Alternative Title: ラブリケーション
Release Date: 24th June 2011
Producing Company: Akatsuki Works Hibiki (Needs a proxy to visit if you live outside of Japan)
Scenario Writer: insider
The game’s protagonist lives an easy and carefree life in the flat that his uncle lets him live in, however, he has few friends and prefers to stay inside to play games. However, at the start of the new school year, his uncle visits and tells him to go and experience the world and find love while he’s young or he’ll regret it. Like this, our protagonist’s new school days start!
This game is a throwback to the dating sims of the 90’s and involves getting close to the girls by visiting places where they are after school and raising your stats in the activities they like. I thought the common route was really fun in this respect. The game involves going through everyday life for a couple of months all together, although only a couple of weeks are the common route. Insider’s writing style really suited this game type as the language used was quite simple but kept the player wanting to keep reading on, which lead to me spending more time on this game per day than usual since i couldn’t put it down.
The character routes will appeal to people who like the characters, i know that sounds obvious but this game is really character focused so if you don’t like a girl then you’ll find her route a drag. Although, i do have a major problem with Yuni’s route – everything was done backwards! And that H scene just after the middle of the route was completely out of character for both Yuni and the protagonist, it most certainly wasn’t the pure love stuff i wanted, although the adorable end section was very cute. Yuuki’s route, on the other had, was definitely one of the cutest routes i have ever read! It was just so perfect – and they even went on lots of dates! That’s one thing i really liked about this game actually. In most eroge there is a lack of interaction with the heroines outside H scenes but this game had plenty of romantic moments and dates. This is definitely a game for fans of raburabu. After you finish a route, there is also an “extra story” which is essentially a H-scene. Talking about H-scenes, that was another thing this game had loads of. I believe there were 36 in total – 8 for Sera and 7 for each of the other heroines. This may seem a lot but they were generally placed well in the story and so felt necessary in order to further the couple’s relationship. All in all, the story is very cute and well written although there was one major fault and a couple of minor faults but it is still an enjoyable read.
Yuni is the energetic and popular girl from class 2A. She’s also in the tennis club. Lots of boys ask her out on dates and since she’s very kind and also quite shy really she never likes tell them no so tries to avoid it. She enjoys watching animated films.
Yuni is super cute but her route was essentially “Please protect me from all these fans of mine protagonist by pretending to be my boyfriend” and fake romance isn’t what i want to see in my moe-ge! Her ribbon is also tied into the lower part of her hair in case you were wondering (i was confused about it until one of her H scenes).
Yuuki is in class 2C (the same as the protagonist) and is a bright and cheerful girl. She’s from a rich family who make her take part in lots of after school activities – from dancing to playing instruments to learning foreign languages. She also likes reading and is very smart. Yuuki is a big fan of J-POP and is also a good singer when she tries at karaoke. She’s also a fan of ice cream.
Yuuki is definitely the best character in the game (in my opinion) since she’s smart, cheerful and super cute! I can’t really say much more without going into fangirl mode though >w< There needs to be more heroines with side ponytails.
Aya is the quiet, yet serious girl from class 1C. She is very cold to the protagonist at first when they meet in the games arcade but grows to like him after they spend time competing over video games. Aya also likes spicy food and always adds extra chilli to whatever she’s eating. She and the protagonist always end up buying the same thing for lunch.
I didn’t think i’d like Aya that much because she looks quite scary. However, her dere side is quite adorable!
Misasa is the new PE teacher at the protagonist’s school and she’s always worried about wether or not she’s a good teacher. She is also coach of the swimming team and her and Sera are good friends. Even though she’s an adult, she can be quite childish at times and is also cannot handle alcohol very well. She also likes fashion.
Normally i’d see a character like Misasa and write her off as being just your average “teacher with large oppai” character but her childish side really appealed to me, although i can see why it would annoy people. I also thought she was more pretty than cute but I’ll admit that her cowgirl costume was moe.
Sera is the school doctor who the protagonist meets when he falls in PE one day. Sera is very popular amongst the students (both male and female). However, she is actually worried that she doesn’t appear feminine enough since she loves action films and has lots of brothers so never had much of a feminine influence while she was growing up. Sera also goes to the gym quite a lot as she likes to exercise.
Sorry, i really respect Sera because she’s a doctor and so she’s a smart woman but she’s not the type of character that i would go for, although i can see why people would like her. She looks better with no glasses on (the game gives you that option during one of her events).
The artwork in Lovely x Cation was quite unique in that is had a more mature feel to it than other games i’ve played. I really appreciated this as it made the game less cute and more beautiful. The CGs were almost perfect, except that there were some minor inconsistencies with Yuni’s bow and Aya’s ponytail, apart from that, i loved them all. There were also a lot of cgs used in the game which i also really approved of since more artwork is never a bad thing. The BG art was very nice too. I’d like to see this artist work on more than just nukige actually.
Song: Wondering Truth by Sakakibara Yui
I really like the opening song actually, although i’m just a huge Sakakibara Yui fan overall. This was also the ending song, something which made me a bit sad to find out actually since the game had such high production values that i would’ve thought that an ending song would be included. The BGM was generally pretty nice overall but i can only think of one memorable track, which is a shame. The voice acting was done really well and i felt that there were few faults here. Yuuki’s voice was my favourite (obviously).
As you can see above, the game contained different title screens for each character, which was something that i really appreciated.
The text box in Lovely Cation was simplistic but got the job done nicely. I’d also like to mention here that the character sprites blink, which i thought was a really nice effect.
This is the snazzy part of the game where the game lets you choose your name and also how you want the heroines to call you. I just realised that i never changed the Kanji in my guy’s name, but who cares about that? Anyways, the system was a really nice idea and had lots of names to choose from (i just went with Haru) and you could hear how each of the heroines would say the name before you decided too, meaning that you could choose a different name for each heroine’s route if you wanted. However, this system had some limitations – mainly being that only your first name was here so this system doesn’t come into effect until after the heroine is close enough to you for her to call you by your chosen first name (i.e. thy don’t say your last name). Also, some of the sentences sounded a little awkward, however, i really do appreciate the fact that Akatsuki works tried something different, and it was a nice feature most of the time and could be really amazing with a little polishing up.
Sorry, i forgot to take a picture of the actual “choose where you want to go” screen but it basically contained a list of places that you could go and also a screen for items you could buy. Most of the time a girl’s picture was beside the place where she was but also try to level stats in other areas which the heroine is interested in as well as trying not to completely neglect anything ( i did a bad job of that one). Buying certain items unlocks some H scenes. A heroine will have hearts around her when she’s in love with the protagonist although it may take a bit before a confession scene.
So overall, Akatsuki Works Hibiki should be proud of this game, it’s definitely a solid title and deserves the great sales figures it got, as it actually managed to break the 10,000 copies threshold which is an achievement not to be taken lightly due to the decline in eroge sales. This game also bet out Rewrite in the getchu polls for June, and i haven’t played Rewrite yet so i can’t really say much here but i thought it was pretty fascinating considering just how hyped up Rewrite was.
I’d definitely recommend this game to people who want a slightly different eroge and who don’t mind the small stat raising aspect. Plus, with a cast of cute characters and beautiful artwork, then this is a chara-ge that’s hard to resist. Also, people who like lots of H scenes but who want something more substantial a nukige should go and play this now. Hopefully more companies will make more games like this since it is really fun to play through.
Plus, here’s an adorable picture of Aya: