The 2nd visual novel has finally been released (not counting The Tears Extra Story demo).
This game is 'Winter Is'.
It seems as though only a few people have taken an interest in this game - Generally, lots of posting would be going on at various bbs, but...nobody did that.
I see lots of posting about GPFight, but nothing for Winter is.
I thought that perhaps it was because it originally had the same release date as 'Mill' - Choosing an inappropriate release date makes people indifferent to the game.
Anyway, enough griping, letís get into it.
Immediately after downloading the game, I played for two or three hours straight.
At first, I saw 'Game over' after 5 minutes.
WTF...Did I pay 12000 won (about US 10$) for only 5 minutes??
I tried to play again.
I tried other branches...
I enjoyed the story, it was rather like reading a novel.
Then, about 1 hour passed.
Finally I recognized that 5 minutes ending comes from taking the 'wrong branch'.
A wrong branch doesn't allow you to reach extra events, it just goes straight to a bad ending.
For example, a girl (she is the heroine) bumps into you.
You can choose 2 branches:
1. You calm down.
2. You get mad at her.
If you choose the second option, she will not talk to you. And the game goes to bad ending.
This is why I finished the game within only 5 minutes.
The story of 'Winter is' is a romantic comedy about a person who was been disappointed in love.
He travels to Kangwon-do (Korean province) and meets another girl by chance.
I felt that I should spend more time in Kangwon-do (such as Jung-Dong-Jin) sometime.
This game has much better BGM and sound effects when compared to the first visual novel 'Therapy'.
Game size is 23 MB, this also outstanding comparing the only rival.
This high quality of BGM and sound effect make this game approach a 'real visual novel' in feeling.
The high quality and quantity of scenario images make you imagine that you are traveling there.
The background images shift smoothly.
Choice of branches will lead different endings; 5 min, 1 hour or more depending on your decisions.
So you can replay it again and again.
And there is another replaying bonus - the background images become viewable from the main menu.
I felt a deep impression from this game, even with my 24 years of game life.
But, there are disadvantages as every game has.
Original characters are the one of the most important things in visual novels or love simulations.
But, in this game, there is NO girl who is cute or beautiful or sexy or cool.
Lee-eunjoo is kind but ugly.
Hyejin and JeeHee are better but still unsatisfactory.
Also, the f*cking noise (the tick tick tick SDK sound problem) is also here.
You hear this whenever the BGM changes.
In spite of these problems, it's worth about 12000 won.
But, I canít say that I would pay 30000 won (25$) for a package game.
Visual novel games for GP32 are becoming better.
I also expect that 'Tears' and other games will improve upon this.
Hey, you GP maniacs...buy this game! It has a lot of value to it.
I decided that I'll one day travel this game's background.
Graphics B : They fit the game, and backgound scenery is good.
Sound A : It has good atmosphere.
Story B : Lots of branches, lots of humor.
Operation B : You can switch A / B to OK / Cancel. But...
Fun C : If you don't like visual novels, you might find it boring.
A : Good, B : Avarage, C : Poor
This is the simple review of 'Winter Is' -
I hope that this review would help you who consider buying this game.
THIS REVIEW IS SO PERSONAL...others may feel differently.
Some bits Yellowrider did not cover: this game was also done by Rosa:6, creators of Therapy. Some call it a sequel, though I'm not sure that's appropriate. And the cuteness of the girls is subjective. They suit my taste fine. If you're interested, the game can be purchased at JoyGP. Thanks again to Valken the Sexy Thief for his translation.
Till something new comes along, I remain Brandon Sheffield