What better post to mark the start of a new year for the blog than a review of the much anticipated imouto-ge – Imouto no Katachi!
However, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve hyped it up so much I was expecting nothing less than a kami-ge or the game is just plain bad, either way the game did not fully live up to my expectations. Full of plot holes and deus ex machinas, the story was a mess with barely anything explained. But there’s MeTA and Mayuki! So that wasn’t a complete waste of time.
I found a sentence on a Japanese review that perfectly echos my thoughts on this game: もっと萌えを！もっと嫉妬を！もっと背徳をくれよ！Where’s the moe? Where’s the yandere jealousy? Where’s the immorality? They were the factors that made Sphere’s last Yosuga no Sora such a success, and they screwed it up this time with a frustratingly incoherent scenario. I wonder how much better this game could have been had they suck out all the nonsense story and replace them with pure, undiluted moe.
I’m also here to rage about how damn disappointing this game was. The characters’ personalities are fine, but not enough ichaicha.
Yukito goes back to his home town to find his sister whom he lost contact with after a disastrous flood devastated the town 15 years ago after hearing news of data of previous residents being found there. In short, a guy tries to find his imouto.
OP performed by none other than Duca. As nice as always.
I don’t know much about Duca, but it was a good opening. Good enough to TRICK me into playing this game.
In my opinion, when a game is better suited as a chara-ge it should stay that way. Otherwise you’d end up with a half-assed excuse of a story that only detracts from the experience. In this case, I felt that the game was trying for something more than a simple chara-ge, which would work well for moe fags like me at least, but aliens abducted the writers somewhere along the way and performed unspeakable experiments on them leaving them incapable of writing a coherent story. Really, guys, if you can’t push out a decent story just don’t do it. Imouto moe alone will sell your game.
Also, what the heck is wrong with Yukito the protagonist. Putting aside the fact that he has never touched a computer or even a cellphone, he’s so simple minded he’s basically a caveman. He’s so tennen to the point of becoming a hetare: logic never comes into the picture for him, when he thinks of something he just does it no matter how stupid it is. Perhaps it’s because I’m too scientifically minded, I have a hard time relating to people who can’t follow simple logic.
The only route that has any significance to the story is the true route of MeTA and Mayuki. The rest are really just omake routes that tries to build on the story with sudden plot dumps near the end which really doesn’t work.
It’s not explicitly stated, but given the facts, I concluded that Yukito is about 18yrs old. So a flood occurs 15yrs ago, and he somehow remembers that he has an imouto. Yep, that’s definitely strange. But this is a pretty easy fix. Just pretend that 15yrs is 10yrs, and done!
Even looking past that, the story was pretty damn bad. I don’t know WTF the writers of the game were smoking, but it resulted in this stupid crap. When it seems like the game is getting somewhere, things will suddenly shift. Result: LOTS of plot holes.
Yukito = country bumpkin = completely useless. I don’t want to stereotype, but that was the case for this game. Besides being a techno caveman, Yukito has a pretty bad personality as well. I’ll admit, as an onii-chan, he’s pretty good. However, he’s too rash, and pretty damn stupid.
Chimari is the loli that every game is required to have. Raised in the same facility as Yukito as siblings, they have a very close relationship, one that some may call way too close as siblings though I consider it just right. She undresses and changes naturally in front of her onii-chan and happily goes into the shower with him too, all naked of course. Other than that, she’s pretty much a stereotypical little kid who whines constantly for her onii-chan to play with her. Which gets annoying fast. Damn it kid, I’M ON A DATE and it’s not with you! Go bother someone else please. It saddens my heart when the designer decided to make a loli behave like an annoying pest.
She’s merely an annoyance in other routes, but isn’t much better in her own either. Nothing changes; she is still annoyingly cute to put it nicely and they still consider themselves siblings, although they just happen to kiss and have sex occasionally. In other words, they go absolutely no where. I’d expect the status quo to change in a route, which is something that never happened. Oh and I think something happened with her parents that was supposed to have something to do with the story, but like the rest of the story nothing is explained so I’m left scratching my head as to why they were introduced in the first place.
Chimari has the personality that I can’t stand; childish and whiny. What’s worse is that she’s childish to the point of being insensitive and just being just plain retarded. For example, she has no trouble explaining in detail about how she did it with Yukito. The sudden appearance of her parents raises A LOT of questions, and made wonder if the flood had some sort of deeper meaning. However, the route ends with basically nothing being answered. The worst part about this route is that the two basically remain siblings to the very end.
Just like how every game needs a loli, every games needs a tsundere too and Ayaka fills this role. She is also an ojou-sama for extra moe points for those of you who’s into that. And for even more moe points, instead of the typical indoor activities for such an ojou-sama she’s more into the outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Besides that, well, she’s really just a tsundere. One with a killer dere side and looks really cute in a maid costume.
Her’s is the only route that was mostly spared from the excuse they’re calling a story. Like any good ol’ chara-ge route, they get closer, go on dates, have sex, and all that stuff you’ve seen countless times before. I found nothing wrong with that since it was executed fairly well and I liked her character. But I suppose you may not like it as much if she didn’t hit your moe spot.
I quite liked Ayaka’s route. Besides the BS background story involving her brother, the development was well paced and the events were nice to watch. You could say that it’s your typical ojou-same becomes poor story, but it’s done quite nicely. HOWEVER! The ending for the route was way too abrupt, which basically ruined everything >___>. Like Chimari’s route, various facts made raised suspicious on a deeper plot.
You know how there’s usually a girl in every game whose personality bores you to sleep? Miyuki here is it in this case. If she didn’t have a fear of men from her background in all-girls schools, I honestly don’t know what else of her stands out if at all. But with that androphobia, she becomes my second least favorite character as she overreacts to every little thing that has something to do with men. Ok, perhaps my thinking is too far out there, but please I’m sure you won’t be suddenly impregnated from being alone in a room with a guy.
I’m afraid I might have used my mouse wheel a bit too liberally to speak much about her route, which says something about how boring that was for me since I usually don’t skip that much. They kind of pulled a reverse Clover Point on this one, but as Yaya is a much cuter imouto it worked there and all it did was pissing me off here. And like Chimari’s route their relationship goes no where either like siblings who have sex, and like much of the rest of the game, what story bits there were made little sense.
I liked Miyuki’s personality. However, her route was insanely boring. Personally, I felt that the common route was more of a Miyuki route than the actual route itself. The actual route focuses too much on history, and there isn’t enough romantic development. Again, nothing is answered.
The confession for the route was pretty nice though ^^
MeTA, Medical Treatment and nursing Automaton, is as its name implies a robot. She’s not just any old robot, she was constructed using the most cutting-edge technologies so it’s practically impossible to distinguish her from a person; even her boobs feel perfectly soft like a human’s according to Yukito. And more than that, she’s also the character who carries most of the game and keeps it from being too boring with her hilarious lines to poke fun at any situation. The game wouldn’t be the same without her.
As her route is sort of like a combo route with Mayuki’s, I’ll save that until I get there.
I think Mayuki the wheelchair girl was supposed to be some sort of secret character since she doesn’t show up until her own route and I didn’t even notice her on the official homepage until close to the game’s release if I remember correctly. But since she’s up there now, might as well put her here too. Can’t delve into too much details since they’d be spoilers, but she has been in the hospital all her paralyzed life though she is now recovering. She also believes her onii-chan to be THE ONE and does not relent on her advaces. In a nutshell, she’s like Sora v.2. Which is exactly my cup of tea.
In this MeTA/Mayuki route and the only route with any significant story, things are beginning to make sense until somewhere in the middle (you know, the part where the writers got abducted by aliens) then things all begin to fall apart. Just about every plot device they introduced here is unexplained, or explained in such a vague fashion it’s good as unexplained. But since I never was much of a thinker, and I love the ending as well as the characters, this nevertheless somehow ended up as my favorite route.
I LOVED both Mayuki and MeTa XD. They both had nice personalities, and are easy on the eyes. The writers of this game could have scored big points with players if they simply filled this route with comedy and romance. HOWEVER, they try to make things serious, which basically killed everything. This route being something of a true route, I expected a lot of closure. I was stupid to expect this >___>. The MeTa + Mayuki combo made the route somewhat worthwhile, but overall it was still disappointing.
My route rankings: MeTA/Mayuki, Ayaka, Miyuki, Chimari
The graphics for this game is one of its stronger points.
Sorry, this game just isn’t worth it >___>.
This is the case of biting off more than you can chew – you better make sure you can follow through when you make a serious story or you’ll end up with failures like this. Given the game’s overall atmosphere, I think the game would probably fare better as a more lighthearted non-story that fully capitalizes on the imouto moe. But it does play true to the title – relationship doesn’t have to be restrained by blood; it’s the bonds that are more important. You need no blood relationship to be the onii-chan. All you need is the heart of one.
Overall: 60/100 (not a total)
If you’ve been reading what I’ve written up to know, it probably won’t surprise you that I suspected that the flood was man-made. A LOT of facts suggest this. However, it felt like the writers were too damn lazy to find a way to connect all the facts, and decided to end things abruptly. Not only this, they really held back on the ichaicha and comedy. Result; relationships that feel pretty damn stupid and a hell of a lot of questions in your head. Besides a few moments in the game, it felt like a complete waste of time.
Overall: 55/100 (not a total)
Next up is Alcot’s Naka no Hito which has already proven itself in the first route in typical Alcot’s stupidly funny way. Since Oot said he might be doing a guest post for this game, I may just leave it to him. And aquaspirit said he’ll be doing a guest post for & Sora too. Less work for us!
Sounds good ^^. I’m very interested in seeing a post on &Sora.