Today on the blog, we have a tester’s corner from Nurio! (And it’s really, really long!)
I’ve noticed that recently, my Tester’s Corners are less about the Beta and more about the actual game itself. I think it’s because Betas grow more and more streamlined and the only differentiating factor between each Beta is the game itself, which means that’s the only thing I can really say anything new about.
Well, not this time, baby! This Beta was unique in every way, and I’m gonna tell you all about it, whether you like it or not! (Though, you can actually just close this page right now; that’s how little power I hold over you…) That said, I should preface this Tester’s Corner with the following: Most of what I say here pertains to a Beta product and isn’t always representative of the finished product. (The most obvious example being that the bugs will be fixed in the final game.)
So, how was this Beta any different from the others? Well, for starters, it was long. Very long. 75 days. 75 days… That’s how long I’ve been working on this Beta, and that doesn’t even count any of the aftercare, preparation time, or writing of the Tester’s Corner (hi Mom!). And to honor the longest Beta in my life, I’m gonna write the longest Tester’s Corner in my life! I hope you’re ready, boys! (…And, uhm, girls; don’t worry, I’m very inclusive.)
Let’s start at the very beginning. Or, well, maybe not the very beginning, since I don’t think anyone is ready to read about my 26 years of life experience. So instead, let’s start somewhere last year. It was either sunny, cloudy, or raining; I don’t exactly remember very well. But I expressed some interest in this game called …which I’ll now abbreviate to IYLMTSS because, contrary to popular belief, even my tongue gets tired. I didn’t have any ulterior motives or anything. I just said it looked cute and interesting.
And then 3 months or so ago, MangaGamer suddenly asked me “Hey, are you interested in SukiSuki?”. Having no idea who or what SukiSuki is, I simply assumed that meant oral satisfaction, which is kinda weird, because I’m a straight brown bear and MangaGamer is a company and not a physical entity, so I was kinda wary. By the time my pants were off, I was told SukiSuki is apparently what the cool kids call ILYMTSS. I felt a bit cheated out of a good time, but I accepted to offer to Beta test SukiSuki after all. I think this is the first time MangaGamer actually put me on a Beta I expressed prior interest in. Though, it’s not like MangaGamer never put me on Betas I liked. Quite the contrary, my dear old chap!!
Now, I can already hear the questions: “Why was this Beta so long?”, “Why should we care?”, “What do you mean, straight brown bear?”, “Why are you so tall?” and “What happened to the money I left on the kitchen counter?” Good questions! And I can say one of the answers is “I was hungry”.
As for the length of the Beta, I think it can be attributed to 5 things:
- The game is massive!
- The game is semi-free-roaming.
- I fell ill during the Beta.
- I am just slow in general.
- I was hungry.
- I was too busy loving all these girls.
- There were a lotta bugs!
- I spent at least 20 days coming up with an 8th reason because I really like the number 8.
That’s right. If this game gets delayed, you can blame me. Please send your punishments to Notarealstreet 13 in The Netherlands, and I’ll accept them not happily but still willingly. Anyway, at the very least, I tried my best to catch any error in the game, and I feel like I did a good job. Whether I actually did a good job is of course for you (yes, you, Pete) to decide. But to give a bit of an idea for the scope of this Beta and its bugs… For the usual Beta, my report is just two text files and a few screenshots, but for this Beta, my report and documentation spanned over 200 bug screenshots, 80 documentation screenshots and several text files explaining everything and keeping track of everything. There were quite a lot of interesting bugs in there, and I’ll give you an exclusive look into a few of them!
…Unless this gets redacted, in which case, whoops!
(Marketing Staff – Images converted to slideshow. Commentary has been added to each image at the tester’s request.)
Whew. That was quite a lot! And believe it or not, this was just a small sample of all the bugs, haha. Hahaha. Hahh… I feel bad for the programmer…
And that’s just 1 of the 8 reasons! There’s more, like the walkthrough that was incomplete, meaning I had to trudge through the game, looking for the missing scripts. And with this being a semi-free-roaming VN (more on that later), that took a lot of time!
Lastly, on top of all this, apparently all the CG were still the censored JP originals. Don’t worry; they’ll be uncensored for the final release… But man, it was gruesome to work toward a climax with the girl you like and then be met with pixels the size of my uncle Jerry. T_T
Not that that really impacted the length of the Beta, but since I was complaining already, I thought I could stick that complaint in there. It’s what I am good at. …Complaining, I mean. I have relatively little experience with sticking things in places.
So yes, I think this can accurately be described as Beta hell. For me, anyway. But I bet it wasn’t exactly a carnival ride for the rest either. But man, does that mean I regretted signing up for this? Or do I hate the game? None of that! Not even a little bit!
You were groaning a lot in your room, though. Sounded like you had a tough time…
Oh, onee-chan. Great timing! I just got all the technical stuff out of the way and it’s finally time to talk about the game.
Yay! I love games!
Also, the groaning was because of the bugs. Yes. Let’s go with that.
So, free-roaming, right? I used that term a bit… liberally. It’s not like you can actually walk around everywhere like a sandbox game or anything. But the game is set up in such a way that you can basically choose what you want to do every weekday after school, unless it’s a special day, like holidays and birthdays.
Every day with you is a special day, watashi no otouto <3
Aww, thanks. Though I know you’re just saying that to make me feel better.
And depending on what you pick on a weekday, you unlock other new options for the next weekday, creating a branching path, and then your options again influence your choices for the next weekday until you have branches upon branches upon branches like some sort of tree from Chernobyl.
Because of that, I don’t recommend using a walkthrough, which I know sounds contradicting, but bear with me here. The way this game is set up, it’s very clear it’s meant to be played naturally and blindly. Just pick events on weekdays with a bit of strategy, whichever you think sound great, and see where you end up.
But… NurNur… Didn’t you use a walkthrough?
W-Well, yes. But that’s because I have to see 100% of the game as quickly as possible.
H-Hey! I’m no hypocrite, alright!? You hypocrite!
Of course, just because I don’t recommend a walkthrough, it doesn’t mean I don’t have tips. After having gone through the game, I can say there’s a definite structure to it. In fact, I had to puzzle so much, I am so familiar with the structure of the game, I wrote some documentation about it. …But, that’s for internal testing purposes, so I can’t show that here. Don’t worry; I can still explain the gist of it! Basically, every week consists of 5 weekdays, a Saturday and a Sunday.
The sad thing is, I don’t even know if you’re being sarcastic or not…
The weekdays are either just generic, where you can pick an “After-School Event,” or they’re a special day where you usually don’t get any choice. Then, on Saturday, you’ll have an event with the girl you spent the most time with during the week. If you’re close enough with a girl, she’ll even invite you over or ask you out for Sunday. If you accept, you’ll have an event with her on Sunday as well, and again depending on how close you are with her, that event can end in one of two ways. If you either decline or you’re not even close enough to get invited, you’ll end up with a semi-generic Sunday event, which are also nice, actually!
Let me give you a tip: When you get to pick the After-School Event, you’ll see little icons under each event, depicting which girls are involved in this event. Their expressions change how involved they are. Typically you want to go for a smiling face, as that is the best one, meaning you’ll increase your chances of getting a Saturday event with that girl. But remember how I said there are branching paths? Sometimes you have to do an After-School Event with Girl A just to unlock an After-School Event with Girl B. Happy hunting!
And this is why I said you should just do whichever events sound best instead of relying on a walkthrough. Because it’s just more fun to go through these things naturally and have it be more open-ended. When you start using a walkthrough, it suddenly all appears a lot more linear.
And finally, at the end of every Sunday, you’ll have the so-called My Room Mode before the new week starts!
Eww, what’s that thing over there?
That’s not a thing! That’s QP, and you’ll address him as Mr. Love Fairy, alright!? I’ll tell you more about him later on. But first there’s a whole lot more to cover!
Do you want me to call a doctor…? Are you still sane?
In My Room Mode, you have 6 options: Love Fortune, Cupid Flowers, Sleep, Phone and Confess.
Be patient, young onee-chanawan. I’ll tell you in due time.
Love Fortune has QP tell you how much the available girls love you, from a rating of 1 to 4. Sleep basically lets you skip My Room Mode and go to sleep. Phone allows you to call a girl (though you don’t always have a choice whom you call) to grow closer to her, Confess should be self-explanatory, and the Tutorial… basically tells you everything I’m already telling you here.
Well, that’s pointless then…
Shut up! I just like telling people things, okay!? ;.;
Okay… And what about the Cupid Flowers?
Ohohoh. I’ll leave you in suspense for a while longer!
So much for liking to tell us things…
Interestingly, the Tutorial even gives a spoiler warning, because it actually tells a bit more than I am telling you here. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a spoiler warning in a game itself. If only the whole internet were as self-conscious as this game…
Oh, yeah! I remember you cried so much when you found out about that Princess Pony or something…
Don’t make fun of people’s traumas, onee-chan… Not cool…
Eventually when you grow close enough to the girl, you can confess to her. …Well, you can actually confess to a girl almost anytime, but I don’t recommend it. Because… man, getting rejected in the game hurts about as much as in real life…
Oh, yeah! I remember you cried during this Beta just as much as when you found out about that Pony thing…
I said SHUT UP!
Getting rejected will make you skip a whole week in the game to recover, so watch out with that. You can take one rejection from each girl, but if you get rejected twice by the same girl, it’s game over! On the flipside, if she accepts, you’ll end up on her route and eventually work toward a climax on her route.
You sure like climaxes, huh, Nu-kun?
Y-Yes… I do…
There’s actually another way to end up on a girl’s route… If you’re such a stud and play your cards right, the girls might actually end up confessing to you! How’s that for a far cry from rejection! Take that, Sarah! I am a stud!
What’s interesting is that if you start dating a girl, you’ll unlock her “apple”. Sound weird? Well, it does sound weird, but it’s pretty cool. When you have a girl’s apple, you can “equip” it, and it’ll change the title screen and UI voice.
And like I said, it also changes the UI voice, so if you click on buttons, you’ll hear – for example – Ayame saying stuff like “Would you like to save?” That’s an especially neat touch if you kinda get attached to these girls…
And did you get attached to these girls?
Uhm… …More on that later?
You sure do push a lot back to later…
Hey, I can’t help it if there’s just so much to talk about!
Other neat UI stuff includes the save files. You get a whopping 90 of them! You might think that’s enough, but someone as greedy as me never has enough. I ended up using 927 save files. Did I mention this game is big? Because this game is big. Also a neat thing is that you can add a memo to save files and you can also lock them so you don’t accidentally overwrite them. I’m pointing this out, because this is somehow still not a standard feature in VNs, so it’s always nice to see it!
You know… You said you were done with the technical stuff, but so far it’s still been UI this and structure that… I’m getting bored! And you still haven’t told me what a Cupid Flower is!
Oh, right, the Cupid Flowers! Thanks, Nee-chan; you’re the best!
Heehee, I helped… Smile.
You’re not supposed to say smile when you’re smiling.
But how are the readers supposed to know I’m smiling then?
Okay, you got me there.
Every time you go to Sleep during My Room Mode and you’ve made some form of progress with a girl, you can get a Cupid Flower. You can then use this Cupid Flower during My Room Mode to bring her love to the level it was at previously. …In theory, anyway. You have to watch out, because if you use the wrong Flower at the wrong time, you might actually destroy whatever progress you had.
There’s actually a mechanic behind this, for which Flower you get when and which Flower does what, but I don’t wanna spoil that magic for you. Just know that when you Sleep, you might get a Cupid Flower that you’ll just have to experiment with them to see exactly what they do. You won’t need them at the start of the game anyway.
Now, why would you want to use Cupid Flowers in the first place? Well, for example, when you start a new game and you want to get on a girl’s route early on to see what her route has to offer, you can use a Cupid Flower to make her to fall in love with you (I love it when love is forced) and confess early in the game.
Oh, and I should mention that a girl’s route changes a little depending on when you confess to her. So, look forward to that! The Flowers might feel a bit cheaty, but they’re entirely optional and are a reward for getting the girl to fall in love with you in the first place, so I think it should be alright. And man, these Cupid Flowers helped me a lot when trying to find all the scripts, let me tell ya… So I can’t really complain about it too much…
Okay, you ready, Onee-chan? I’m finally getting to the actual game itself!
Onee-chan? Wake up!
Huh? Hah? I was totally awake, sensei!
You’re not in class. In fact, you haven’t been in class for like 8 years now.
SukiSuki is a game by ChuableSoft. Already, I like the name of the company. Chu-able of course means kissable or huggable, indicating they make moe games. But you can also pronounce it kinda like chewable, which refers to how these games are fairly light-hearted and easily digestible. Though, it doesn’t mean they’re literally edible, and they’re definitely not bite-sized!
This game is incredibly self-aware. Particularly the character QP is constantly… well… I wouldn’t say he’s breaking the fourth wall, as he doesn’t talk to the player directly. He just has constant meta knowledge and uses game terms all throughout the game. And he often mocks practices that are common in VNs.
So, let me tell you more about QP. QP is an Apple Tree Fairy, and as everyone knows, Apple Tree Fairies are also Love Fairies. Because the protagonist helped take care of QP’s apple tree, he came from the Fairy Realm to help the protagonist find love, to return the favor. There’s a special reason why the protagonist needs to find love, actually: If he doesn’t, he’ll lose the two or three things he values the most. …Or so QP says, anyway. But how can he even know that? Hmm… He isn’t even sure how many things the protagonist will lose!
QP is honestly the best thing that this game has to offer. And tha—
I didn’t know you were into weird floating apple-bunny hybrids instead of girls… I… I blame myself for this failure! I didn’t raise you well!
He’s a Love Fairy, not an apple-bunny hybrid! Also, I’m into girls. Just lemme finish here!
Need help with finishing?
…N-No! And besides, you didn’t raise me! Anyway, let me just continue…
…And that’s pretty weird considering this game is chockfull with cute girls. (More on those later!) But everything to QP’s plots, his slyness, his bluntness, his meta sense and his interactions with the protagonists are just incredibly funny, like those Boke and Tsukkomi routines, except better! You might find him annoying at first, but I promise you, you’ll grow attached to him quicker than any girl in the game!
Stop staring, onee-chan! There’s nothing wrong with me!
QP is a Love Fairy, and that means Human Realm rules don’t really apply to him. For one, he’s magical and can do several things, as long as it benefits love. Other people aside from the protagonist also can’t see him. His logic is somewhat otherworldly, but not always unsound. In fact, at times he makes perfect sense, especially when it comes to nature. Lastly, he doesn’t need to eat food to sustain himself, yet he always charges in, steals the protagonist’s food and wolfs it down anyway. Hmm… Not needing food, but eating anyway? Being an absolute menace? Having no distinct reproductive organs? Appearing out of nowhere? Now, I’m not saying he’s a Titan, but…
…He’s probably a Titan.
Hey, that’s you! Yes, you! You handsome devil, you!
Souta Hatsuaki is the protagonist of the story and you largely see the whole story through his eyes. As you can see, he’s not a faceless guy like in most VNs, so thank goodness for that! For some reason, faceless protagonists are just a pet peeve of mine. Like, the allergic kind of pet. …Man, I wish I had a pet…
Ahem. Souta can be seen as the straight man of the game, though it’s not like he’s boring or calculating, or the only sane person in the company of idiots. He just has a good head on his shoulders and knows nonsense when he sees it, and isn’t afraid to call that out, yet he’s kind enough to play along anyway when necessary.
Souta dreams of having his own restaurant and currently works as a chef at a restaurant called Naturale to gain much needed experience. He often tries to cook new dishes throughout the game, but with mixed results. He’s a member of the Gardening Club at his school: Harekita Academy, and thanks to QP’s magic, he’s able to grow basically any crop quickly for the club and for Naturale. Since… that’s what Apple Tree Fairies are good at, of course!
Souta is a virgin at heart to the point he calls himself a gamma, which is even further below the beta and alpha male. And he isn’t kidding, because as good as his head is, when it comes to love, he is possibly the most oblivious character you will meet.
And now what you’ve all been waiting for… The girls!
Finally? I didn’t know you were into girls, onee-chan.
…Wait, you are!? What about Bamboo?
Oh, Nuriouto, you have much to learn about sexuality
I’m 26! Stop treating me like a child! Sigh, let’s just go on to the girls…
Cuteness score: 10
Ayame Himekami is a sweet, gullible and reserved girl. And she’s a mega-cutie. She has never experienced love in her life and is looking for her first love at the moment. Her hobbies are video games, and that’s where her character truly shines. She’s so into video games that any inhibitions she has just evaporate. She’ll turn into a menacing zombie killer or a brave dragon slayer.
Ayame grew up in a fairly wealthy family and was secluded most of her childhood, which is probably also why she turned to games. Because of this, she’s rather unfamiliar with the outside world. In fact, when you first meet her, you’ll find her crying tears of joy because she finally realized her dream of eating junk food.
Did I already say she’s my kinda girl? Because she’s my kinda girl!
Sadly for her, because of her gullible nature due to her secluded upbringing, she’s often on the wrong end of jokes that involve her saying embarrassing things she’s not even aware of herself.
This isn’t to say she’s uninterested or completely unaware of sex. She just hasn’t found anyone to share it with. She’s actually just as eager to learn like other people. It’s just that she has more to learn than most other people, and teaching her things – like how to eat a hamburger – is surprisingly fun.
She’s very popular with the whole class because of her beauty and sweetness. However, not many of her classmates actually get really close to her, and Souta is the only guy she regularly hangs out with. Also for this reason, she’s a member of the gardening club like Souta.
QP’s advice: “She’s looking for love, and you’re her only real male friend! Get closer to her, take your chances, and strike!”
Cuteness score: 10
Yuki Goshogawara is an energetic, lewd and funny girl. And she’s an ultra-cutie. You’ll often find her making a lewd joke, where either Souta or Ayame are the victim, usually. In fact, if she doesn’t make a lewd joke, people are immediately concerned if something is wrong with her. Does that sound a bit much? Maybe, but I actually like it.
Heehee! I knew it! You actually like it!
It’s different when the lewd jokes come from my sister! Please don’t make lewd jokes with me!
Yuki’s the kind of girl where if you tell her her last name is a mouthful, she’d respond with “Not as much a mouthful as my penis!” …Which gets a different response from everyone. Personally, I like my girls penis-free. And don’t worry; I checked. She’s safe.
Yuki and Souta know each other since childhood, when they both lived in a different city. They grew close and have been inseparable childhood friends since, to the point Yuki often just barges into Souta’s house and feels entirely comfortable around him.
Did I mention she’s lewd? Holy crap, she’s ultra-lewd. About 80% of the lewdness in this game comes from her! If you’re one for sexual tension, then look no further!
Yuki is very attached to her friends, and you won’t really see her alone at any time, which is also why she’s often seen around Souta. She works at the same place as him: Naturale, where she is part of the waitstaff.
QP’s advice: “It’s clear she’s interested! Just do something special for her and close the gap already!”
Cuteness score: 10
Lewdness: DANGER! DANGER!
Mahiru Komachi is a childish, impulsive and talented girl. And she’s a hyper-cutie. Much like a child, she often has her own version of events, and she won’t ever admit she’s wrong. She can throw a tantrum when she doesn’t get her way, where she unleashes her trademark Mahiru Kick.
However, also like a child, she’s just as easy to please, and it’s also easy to simply turn her frown upside down with a few clever, well-placed words. Despite her appearance and behavior, she’s actually fairly mature, though that’s not exactly a part of her that gets to shine much.
Mahiru is a successful child actress who can easily and perfectly switch roles when she needs to. She also knows when to behave like a good girl and when to behave more like herself. Unfortunately for Souta, she mostly acts like her spoiled self around him.
But that’s cute in its own right! Really, I didn’t know children could be this cute!
Nuri… Would you have preferred if I were your imouto instead of your onee-chan?
It’s interesting. A lot of the behavior Mahiru exhibits in this game would annoy me a lot in real life. But in the game, it’s incredibly cute! I could just pick her up and snuggle her! …Only to be subsequently kicked by her.
Maybe there’s just something about Mahiru that speaks to all of us. Maybe we are all just a small child inside who wants to scream out at the world for how unfair it is and just throw a tantrum and kick everything. She’s uninhibited around Souta, and I can appreciate that.
No, seriously. Bell peppers just make me barf, to the point I think I’m allergic to them. But nope, I had myself tested and apparently I am not allergic. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m sure Mahiru can relate.
That said, Mahiru actually has an incredible appetite for things she loves. That’s also much like me, but this girl really is insane. And where is she keeping all that food? It definitely doesn’t stay in her body, seeing her size… but I also am not eager to find out where it does go…
Anyway! Mahiru and Souta used to go out one year ago, and their relationship lasted a whopping 2 weeks! Hmm, what happened, I wonder? Either way, after a year of absence, Mahiru eventually returns and joins the gardening club on Souta’s request.
QP’s advice: “Love knows no age! Not that she’s underage or anything! First you need to get rid of the bitter aftertaste of being her ex-boyfriend, and then you two can get together again.”
Cuteness score: 10
Maya Komachi is a responsible, reliable and caring girl. And she’s a super-cutie. She really is the onee-san of this game – and in fact, she’s Mahiru’s onee-san – often giving advice to Souta and other characters, and being reliable in general.
So she’s like me!
Sure. If that’s what you’d like to believe.
Being fairly down-to-earth and straightforward, you won’t see many crazy antics with her. In fact, everyone has a lot of respect for her and doesn’t mess with her. Though, that might also have to do with her becoming very threatening in a silent way when you get on her bad side.
Out of all the characters, I think maybe this one is my favorite, but they’re all just so good! Maybe I just like her so much because out of all the characters, she’s also the most obvious one to have a crush on Souta.
…And I like it when girls like me.
Sadly, Souta is as oblivious as ever. They even have this nice thing together where Maya gives Souta a piece of candy, and Souta has to guess which flavor it is. That sounds silly, but it’s actually pretty cute!
Maya is, I think, the oldest girl in the game (aside from actual mothers and such), and you can see that in the way she behaves and how calm and soothing her voice is. Despite her mature demeanor, she’s relatively short and flat, and that’s something she’s self-conscious about. But you better watch out even thinking about her height or cup size around her, though.
Maya is also the only character who’s too old to be still at the same school as the rest and instead studies at Minan Academy. At least, I think that’s the reason. The game isn’t too explicit about ages… Anyway, she still sees the others regularly through her job at Natural as a waitress, though, so she won’t have to miss out on too much.
…Now, if only there were a Maya + Mahiru tag team route. That’d be the best…
How lewd. You really are showing your true colors today, Nuri!
…I can’t help liking what I like.
QP’s advice: “I think she might be interested in you. You better start probing and then confess!”
Cuteness score: 10
Eri Serikawa is a shy, timid and sensitive girl. And she’s an omega-cutie. She’s basically shyness reincarnate. In fact, she can’t even talk to any guys, meaning all her friends are girls. Except for Souta, who she can at least tolerate.
Eri is often seen around Yuki, and often escapes her lewd jokes, possibly because she isn’t as gullible as the rest and because Yuki knows Eri can’t appreciate them.
Despite being able to tolerate Souta, she’s still very sensitive and self-conscious about touch, so any accidental touching will throw her into a blushing fit and causes her to stammer and stutter, which, honestly, is incredibly cute.
Just the arm?
Just the arm.
Eri is good at math and gets good grades overall, but her skills with computers is non-existent, needing Souta’s help with any computer-related issues. Personally I think math skills and computer skills go hand in hand, but it goes to show me there are different people out there. Sigh… If only I could teach Eri all about computers…
Don’t let her timidness fool you, though. Beneath this shy exterior lies a beast that can eat anything spicy, yet dislikes sweet food. Again, goes to show you that appearances aren’t everything.
In short, Eri is probably the most surprising girl of the bunch, where her appearances and behavior don’t immediately paint the full picture. That said, being the shy girl that she is, she isn’t part of any club and she also doesn’t work at Naturale, so generally you only meet her at school.
QP’s advice: “She’s a shy girl, so it’s up to you to take the initiative! All it takes is a small push!”
Cuteness score: 10 (She made me give her that score)
Aoi Mutsu is a straightforward, sadistic and manipulative girl. And she’s an über-cutie. …Which she totally didn’t force me to say. Aoi is a sadist and her favorite toy is Souta. Or rather, her only toy is Souta, because everybody else avoids her like the plague, because they’d rather not be the victim of anything she’s got cooking. Trying to outplay her only means you get outplayed harder.
Souta often goes through the motions with her sadism, but it’s not like he’s entirely submissive to her. The sadistic remark and then the bark back from Souta creates an interesting dynamic between the two that sometimes escalates to the extremes.
But as much as Aoi likes to play around, she actually is rather responsible and cares much about her underclassmen. She just doesn’t show it much because in the end her sadistic desire is greater than her desire to show she cares. However, make a serious request, and she’ll listen. …Probably.
Aoi is the president of the gardening club, and you’ll mostly see her there. Though, thanks to her, the gardening club is also part the sadism and games club, which… sounds kinda okay? Entirely depends on how much of a masochist you are, I guess!
She’s also the number 2 of the lewd duo in this game. The other 20% of the lewdness in this game comes from her, though it definitely has a different flavor from Yuki’s lewdness.
Whereas Yuki’s lewdness is more vulgar, punny and suggestive, Aoi’s lewdness is more teasing, dominant and manipulative. You really should watch your iota around her, because before you know it, she’ll have claimed it and you won’t be getting it back! And I like my iota; I’d rather not lose it
Yeah, it’s our iota!
No, it’s MY iota!
Aoi can accurately be described as a demon, and everybody knows it, and they’re glad her focus is mostly on Souta.
Just don’t push her too far. Or do. It all depends on what you want out of her. Just know that even she has her limits, and if you pass her limits, you might have to question what you have become, after you’ve beaten a demon.
QP’s advice: “She seems very focused on you. I wonder why… You should accept her advances and submit entirely, so you two can find love!”
Cuteness score: 10
Chiho Yataka is a bouncy, active and happy girl. And a cutie-cutie. Having lost her memories, she tries to see the positive side of life while trying to look for what she has lost. The only person she remembers is Souta, though she can’t even remember where from, and it appears Souta can’t really remember her either. Hmm…
Chiho grows instantly attached to Souta, much like a cat.
…Well, some cats, anyway.
This is because Souta is the only thread she has to her original memories, and it doesn’t hurt that Souta is friendly enough to help. Every second spent with her is a second filled with energy and cuteness, where she switches between wanting to play and wanting to search for memories. And sometimes both!
Quite the opposite of Eri, Chiho isn’t ashamed of saying what she’s thinking. That doesn’t mean she knows no shame, but at the very least, she’s happy with who she is and isn’t afraid to express that. And why would you be if you’re as cute as her?
Chiho is also a character who makes it quite clear what she thinks of Souta. She’ll remind you of that on every memory quest you go on with her, so don’t worry if you tend to forget things like me. Or her.
She also calls Souta “Dude.” A lot.
Cute kitty-cat girl without being an actual catgirl. Honestly, what more can I say?
QP’s advice: “She’s already saying she loves you! This is playing the game on easy mode! Do it now! Confess!”
And whew. I want to say that’s all the girls, but actually there’s more! But maybe this is enough for this Tester’s Corner.
Ehhh!? Why not go through all of them?
Have you seen how long this monster is already? People actually have to convert this into a blog post, and I don’t want to torture them any more!
Okay, fine. I’ll say a few more things about the characters before moving on…
There are also a few faceless classmates, and they’re basically your typical token female and male classmates in anime, manga and VNs. They’re all a bitch, though, including the teacher. One moment they play sweet with him, just so they can get something out of him, and the next they treat him like scum because of a misunderstanding. The teacher also isn’t above derogation, having no trouble calling Souta out. Man, if I were in his shoes, I might just grow depressed.
…Except that being surrounded by more than 7 cute girls isn’t anything to be depressed about…
Honestly, I love all of these girls. Sure, there are some I love more than others (hello, Maya), but even the worst one (hello, Aoi) isn’t bad at all. And over these 75 days, I’ve grown pretty attached to all of them. Is this what Chuable planned all along? They pry open my heart, pour in cute girls, and then make the game not last forever, so I’ll end up with this gaping hole in my chest?
You… okay, otouto?
Y-Yeah. I’ll find love someday, I’m sure…
Maybe I’m just easily impressed, but I really loved testing and playing this VN, meeting the characters, falling in love, and experience an ideal relationship.
…Wow, now I sound like a gamma. It’s not even that I don’t know what it’s like to be in a relationship. I’ve been in several! I swear!
There, there… What are you even trying to prove?
I think that’s honestly what I like about romantic visual novels. They are not always the most realistic portrayals of a relationship, and that’s exactly what’s good. They’re an ideal relationship, with ideal cute girls, and that’s exactly what fantasy and fiction are for!
Now you’re just trying to justify your own love for this game…
Let’s change the subject before I really turn into a gamma. Instead, let’s talk about more stuff I liked about the game.
The art! I think this game really nails the perfect balance between beautiful and cute. There are certain VNs that are simply gorgeous, but the character design and general art style just isn’t cute and I’m left not getting too attached to anything. But luckily not in this game. From the moment I started it up, I was immediately in love.
Actually, you may have noticed there’s a distinct lack of actual event CG in this Tester’s Corner. That’s simply because I feel these CG are best experienced when you find them in game for the first time, instead of seeing them here in this Tester’s Corner. It’s much like your virginity: You want to save it for the best moment.
But you don’t have to hold on to your virginity for THAT long, Nuri-kyun…
I’m not a virgin anymore!
It’s okay… You don’t have to prove anything to me…
Anyway, it’s not just the art style that’s great. It’s everything, down to the animations. For a VN, the sprites move around a lot. They make little bows, shake around, dance, jump up and down, and so on. Of course there are also the screen shakes, like when Mahiru kicks you, and everything. All in all, it’s one of the most dynamic VNs I’ve seen without having actual gameplay elements, both in its structure and sprite animations.
And of course there are also actual animations. When you have a successful confession, you’re met with a beautiful animation and then a nice peppy intro. The presentation of this game is just superb. Oh, and of course, several sex scenes are also animated, and that also has been done very well. I’ll just say it was… effective.
Wow. How lewd.
We’re in a lewd industry, onee-chan. You of all people should know.
Speaking of lewdness. Another nice touch is that the sex scenes are relatively realistic. It’s not like porn with humongous penises or hentai with fantasy fetishes. And Souta doesn’t have unending stamina in the sense that he can actually only perform once, if you catch my drift. Maybe not a lot of people care about that, but I actually thought that was really neat, and that extra touch of realism just made it that much more… effective for me.
Wow. How lewd.
We’re in a lewd industry, onee-chan. You of all people should know.
And also unlike porn and most hentai, there is pillow talk at the end of sex. Another nice touch, making you love those girls even more. Am I strange? Yes. But this game just does all these things so right, I can’t help but point them out! I just love pillow talk, alright!?
There are two last things on the list of things I liked in particular about this game. One small thing is that, since this game is one about cooking, there are also plenty of examples of bad cooking. Most anime would portray the bad cooking as some sort of Eldritch spawn, and exaggerate how disgusting it is. It’s honestly a trope that I hate. So, how does this game do it? The bad cooking is actually… just bad cooking! Burned stuff, mixing of the wrong ingredients, too strong flavors, too bland taste, you name it. It’s another small touch of realism that just makes the game for me. Am I weird? Yes, but we already established that.
And finally, the narrative in this game is written in the present tense. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for this. I know past tense is the standard in VNs, but I actually much, much more prefer the present tense for the narrative. Because then you can naturally use the past and future tenses when it’s appropriate, instead of going for weird constructs like past perfect or past future tense…? I’m actually curious what you guys think! Do you guys prefer narrative in past tense or in present tense? Please leave a comment below! I just wanna know if there are like-minded people or if I am just crazy once again…
In conclusion, I really loved this game, about as much as I loved the girls in it! I really could go for another game much like this one, and I am actually very curious what else ChuableSoft has, or if there are more VNs like this one.
…But maybe I need to work toward getting a girlfriend in real life again. If only I had someone to help me. Hmm…
I probably should rely on my own strengths and qualities…
I believe in you, Nuri!
Thanks. By the way, did you notice that the End Drawing™ was drawn by a guest artist this time? Uhm, what was his name again? Hmm…
Wasn’t it something like Sam Gai?
Oh, I remember now! It was “Some Guy.” At least, that’s the name I got when I asked for one…
Well, that doesn’t tell us much…
One of life’s biggest mysteries, nee-chan…
If You Love Me, Then Say So! is now available on MangaGamer.com for $44.95!