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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Otogiriso Soseihen(弟切草 蘇生篇)

A sound novel is a term trademarked by Chunsoft and is really just a fancy word for what some would call visual novels ironically with no voice acting. The sound here is referring to SFX and a novel doesn't really talk to you at least back before Audible became a big thing for busy Millennials. Anyhoo, I figured it was my Jhipster duty to check out Chunsoft's sound novel series starting with Otogirisou. I played the PS1 remake and the intro gives off a really good vibe.

Oh boy, this looks scary!
Unfortunately, the writing doesn't quite live up to the enhanced graphics. You can finish this game in a few hours and is designed to be replayed many times. According to the manual, you should replay at least 10 times to get to the "truly interesting" parts.

Oh man, this DOES look scary!
I thought the idea behind the game was certainly interesting. There are tons of dialogue options (supposedly over 1,000) and while the basic premise of the events are the same, it's slightly different and feels fresh every time. For example, the first playthrough shows a photo of the inside of your car while the next playthrough might have a little animation with trees whizzing by.

I'm a sucker for these old school photos
Unfortunately, the freshness lasts maybe about 4 or 5 playthroughs and you quickly realize it's the same basic scenarios. You're driving in the car with your girlfriend Nami, some accident happens, you happen upon a mansion in the woods, etc. etc. The dialogue options get sillier and sillier as well with tons of cheesy puns and it's clear they don't really reflect on the following dialogue.

Ketchup on your salad eh?
Since these scenes are designed to be stitched together in semi-random order, after the first few playthrough, it was mostly a tedious exercise of holding down circle. No skip option is just such a time sink. One might say it's amazing that the story still holds up together even when it shifts and changes but to me, it just means that the story is not that involved.

The rain moves in the background. It's like a novel but EVOLVED!!

Score: 2 desperately trying to get with your gf no matter how fucked up things get out of 5 (15 playthroughs)

Some of the endings were good and it was interesting somewhat but overall I was underwhelmed. Sometimes it got a bit too silly for me and I just couldn't tell if the game was trying to be scary or funny. It wasn't particularly good at being either.

Unfortunately, the story is just not as scary as this picture suggests
However, being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I couldn't help but find all 10 endings to get the pink bookmark. Due to how the story changes up, there wasn't a clear guide and it wasn't that easy but I soldiered through it. The manual suggests some ecchi fanservice with the pink bookmark but I mean, don't get your hopes up. You're not going to be seeing Corpse Party style low angle shots of a girl hanging in a toilet stall. (You sicko.)

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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