on her path you come to know that she’s nowhere close to tsundere (yay!) and she is actually pretty cute and feminine.
Except for her dropkick
Her scenario for me is the second best in the game (after Rei’s, of course) and I am somewhat glad I left it for the end.
The artwork is very nice. It has a certain feel to it and it took me a while to get used to it, but in the end I really liked it. Especially the parodied scene (check two of them above) are great.
Music is fine… not too bad, not awesome. Something in the middle, I’d say.
What drags this game a little down is repetitivness. For all girls it’s the same, they propose on the same day (or you do), they all have one problem which must be solved… And you can’t skip Valentine’s day. Playing it through for the fifth time, d’oh… I started to agree with Rei a little there.
And of course, all the sex scenes are completely IDEAL. You will be probably totally amazed by the number of “together orgasms” and such. This breaks the feel of real world a lot. But well, it’s eroge. Couldn’t expect much of it.
Counting it all in, it was a nice VN. Not as deep and awesome as Ever17 or such, but high standards on eroge. I reccommend if you want to browse some sex scenes while having fun at it.