welcome to kokiri...

Here you’ll find a variety of posts about a variety of things...

I should be able to expand my thoughts here more than I do on instagram, whilst still retaining a more casual and relaxed approach.

I hope you enjoy your stay! <3

don’t hate hatoful, heart it<3

February, 2020

I recently finished this game after having it downloaded for so long, and can say with confidence: it more than exceeded my expectations.

The spoiler free, summarised plot is that in the year 2188, birds are highly evolved and are now the most prominent race on Earth. With their intelligence and capabilities surpassing that of mankind. The MC is the only human that attends St. Pigeonation’s institute, the best school for anybirdie. The story sees you navigating your way through school life, taking classes and choosing which handsome bird-boy you want to date- so you know, the typical high school life.

This game, quite literally, is a joke. It was released to light-heartedly poke fun at the otome genre, being released in Japan on April fools day, 2011. It started as a flash game. Then got a little longer, a little funnier, and a little more sinister.

In 2014 the game was revamped and brought to the west, quickly gaining notoriety for its complete ridiculousness. I remember the release, and watched it get dragged through the mud because ‘people will play anything these days’, and mentions of ‘they’re back at it again with the visual novel garbage’.

But people were missing the point. It was meant to be completely outrageous. The characters, plot and setting are all laughable and ludicrous- but that doesn’t make it bad, that’s exactly what makes it so good. Because there is that air of light-heartedness to the game, you can play it easily, and not much concentration is needed.

And then the plot hits you like a train wreck.

Because of the game’s ‘quirky and fun’ nature, you haven’t been paying too much mind to the small little hints and signs that were scattered within the story. You thought nothing of the post apocalyptic world and look where that got you. Caught up in deep rooted mysteries, societal and political controversy, turn-based fighting, the bourgeoisie, and to top it all off- now you’re lowkey smitten with a bunch of birds.

The romance is absolutely minimal in this game. The focus is the storyline, messages and problems that are brought up within. Hatoful brings up real life issues and deals with them appropriately, if not somewhat exaggerated. Regardless of it’s absurdity, the game does leave you thinking and I’m not ashamed to say I cried a couple of times during my play-through.

Hatoful Boyfriend a wonderful game that I feel is great to help ‘ease’ people into otome, or visual novels in general. It’s light mockery of the dating-sim and ‘choose-your-own-path’ cliches makes it easier for people who aren’t used to the genre to give it a try. People who may otherwise feel embarrassed about playing these kind of games, would likely be more comfortable as it can be played ‘ironically’ (but we all know you’ll secretly love it).

I don’t have much to say character wise (nageki is best boy though) and can’t talk about the plot without spoilers. But I’ll reinstate that the storyline is very well written, with the twists and general progression of the game making me tense in both anticipation and shock.

The game is available on most platforms, including ios and the play store, and it’s cheap across the board. I think my vita download came to like £1.50 (if not less). If you get the chance, please try out the wonderful and weird world of hatoful boyfriend!

photo credits: devolver digital

Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth, Switch Collectors Edition Unboxing

I was so happy when it was first revealed there would be a switch port, and I made sure to preorder the collectors edition as soon as the Europe store would let me. The delivery arrived earlier than expected, and was very well packaged. (When I say well packaged- I mean I was almost drowning in bubble wrap). After finally getting to the box itself, I was immediately impressed.

The Box

Just like the Wintertide Miracles LE box for the vita release, this box is nicely made and good quality. The warm toned colours are so pretty and they really compliment the beautiful character and cover illustrations.

Acrylic Charm

The first thing at the top of the box was the keyring featuring lupins gang. The quality is pretty good despite it being quite thin, with the sticky film protecting the image from scratches- but the photo was printed a little foggy, so to speak.

The Soundtrack

Next up is the CD! I was kinda let down once seeing it in person. The case isn’t sturdy at all, and the cover paper not only doesn’t fit properly, but is also quite cheap looking. It looks like something I could do myself, in honesty. The actual CD is nice though, with Cardia looking lovely as usual. I loved all the pieces whilst playing the game, and while listening to the disk (whilst writing!) I can remember the feelings I felt during my play-through.

The Case and Cartridge

The switch case is so pretty too. The cover is different to the box, with another illustration of the gang. Inside the case, the lining cover art is the CG of lupin and Cardia, which is also featured on the soundtrack cover. The cartridge simply has the name logo on it- a nice minimal design.

The Artbook

The final thing included in the box is the artbook, which is a little square collection of both images and extra character info. I loved reading the characters thoughts on each other, and also the daily schedules. They really showed the funny and lighthearted nature of the friendships within the game. It also mentions on the first page that the book contains spoilers- so be careful if you open it without having played first!

Final Thoughts...

Overall, I’m really happy with this collectors edition. While I’ll admit the quality could have been better, it was only around £8 or so more than the price of most bigger titled new releases, so to get all that extra stuff for a price I’m used to paying is great deal for me.

I really enjoyed loading up the game, and feeling the rush of emotions at both hearing and seeing the opening. It’s so great I get to play this game on the big screen, whilst also having it in another portable format. Yay for ports! I’m glad that we’re seeing more and more otome and visual novels coming to switch, with western releases in particular. 2020 is the year of otome!