Serendipity Next Door His POV Impressions – Spoiler Free

Unlike the In Your Arms Tonight‘s POVs, the Serendipity Next Door‘s POVs contain no choices, no MC sprite options, and fewer chapters. As much as I enjoyed some of the stories for the insight into the secondary characters and how well the male lead’s voice came through, these are decidedly short stories rather than games with paths to puzzle out.

Individual Routes

  • Izumi POV: It’s cute and sweet, but I wanted to edit out a few lines that didn’t seem to click with the main route.
  • Jinpachi POV: It’s funny and believable and makes the main story both much sweeter and much creepier at the same time.
  • Keiichi POV: It won’t change your opinion of him or the relationship. He’s definitely consistent with the main story.
  • Masaomi POV: The shorter format makes Masaomi’s story work better, and Masaomi’s internal dialogue and nearly complete uninterest in those around him are really entertaining.

Bottom Line: Good content with a high price tag. Unless you absolutely adore a character wait for a sale.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.

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Serendipity Next Door: Jinpachi Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Two neighbors get to know one another while dealing with every-day life.

IMG_0161Well, I don’t necessarily want him, but I do want this story.

I cannot fully recommend it to everyone, but what this story gets right, it really gets right.

  • Stock elements are used. The main character’s often naive and acts before reflecting, the leading man must physically rescue her more than once, and convenient set-ups are utilized. Yet how all the characters react and speak are unique and consistent while still evolving.
  • The difference in personalities, experience levels, and ages all come through in all the characters without smacking the reader over the head.
  • The word choice and humor just work for me. Several times I faintly noted that intellectually something should bother me, but I was too busy snickering to actually care…

IMG_0154

IMG_0155Hee.

Bottom Line: Recommended to those who wish to see basic ideas become unique through good writing and localization.  Or to those who just need a good laugh.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.

Be My Princess 2 Ivan Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Get smacked with a prince’s bouquet as you’re trying to sneak out of a ballroom. Find out that’s the precursor to a marriage interview:

IMG_0092Ack!

On the main character: She’s kind and intelligent with a slightly goofy sense of humor. Her third option choices made me laugh out loud at times. I had to wade through the first few chapters of her being rail-roaded for the plot, but once that’s over she’s great.

IMG_0121Thank you, Sieg.

On Ivan: He’s just the right balance of commanding, blunt, considerate, and focused. He’s a heroic, flawed person whom I wanted to see victorious. Unless he’s wearing this.  This is just bad:

IMG_0097Yes. I need to stop giggling at that robe, but I can’t.

On the main relationship: The pacing is so nicely done, and these two work together well as team. The only time they have a misunderstanding in service to the plot it feels off; know that feeling lasts about half a chapter and you’ll get back to the awesomeness soon.

IMG_0105The MC is sweet, believable, and just perfect in this section.  Love it.

Bottom Line: Highly Recommended. While this route and Ivan certainly have flaws, the pacing and central relationship more than make up for it.

Voltage’s Be My Princess 2 is available on iOS and Android.

Queen’s Gambit Senator Lindsay Tom Walker V Impressions and Review – Spoilers

Tom All the AnswersOh, my dear MC, you have no idea.

—-

If you’re looking for my thoughts on the game in general, please read the first section of my Joao Morais review.

The Good

The MC gets to operate almost completely on her own in this particular spy plot. It’s pretty cool.

Several characters from To Love & Protect are weaved into the story.

I like Tom. He’s not as subtly written as I wanted, and his simplistic views made me sigh at times, but he’s fun to challenge. And the route usually lets the MC do that.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two leads when the MC isn’t being inconsistent. They’re equals intellectually and professionally, and it shows.

The rookie ending made me laugh SO HARD after playing Emmett’s route:

Emily Meets TrainSeriously?  That’s all it took?  HA!

The Bad

  • The MC says she won’t sleep with Tom.
  • The MC and Tom are fighting. She gives no indication that she is attracted to him.
  • The MC jumps him in Chapter 3 without any option for me to stop her.
  • Me, yelling at the screen: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, GAME? He just KILLED somebody for the first time, and I don’t even like him yet! STOP IT!”

It doesn’t go with the story, it’s particularly jarring after Joao’s and Emmett’s routes, and I wanted a CHOICE not to jump Tom. I wanted to see a bad-ass, professional spy, not somebody who would take advantage of their charge. Blargh.

The Ugly

Tom Voltage PoliticsIf only the writer had done the same…

Nobody who comments upon the subjects has views on politics, government, bureaucracies, cabals, PMCs, America’s two party system, media, social issues, or businesses has nuanced or consistent opinions. Not the MC, not Tom, not the President…

It made my brain hurt every time it’s brought up. Swapping “democrat” and “republican” in the conversations wouldn’t help the story either (third parties aren’t mentioned at all). I’m baffled as to where the grayness of the setting and room for different opinions present in Joao’s route went.

And then having Tom and the MC go on like they’ve got it ALL FIGURED OUT with no options for the reader to express their opinion.

And then they’re not even consistent.

It’s rough, guys.

Oh, wait. I nearly forgot Emily. She’s consistent – completely bitter, but consistent. I cheered her speech near the end when she starts calling everyone on their crap:

Emily speech 1

Emily speech 2At this point in the story I was actually okay with the worst ending in which Emily wins.  Yeesh.

Bottom Line: If you can ignore the lack of nuance in the political/world view sections, this is a fun read. Try Act 1 next time it’s on sale and go from there.

Voltage Entertainment USA’s Queen’s Gambit is available on iOS and Android.

Finally, in Love Again Kazuki Epilogue, Sequel, and Sequel Epilogue Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Remember how I wrote Kazuki isn’t my favorite character, but untangling the relationship and the writing kept pulling me back to the story in the main route? I’ve played it again at least twice without taking notes for a review (quite a rarity).

Well, Kazuki’s sequels don’t have any of that untangling or tensions. The translation and pacing are still nicely done, but all three stories feel like they’re treading water. I’ve come to expect that in epilogues but was disappointed to find no real character development or relationship progress in the sequel…

…unless you count EVERYBODY EXCEPT THE NEWLY INTRODUCED FEMALE CHARACTER TRYING TO CHEER UP THE MC THE ENTIRE GAME AND HER ALWAYS COMPARING HERSELF TO OTHERS AND LOOKING TO OTHERS FOR MOTIVATION AND AFFIRMATION AS PROGRESS. Get it together, MC. I don’t dislike you, but you’re over 30, and you said it yourself:

IMG_0004

You didn’t feel like this in the main route.  You’ve regressed.  And it’s frustrating.

Bottom Line: I wasn’t annoyed that I spent the money, but the sequels do not live up to the high standards set by the main route.

Voltage’s Finally, in Love Again is available on iOS and Android.