Welcome to my third review which features yet another chuuni game and this time it is a new release from Dandelion called Ryuusei no Arcadia (流星のアーカディア). Changing the topic a little here, with Christmas and New Year just few weeks away, this will probably be my last review for this year. I still however plan on doing some shorter non-review posts if time permits and hope that three of us (Aedes, Aero and I) can come up with a Christmas or New Year joint post. No promise though (´･ω･｀)!
流星のアーカディア is a game from last month(October 2012) releases that catch my attention because of its unique opening. This game is the fourth product from a pretty new company call dandelion (だんでらいおん) which debuted three years ago. Although I have never heard about all of their previous games except for one, being able to produce games other than their first probably means they are holding up well enough. Taking in these two factors into account, I decided to give this game a try.
Game Name: 流星のアーカディア
Release date: 2012/10/26
Categories: Adventure, School Life, Duel, Japanese Mythologies
When I was watching this opening, two thoughts crossed my mind: either this company is having a tight budget or the opening coordinator of this game is just plain imaginative. Whatever the reason is, it does not really matter since the opening is coordinated well enough to convince me to give try this game. As for why is the opening in western cowboy theme, I also have absolutely no idea.
Lost on the way to his new school, Kitajima Satoru found himself in the middle of a slum area with no one to ask for directions. When he finally gave up and decided to backtrack, he noticed the smell of gunpowder in the air. Despite of the bad feeling he was getting from it, Satoru followed the smell which leaded him to a girl with an eye-patch.
“Who are you and why are you here?”
“Which organizations do you affiliate with?”
“Are you Discipline Committee dog or Central spy?”
Asked the eye-patched girl with her katana drawn out. However, it did not matter what our protagonist answer, this girl would not believe him and still conclude that Satoru need to be killed in order to shut him up.
Fortunately, our main character is not a wimp and he proved himself by easily dodging or deflecting all her attacks. Despite of that, Satoru’s circumstance did not get any better since he was unwilling to hurt the girl without a proper reason. Therefore the best things he could do was to convince the girl desperately while evading her sword which was aiming for his throat.
At this time, another girl with long black hair and a wooden sword arrived at their confrontation site with the intention of stopping their one sided fight. This newcomer whose name is Yajima Satori coincidentally turned out to be Satoru’s acquaintance from his previous schools. Faced with the prospect of fighting two opponents, the eye-patched girl decided to flee with the help of a smokescreen.
After exchanging greetings and a few words, both of them made their way to the main street where Satori showed Satoru around until they were distracted by an angry shout. They hurriedly headed toward the direction of the voice where Satoru and Satori witnessed a girl kneeling on the floor with red and swollen cheek. Not satisfied just with hitting her, the man who was standing behind this girl proceeded on to insult and ridicule her in the public.
“She is Kusanagai Amano and the man behind her is the Duel King, Akatsuki Hyoue,” answered Satori in disgust when Satoru voiced his puzzlement on the lack of third party intervention, especially from Disciplinary Committee members who were patrolling around. Satori then went on explaining about the “Duel Rule” in which all students were ranked based on their strength and disputes were solved through duels. With this “Duel Rule” in place, students with greater power automatically had greater authority and currently standing above all students was this unbeatable Duel King, Akatsuki Hyoue.
As though that was not enough, the Duel King was also granted a ‘Living Trophy’ who swore a complete obedience to him and happened to be this very girl called Kusanagi Amano. This ‘Living Trophy’ was said to be a key to a hidden treasure sleeping somewhere under this school, a treasure that contained a power strong enough to bring an end to this world. What is exactly this treasure that is hidden under this school? and who or what is the reason behind its appearance?
Looking at this CG above, it is not surprising that our main character is often referred to as Kichiku Megane(鬼畜メガネ) which means something like bespectacled bastard. However, behind his evil looks and cold attitudes, Kitajima Satoru is a kind and gentle character who possesses a strong sense of justice. In term of awesomeness, Satoru can easily stand on par with Kaito from Akatsuki no Goei, though it is unfortunate that this game are not capable of bringing out hundred percent of his GAR-ness.
Yajima Satori is your typical easy going, simple minded and brawn over brain character who speak mainly with male speech pattern (ends sentences with かい and だい if you know what I mean). Satori has transferred from one school to another uncounted number of time in an attempt to locate her missing mother. Her mother left Satori in the care of an itinerant priest shortly after giving birth to her and was never seen again afterwards.
Kinoshita Chiena is the landlord and manager of Nagaya, an apartment where Satoru decided to rent a room at. Chiena who is more commonly known as Chie-chan also works as a ‘general trader'(何でも屋) who will do whatever job as long as she is paid an appropriate amount of money. Although my first impression of her is not very good due to her money-oriented attitude, later it is revealed that she works so hard for the sake of buying medicine for her sickly elder sister.
This very hardworking, very stubborn and a little tsundere girl is none other than Ryuuzouji Komari, the Head of Disciplinary Committee. She works harder than anyone in ensuring that school rules are upheld and sometimes she can be very inflexible about it. Komari is also a very innocent and weak against sex related jokes(下ネタ) which make her into an easy and pleasant teasing target for Satoru. For some an unexplained reason, She hates being addressed by her given name.
Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, Ogami Izumi acts hostilely toward our main protagonist in the beginning of the game and even tries to kill him on several occasions. Although Izumi later comes to understand that Satoru means her no harm, she still prefers to keep her distance from him. As the kuudere in this game, Izumi is often found reading a book alone and rarely interact with other character.
‘Ojousama’ and ‘Trap’ are probably two most suitable words for describing this mysterious character called Tachibana Yamato. While her true identity is slightly hinted in other routes, it is only revealed on Satori’s route and her own route. Unfortunately for those who are interested in her, Yamato is only capture-able after a player clears the four initial routes (Izumi, Chiena,Komari and Satori). Mainly caused by her cross-dressing habit, Yamato speaks using a man speech pattern, but unlike Satori she ends her sentences with ぞ, instead of だい or かい.
Although Kusanagi Amano routes is only accessible after all five other routes have been completed, I will not call her route a true route since there is nothing in it that is particularly stand out compared to the other routes. Despite of that, Amano’s story is definitely my favorite out of all six and Amano herself is my favorite character in this game. No, it is not her blank eyes or her complete submission that captivates me, but it is her character development from an emotionless doll into a complete human being.
Since both the music and system of this game are average at best and do not really worth a full section, I decide to dedicate this unused section for serving some extra screenshots for your eyes to feast on:
Uh, that last one is not exactly a CG, instead it is two mini CGs(half screen each) combined in one frame.
Upon completing my first heroine capture, I was taken aback by how short the route was. Each heroine’s route in this game took me three hours on average, and in comparison, I required at least seven hours to complete a route from ‘＆’-空の向こうで咲きますように-. Under such time constraint, there are only limited amount of event slots in which the writer(s) can and need to fit in all the background stories, plot details, four H scenes and etc.
Therefore, it is not surprising that all the stories are very straightforward and follow a simple structure like the following:
problem 1 arise-> main character solves the problem-> get into a relation with a particular heroine-> ton of Hscenes-> problem 2 arise -> climax and conclude.
I am not saying that simple stories are bad, however they made the flow of events extremely predictable. In this game which contains almost negligible amount of らぶらぶ events, interesting stories become an important factor in deciding the quality of this game and for that reason I can not really tolerate the simplicity of these stories.
In all, 流星のアーカディア is below average in all aspects except maybe for its awesome main character. Unless if you have too much free time in or you are simply curious about the game, there are really no reason why you should play this game.
When I started writing エロゲ review not so long time ago, I wrote with the intention of introducing and hopefully promoting some of these less well-known games. However, if I end up bashing a game like in this review and hindering people from giving it a try, maybe I should not have written this review at all. What is your opinion in this matter?
I am sorry for not being able to post this review earlier since I got a pretty bad cold/cough and was unable to write properly for quite some time. Anyway, it is time to end the article and as usual, I am going to close with my favorite screenshot from the game: