Tag: PC Game Review

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Wildermyth RPG Indie Game Review

I just started playing Wildermyth on the PC yesterday. This game is very fun and very challenging. I warn you, don’t get too attached to any of your characters, because it won’t be long before they die. Permadeath is real in this game. You get two chances. First time, your character will be maimed, second time, dead. I’m thinking I have to start all over because my characters just aren’t strong enough for the battle that they’re facing. I’ve tried twice now. Some had already died before that too. read more

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Raises the Bar

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Raises the Bar

Guest Post by Michael Lan at Anime Zeal

When you think of MMORPGs, it’s no surprise for the big three to come to mind: World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Up until recently, I would say these three have been pretty evenly matched with the exception of Guild Wars 2 not seeing as much popularity as the other two. But with the release of Stormblood, I would say Final Fantasy XIV has taken the lead!

If you haven’t seen the official launch trailer yet, check it out here!

Stormblood is the second major expansion after Heavensward. The first installment of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010 ended up as a failure as it drastically failed to meet expectations. Since then, the next three installments and expansions, A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, and Stormblood have all been massive successes.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood follows the story of the Warrior of Light played by yourself, the player character. Stormblood focuses on the conflict between Eorzea and the Garlean Empire that has oppressed the land of Ala Mhigo for 20 years. See the new sights that Stormblood has to offer with this tour of the East.

With Stormblood, we see a complete revamp to the combat system with new features and functionalities. This allows for a much more dynamic battles and gives you the ability to be more involved. Strategizing based on your fellow players’ roles and skills will also be crucial for taking down the realm’s most powerful bosses.

If you thought that was cool, just wait till you try out the new DPS jobs, Red Mage (RDM) and Samurai (SAM). I mean, just look at them! With so much versatility and heavy damage dealing respectively, RDM and SAM just feel so impactful and fun to play.

If you’re thinking that the other jobs have been left in the dust, not to worry! Every job in Final Fantasy XIV is getting a revamp with Stormblood. This means new skills and actions for a completely new feel! Below, you’ll find a video of every job’s actions, including RDM and SAM.

With new challenges in the form of dungeons, raids, and all kinds of new enemies and allies alike, you’ll be in for one heck of a ride. Stormblood increases the level cap from 60 to 70 so even if you were completely maxed out in Heavensward, there’s still so much more to do! Acquire new items, weapons, armor, mounts, and of course, we can’t forget about glamour now can we?

FATEs now have an added feature called Twist of Fate. Here, you get bonus every time you dispose of a special enemy. In this case, you get a dramatic boost to the amount of experience gained from FATEs. So let’s hope this makes leveling our jobs to the new level 70 cap much easier!

The first major expansion, Heavensward, gave players the opportunity to fly across the skies in Heavensward areas with flying mounts. And now with Stormblood, the ability to explore surface and deep swimming in new areas as well as old ones has been introduced.

If Stormblood didn’t sound awesome before, I bet it sounds pretty darn awesome now, right? Just like with flying, in order to unlock swimming you just have to go through your main scenario quests. Time to get to exploring the world beneath the surface of the realm of Eorzea. See all the underwater sights and don’t forget to take some beautiful snapshots with /gpose!

If you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV or have never played it before, now’s the time to at least give it a try. It really is the complete package: an amazing story, intricate design, fascinating lore, an expansive world, engaging combat and mechanics, and a friendly and helpful community. I thought I had seen it all with Heavensward but Stormblood takes the cake!

Adventure Game, Branching Plot, Decisions Matter, Game Review, History, Point and Click, Review

Curious Expedition – Indie PC Game Review

Title: Curious Expedition

Genre: Adventure Game, Rogue Like

Developer: Maschinen-Mensch

Platform: PC, playable over Steam and also right in your web browser, stand-alone DRM free client coming soon

Release Date: May 19th, 2015

Retail Price: $14.99

Where to Buy: Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/358130/The_Curious_Expedition/ or Direct from the official website at http://curious-expedition.com/

Overall: 58 / 80 73% C “Good Game for Girls”

Overview: 8/10 Curious Expedition is a rogue-like adventure game with retro style pixel graphics. It puts you in the role of one of several famous explorers from history and lets you compete for fame and fortune. If you become the most famous explorer, you win, and are honored with a large statue in your likeness.

That is, if you can survive long enough to even return home from your expedition. The game uses some interesting mechanics such as a sanity meter, which when it gets low, bad things begin to happen. Mutiny breaks out among your crew, or random disasters begin to befall the group.

You can restore sanity by eating, drinking, or sleeping. There are also certain units you can recruit, or perks you can receive that increase your max sanity, making it a bit easier to explore without going insane.

There are other resources for you to manage as well, such as fresh water, ammo, first aid kits, torches to explore dungeons, ropes and climbing kits, and numerous other tools to help you discover treasure.

While out exploring you will sometimes enter into battle using various dice (amount of dice and colors of dice are determined by which party members you have with you at the time.)

You can always select from 2 different expedition routes, and are presented with a randomly generated objective to complete while on expedition. You can choose to return home after completing your objective, or continue to search for treasure to bring back.

Your movement speed is greatly reduced when your inventory is over burdened. This will make it even more challenging to manage your sanity and other resources. Terrain obstacles such as sand, snow, ice, mountains, and forests will also slow down your expedition and require careful resource management.

Perhaps the most unforgiving element is if you die, you get one chance to load your auto save, and then that’s it, you’ll have to start a new game. And you will die often. 6 expeditions may not sound like much, but I have yet to make it past the 5th.

The overall experience of the game left me both addicted, and annoyed. I have yet to successfully complete a full series of expeditions. But yet, I played all night, and can’t wait to get home to go on new expeditions.

Pros: Strangely addicting Gameplay paired with retro pixel graphics. D&D style dice-rolls and turn based combat system. Fairly large maps (I typically have to return home without fully exploring the maps). Rogue like elements make it great for multiple replays (but admittedly need some tweaks).

Cons: Normal mode is very challenging… like seriously challenging (There is an easy mode (which I have not tried) and an even more difficult mode as well though so this is not really a bad thing). My chief complaint of Curious Expedition is that there’s not enough choices in places to explore. Maps all feel very same-ish. Scenarios seem to repeat, and even when you get a new scenario, there’s nothing terribly unique about the quest to make it memorable or exciting. Need more maps, more variety in quests, more variety in classes, npcs, treasure, random events, etc. My other chief complaint is there’s no multiplayer mode. This seems like a great game for some multiplayer fun as it does show you how much fame/fortune your competitors are earning. It could even make a great persistent online game with credit going to players for being the first to discover new regions, items, animals, native people, etc. So much potential here for interesting multiplayer options, but instead, your competitors are always controlled by the computer. And lastly, my last complaint is that there’s no Steam Achievements. A game like this would be PERFECT for steam achievements. There are steam trading cards, but no achievements which seems once again like a missed opportunity to add some fun gameplay elements.

Geeky: 5/5 – The retro vibe and random rogue like elements, as well as references from D&D and other old school games make this a blast for all geeks who grew up with fond memories of the 80s/90s.

Sweetie: 3/5 – Although it is very text heavy, a lot of the text repeats and is not very interesting on subsequent playthroughs. However, there are some notable female playable characters that represent real women throughout history, which is just awesome. This game highlights women who did extraordinary things and emphasizes their brains over beauty, making this a great game for young girls.

Gameplay: 7/10 – When the game begins, you select which explorer you want to play as. Some will be locked and can be unlocked through game play to be used on subsequent playthroughs. You will be given a few supplies and some animal and human companions.

You’ll then be shown a map of the world. It will have many expedition points, but only ever 2 at a time will be selectable as your competition will be exploring the other parts of the world. Select one of the two routes and you’ll be offered a quest. You can either accept or reject the quest. I assume if you reject it, you can just freely explore the expedition area without a quest in mind. Or maybe you’re presented other quest options before embarking on your voyage. I’m not really sure.

If you can successfully complete a quest objective you’ll get a large bonus to fame and/or fortune. But if you fail the quest after choosing to accept it, you’ll lose a great deal of fame or fortune as well.

Before leaving the docks, you’re given time to buy supplies, and sometimes you will find new crew members who wish to join your expedition. You can only take 5 members at any time, so if you find new members you wish to recruit, you will have to part ways with someone else first.

While out exploring you are shown a map with perhaps a few areas uncovered, but largely, hidden from your view. You click around the map to move and explore. Points of interest or interaction are designated by a white question mark symbol. As you approach, they will reveal themselves to be one of several different locale such as:

Native Villages: Here you can recruit members for your expedition, buy, sell, trade, rest to restore sanity, compile research, complete various quest objectives, and more. Your likelihood of success depends on the villagers feelings towards you. These are determined by how long you’ve stayed in the village, as well as decisions you make to story prompts both inside and outside of the village, as well as certain class roles of your crew, and any special status conditions possessed by your crew, and lastly, the amount of trading you’ve done with the village thus far.

Caves: If you have a torch, or a class member with “perception” skills (blue dice roll with white eye symbol), you can usually safely explore the caves. If you choose to loot treasure, you may anger the gods, villagers, or spring a trap, but it’s almost always worth the risk, as you can trade the treasure in for fame or fortune after you return home.

Stone Circles: You can use these monuments to reveal more of the map.

Temples and Pyramids: Similar to caves, mostly used as a place to loot treasure which usually has some negative consequences as mentioned above, but still is imperative in raising your fame and fortune which is how you ultimately win the game.

There are different types of maps / expedition areas such as:

Icelands, Jungles, Drylands, Deserts, Mountains, etc. I find the Jungles to be the easiest to traverse. Icelands can be conquered with Snowshoes and sled tickets. Drylands and Deserts requires you to carry more water.

While exploring your food and water rations deplete, and also your sanity begins to dwindle (rapidly). You must eat or sleep or drink to restore these meters. If you ignore them, you will suffer a lot of negative random scenarios, such as killing your crew, sometimes you’ll eat them though which will restore your sanity at least lol.

Encounters with various “monsters” (typically wild animals), happen when you enter an area designated by a red border, you can also see a circle icon representation of the beast in question as he also moves around the map. Should you draw attention, he will likely chase you, and be faster than you. Sometimes it’s better to face your opponents head on. If they sneak up on you, they get a free combat round before you can react.

Combat takes place using various dice rolls. Different items in your inventory, and different class roles of your party members, determines which dice you have available.

Each “turn” consists of 3 “rounds”. Each “round” allows you to either keep or re-roll dice. If you have a combination of dice that result in a combo move, they will shake on your screen. Mousing over a shaking die will show the other dice needed to activate the combo – they will shake too. If multiple combos or other dice had been shaking, their shaking will stop when you’re moused over a die from a combo they don’t belong to.

You can activate your combos each round.

For example, your first roll could reveal that you have 3 dice that activate a combo. You can click on those dice to “hold them” once all three have been held a dialog box will appear – click the box to activate the combo, then select reroll. Your next roll may have another 3 dice that activate a different combo, you can again play this combo in the same way, and roll again for your final round. Each time you hold dice, or activate a combo, however, will remove those used dice from your available dice pool, making it less likely to get good combo rolls as the rounds go on.

If you survive, you may be given items, or fame and fortune. If you should die, you will be taken back to the main menu where you can reload your game. Should you die again, when returning to the main menu you will notice there is no longer an option to continue and you must start a new game.

Also as you explore and fight your way to glory, you will be able to promote your party members to make them stronger. There are also numerous random events that may impact your party members’ skills, stats, and abilities.

Return home with your treasure. You can choose to donate to the museum for fame, sell for fortune, or hold onto various items. When you return home you’ll also be presented with any applicable quest rewards and allowed to select one “perk” from a handful of randomly generated ones. Some of these perks are really neat and significantly alter your gameplay, such as allowing you to do culture studies on native tribes, giving you additional dice rolls, permanent boost to max sanity, increased viewable map areas, or more benefits. After choosing your perks and preparing again for your next adventure you’ll again have an option of 2 expedition areas to explore and be shown a random quest.

Survive all six expeditions and have the highest fame to win the game.

Story: 5/10 – You write your own story. This game plays much like Oregon Trail, Horizons New Dawn, or Banner Saga, so if you’ve played any of those, you have an idea of what to expect here. Unlike Banner Saga, however, Curious Expedition is not very well written, nor engaging, simply because it is almost too random, and at the same time not random enough, so that when you hit subsequent playthroughs, it becomes a bit repetitive. I know the game is only just now at patch 1 point something, but after being out for 2 years now, that’s rather concerning too that there hasn’t been more big content updates. It needs more scenarios and random events, but even that can’t save the story because of the nature of the brief random encounters and quest. Lacking a central story, does not detract from how fun and enjoyable this game is, but for those looking for a solid story and great characters, look elsewhere.

Characters: 8/10 – There are a lot of randomly generated characters including various races, classes, genders, likes, dislikes, stat bonuses, ailments, and little quirks, that really make your party more interesting. There are a few, but not many, scenes that may endear some of these characters to you, but most of the time, they are of little consequence from a story standpoint. As mentioned earlier in the review, I am quite pleased to see the inclusion of many female and minority historical figures as playable characters. Curious Expedition is a great game with great rolemodels and unique characters inspired from historical events.

Graphics: 7/10: Pixel graphics are hot right now. I understand they’re not to everyone’s taste, but as an older gamer myself, I enjoy retro feeling games such as this. I did deduct a few points in this area though simply because of the “sameness” of all of the maps / areas / npcs / etc.

Sound: 6/10: The soundtrack is also extremely retro which gives it a fun 80s feeling with lots of nostalgia. But ultimately, the soundtrack is just not too memorable overall.

Replay Value: 9/10: Although it desperately needs some more variations, more options, and more items, npcs, places, and skills, the game does indeed present a fun randomly generated gameplay element that makes each playthrough unique. The challenge of the game also dictates the need for subsequent playthroughs.

Overall: 58 / 80 73% C “Good Game for Girls”

Other Games You May Like

Include Horizons New Dawn on SNES and Oregon Trail Classic or Banner Saga on the PC. read more

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Cat President – a More Purrfect Union – Visual Novel PC Game Review

Frisky Lives Up to His Name
Frisky Lives Up to His Name

I received this game for free in exchange for writing an honest review. I played through Frisky’s route and received his Normal Ending.

Title: Cat President

Genre: Otome Visual Novel

Platform: PC

Developer: Oh a Rock! Studios

Where to Buyhttp://store.steampowered.com/app/474980

Geeky: 3/5 – On the fence with this score… Production values are fairly low and it shows, also not much “gameplay” as is the nature of visual novels. But it does earn a few points for geeky internet “meme-like” humor.

Sweetie: 5/5 – High marks for being an otome game (a game with a female protagonist) and for having cute cats. Also has pretty good character development and surprisingly good writing.

Concept: 8/10 Cat President is an otome game in which you get to help one of 6 different cat candidates (spoiler: one of them is a dog) become the nominee of their political party. You might also fall in love with your chosen candidate by the end of the game. Like most visual novels there is little to do aside from click and read. I like this genre of games a lot, but if you’re not used to this format, it may not be your cup of tea. On the plus side, Cat President takes a fun, whimsical, and light hearted approach to the visual novel genre. Most of the routes are short (around 2 hours each). There are multiple endings including normal, good, and bad endings which adds some more replay time. If you get all of your desired endings in one try, I estimate this game will take 12-15 hours to complete. Because of the light hearted nature, and short length of this game, it may be a purrfect game to give visual novels a try. However, if you’re a visual novel veteran, you might be disappointed by the “fluffy” nature of the plot, or by the somewhat amateur artwork, especially given the lack of poses of each sprite.

Story: 9/10 You play as a young girl who has been out of work for some time when she decides to attend a debate with her best friend and you are called upon to give a question to the candidates. You mention how you’ve lost your job and want to know how the candidates will help people like you. They all have the purrfect answer, by offering you a spot on their campaign team. These are no ordinary candidates however, as they are all cats (and a dog). This is how the game opens. The backstory explains that politics became so corrupt 20 years ago that humans are no longer allowed to hold any type of political office. It’s also eluded to pretty early on that cats can (and most do) become human (if they can afford it). Although the story does take itself lightly, and has some genuinely WTF moments, it’s not without more serious and delicate moments as well such as relationship drama, political scandals, and very likeable characters who have very human-like flaws. I was very surprised by how relateable the characters felt to me. I could see qualities in them and in myself, in my cats, and surprisingly most of all, in my past relationships with other humans.  I went into this not expecting much other than comedy, so I was really surprised when I felt myself identifying with or nodding in understanding/agreement with many of the characters and situations in this game. Plus, if you like comedy (who doesn’t like comedy right?) and even more-so if you like cats, and are familiar with the internet memes, then you will really appreciate the humor in this game.

Gameplay: 5/10 – Unfortunately, as is the nature of visual novels, there’s really no “gameplay” per say, however the game does have all of the basic functions one expects in a visual novel such as being able to review different scenes or endings and gallery items. It does feature a lot of different endings and have high replay value. I’m not really so much of a fan of the “choose which route you want at the begining of the game” it seems to me only cheap “mobile games” use this mechanic, while “real” visual novels like Clannad for example, let you dip in and out of different characters’ routes, so you might experience different parts of the game each time you play. Locking into a route right out of the chute, limits then which stories and experiences you can enjoy in each play through. I’ve noticed this mechanic becoming increasingly popular, but I’m just not a fan of it. I like the “challenge” in trying to get with the guy (or cat in this case) that I want to be with, and putting me on his route right away takes away this challenge, and therefore, in my opinion, diminishes the fun a little bit for me.

Graphics: 5/10 – This is probably my biggest complaint with this novel. The game could have been really “cute” I think if it had “anime” style drawings for the characters and cats in the game, similar to Dandelion Wishes Brought to You, or other Otome games featuring cats and animals. The photographs of the cats are cute, but my biggest complaint is they are COMPLETELY static, they needed to have more photos in different poses, or different expressions. As a cat lover and owner, I find my own cats and those we watch on youtube etc to be extremely expressive. These static sprite images don’t capture much emotion or charm of these cats. They could have used different poses or angles, or tried to get their cats to be more expressive for some of the shoots (but well cats do what they wanna do so I understand maybe it was more difficult lol). I did critique the artwork when I left a brief steam review, and I was told that it was intentional to be more humorous and fit the theme and feeling of the game, and also because the creator wanted to include his friends’ real life cats. I did write back and suggest maybe just adding some more varied photos/poses would help – but I still think anime, ultimately is the way to go – it’s what the target audience wants, and what we expect. I am not a “graphics whore” – and I play all sorts of indie games (sprite based etc) and retro 8 bit and 16 bit games — but with a Visual Novel, the art work becomes highly important, because you don’t have that “gameplay” you need the artwork to help tell the story, hence the name “VISUAL” Novel, right? So the art was disapointing, if for no other reason, than it felt too still / stiff and wasn’t emotive or expressive. Although the writing was full of charm and did a great job defining the characters, the art didn’t help draw out that charm in any way.

Music: 6/10 – Music “gets the job done”, the main track is Hail to the Chief, the official presidential anthem of the USA. It’s really the only track I remember hearing consistently throughout, but I do remember hearing different tracks, including a vocal track even, but they’re ultimately not very memorable. The good news is, since each route is short, they can get by with a very limited number of music tracks, and the music itself does its job by providing background noise while not distracting or detracting anything from the focus of the story.

Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is exceptional here due to there being 6 dateable candidates, and each one having multiple endings. The characters are also diverse enough that each route feels like a fun and unique experience. The relatively short nature of each route makes multiple playthroughs easy and enjoyable.

Overall: 51/70 73% “C Good Game for Girls” – If you love games like Hatoful Boyfriend, and love cats, furries,  internet humor, memes, youtube, or just want a fun, light hearted visual novel with great characters and a surprisingly warm and touching, though ultimately hilarious story, then you need to check out Cat President – a More Purrfect Union.

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Graduation 95: Retro PC Game Review | JRPG | Anime | School Simulator

Title: Graduation 95

System: PC

Publisher: Mixx Entertainment

Genre: Simulation – Life Sim, School Sim, Dating Sim, Raising Sim, Stat Raising Sim

Where to Buy: Damned if I know. I spent a half hour just now trying to google it and came up empty. Maybe ebay? Although I just searched there and the only thing coming up is the Japanese import version. Glad I still have my English copy by Mixx Entertainment.

Geeky:

Sweetie:

Overall: 69 / 90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 You play as a teacher to a class full of lovely young ladies who need your help and guidance in order to graduate. The gameplay is quite similar to Princess Maker in a way, but with all the things teachers do, such as making up lesson plans, assigning homework, detention duties, seating arrangements, tutoring, visiting the students’ homes, or chaperoning trips and vacations, and since it’s a Japanese game, it has the iconic anime themes we know and love such as sports festivals, school festivals in which you choose what your class will do such as host a coffee shop, haunted house, or school play, etc. I love this game; but sadly, it was a commercial failure which almost bankrupt Mixx (now known as Tokyopop). Mixx Games, one and only game, was a critical failure, but still one of my favorite PC games of all time. I last played it about a year ago and would be playing it right now, but misplaced my CD (though I seen it recently, so I will soon play again).

Gameplay: 9/10 I explained a lot of this above; but basically you choose different subjects to teach each week. How successful your students are depends on their strengths and weaknesses (some are better at English, while others are better at math for example). If you focus too strongly on one subject, the students who dislike or struggle in those subjects will begin to complain and criticize your teaching ability. So you need to come up with a well balanced lesson plan. You can also help your students improve by selecting their weekend activities for them (It’s been awhile, I think you can only select weekend courses for one student per week). You then decide where you will be that weekend as well. If you encounter the girls on the weekend, you can chat with them which can have both positive and negative effects on your relationship with the girls as well as with their studies.

Also as to be expected, girls will be catty with one another. If the girls are not getting along and causing drama, their studies will suffer. You have to step in as the adult and encourage the girls to make up. If they are being too stubborn you can change their seating; however, some students perform better in the back or front row depending on their learning style; and just like a real school, if friends are sitting too close they will goof off and not study as hard as they should.

There are many different ailments which can effect the students too; they can become sick, runaway from home, take part time jobs, move in with boyfriends, or become stuck up, all of which effect their studies and attitudes towards you and the other girls.

If you catch your students behaving improperly you can try to convince them to change their ways; but almost no matter what you do, the students will be angry and also their GPA will drop.

The students must obey rules and also keep their GPA high enough to graduate by the end of the game; and this is no easy task at all!!!! Upon Graduation, they can become many different things, including your bride, similar once again to the myriad of endings in Princess Maker games.

This game is good (or excellent even) in small doses; and I am super addicted to it; I keep playing it over the years; for 20 years now I’ve been playing this game and it’s still just as fun as ever!! That alone speaks volumes for the gameplay. HOWEVER, the one caveat and the one point I deducted is because, like most simulation games, the gameplay is very repetitive. To make matters worse, Graduation is a LONNNNNNG game. I dunno how long; but it feels really long and slow; much slower than other similar games. Although, to once again give credit where credit’s due; I can’t think of a single other game (at least not one available in English) that is this much of a “teaching simulator” One where you perform such roles as a teacher, the seating arrangement, the lesson plan, lecturing and providing advice and guidance to your students, supervising trips and club activities, seeing the students evolve from one semester to the next, etc. It’s a very original and unique gaming experience and that alone makes it incredibly fun. But yes, the game does suffer from repetitive and sometimes uninteresting gameplay. But it’s the type of game, that is best enjoyed one or two days a week, and give yourself a break from it for awhile and return to find it fresh and exciting again.

Story: 3/10 – There’s really not much of a story. You’re a new teacher in a new school. You teach and advise your students. You can play as a playboy pervert, a strict professor, or want the students to like you and be buddy buddy. But ultimately, the main character is left very blank and not very visible in the game. As a result, the only story is really just a high overview of explaining the role you play, and the rest is left strung together by random encounters, events, and multiple endings.

Characters 8/10: While the player’s character is left blank, the other students are well fleshed out; and although they can be stereotypical at times; they still endear themselves to you and make you worry about them and make you want to help them graduate. There’s Mina, the sick and shy student who doesn’t have a lot of friends because she’s missed so much school; there’s Cindy, an airhead “valley girl” who’s popular, pretty, but not very “bright”; there’s a Tsundere with glasses who the other girls dislike because of her “teacher pet” personality; a lolita girl who acts very childish but is also very cute and innocent, and a very rough tomboy girl who loves drinking, eating, gambling, and fighting. I found it a bit hard to like the characters ultimately due to the horrible voice acting in this game. But I’m only deducting 2 points for that, since I’m going to score voice acting separately down below; but it was bad enough that it really did effect my attachment to the characters.

Voice Acting: 3/10 As mentioned above; the voice acting is so over dramatic, and so cliche that it makes me sick. They used a typical valley girl accent for the blonde girl; and the lolita girl is NOT CUTE SOUNDING AT ALL. She’s probably the worst, sounds like a mouth full of mush or someone with a permanent sinus infection, and her voice is too deep / too old sounding to be cute. The loli girl would have been my favorite but I found her incredibly hard to tolerate because of the voice acting. The tomboy girl has a very thick new york or new jersey accent; and the tsundere and sick girl both have mediocre at best, to sometimes overdramatic deliverance of their lines as well. There’s not one single voice actress in this game that I would consider “good” – So why did I give it 3 out of 10 stars? Because, one, it is fully voiced. two, this is the 90s typical shit dub quality stuff here not making an excuse for it to be shitty; just when I compare it objectively to stuff in the same time frame, yeah its about equally as bad, and lastly, and largely, because the vocal opening song by the original Japanese cast was left in tact, and it is catchy as hell. Which brings us to the music…

Music: 8/10 The music in the game is all very peppy and fun and light hearted. The music also changes each semester which is a nice touch. I’d also say the music is fairly memorable, especially the opening theme which I can still hear in my head today.

Graphics 10/10 : Graphically, the game is dated and older of course; however, it was one of the first anime games to come to PC (in the USA) as opposed to console. And the character designs are cute and attractive for the most part (once again keep in mind, this was the style back then in the 90s for anime). There are numerous changes that the girls undergo which are visible with different sprites being used in the game, the chibi sprites are adorable and pretty highly detailed. The anime “standees” or “profile pictures” of the girls when interacting with them are also quite good; and once again reflect the girl’s moods. Hint, when she likes you, she looks much more sexy. There are also scenes such as at the beach, shrine, or other areas where you see the girls in different outfits, hairstyles, or cute poses. There’s also the option to view all of the art on the disc to see any sprites you may have missed. I loved the new years ones the best.  All and all; the art is bright, vibrant, and varried enough to keep your interest; like any good game in the visual novel / sim genre; it is full of special cg and event scenes which reward you with new artwork as well.

Replay Value: 10/10 This game is hard as balls, chances are you will be playing multiple times. I recommend save often, in multiple different save files. Even if you do beat the game with “good” endings the first time; you might want to replay it because there are different career paths and endings for each girl (and you get to see all of the girls’ endings each play through which is unique to this game too; where as most visual novels focus on unlocking one girl’s route/ending at a time; this game puts you in control of a classroom and lets you see how things turn out for each of your students.) In addition, there are some choices you will make which close off other scenes from you; such as if you choose to put on a school play you’ll miss the coffee house or haunted house festival scenes. These scenes also change based on who you assign to each role and the girl’s relationships with eachother and their stats. Also because this game is so unusual and so unique; if you’re like me, you won’t be able to resist replaying it at least every few years. It’s just a novel and fun concept that has not made it’s way back overseas since this game’s release. Nothing like it before, or since, in 20 years time. I hope someday to see other similar games. In fact, I found a kickstarter for a similar game here that you should check out.

Note: There’s an Otome version of this game called Graduation M where you raise male students and play as a female teacher; but as of this writing, it has never been translated; neither officially nor fan translated so it is unplayable unless you know how to speak and read Japanese.

Overall: 69 / 90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

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