Noble Works Review

Company: Yuzusoft
Game Site: のーぶる☆わーくす
Release Date: December 24, 2010
Links: Getchu, walkthrough, seiyuu listing

Takumi is a normal guy who barely gets by with part-time jobs. One day, he was asked to attend the prestigious private school Rokuroku Gakuen while impersonating a rich student that looks just like him. Although he was hesitant to accept this strange request, circumstances (mainly financial) compelled him to agree to do it. However, he knows nothing about the celeb world. Will he be able to keep his cover?
[Shamelessly taken from Micchi’s blog]

Opening Theme

Somewhat fancy OP movie with some animated portion. OP sung by Sakakihabara Yui; am I the only one who dislikes the engrish in Japanese songs? But otherwise, decent OP overall. At least it has more than just the CGs.

Scenario

Takumi starts out wandering on the street with barely any money on him. He just finished a part-time job and is wondering what to do next as the restaurant he was working hasn’t paid him for weeks. Then he met his loli friend Hinata, exchange some greetings, and discovers she is transferring to a new school soon. This seems just like any other day. That is, until Takumi runs into a man who looks just like him being chased by kidnappers.

Naturally, the kidnappers mistake Takumi for that other guy and proceeds to kidnap him, only to be knocked out moments later by Maya with her kicks who happens to be passing by. Then Takumi takes Syuri, the guy who looks just like him, into his apartment to take care of him, but then got his door busted down by some special forces, led by Akari, who mistakes Takumi to be the kidnapper. After the misunderstanding is cleared up, Takumi is offered, with ample amount of money, to impersonate Syuri and live in his mansion to protect him. He accepts the offer, being broke and all, and so the story begins.

For once, I actually like the protagonist for the most part. Armed with knowledge and experience from his myriad of part-time jobs, he can do almost anything ranging from cooking, carpentry, to playing shogi which is a Japanese board game. He is a refreshing change from the omnipresent hetares, although he can be dense at times.

I like the common route significantly more than the heroine specific routes, which seems to be the opinion shared by some others who also played this game. The pacing progresses along the common route fine as events occur frequently one after the other, with barely any slow moments to bore you. But once you enter a route, the pacing slows down to a crawl. The pair’s confusion of their feelings toward each other is dragged on far too long in several routes, followed by the raburabu scenes where nothing happens. Finally, the pacing picks up near the end and the atmosphere suddenly turns serious when some typical ojousama conflict surfaces which is promptly resolved extremely fast. The result is an uneven pacing, in addition to the bland ojousama plot, that subtracted greatly from my enjoyment of the game as a whole.

Also, the plot is very much on the thin side. In essence, it consists of differently flavored ojousama routes that are all similar, except for the one maid route.

The (fake) oneesan flavored ojousama. Akari’s route has her wondering about her feelings for Takumi for what seems to be an eternity, she herself even calls it a disease that only woman is vulnerable to. I couldn’t agree more; when a plot device nearly brings the pacing of the story to a halt, it certainly looks like a disease to me. Her conflict is the typical getting kidnapped by the bad guy to be married. I’m sure they can come up with something more creative than that. But hey, at least she and her father are pretty cute.

The pettanko flavored ojousama. Shizuru’s route tries to have some actual plot but it all turns out to be a total mess. She, for no apparent reason, begins teaching Takumi manners fit for the rich and also trains him to use a naginata for spiritual enrichment (?), while receiving shogi lessons from him. I have no idea that naginata training has anything to do with the rich, but I guess if it translate to a loli with a weapon three times her size then all is well. Also, Shizuru seems to have little hesitation in falling in love with Takumi, a guy she just met for less than a month. Nothing makes sense in this route.

The loli flavored ojousama. Again, more forced drama is in place. At first, and what feels like half the route, she is confused, like every other heroine, about her feelings towards Takumi. When she finally comes to terms with herself, she starts distancing herself from Takumi because she knows his true identity and doesn’t want to cause trouble. The slowest route of them all, and they are all slow to begin with, absolutely nothing happens in this route until the very end. And even then, the conflict only takes a few words from Takumi to Hinata’s grandfather to solve. What a shame the two loli routes are such disappointments.

The yakuza flavored ojousama. Maya’s route is my favorite. Born and raised as the daughter of boss of a yakuza family, Maya is self-conscious about her background and tries to hide it, but it is obvious as she slips into her less lady like accent when she is excited. In this route, Takumi’s real identity becomes a plus because she is worried that she isn’t a proper match for a guy from such a rich family, which he isn’t. In comparison, I consider this to be the least bad route since the conflicts are neither dragged on for too long nor is it resolved in minutes. I also like her character the most.

The only non-ojousama route. You know there is something wrong with this route when there isn’t a non-H CG of her in maid uniform when she is a maid. Moreover, those breasts are unusually large; it is all too easy to think what a maid can do with these breasts for her master. All of these points to a route designed specifically for those with a maid fetish. The entirely of the drama in this route focuses on her not getting along with her aunt’s family who adopted her after she lost her parents. Which is all good and well, except the conflict lies in the background for the majority of the route, then is abruptly settled in a single scene in the end. Once more, major problem with the pacing.

There is also an extra route featuring Yasutsuna the teacher that consists of a single H scene and nothing else. The poor teacher only gets two CGs, and both of them are the NSFW kind.

My route rankings:
Maya, Akari, Sena, Shizuru, Hinata

Graphics

While the quality of the graphic itself isn’t a problem, save for weird proportions in certain CGs, the use of them is.

Do we really need multiple CGs for the sole purpose of displaying a heroine’s panty? Half of the CGs in this game is used in mundane situations that does not warrant the use of a CG. And with so few CGs in total, half of them HCGs, the number and proportion of meaningful CGs become very small. Furthermore, some of these already limited amount of CGs are only displayed for a few sentences and disappears right after, making them even more pointless. However, I like the SDCGs of this game, some more than the actual CGs. They capture the spirit of the situation well and there is a fair number of them.

System

Nothing fancy here. It is all standard fare with everything you need. Unlock extra mode after completing a route, and unlock tachi-e mode after completing all the routes. Between each day, and other lengths of time, there is screen showing the date. And sometimes during a route the perspective will switch to that of the heroine to show their inner thoughts, which is mostly confusion about their feelings toward Takumi. Not necessarily a subject worth mentioning, but the H scenes in this game are sleep inducing if you’re looking for them.

Music

The music player is integrated with the CG viewer. There are about 30 tracks total, including the OP, ED, and 5 instrumental versions of character songs. Standard eroge soundtracks, and decent seiyuu performance. The two characters’ voices I have qualms about are Sena and the teacher Yasutsuna; their shrill voices, especially Yasutsuna’s, annoy me every time I hear them. I’m glad I don’t have to suffer through a full Yasutsuna route or my ears will probably bleed as I play.

Overall

Shallow plot, inconsistent pacing, stereotypical characters, awful use of CGs, and minor problems with character voices ultimately dooms this game to be an average chara-ge with a heavy emphasis on ojou-sama chara. This is no where near the level of Yuzusoft’s previous product, Tenshin Ranman which was far better; the products of companies these days keeps on getting worse and worse. This game is also missing a Mikoto route.

Story: 6/10
Character: 7/10
Graphics: 6/10
Music: 7/10

Overall: 65/100 (not a total)

Next up is Tasogare no Sinsemilla which I’m expecting to have a substantial plot that I’ve been deprived of in my previous few games, not that mention it’s featuring an imouto as its main heroine!

About Aedes

Seriously siscon eroge enthusiast and alliteration adorer.

35 thoughts on “Noble Works Review

  1. Play the common route only and I’d give it 8/10 (smooth paced, straight-forward comedy)
    Enter routes and it drops to 5/10

    I still think the common route was worth it though. had a lot of fun~

  2. Pingback: Taiyou no Ko… does many great writers equal kami-ge? | Visual Novel Aer

  3. Aww, another disappointing chara-ge, you don’t seem to have much luck picking them lately D:
    Anyways,i’ll probably just keep this game in my backlog until i feel in an ojou-sama story, even if the two cutest characters (Shizuru and Hinata) had the two worst routes. It’s a shame that Noble Works is worse than Tenshin Ranman though. Very nice review though, and hopefully Tasogare no Sinsemilla lives up to your expectations ^^

    • I have only myself to blame for picking three average chara-ges one after the other. I picked these up by looking at the Getchu 2010 rankings; it proves once again popularity does not equal to quality.
      Indeed, their routes don’t do the lolis justice. I personally enjoyed Tenshin Ranman more, but perhaps that was because I played it months ago when I was less jaded. Although Tasogare no Sinsemilla is also on the Getchu ranking, the top 4 in fact, I’ve heard only praises so I have high expectation for it.

  4. Though I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the criticisms, I was a bit surprised to see such a harsh take overall. In general, I personally felt this was a stronger game than Tenshin Ranman, and featured (to me) much better pacing and character routes than the latter (the pacing in some of those routes drove me up the wall). It generally felt like the hurdles to overcome here were more progressive and better-developed (generally more reliant on character development than random plot interference), even if some of them are a bit stereotypical (which always felt more like a parody to me, so didn’t bother me too much). I personally also loved the soundtrack with its more orchestrated sound, and the OP and ED were particularly memorable. So it certainly is a “chara-ge”, but I personally thought it was one of the better ones I’ve played. I guess perhaps it helps that I’m a bit biased towards the “ojou-sama” archetype, but I know some others who hate that archetype but still liked this game. So… all that to say, your mileage may vary as always.

    • My Tenshin Ranman comparison may not be entirely accurate since I played it months ago and my memory isn’t as good as it once was, and I also have a bias against ojousama archetype. My memory of Tenshin Ranman is likely influenced by its characters, namely Sana and Ruri, whom I like a lot more than the ojousamas. I don’t pay much attention to sounds, but the OP I noticed used quite a bit of English words which I’m not fond of in Japanese songs. Games can’t please everyone, so I’m glad others enjoyed the game.

  5. My opinions of Yuzusoft games may be off since its been months since I played Tenshin Ranman and Noble Works, but I vote for Tenshin Ranman hands down. Though the concept of Noble Works was interesting and less cliche than Tenshin Ranman, the routes in Tenshin Ranman spread out more. Whereas with Noble Works basically all the routes focused around the Ojousama concept. I loved Mahiro’s route in Tenshin Ranman😄.

    • Nice to see someone with the same opinion as me, although I wouldn’t call Noble Works less cliche when all it has is ojousamas. I remembered liking Mahiro’s route as well when I played it, too bad it’s not a full route.

  6. Sorry I was a bit vague. I meant that the concept behind the main characters encounter in Noble Works was less cliche, Takumi being an exact look alike of of Shuri then getting forced into a rich as school. Compared to having super bad luck and meeting a goddess.

    My overall opinion of the two games could be very off since my Japanese skills are lacking and I use agth+IT to play games.

    • Now that I definitely agree. Noble Works has an interesting setting that was sadly not fully utilized. However cliche the story may be, its how well written it is that matters in the end.
      Don’t worry about using agth, it helps learning Japanese and the translation is right at least half the time, but you need to be able to understand the weird grammar of the translation.

  7. Been using agth for the last year and a half, because English translations of games were just too slow T_T. Games are surprising entertaining even though I have to use agth+IT. I’m so obsessed with eroge that during the summer of 2010, I finished around 20 games in the course of 3months😄. Currently playing Grisaia no Kajitsu which is taking a LONG time, I’m not even past the common route.

    • Never bothered with English translations myself, because as you said, there are way too few of them. But I did use Chinese translations for several games though. I love the badass protagonist in Grisaia no Kajitsu. The common route is also very entertaining. The only thing I didn’t like about that game is probably Amane’s flashback sequence that took too long and Makina’s ending.

    • I would give it somewhere around 90. Unique characters, nice graphics, good selection of music with 5 separate EDs sung by singers instead of the seiyuus. The only gripe is that it doesn’t have a main story, so each route isn’t related to one another.

  8. I would say it’s arguable if thats a downside or not. A lot of games tend to be like that, though some more than others.But seeing as you give it such a high score I look forward to when I actually get on a route. Makina looks like she’ll be first.

    That aside, I noticed your list contained quite a few games that i’ve also played. If you have time between playing Tasogare no Shinsemia I recommend playing Planetarian ~Chiisana Hoshi no Yume~. Very short story and fully translated. Takes about 2 hours if you’re a fast reader. But I assure you that it has a great story😄

    • Hope you’ll have fun with Makina. It isn’t often a heroine calls you papa, though I prefer oniichan myself.
      I’ve just read Planetarian’s synopsis in two minutes. I really am not fond of sad endings and dark stories, so the likelihood of me playing that is slim.

  9. Hmmm I think Sena here looks more cute than the other heroines, not necessarily because of the maid outfit though lol.

    “and unlock tachi-e mode after completing all the routes”

    What’s “tachi-e mode”?

    I don’t use AGTH (With ATLAS, Mecab, JParser) anymore. Instead, I look for games that are easier to read and if there happen to be single words, kanji or whatever I don’t know I use Babylon 8 to translate them. It’s more accurate that way too and another way to learn words or kanji.😛 (Though it could be a problem if you can’t input a certain kanji you don’t know how to pronounce into the translator, in that case you can also write with your mouse I guess XD)

    Just my 2 cents on the terrors of learning Japanese to read eroge. ^^;

    • tachi-e mode is the sprite viewer that the picture in the System section shows. You can put various characters with different emotions in several backgrounds, etc.
      I don’t use AGTH any more as well. If there happens to be words I don’t understand, I skip over them and use my imagination to fill in the information.😀 That doesn’t happen often with kanji though, since Chinese is my native language.

  10. I’m chinese as well, but I can barely speak it and I can’t read it at all T_T. Started learning japanese around 6 months ago using various textbooks.Progress is slow though, due to my other studies.

    When I play using AGTH+IT, i tend to read the line of japanese text first, before looking at the translation if theres any need. Of course translations are really bad sometimes so I also use the japanese dictionary on my ipod at the same time.

    Loverable was a pretty light on the kanji and quite entertaining😄

    • Kaho is one of my favorite characters. Her crowning moment in the cafe: “Hey everyone. I’m dating my oniichan now.” Then a great round of applause.

  11. LoverAble is what would they call it….a chara-ge? I’m not too familiar with the term. Not much story, but lots of comedy and nice romance along the way. I liked Kaho’s route as well. It was direct incest, but they didn’t make too much of a big deal about it. Instead you see me in the kitchen shouting that I’ll become the world’s number 1 sis-con =p.

    I liked all the routes, but I think I think I liked Nanako’s route the least. The build up to her confession was a little weak….but I DID like the scene when she’s sick and doesn’t want you to leave her side .Satsuki stood out to me for some reason…I think it’s because of the scene in school where her friends ask if there’s a guy she wants to get closer to, then she points to you.

    It was disappointed that Mafuyu didn’t have a route, but I’m hoping the fandisk sequel thing includes a route for her.

    • Definitely a chara-ge with no story to speak of. I like Kaho the most because she is one awesome imouto, then Tsukumi because she is one awesome kouhai. The rest I don’t care about because they are neither. The incest theme is indeed taken much less seriously than in Tasogare no Sinsimilla.
      I’m looking forward to the FD as well. Personally I would like the teacher route to be included.

  12. I’m generally a fan of all types of characters, but I can’t say no to an awesome kouhai. Tsugumi was also a great heroine, but she doesn’t beat Yukie from Majikoi in my books😄.

    I had completely forgotten about the teacher in LoverAble. Had a quick look, and she kinda reminds me of the teacher from Orange Memories (not that i’ve played the game, just my opinion from their images).

    If the teacher got a route in the FD I would play it. I’ve finished all routes for every eroge up to date, EXCEPT Tsurugi’s route in signal heart plus. SIgh~~~~ no matter how much of a game it is, I just can’t play a route when you’re going after a guy T_T. Though, I would play a teacher route, I would enter it with low expectations. I use to really be a fan of teacher routes, however I have yet to see a teacher route which is satisfying romance and comedy wise…unless you have a recommendation?

    • I have a rather narrow interest in types of characters as you could have guessed, but I still play the other routes for fun. I’ll have to play Majikoi soon, kept on hearing how great it is, especially with Yukie.
      Never had any experience with a guy route nor am I planning to. For teacher route, the one in Natsu no Ame is pretty good. But then, I haven’t played that many teacher routes, so my recommendation might not be entirely accurate.

  13. Majikoi was a great game😄. I would highy recommend it. The fandisk is coming out early next year. The routes are slowly getting translated, so I replay each route as the translations come out.

    If you’re a lover of Kouhai and Imouto heroines, a few of my favorites are: Nemu (Da Capo), Madoka (Hoshizora he Kakaru Hashi), Yuriko (W.L.O), Kokone (Signal Heart), Suzuno (Flyable Heart) and Mai (Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na).

    I have heard good things about Natsu no Ame, I will play it….eventually T_T. Your lastest impression of Tasogare no Shinsemia have got me interested in that as well. Sigh the games keep piling up. A few on my list (out of many) that I play to play soon are:

    Aiyoku no Eustia
    Itoshii Kanojo no Mamorikata
    Concerto Note
    Princess Evangile

    But before these, I must finish Grisaia no Kajitsu. On that note, I FINALLY got onto Makina’s route and I have to say I’m loving it so far. Though being called Papa is a little weird >_>.

    • I’m planning to play Majikoi after I get my imouto fix with those games on my to-do list.
      Out of your list, I’ve played Madoka and Suzuno. Mai is definitely on my radar as well. I’ll check out the others when I’m done with my current batch of games. If only I could play these games all day long with nothing else to worry about….
      Yep, the games keep piling up no matter how hard I work to digest them.
      I heard Aiyoku no Eustia isn’t that great, and has a sad ending as well, so I won’t be playing that. And I’m not a fan of action or musical titles, nor have I a fetish for princesses, so I probably won’t be playing those either.
      Makina’s route is good until the ending, which had me going WTF is this?!

      By the way, it’s funny to see how a Noble Works review somehow turned into a discussion forum.

  14. Every passing month is heaven and hell for erogamers T_T. New games, but limited time to play. Whats worse is that with new manga and anime coming out with each week theres even less time for games.

    Imouto Smile was a game I tried playing a few months back, didn’t really get into it. You start off choosing what type of Imouto you want, then you suddenly have that type of girl knocking on the door saying shes your sister. If you have not already watched it, Ore no Imouto wa Konna Kawaii Wake ga Nai is an interesting Imouto based anime. Currently playing the game of it on PSP.

    I am quite a fan of games by August, so feel somewhat obligated to play Aiyoku no Eustia. Sad endings are fine for me, I like drama here and there. Nemu’s ending in Da Capo was REALLY dramatic and sad, but was beautiful in the end. A real tearjerker.

    Princess Evangile has a character that may interest you Ritsuko, I like the opening for Princess Evangile which is what attracted me to the game in the first place. The game has gotten pretty high scores on VNDB so i’ll be playing it in the not too distant future. I’ve been itching to play a game by ‘moonstone’ to see what they’re games are like.

    Haha my bad, its just that theres not really any other place I can post these random comments😄.

    • I’m somewhat better off than the others since I rarely watch anime and almost never read manga. But I still never have enough time to play games.

      I looked at Imouto Smile and found its gallery is half full of HCG, so I’ll put that off for now. For Ore no Imouto wa Konna Kawaii Wake ga Nai, I dislike how Kirino keeps tempting me with such an obvious bracon complex but nothing actually happens between the siblings. I love Yosuga no Sora better in that respect. My preference is that you either go all the way, or don’t go there at all.

      Never played a game by August so I can’t comment on that. For me, drama and tearjerkers are acceptable if there is a happy ending at the very end. Sad endings, however, just make me depressed.

      I might give Princess Evangile a try sometime when I feel the need for more ojousamas. What’s up with the French words?

      We’ll need to come up with a solution to keep this thread from infinitely expanding. Email? IRC? AIM? Facebook? Or something else?

  15. I do a bit of everything, though I find that games are taking up more and more of my time. However “The World God Only Knows” manga is one of my favorites. Lots of cute girls captured using various techniques from gal-games😄.

    Just finish Ore no Imouto PSP. I am disappointed overall. Though there were a few good routes (Ayase, Kirino IF and Kanako), most of the routes were pretty weak. Almost every route, confession scene, then end. NO CLOSURE T_T. Though I am quite critical about how disappointing the game was, I will still definitely play the remake/sequel thing which has 1.8x more content because this game DID have some moments and I’m just a big fan of Ore no Imouto.

    Yosuga no Sora has been at the back of my mind for a LONG~~~~ time now, must play it soon. It breaches the forbidden territory well know to us as “twin-cest”. I agree how I like how this game goes all the way with a blood related sister route, no half-blood relation or adoption lingering on the side. Though that aside, it has been said that siscon games are only for those who DON’T actually have sisters, which seems to be quite accurate.

    THE WHOLE LIST OF GAMES I GAVE YOU EARLIER HAS BEEN PUSHED ASIDE. After Grisaia no Kajitsu I’ll be playing SuGirly Wish😄. I fell in love with the opening today, watched it over 30times probably. Though as I was watching it, I couldn’t
    help but think that Hina is a very typical little sister name >_>.

    Haha I agree we need another form of communication. As the the thread grows longer it seems like each post made grows as well. I’m fine with email. Facebook is a bit iffy for me. Though I’m not ashamed to say I’m a hardcore otaku erogamer, being public about is a no go for me, as it seems to be like for most people. Sigh~~~ society tends to look at people like us in bad light, especially as we grow older.

    • Reply is sent to your email you used here. I’m proud of being an erogamer. Not only is my Facebook full of eroges, when people ask me what I do I say bishojo games and proceed to explain what it is.

  16. Can someone please help me? I’m trying to use AGTH with Noble Works. I have an updated version of AGTH and I’ve used it successfully before with other games. This time though, even when I use the Hook Code, the words don’t show up correctly. All I see is 【 匠 】when the protagonist says anything and 【 when someone says something.

  17. Shizuru’s route made perfect sense. She trained him in etiquette, nagita, etc for 2 reasons: 1) She was somewhat shy and it was her way of obliging time with him and most importantly 2) She envied his lifestyle, it was carefree and “commoner-like”. She admitted in her route later on that she was trying to tie him into *her* lifestyle since she couldn’t have his. She admitted it was a mistake, but I think she is still glad for the time they spent together (going back to my #1 point).

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