Today we’re proud to introduce our first Tester’s Corner for d2b vs DEARDROPS!
I still remember the first time I heard about Mangagamer. It was at New York Comic Con back in 2010, when the company was a lot less known than they are now.
They had a tiny booth in the corner of the room, where they were showing off a few games they had translated. Having read some VNs before, I was intrigued by the attempt to bring VNs to the West, so I went over and took a look. There my eye was caught by a game cover that featured a girl playing her guitar. “It’s like K-On, but with an actually good plot,” said the clerk. They had my attention.
That day, I bought my copy of Kira Kira, leading me on a four-year ride with Overdrive that just finished, and I’ve never been happier. So without further ado, I’ll give you my impressions of d2b vs DEARDROPS.
They really pulled out the stops doing the art for this one. All of the characters have received new sprites in the DEARDROPS character style, including Maejima who was rarely ever seen on screen before. There are many new CGs too, and they’re all gorgeous. While I certainly feel a great sense of love and nostalgia for the normal Overdrive art style, the DEARDROPS style has a lot of polish and feels much more modern than the old one. This game is easy on the eyes, and you’ll find yourself screencapping and saving CGs for use as cellphone wallpapers in no time.
Where could this game be without good music? I must say that there aren’t any new tracks in this game. Almost all of the tracks are recycled from the old games and soundtracks (there are one or two songs that I’m not sure I’ve heard before, but they are probably released on old albums and not written specifically for this game). Normally, that would be a demerit, but it’s actually even better here. Hearing old tracks play gives you a deep sense of nostalgia for the older games, especially the Kira Kira soundtrack itself. A cool thing they do is that when they switch character perspectives, they’ll play music from their corresponding game, i.e. scenes featuring Maejima will have Kira Kira bgm while Shoichi’s scenes will have DEARDROPS bgm. It feels really cool to pick up on that, and it’s well placed. There are a lot of song cameos that you wouldn’t expect either; I won’t spoil anything, but I nearly exploded out of my chair when a certain song began playing one of the times Kirari got on stage. If you like the Kira Kira and DEARDROPS OSTs, you’re going to have a good time.
The only thing I might mention as a demerit here is that even with the advanced perspectives of the characters, Shoichi and Maejima are not voiced. I really wish that they’d found voices for these two, as it would have been great to get a fix on what they sounded like.
As you’ve no doubt read in descriptions of the game, the story is essentially about d2b temporarily getting back together to play a concert with DEARDROPS. I won’t go into too many details, but the story was quite good and actually much more substantial than I expected. Rather than being a side scenario that is there purely for surface value, the game actually delves into characters’ stories and advances their arcs. It takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns for something billed as a “fan disc,” and fans of the series will really enjoy the ride. The only complaint is that I wish there was more to the game, as it’s a bit short, but when your only gripe is that you love something so much that you haven’t had enough, you know you’re in a good place. There are no sex scenes in the game, as it’s an all-ages release, but honestly with the way the story goes you really don’t need them anyway.
This game is a blast. It’s a short but very sweet final sendoff for fans of the Kira Kira/DEARDROPS series of games. As you click through to the end, you’ll have the bittersweet feeling of knowing that you’re done with the stories of these wonderful characters, but you know that it was an awesome ride in the end. If you’re a fan, you owe it to yourself to play this game and go on one last punk rock ride.