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This game is ridiculously adorable, like it's just a whole maelstrom of cute. Atlus should finally give this game an official translation, call it wholesome or something, pretend someone with genders made it, and they'd be running all the way to the bank with the amount of money this whimsy-core nicefest would make with all the depressed burned out idiots like me.
Just look at how cute and pretty the pixel art is! It looks like those pixel art mock up you see constantly on Twitter, but it's like, a real game. And everyone is nice and fun to interact with, except for the villagers who think the protagonist is a witch, but like, that's secret queer theming so that's ok, and you end up befriending them anyway.
At its core, it Is just a very basic Atelier-like, especially similar to the more stripped-down entries in the series, like Atelier Marie. But there's nothing wrong with that. I enjoy Atelier games, and this is a pretty good aesthetic take on the genre. And the time-magic gimmick, while not mechanically revolutionary, does add a bit of personality to the general play.
I dunno, I did two runs of this, and got the bad ending both times. Because I'm really bad at this Atelier stuff. But that was like, 12 solid hours of cutesy fun, so I can't say I have anything against this game. I'll probably give it another go and see if I can at least get the normal ending, but I don't think I'll get there. It's good.
Kinda milquetoast. Not awful by any means, but it definitely lacks the vibes and goofiness of Shadow of Memories, Junko Kawano's previous adventure game.
For what it's worth, I found the core mystery to be very engaging, it's a pretty well-structured time travel murder mystery, and it actually got my one brain cell working to try and figure it out along with the characters. Problem is, that plot doesn't Really kick into gears until about halfway through the game, and when the big mystery is not actively A Thing, you're just left with some of the most nothing characters ever. All of the non-expository dialogue is just so incredibly bland that it makes the introductory chapters kind of a pain to get through.
That said, I like it when Visual Novels/ADV games, filter their pace through pseudo-systemic mechanics. Like, yeah, the whole time-travel and hole-drawing don't ever lead to interesting choices, as a """real""" system would, but they add a lot of aesthetic depth to the play, and actually help a lot with the pacing, by giving clear objectives and lines of thought for the player to pursue. So like, that bit is neat. Not Ace Attorney levels of neat, but still neat.
Anyhow this is alright. Doesn't quite get there in being anything memorable, but I didn't hate playing it. Both the worst and best thing I can say about it, is that its blandness sort of made me appreciate Shadow of Memories' boldness and character a lot more.
The cat is cute tho.