As you may have noticed I’ve been pretty inactive lately, Christmas and New Years made me super lazy >_>.
Another thing slowing me down is the Jet Programme. For those who don’t know what that is, JET stands for Japanese Exchange Teacher. If you look up “JET” in google, the Jet Programme actually comes up first, not the airplane =p. I’ve been writing the statement of purpose for why they should choose me to be in JET. For a guy who has done basically nothing but watch anime and play eroge, I’m finding it pretty difficult T_T.
Enough about that, on to the review! XD
Yuuto hasn’t seen Yui for years, but still keeps in touch through letters. He finds out that she decided to go to Military school. He decides this is a good opportunity to fulfill the childhood promise of the two meeting again someday. Yuuto enters the school as a first year student for the guard class. Much the surprise of all the guard class first year students, the guard classroom is horrible. Students share tables, there are no chairs, no air conditioner and not even curtains. He manages to meet up with Yui who’s also in the guard class. The meeting isn’t as touching as one would suspect, where she shouts “WHY DID YOU COME HERE!?!”. The guard class finds out soon that only their room has bad facilities. This school works on a system where you challenge other classes in war activities to exchange facilities. Not only this, the other classes look down on the guard class. With this, Yuuto’s new school life begins.
[This is somewhat original, with some bits taken from Micchi’s blog]
In the game there are three types of classes: the Military class, the Research class and the Guard class. This being a military based game, the classes sort of speak for themselves. The Military class and Guard class defer in the sense that one is for war while the other is for something like bodyguards.
I found the common route quite typical. It’s the start of the new school year, the perfect setting for character introductions. Yuuto quickly makes friends with a number of girls, including one from each other class. The common route is basically made up of three things: training, challenges and eating. The common route progresses with the guard class wanting to gain better facilities. A couple of the challenges for these new facilities appear in the common route. Challenges include stuff like hunting the other classes with paint guns. The challenges aren’t very exciting to read, but at least they aren’t too long. In between challenges you see various training scenes, which are pretty boring. A reasonably large aspect of the game involves conversation in the cafeteria, where they complain about training and discuss stuff. For each of the main heroines, they throw in random chapters that focus on them to show them getting closer to Yuuto. The common route finishes off with a long segment of survival training. The first years get thrown out a plane and need to get to a checkpoint. The common route was average. Besides Yui, you don’t actually get to know about the other heroines much until you enter their routes.
There are 8 endings and one bad ending which doesn’t relate to any of the heroines. A route has two endings, one for the main heroine; the other for a side heroine. The way they integrate the side heroines into the route feels really cheap. There is usually some problem involving the main heroine for that route that involves the side heroine, but once you enter the route, the problem gets thrown aside.
The routes themselves are pretty bad. They don’t follow a clear path and some random drama is added at the end. The side heroines’ routes are VERY short; I cleared each one in about 30mins.
Amagi Yui & Takayanagi Otoha
When Yui firsts meets Yuuto again, she avoids him and shows hostility. She’s stubborn and hates to lose, which fuels her desire for the guard class to get better facilities. As she spends more time with Yuuto, her attitude towards him softens. She starts to show small signs of jealously when Yuuto hangs out with other girls. It’s later revealed that she didn’t want Yuuto to come to this school because she didn’t want him to get hurt.
Otaha is the daughter of the principal of the Military school. When Otaha first appears, it feels like she’s a gentle high class lady. However, she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She’s a manipulator and loves to see Yui distressed. For the first facility challenge she gives the Military class some info which ends up disqualifying the guard class.
The route begins with Otoha approaching Yuuto a lot, much to Yui’s annoyance. You see various moments where the two fight over him. A random child is thrown in, under the name of Alice and the guard class is ordered to protect her. Alice learns about Yui’s feelings for Yuuto and attempts to tell Yuuto, being stopped each time by Yui. Alice goes with Yuuto and co to buy souvenirs but gets attacked. The gang manage to fend off the attackers. Watching all the commotion, Otoha starts to develop feelings for Yuuto.
Otaha’s route starts off with Yuuto stumbling on Otaha smelling his clothes…? Otoha finds her feelings growing stronger and stronger, however she knows that Yuuto came to military school for Yui’s sake. She asks Yuuto to learn about his past with Yui; running off in tears after hearing the full story. Yuuto spends a sleepless night thinking about his feelings.
Yui’s route involves her spending many nights writing a love letter to Yuuto, causing lack of sleep. She accidently loses the letter and it’s picked up by Otoha. The letter eventually makes its way to Yuuto and the two become lovers. You find out that Yui wants the school to become a guard school, where the students learn to protect people and not kill them.
Ooi Narumi & Hinata Ayano
Narumi has a somewhat fear of men, where if a man surprises her she’ll kick them. Narumi is the energetic type that easily makes friends. She love’s cute things, making her really like Lotte. She also likes cooking, but is terrible at it. She eventually finds herself falling in love with Yuuto, but feels like she has no chance against Yui.
This route starts with Yuuto and Narumi chosen to be the models for the guard class for the school magazine. However, Narumi kicks Yuuto every time he gets close to her, so the picture can’t be taken. The work together to overcome this and she slowly gets closer to him. Ayano basically only tells the two of them to work hard…that’s it.
Ayano’s route involves Yuuto seeing a more feminine side of her. This results to her asking him to pretend to be her boyfriend when she meets up with an old friend.
Narumi’s route starts off with her trying to improve her cooking and asks the gang to taste test. The rest of the gang reject her out right and suggest that she ask Yuuto. Yuuto happily obliges, but of course the food is terrible. Soon after the two become a couple, Narumi fantasies about their relationship progressing further, leading to many hilarious moments. Narumi’s past is revealed and the rest of the route deals with Narumi overcoming her fear of using a gun.
Charlotte Tiger & Asakura Shiori
Charlotte is usually referred to as Lotte in the game. Lotte is part of the military class and the top student of the year. She gets good grades and she’s and excellent soldier. She’s quite arrogant. She tends to believe she’s very great and that others should look up to her. Her downsides would be that she’s short and her stamina isn’t too great. She gets closer to Yuuto after he teaches her to play Shougi. After losing to him in it, she starts to think of him as a rival, challenging him many more times.
Shiori is the Loli teacher heroine that everyone loves. She is very gentle and optimistic. Much to her distress, a lot of the students address as Shiori-chan instead of Asakura-sensei. She is childish and is scared of the dark. She has complex about her appearance and how a lot of her friends are getting married and having children.
This route starts off with Lotte being questioned about if she has a guy she likes. Yuuto comes to mind, but she tells herself that what she feels is rivalry. At night, Lotte happens to see Shiori grabbing onto Yuuto out of fear. She realizes that she actually DOES like him and she starts to act out when Yuuto’s around.
Shiori’s route will move onto Yuuto doing the night watch with her a few more times. Ayano finds out that Shiori likes Yuuto and starts acting as cupid.
Lotte’s route starts with a lot of awkwardness between her and Yuuto. Doing 3 years of stuff in weeks, she graduates from the Military class. She then enrolls back as part of the guard class. It turns out that Lotte has difficulty trusting people due to events in the past. Later these events turn out to be a misunderstanding. Through Lotte’s effort the guard class manages to get the military class’s facilities, however Lotte collapses from fatigue as a result. The military and research class conspire to get back at the guard class while Lotte is down.
Morishita Mifuyu & Tachibana Hiyori
Mifuyu gives off the impression as being an airhead and is constantly tripping, but she’s actually a genius. She’s the only member of the Research class given their own personal lab. She was always researching and she didn’t have friends in the past as a result. She has obsessed with medical supplies and loves to go to pharmacies. Despite being a member of the research class, she doesn’t actively participate in their activities and often indirectly helps Yuuto and the gang instead. She also has a thing for BL.
Hiyori is Otoha’s timid maid. She loves serving Otoha and helps her as much as she can, even if she doesn’t always agree with Otoha’s decisions. She doesn’t have much confidence in herself and is often in panic.
This route starts the gang meeting up for food after recovering from the survival training, Mifuyu is the only one not there. Hiyori accompanies Yuuto when he goes to visit Mifuyu in the lab. Mifuyu starts to think more about Yuuto and cleans around the lab hoping that he’ll visit. One day, Mifuyu sees Yuuto get injured during training and rushes to go treat him. However, before she gets there she sees that Hiyori is already helping him.
Hiyori’s route starts with Yuuto staying at Otaha’s hotel room for a couple of days because he needs to learn proper manners. Naturally this situation brings forth lots of interaction between him and Hiyori. After the training ends, the thought of not seeing each other again makes the two panic.
Mifuyu’s route Yuuto notices her acting weird and tells her he’ll do anything. She kisses him out of the blue and tells him she wants them to act like lovers. Yuuto confesses and the two sleep with each other. Mifuyu tells Yuuto that he doesn’t need to act like this anymore, misunderstanding his confession. After a bit more trouble, Yuuto’s confession works. As the route progresses you find out Mifuyu’s inventions are potentially being used for warfare when she wanted to help people.
If you read the description of the routes and thought they sounded not bad or even good, don’t be fooled >__>. The routes are pretty boring and messy. I’ll admit that the level of ichaicha was decent, but it’s compressed into several chapters which are lumped together. After the ichaicha it seems game falls down the cliff and some random drama is thrown in. The military setting seemed like it was just a fail method to introduce some back story for some of the characters. Frankly, this game probably would have done better if it was in a normal school setting.
The graphics for AXL games are always quite unique. They have a particular feel to them that make it stand out. Good? Bad? That’s up to personal opinion. I would have to say that they’re pretty good. I love the SDCGs XD.The the quality of AXL games has slowly improved, while maintaining the unique AXL feel.
Wow for once I can actually talk a lot about system for a game. AXL has a unique system. After you finish a scene/chapter, it can be skipped instantly. A small summary of the scene will appear and then it’ll ask if you want to skip the whole scene. The choices that appear in scenes also appear. A very good feature, you don’t have to watch all that stupid text while the skip function is in action.
The game also allows you to change from wide screen to…non wide screen. The non-wide screen will add in an extra bit of display at the bottom. I don’t really see the point of it, but having the choice is nice.
If you go to the log, you can jump back to any previous scene. I find it very handy because like to save at funny bits to watch again later. This way I was able save those funny bits even if they jumped out to surprise me.
Finally, after you finish a route the title screen will change to show the uncolored heroines. Then as you progress through the routes they get colored. This is the title screen after the bad end.
I personally loved a lot of the characters voices and found that voice actors matched the characters well. The BGM’s fit in quite nicely as well…yep that’s all I’ve got >_>.
If you haven’t played an AXL game, DON’T play this. You’ll be very disappointed by the crappy story and character development.
Fans of AXL will also be disappointed with this game, but probably not shocked if they’ve been following AXL since Koitate. The quality of AXL games seem to be a steady decline since Koitate, which this game being their worst yet. The ichaicha is there, but the whole getting facilities from challenges feels too much like Bakatest. The whole military setting doesn’t really fit the facility grabbing challenge thing, making things feel very bland and stupid. Only one of the routes actually had an aspect that focused on the facilities challenges. The story felt like it was going crazy. One chapter you see tons of ichaicha and the next you’re getting hunted >_>.
Overall, you can probably live without playing this game. Play it only if you’re an AXL fan, but go in with low expectations.
Overall: 60/100 (Not a total)
Funny as it may be, I still hold hopes for AXL games in the future. I’ve finished Sucre, but I won’t be doing a review on it. It was boring, not as much as this, but it was pretty close. The full English patch came out recently for Little Busters! So I’ll be playing that next. There are enough reviews for it out there as it is, so I don’t think I’ll write anything about it. The game after that will either Angel Ring or Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru ~Futari no Elder~.
Feedback is always welcome XD