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PhantomFreak

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A member registered Sep 27, 2019 · View creator page →

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Well, well, well.. I finished this game. I was left a little conflicted after finishing all the routes in the novel and wanted to type out my thoughts. There were things that I enjoyed; things that I didn’t enjoy. While my review might slant more positive than negative, I will also be discussing the stuff that peeved me a little. I'm going to be covering as much as a I can.

*Spoiler Warning*

Routes:

  • Now for the 3 male leads in the game – I’m going to be starting with Mitra. His route was the most light-hearted one from the three. He’s arguably the healthiest LI for the MC. His route follows a more traditionally romantic one. I found it to be a tad lackluster in terms of story and thrills, as well as Mitra being somewhat one-dimensional in personality. On the other hand, his route was the most complete from beginning to finish. If you like a light, more fluffy and feel-good route, this one is for you.
  • Onto Reska.. his route was my favorite. His route was the perfect blend of angst, steaminess, story, thrills and edge. It just felt really well-balanced and included everything I tend to like/look for in a route. I thoroughly enjoyed their character development. In my honest opinion, it felt the most authentic from the 3. I appreciated how they’d reach common ground and learn to trust each other more, in spite of their differences. I was fond of the fact that even with very minimal conversation at the start, you’d get to witness how their trust would deepen; how Reska would gradually soften to the MC (in his own way) – changing his demeanor with less growling or cold stares. No longer getting on edge or defensive when being approached/touched and having his wounds redressed; signaling him becoming more comfortable and less wary of her presence. The gradual shift felt fairly natural; neither rushed or slow. While I loved his protective side when it came to the MC, and occasional gentleness – I absolutely lived for his low growls and sensual purrs during the more intimate scenes. And the licking and neck nuzzling – aahh… so good. His wild, animalistic side at times was just too hot. Finally wrapping up my fangirling for this character – my favorite part about him was his perseverance. Despite comparatively having a weaker physique to the other Komodos, he encompassed a strong fighting spirit. Even if his success wasn’t secured and he was physically outmatched, he still would not back down – giving everything that he’s got. Not letting past failures get to him, but rather using it as fuel to get better – either to prove himself to his father and tribe, or protect what is his – Tamara. To me, I see that as admirable. If you want an angsty, steamy route with a lovable tsun, then this is for you.
  • Last but not least, Rama. His route was the most lore-heavy, emotional, and least romantic. In Rama’s, we get more insight, not only into who he is, but into Loma’s history and dark secret. It touches on trauma, lost loved ones, and how those things can change a person. As I mentioned, this route isn’t as focused on romance, as it being more focused on healing deep-seated wounds, forgiveness, moving on in life and finding happiness. While, I did enjoy this route, it was clear that throughout it, Rama still harbored intense feelings for Ayu and hated himself for what he failed to do to save her. He also had a difficult time trusting himself – believing himself to be a dangerous person who can pose harm to others. And to add to that, he didn’t easily trust others; convinced that they had nefarious intentions. For the reasons cited, it’s why you can sense this invisible wall he’s established between himself and the MC. He does become closer to her, but that distance is never fully breached. Even on his good end, where their intimacy seems to have increased a bit more – it’s taken 2 years after their prior time together for Rama to finally move past his feelings for Ayu. To be honest, I don’t blame him. He’s gone through a huge deal of pain and it’s obvious how it’s seriously messed him up; leaving him mentally scarred from it all. Deep scars and trauma isn’t something you can swiftly move past. It can take years to heal, and some people never get over it. Nevertheless, their lack of closeness, and the persistent barrier positioned between the two main leads for chiefly the entirety of the story did lessen the enjoyment of this route an adequate amount for me. All in all, if you prefer a more dark, story-focused, emotional route, involving helping a broken LI get through their internal demons whilst they hide behind a playful mask to the public, with limited romance, then this is for you.

Story and writing: 

I think that the writing came off as a bit childish during some moments. In certain scenes, this would negatively reflect on the characters by them every so often talking and behaving in rather juvenile ways, even in grave situations; making it hard for me to take these situations seriously sometimes and creating a more comedic effect instead.

Moreover, for the story, you do have to suspend disbelief a tiny bit. There are some parts that left me questioning about it or that didn’t make sense to me.

One example of this is how Tamara is sent to go back in time to somehow restore peace between the Avians and Komodos; saving humans from extinction. Because, as is revealed, humans were descended from Avians. But here’s the part that’s inconsistent with the rest. If Tamara needs to go back in time to save humans from extinction, then why does she and other humans exist in the future, before she goes back in time? Wouldn’t that mean that peace was restored between the Avians and Komodos, and that the Avians survived long enough for humans to have descended from them, as well as successfully multiply? I mean, somewhere else they do specifically mention they are Tamara’s ancestors. So, am I led to believe that these ancestors who are descendants from the Avians - went extinct, instead of all humans? Then why do they earlier mention about saving humans from extinction? They never do clarify this, and I consider it this game’s biggest plot hole.

Another thing that seemed unrealistic or that didn’t make that much sense to me either was how Tamara became fluent in the language in a matter of 4-5 days. Like how? Especially when she was struggling 3 days prior? My only guess was that her father imparting with her some basic Indonesian, and her encompassing the ability to naturally understand the Avians speak it, somehow aided her in being able to pick up the language faster than the average person. Or.. she’s simply a genius and is being exceptionally modest about it.

Regardless of my criticisms, the story is all in all enjoyable. At least as something good to pass the time. I do believe, though, that the main plot becomes less and less important as you do the following routes after Mitra. I wish the main story wouldn’t have been copy and pasted to each route – save for a few minor changes to the dialogue and relevant added lore for each character. They literally follow the exact same sequence, and purely devolve to background noise/skippable scenes; leaving you only to prize the interactions between the LI and Tamara. Some of the scenes felt kinda draggy and boring, specifically the ones not involving the LI – as they were mostly Tamara doing monotonous, mundane tasks in Loma or having uneventful conversations. I get it, though, It’s a free game and only one writer, so I guess I can’t really complain.

I do commend the effort that was put in exploring Indonesian culture and mythology. I in fact find that to be one of the strongest suits in the game and something that I had genuine fun learning about. I appreciated the encyclopedia and how it expanded on the references to Indonesian customs/traditions in-game. The theme being based on both ancient and modern Indonesia is something I felt made the game unique.

OST and Art:

The soundtrack was okay. It wasn’t anything too exceptional. There were 1-2 tracks that stood out to me, but that was all.

The art style is descent. It’s not the most polished and the characters do look a tad rough at times, but I can tell that there was heart and passion put into it. The design is interesting. It’s more than appealing enough for me to sit and play through the game. Rama’s CGs look the best, tbf.

Final thoughts:

Anywho, Reska is best boi and the hottest overall. You can’t change my mind. Nusantara may not be the best visual novel I’ve ever read, but it was pleasurable enough. Thanks for supporting Linux as a platform!

Score: 7/10

What a ride! Like, oh my freaking god. This went wackier and deeper than I expected. Whenever I'd think I'm having a firmer grasp of the story line, it'd go in a direction I couldn't have foreseen and surprise me with a twist! It was like one long Monty Python sketch. I loved the absurdity and goofiness of it all. The self-awareness, the puns, the references, the light-hearted banter - it was all simply great and fun. 

I honestly did not jump into this expecting much. I thought this was going to be some silly, memey, short game - and I mean, it was. But - it was so much more than that. It had a comprehensive plot, a colorful and funny cast, and a complete story. By the end of it, I actually felt like I went on a genuine journey with Anne, Cilantro, Pizzaro and the others. I felt like I really got to know each and every character (this was all in the span of 3 and a half hours.) 

I really appreciated the heroine. I liked her usual stoic, yet honest and sometimes snarky demeanor. Her common-sense, though sometimes disbelief at at all these new things happening to her. I thought it was rather relatable and most of her responses mirrored how I'd likely would respond given her situation. And Pizzaro... my adorably pitiful, poor, naive, pure-hearted baby. It was amusing, though also sad seeing the way he would mercilessly get bullied at times. He really deserves happiness. I felt guilty pairing the heroine with anybody else. I enjoyed their interactions and seeing Anne & Pizzaro together. I truly wished them the best and would have desired to see more quality time spent between them. Same with Cilantro on his route. It was so short!

Nevertheless, the art is superb and the soundtrack was fitting. Writing was well-done as many have already commented. Really helped immersed me more into the game. Liked the crossover with the Ozmafia-esque art style and how it was used to set the contrast between the "normal" and Cal Zone people.

Those break-from-character moments with Anne - where she'd go full on simping/fangirling mode whenever seeing a hot guy was funny and low-key relatable, at least in the context of fiction, haha. I completely felt that when seeing Cilantro for the first time and when Pizzaro removed his makeup. I was like, "damn. I definitely made the right choice in playing this game and subjecting myself to seeing these eye-candy fictional men."

Anyway, absolutely adored this cute, unique, weird game. Totally one of the best otome I've played on itch.io. Thanks for supporting Linux as a platform!

I loved //TODO: today. It's arguably one of the best western otome I've played. I honestly didn't get into the game with any high expectations, but this game really impressed me. It drew me in fast. I became fond of the cast pretty quickly and connected with the characters a lot, especially the MC - Teal. I was able to identify quite a bit with her issues and saw myself in her from time to time throughout the the game (I played as a girl). I related plenty with her past - in losing oneself in fictional realities and imaginary characters as a means to cope with loneliness and hardships. As well as generally being a loner. I mean, isn't that why I'm playing this game? Haha. ^^;

I also identified with the frequent themes of procrastination, depression, lack of motivation and being conflict-avoidant. It's still a constant struggle in my life. It's truly empowering watching her journey as she, step by step, climbs her way out of her rut and slowly overcome her internal struggles with the intention to improve and possibly bring herself closer to her dream; with the added aid from Joyce, of course. I actually wished I had someone like Joyce in my life - giving me those regular nudges in the right direction and just pushing me toward being a better version of myself. Sometimes it can be incredibly challenging being your only motivator, especially when you're low on motivation yourself.

*spoiler* My favorite segment in the story was rescuing Joyce. The heartfelt conversation shared between Teal and Joyce was one of the best scenes in the game, as well as the risky escapade it took to getting to Joyce - I felt genuine excitement and tension for the group. *end spoiler* Anywho, I think Teal and Phoenix would be the better romantic pair, given how well their personalities meshed together (both being loners and introverted) and their common interests, but I obviously got more attached to Joyce. I liked the openness between Joyce and Teal, and the way they both played a role in positively changing one another. I enjoyed the character development from the main 3; how they tried to adapt and later see things from a new perspective.

Some more thoughts:

Phoenix looks like a chill person I wouldn't mind hanging out with irl. Male version of Phoenix also looks like a K-Pop idol. Yes, I did simp for an AI. Moreover.. please add Suuji and Ken as dating options! I was seriously hoping to potentially romance Suuji until I realized that they weren't a dating option. Suuji was such a wholesome cutie, haha. And Ken seems like such a laid-back, fun dude. I'm a straight woman, but I think the inclusivity and choices in the game was great, notably for those who would benefit more from them! I loved the pastel color palette and the art. Maybe not what I'm used to from commercial otome, but very pretty nonetheless and for a FREE game. That being said, I definitely enjoyed this game. Writing, characters and art were all solid. The game was rather educational too.

THANK YOU for supporting Linux as a platform! I played this on my old, potato laptop that's running Linux Mint 20.3 Una from a USB stick. Really appreciate you giving native support.