This will be a unique case. Normally, I’d rather review a game as a whole rather than just the way it has been ported, unless there are special circumstances – and we do have special circumstances here.
The review addresses the PS Vita port of the visual novel (or eroge?) Kanojo (Anoko) wa Ore kara Hanarenai (shortened: AnoOre).
I don’t wanna ruin the suspense and all, but it’s horrible.
First of all, I’m gonna list the things that aren’t bad:
- The text is easy to read.
- It’s theoretically playable.
Now that we’re done with that, let’s get to the bad things:
- There are no settings. You can’t adjust the volume. You can adjust literally nothing. I mean it.
- The BGM (background music) is loud. as. hell. And see point 1, you can’t change that. The only time you can actually turn the BGM off, is in the log. Great. So useful.
- You can’t hear the characters/voice actresses speak. The only time the voice acting is somewhat audible is during screamed lines. Else, it’s being drown out by the BGM. Can you fix that? See point 1.
- The game seems to destroy savegames now and then. I haven’t experienced that (hell, I couldn’t play long enough to), but I’ve read about it, and as there hasn’t been any patch whatsoever, the problem surely remains.
- There are performance issues. Usually, the text in this game stops at certain points and waits for the voice to catch up. A nice feature. But this is accompanied by a short freeze/lag on the Vita. I doubt it lacks the power to handle this kind of feature, so my guess is the port devs just sucked.
- The voice “quality” – so the recording/sound quality of the recorded voices – is, compared to other VNs I’ve played like “Nisekoi”, horrible. They sound muddy and cheap. The recordings; not the voice actresses. Someone turned the quality down for the port, I guess. I wonder, if this was the only way to handle the problem (I’ll assume lack of cartridge space).
- They also appear to have removed some visual effects like depth of field (blurring of the background).
- On top of that, a few choices might’ve been removed. For instance, you can choose whether you side with Yuzuki or Minami during the prologue. This choice doesn’t exist in the Vita version of this game, and there’s a chance that this isn’t the only one cut. To be fair, it’s an irrelevant choice, but a choice nonetheless.
- Minor issue: due to the Vita’s smaller display, you generally see less of the characters. While you can almost see the heroine’s whole body in some scenes, the Vita screen only allows for the upper body most of the time. But that’s quite alright.
- Minor issue: there’s a plain text list which tells you how many affection points the respective heroine has. It’s literally just the five heroine’s names and a number next to it. That’s so anti-climatic and dull that it’s a let down.
- Minor issue: hardly any furigana.
I won’t praise the game for its crisp backgrounds or animations etc., that credit’s not due to the port. VNs are about two things: Voices, backgrounds, slight animations, and text, text, text. The text lags, the voices are hardly audible, instead your ears will be penetrated by the overly loud music, and to top it off, the devs decided you shouldn’t be able to adjust a thing. Way to go.
And now you try to find something about this on Google or wherever. You won’t. The Amazon Japan reviews are good, people only complain about their savegames being gone/corrupted. I merely found one meager tweet of someone complaining about the exact same thing I’m experiencing.
I’ll also include a gallery with screenshots of the PC version of this game, which I switched to play now. When I saw how well-executed the PC version is, it made me a bit angry that I freakin’ imported the Vita version. And I had literally no way of knowing how much it sucked. Not a single review I found mentioned the above points. Vexing. In case you’re thinking about buying it, go for the PC version. Or maybe the PS4 version, I’ve heard the protagonist’s being voiced there too (he isn’t in the PC version). But don’t ask me whether it’s as bold as the Vita port. I’ve got no PS4.
Like this, the (generally not bad) game is just unplayable. Or unenjoyable, at least. And I think the publisher “TGL” is to blame for this whole mess, since the developer “GIGA” did splendidly with the original PC version of this game. All one can do to prevent this kinda stuff from happening is to get a Japanese PSN account and download demos – implying there’s a demo of the game you’re looking to buy.
To conclude things, this version just sucks and it’s nothing short of a bold rip-off.