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A member registered Jan 10, 2017

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Pretty sure reviews via the rating section aren't publicly viewable on this website so I'm posting it in full here for the sake of posterity. 

Please take what I'm going to say with a grain of salt. I know there were a lot of hiccups during production. That's to be expected on such an ambitious game. But the reality is, it's a released game at full price and I will judge it as such.

Bugs: Too many for a full price game. None of them, at the time I've downloaded this game, are game breaking but there's a severe amount of continuity errors, visual glitches, and audio glitches where sound effects don't stop at the scene (like sex sounds will play long after the scene is over, or kissing scenes' sounds will carry over until you're at least on the next day--it's unintentionally hilarious when you hear the characters still macking on each other when you're sitting at home trying to play with your cat, but it really takes away from the immersion). This game clearly expects you on a railroad and if you deviate at all (which is easy to do; and the game PRIDES itself on being so open) you've messed up railroaded scenes which will now make no sense. The game developer did not seem to account for the openness they themselves designed. And it's not even convoluted things like going somewhere unusual on April Fool's day and thus unlocking a scene with a character you've never met. It's also as basic as getting your stress level too high. For example on Hikaru's route, when you're only at the acquaintance status with him and you stress out too much, he visits your apartment to take care of you. He shows compassion and a connection you don't have yet. Let alone how he even knows where you live. But such a basic element of the game that's easy to trigger should not have such an in-congruent scene to where you are in the game. It's stuff like this that keeps popping up that I don't understand how it made it into the final release. Did anyone beta test this game? And if you check the comments on this game, I'm not alone. There's numerous errors being reported left and right. For a full price game it has no excuse to be this buggy. This isn't an EA release. At least the creators seem to care, but therein lies the other problem. Patches don't exist. When the game is updated, it forces you to redownload the entire game and figure out how to transfer your save files to the new download any time there's an update. And as buggy as this game is, there's going to be a lot of that if the developer decides to keep updating this game. Frankly I don't understand why some of these updates even exist like the date skipping feature, but I'll talk about this in the replayability section. Another issue is with the sprite layering. I think this is more to do with the engine than anything. I have found when a character exits a scene to leave the background  behind, you will see them flash between their clothing layers until it's nude and then it disappears. It happens fast but it definitely happens.
Art: I have to start with just a tiny personal gripe. This game borrows a lot from games that came before it which is a mark that the creators genuinely love this genre and I appreciate that. But why do we not have a body hair toggle option? For a game with so much else you can work with, why didn't we get something as simple to implement as that? None of the characters have hair. I get that's a personal preference thing but for a game with so much variety in the characters and the sex..why is everyone so..naked? I have to say, it causes some of the anatomical art to look silly. Sometimes penises look really great in a way you don't often see in yaoi at all because these games don't appreciate the variety or natural stages of the penis. But at the same time, it also leads to some of the art looking really bland because while the genitals may be drawn beautifully..they have minimal texture and shading and without hair even, it just looks like a slightly developed Ken Doll at times. Also, why does the MC not have a fully drawn butt? In the rear view scenes when changing underwear, if you go bare his intergluteal cleft is just..barely there? I mean I love that he has a flat butt with fascinating line art to the outer shape but why is the crack itself barely drawn?
Gripes out of the way, I like art. It's cute. It's mostly well drawn and fun and the CGs are worth collecting. Not as dynamic as I would prefer but enough to be interesting. I also love the use of the chibis, particularly in erotic content. Games like Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome and No Thank You!!! really did it best, but this game takes that platform and develops it for more use. Maybe it's used a little more than it should be at times but it's cute and I enjoy it regardless. I wish the art in the foreplay scenes was a bit more varied though with better facial expressions and changes to the body itself. It's well done and that's really why I want more. We don't get enough of it in games and so I'd appreciate more of this content. Also the facial expressions of the sprites is dang near perfect. I absolutely adore the sprites more than I have in any other game. It really helps the comedy along, the emotion along, the romance goes a long way to really helping seal the intention of that moment.

Voice Acting: It's good. I'd have liked voice acting in the job scenes too but we get enough to make it fun and interesting. What really matters is the sexual voice acting. And I have to say, I am THOROUGHLY impressed. I've been playing eroge for over 12 years now and I've amassed a growing collection of over 300 games. I've experienced a lot and Seiyuu Sanshi has some of the best voice acting for the sex. Sadly there's not enough dialogue to keep the scene going as long as I'd like though. I mean, let's be real, a vast majority of people play eroge with a specific intent in mind. If your sex scene can't last even half as long as your market can, you're dropped the ball on a crucial element of gameplay. But the moaning, the gasping, the sound effects themselves are fantastic. They are varied, they sound natural, they're not entirely "turn based" so the immersion is really there. Again, another feature I'd have liked is the voice acting to continue without having to sit on that screen. Again, a feature in another game that wasn't implemented here and I wish had been. Having a good mix of dialogue with description would have led to this kind of implementation being useful and combated the issue of short scenes. But the VA for the MC does amazingly well in these sex scenes. You don't often enough hear higher pitched sex sounds from male VAs and it works here. It's so refreshing and sexy and offers a wonderful contrast to the deeper voices of most other characters. I especially can appreciate that HIkaru's voice goes so low compared to his normal speaking voice. having that variety is really fun to listen to. Also just the different ways in which each character communicates their pleasure through these sounds. It's in no way one-note and that's a rare gift.

Plot: A big issue with a lot of stat management games is managing plot with filler. This game has a lot of railroaded scenes, which I appreciate, but many don't feel like they're really advancing much. They're offering minimal characterization, but it's as though the game is requiring you to read into it more than the game itself does. I don't feel as though there's enough give and take from the MC and the love interest about their separate lives and goals. The scenes where Hikaru is wracked with turmoil or stressed by being an idol and the very temporary nature of the career is brought up..but not really explored in any depth. It's such a huge part of who he is, to just leave it hanging with the MC's immature responses..why even have the scenes? Why even go there if you're not really going to GO THERE. It feels like these scenes exist in a vacuum and don't connect to one another like they should. And I know that I'm probably missing some scenes because this is a stat management game and so it's very easy to accidentally miss something (part of why there's so many save slots...that take 30+ seconds to load..), but having a maximum of 2 scenes that build up before dying off as often as it happens is not character development. It's a series of vague plot points that don't connect but the game wants to pretend are deep and world building. And don't even get me started on the NPCs and side quests. Actually, let's talk about that.

Playability: Let me start with talking about the NPCs and sidequests. This would probably be less of a big deal if the game didn't market itself as this being in innovative feature. It's one of many "innovative features" that don't pay off. Virtually none of them matter. The "items for sale" guy at the park, the tv station guard if you're on Hikaru's route, and the model guy for easy money in the beginning are really the only interactions that pay off. Maybe the shrine maiden to get a pet too but you could play the game without that and be fine. The NPC quests largely don't amount to anything useful and don't really add flavor to the game either. Busy work in a stat management game is fine if there's a purpose, but a vast majority of it here serves no purpose. You're better off stalking your love interest than doing any of the side quests. Maybe if there were more items to earn that could be used on EVERYONE it'd make slightly more sense? But as it stands it's pointless. Not to mention, unlike a stat management game like Backstage Pass where your day to day activities and goals differ and vary depending on who you are pursuing, this game it doesn't. Sure there are endings in which you can pursue no one but that makes the game even more pointess because of this simple problem: in Backstage Pass it makes sense and still gives you goals to work toward even if you're solely focusing on your career and not on love; in Seiyuu Danshi..there is no goal because it's the same goal you have no matter who you are pursuing only you have a lot of days of the week you won't do anything at all because you're not pursuing anyone and you will fast run out of stuff to do. Virtually none of the side quests matter. There's absolutely no difference in your day to day activities no matter which route you are on. This greatly affects the replayability as I'll talk about later.
Your end goal is the same no matter what. You want to become famous and you want enough money to pay rent and enough money to visit the hotel once a week so you can have regular sex if you want sex scenes in your eroge. That's it. Those goals do not change AT ALL. Really the only stat you have to care about getting achieved quickly is charm to get the model job because it's a good money source in the beginning before you become known, and getting your fame up fast so you can get into the tv station for more HIkaru scenes to get to his lovers stage before the fireworks festival so you can unlock the sex as early as possible and get the beach date scene. But other than that? Stats? Don't matter. Side quests? Don't matter except if you want to buy sex toys or want the apron for Hachi. Most of this game really doesn't matter and is absurd filler. Again, filler is common in stat management dating sims but this game tries to pride itself on being so open and giving you so much to do..but it's an illusion. It's for the sake of marketing. Most of this content doesn't matter and will lose value after the first game play. It barely has value in the first game play as is.Not to mention, this game also prides itself on a few other features that literally do not matter. Social media? You have maybe 5 status updates all available at once per person from January..after that..nothing. Never updates. Totally useless. Why did you even market this as being part of your game? I get it, it probably WAS a bigger part of the game initially but by the end you didn't use it..but still left it in your marketing pitch?
Phone You don't really have conversations you can listen to. It's a fade to black. You get maybe 5 text messages you can reply to. You can't send them out willy nilly. Virtually the only use for your phone is minor companionship building to your stats only and to find out when new jobs are posted. You could cut the phone entirely out of this game and it wouldn't change anything. But again, is pitched as being a focal part of the game. 
Apartment customization! Cool idea..but..not really all. Aside from buying a computer that won't really do you any good anyway unless you're 1-2 points away from a stat you need to achieve over a Saturday or Sunday, there's no point in customizing your apartment. It literally does nothing for you. Your apartment will be 75%+ empty space no matter what you do. If anything, change the flooring to something that doesn't hurt your eyes because there's so much of it you'll have to stare at all the time because you can't fill your space with anything else. But other than that it's pointless. Just like the underwear which also literally affects..nothing in the game. I haven't even found a way it affects the sex. I would far rather have less features and more depth than a bunch of unfinished projects scattered throughout the game to tease "what could have been". You can say I'm nitpicking harping on things, but notice I'm only harping on the things the game itself markets itself as having as a core feature of the game. I'm not complaining about any other features that didn't pan out because the game isn't selling itself on that basis. I work in sales, I'm no stranger to the accusation of bait n switch marketing..but this game really is just that. It's a bait n switch.

Replayability: What replayability? They put in a skip function to skip days at a time when using a cheat so you don't need money or fame etc. to still get through the game after completing it once. The problem is, unless you've struggled through this game multiple times, you won't have enough cheats to be able to use this feature effectively. It's entirely pointless unless you just want to have save slots to replay sexy scenes..but..the game allegedly has a replay mode for that so..??? Point? This game has no replayability other than pursuing other routes. This is the type of game that probably is better to watch as a Let's Play than to own and play yourself. 

In conclusion, I want to recommend this game, I really do but I don't know if I can. I think the biggest pitfall is this game set a bar too high for itself. I've been way more forgiving of far worse games than this because they know their market and their platform. This game tried to do entirely too much and thus set an expectation it just could not meet. I'm nitpicking because this developer has so much potential and they're not going to do better if we just kiss their butts all day about how great the game is. The game is good for what it is and it's quite innovative. But it's not enough. This game tried to take on too much and ended up half-assing all of it as a result. Had this game been edited down and a focus put on the major features it was marketing, it could have been better. Instead we have an incredibly wide, shallow game instead of the depth most crave from a dating sim. Plain and simple, it's not worth this price tag which is going to sound odd with what I'm about to say. It should have cost more and actually implemented the claimed features. But, at the current price tag it's too much unfinished and doesn't feel complete and thus I can't justify the price even though I'd pay more for the complete version. The only reason I'm not requesting a refund is I want to support this developer and I genuinely have gotten many hours out of the game..but they weren't productive or enjoyed hours. I have faith they can do better and will do better in the future games. But this game itself is not worth it at this price point at all. It was way too ambitious for what it could reasonably be and just made everything feel like a let down. There was too much hype, too much build up for what it was supposed to be that it failed on the delivery. It self itself up to have an unattainable image and for a first game it would bound to end up this way.

So, any time there's an update like this is there a patch released or do you have to redownload the game entirely?

If you visit the mansion on April Fool's day it triggered a dialogue with Shuu even though I had never met him before this point at all. Not sure why this happened?