Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “spiky caterpillar”

Date Warp

When Janet agrees to go on a blind date with a boy named Bradley, their car breaks down in the middle of the rain.  They seek shelter in a mysterious mansion with four strange people inside.  These people are hiding something and it’s up to Janet and Bradley to find out what.

I know, that sounded a lot like the Rocky Horror Picture show, but the game is way more serious, then again it’d be hard not to be.  Not only is the game a dating sim, it’s also an intriguing visual novel.  You play as Janet and get a choice between five love interests.  Bradley, the honorable jock; Linds, the lecherous scientist; Alben, the mysterious hothead (my personal favorite); Nathaniel, the wealthy gentleman; and Raphael, the sweet but shy assistant.  Each character comes with two endings (a good one and a bad one) with the exception of one who I will not mention.  Try to get every single one, because each storyline reveals the plot little by little.  Throughout the game, there is one recurring theme; would you sacrifice the life of someone else to get a loved one back?  There’s also another theme that contradicts itself in the story.  When it’s revealed that one of the characters had a girlfriend who had a promiscuous lifestyle before meeting him, that character just said that it didn’t matter because he loved her.  However, Janet has the option to sleep with one of the characters, and when you do; you get that character’s bad ending.  That’s like-, well, I think sfdebris’ micro-review of Enterprise’s Stigma sums that up perfectly.  Oh, and don’t tell me that it’s wrong because Janet’s dating Bradley, going on one blind date with someone does not automatically make them your significant other.

During the game, you are making choices, but you are doing so in a unique way.  What you do is play futuristic game of pipes to connect a light bulb to that choice you make.  If you are replaying the game and making that exact same choice, you can skip the mini-game.  You also have the option of fast-forwarding through previously read text, something you’ll be very grateful for.  There is also gallery you get to add pictures to and a list of endings you’ve achieved.  One ending can only be unlocked when you’ve reached all the other endings, and at best, the other endings are bittersweet.

This game was my first introduction to visual novels.  It’s a mystery, sci-fi, fantasy and romance rolled into one, and it has a recurring theme of love and sacrifice.  I give this game 9 out of 10.  I took a point off for the contradicting theme, and it didn’t have a huge emotional affect on me.

Magical Diary: Horse Hall

When you were thirteen, you had a choice to attend a school to learn magic, or forget about magic and continue living your life as an ordinary teenage girl.  You chose the former and now you make friends, find romances and your teachers throw you into a dungeon for your exams.  Be careful, or you could end up on the wrong path.

If this sounds like a Harry Potter fanfic to you, let me tell you that it practically is one.  They based the game off fanfiction in general, and they admit it.  You can create your character to look however you want her to look, and her default name is Mary Sue.  Not to mention that everyone’s life seems to be hell until she comes along.  It has everything a fanfic has, the student/teacher romance, the girl that redeems the bad boy and brings the shy quiet girl out of her shell and even fixes the lives of her best friends.  The best part is that the game doesn’t take itself seriously.  The makers know that it’s nothing more than an escape fantasy and drags you along for the ride.

As for the romance able characters, each one has their own charm.  Professor Grabiner is the strict and sadistic professor with a secret heart of gold (like the Professor Snape we see in fanfics).  Damien is the troubled but cute half-demon that everyone tells you to stay away from (he’s also my personal favorite, because I liked screwed up stuff).  Donald is the lovable prankster just trying to find an identity for himself.  Virginia is your tomboyish roommate with a love for sweets.  Ellen is the shy bookworm you help bring out of her shell.  There’s also a secret character, but I’m not going to tell you who that is.  If you want, you don’t even have to romance any of them.

The game plays out like a visual novel mixed with life simulation.  Every Sunday, you can choose your schedule.  You can learn five types of magic, workout at the gym, study, or just sleep in.  Every Saturday, you get to either visit the mall or stay in and study.  You even have two extra attributes, cute and weird.  You can choose how to respond to various conversations and sometimes your responses drive up either your cute points or your weird points, based on how you respond.  You can even collect pictures to put in your gallery and win various trophies based on certain actions you take.  Try to collect them all.  Wow, I sound like an ad for a Pokémon game.

There are some scenes that make the magical world seem like 1984, but the game is still a fun play through.  I give this game 7 out of 10.

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