Since Aedes has already written a really good review of this game, this will just be an impressions post. Which is good for me considering this means i can get away with writing less xD
The story of this game revolves around protagonist Kanata who attends a fancy music academy under a scholarship. Since his parents have left, he has had to do many part-time jobs to support himself and his imouto Ai. His best friend Haruka also died last year and he’s not been able to play music ever since. One day, his senpai (and granddaughter of the school principal) Mana told him that his scholarship will be revoked unless he starts to play music again. His classmate Sakura asks him if he’d like to form a music group and he reluctantly agrees. Along with Ai, Mana and Haruka’s twin sister Natsumi they form a group and agree to perform at the graduation ceremony.
The common route is pretty good and pretty much deals with organising the group. To be completely honest, although the common route was well paced and easy to read, i somehow found myself bored by it. I think i spent most of it thinking to myself “I wonder when the opening movie will play…” which wasn’t really a good thing.
Strangely, for a game whose premise seems to be based around music, Music plays hardly any part in the routes and they focus on other things. However, the actual music used in the game is of a very high standard and although some tracks aren’t to my tastes, most are very good (especially the opening – Aliare by Hazuki)
Ai is Kanata’s super bracon imouto. She’s definitely my favourite character in the game (and quite possibly one of the best imouto characters of 2011). Her route has nothing to do with music at all and is mostly about her and Kanata’s relationship (althoguh there’s a starnge lack of icha icha scenes – something which is continued throughout the whole game). She looks super cute when she’s younger too!
Sakura is a really relaxed (yet mischievous) character who’s lots of fun to have around. She is a classmate of Kanata’s and she was also best friends with Haruka. As you maybe able to guess, her route was mostly about Haruka. Although i have never lost a best friend (so i don’t know how it feels) i felt that a lot of the drama in Sakura’s route was overdone. Maybe this was because there was NO romance in the main part of the route! Sakura’s emo side is not good to watch!
Natsumi (aka Natsumin) is the tsundere of the group. Her dere side is DEADLY. I felt that this route was by far the best and had some nice character development as well as some well-written plot as well as some cute moments (need more dere Natsumin!). This route also deals with issues surrounding Haruka, however the drama in this route is definitely done better than that in Sakura’s route. To be fair, Natsumin should be more likely to go all emo but she doesn’t which automatically makes her route about 100x better. You have to play the other two routes first to unlock this route but it is definitely worth it!
The graphics in Poco A Poco, while undoubtedly cute, are a little “off” most of the time (mostly due to proportions but there are some strange angles sometimes). That being said, there were a lot of CGs and most of them did look nice. The SD CGs are BEYOND cute though! There needs to be more SD cgs!
There’s not much to say about the system of the game, apart from the fact that the title screen changed after you completed all the routes. I really liked the final title screen. There was also the character sprite viewer – it was pretty snazzy.
Overall, Poco A Poco is one of the better music-themed eroge that i’ve played. Although the story was mostly average, it was quite fun at times. Considering that this game is “mid-price” (6000 yen. This makes sense considering “low price” is 3000 yen and “full price” is 9000 yen) i’d say that it’s worth the money. Now, i need to get the rest of the mid-price series. How many is there in total? I was thinking 4 (real imouto, Kicking Horse Rhapsody, Aneiro and this). I don’t really like the structure of this post though, impressions are hard to do~
Unfortunately top-siscon Micchi has claimed Ai – i’m so jealous! Where is my fandisc with Mana route?
Pros: Characters are really fun, Natsumin’s story is great, Nice music, One of the better musical eroge out there.
Cons: Sakura’s route sucks, H scenes were random as hell, Most of the story was average at best, NO MANA ROUTE!!!
P.S. Just remember, Ai will win you all over with her special attack!