Voltage Japan Sale PSA

Real life’s still eating all my reviewing time, but I did want to give y’all a heads-up.

This weekend Voltage Japan has discounted main routes, sequel routes, epilogues, and special stories for eighteen routes.

It’s a little overwhelming, quite frankly, but what surprised and pleased me the most is ALL the “Another Story” and “His POV” routes are only $0.99 in the US iOS store.  These routes rarely go on sale, and I’ve never seen them this inexpensive.

The In Your Arms Tonight Another Story routes are just as long as the main stories and some of them are really well done.  Many of the different His POV for different apps really add to the story too so I’d go ahead and give them a try as well.  Check out my review archive if you want more particulars.  🙂

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo Takeshi Living with Him Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The main character and Takeshi spend a month living together while keeping up with class and internship demands.

Positives

  • The MC, Takeshi, and the rest of the gang have the same personalities as previous routes. Ichigo in particular made me smirk.
  • Takeshi’s injury impacts his life appropriately. It’s referenced but does not become magically fixed and is not treated as an overwhelming obstacle.
  • Between how the parents are handled and how all the characters seem to have the exact same view on relationships and living together/marriage during the first few chapters, I was getting a little worried. Fortunately it really improves once you get past those chapters. I like Takeshi’s mother enough that I can almost forgive how the others are botched, and having some characters not dismiss the idea of marrying young as crazy-talk helps as well.
  • The MC and Takeshi’s relationship evolution feels exactly like a couple just starting off on their own:
    • feeling a little like y’all are playing pretend
    • hosting the first big party
    • realizing when your expectations are silly and pitching them
    • keeping up with individual responsibilities
    • adjusting a reasonable amount to accommodate the other person
    • missing each other like crazy during the first long trip apart

Negatives

  • The route repeatedly says the MC has never met Takeshi’s parents since moving back, but she had at least one lengthy in-game conversation with his father in the main story. O_o Did the writer not read Takeshi’s own routes before starting on his sequel?
  • While I’m complaining about how parents are handled: Why include that phone conversation between the MC and her mother about her dad sulking because the MC “might get married and go away soon”? WHAT IS THIS? They’ve lived in separate countries for years, barely communicate, and that’s just thrown in there like it’s relevant or a natural continuation. It does give her a chance to not tell them she’s living with Tak and paint it like she’s doing her dad a favor though. *headdesk* The whole thing is such a weird choice for this game.

Everything Else

  • Like Takeshi himself, this story is a quiet one. It feels like a natural continuation of his 3 Years Later route, but those looking for a lot of action or a dramatic narrative won’t find it here.

Bottom Line: Recommended.  This one made the replay list.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Takeshi 3 Years Later Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Both now in college, the MC and Takeshi deal with a career-ending injury.

Positives

  • Takeshi and the MC feel like real people with believable emotions and interactions.
  • This route’s MC is awesome. She helps Tak without coddling or bullying him and still keeps up with her own responsibilities.
  • I like the execution of the plot itself so much. Takeshi’s injury seriously affects his ability to run, is acknowledged as a big problem, and isn’t magically fixed by the end of the route. Don’t change this in the first chapter of the next sequel, Voltage. Stories need consequences.

Negatives

  • The first chapter has a long flash-back to scenes in which the characters reminisce about the events of the main route. Then it has scenes in the present filled with characters reminiscing even more. The tone is incredibly cutesy and without benefit of Ichigo or Rihito providing snarky commentary. Ugh.
  • Either the original writer or the translator has absolutely no idea how to treat an injured leg, asthma, or a pulled back. Apparently one can have major leg surgery and then leave the hospital a week later without a cast, brace, crutches, or wheelchair AND without anyone scheduling any kind of follow-up or physical therapy appointments. I’m not even going to start on the kid with asthma…

Everything Else

  • Takeshi’s parents still don’t appear much. After their absence in the previous routes, it’s not surprising. For a while there I honestly thought they had died. XD

Overall: Highly recommended.  This is my favorite of all the Dreamy Days routes.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo Rihito Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The seventeen-year-old main character moves back to the town and friends she left ten years ago.

Positives

  • The MC speaks her mind without becoming pushy.
  • Rihito’s feelings about his piano performance and wanting to succeed for his mother ring true. It’s a weird feeling to both love and feel smothered by something at the same time, and this route pulls this out nicely.
  • Rihito’s mother is a sympathetic character. While she is the source of most of the plot conflict, she never seems like a cartoon villain. The ending conversation between her and the MC is good too.
  • The e-mails for this route sound like a teenager wrote them and follow the plot without being a blow-by-blow plot regurgitation.
  • The other guys are funny in this route.

Negatives

  • A few of the word choices for the music sections are off. They aren’t exactly wrong, but they aren’t what a serious musician would use either.

Everything Else

  • No sixteen-year-old is as articulate and open about their family past and emotional baggage as Rihito is. The execution is good enough that it didn’t irritate me, but those long conversations with the MC are not realistic.
  • This story is low-key and quiet.  If you’re looking for lots of drama and grand gestures, keep searching.

Quotes

  • Ryuzo: “Sorry…I couldn’t do it right.”
  • Haruki: “You did a great job, Ryu!”
  • MC: “Yeah, your voice was booming!”
  • Ichigo: “Yeah, you just got the melody wrong.”
  • Ryuzo: “Are you and Rihito really–?”
  • MC: “I can guarantee you that nothing you’re thinking about now has happened.”
  • Ichigo: “I don’t know about that. He’s (Rihito) got a dirty mind.”
  • Ryuzo: “MC! I-I can’t–!”
  • MC: “Ichigo! Don’t do that to Ryu!”

Overall: Recommended.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Johji Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoilers

Basic Premise: The seventeen-year-old main character moves back to the town and friends she left ten years ago.

Ryuzo: “Er, I don’t know what’s really going on, but hang in there.”

Me: “Neither do I.  I’m so confused.”

This route is weird.  The writing’s weird.  The plot’s weird.  The relationships are weird.  I can’t even get irritated by all the contradictions and the trampling of the reader’s suspension of disbelief.  It’s past that level.

SPOILERS AHOY!

Seventeen-year-old girl is sent to live with thirty-something year old guy.  Okay, I can buy that – relative, close family friend, whatever.  What I can’t buy is that neither Johji nor her family told her about their previous connection and she doesn’t think to ask ’til she’s been living with him for quite a while.  She can even ask if he’s her dad and then doesn’t bother to get an answer.  What.

The MC immediately gets in the car with someone she’s never seen or met before.  A six-year-old has more self-preservation than this chick.

Johji flat-out tells the MC before the story’s half-way mark that he’s not interested in Character A and proceeds to display this lack of interest.  The MC spends the second half of the story worrying about Johji marrying Character A, her being in the way, yadda yadda.

The reader never gets to see the MC and Johji develop a friendship/relationship of equals in the present.  It feels like the MC like Johji because he was nice to her when she was six, and he likes her because…frankly, I don’t know.  I couldn’t believe either of them.

Even though the reader doesn’t see a current-day relationship develop, the MC spends ALL her time focused on Johji.  How can you have no relationship development yet still replace plot with relationship angst?

Mother who neglected to mention to her daughter and husband that she had been writing Johji for years and years sends MC back to live with him again after he declares his feelings.  O_o

Also, the complete absence of history trivia and bartending information that flavor Johji’s interactions in the other routes baffles me.  Why would you completely ignore his interests when trying to create a romantic lead?

Overall: Not recommended.  Of the Dreamy Days routes, I’d give Takeshi a try instead.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Ryuzo Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The seventeen-year-old main character moves back to the town and friends she left ten years ago.

Positives

  • Ryuzo and his family are peculiar and funny.  He’s dense, short-tempered, hard-working, and protective; his father acts more like a competitive brother, and his sisters are adorable.
  • The MC’s memories with the guys are told through flash-back sections, not long sections of dialog where character A recounts what she did with character B in excruciating detail.
  • Takeshi’s deadpan dialog always entertains.

Negatives

  • The MC makes some fairly stupid decisions.
  • The plot moves in fits and starts.  I’ve certainly read worse, but this one does not flow well.
  • It doesn’t feel like a believable romance or friendship to me.  At the end it felt like they were together because everyone told Ryu he should be with the MC, not because he liked her in particular.

Quotes

  • Ryu: “If you keep staring at me, I swear I’m going to bite you.  Starting with the head…”
  • Tak: “Did you want to give this (lunch) to Ryu?”
  • Ryu: “Well then, you should’ve given it to me and not Tak.”
  • Tak: “Do you want me to throw up what I just ate?”
  • MC: “No, we can do without that, thank you!”
  • Ryu: “Shut up. I’m giving you a compliment.”
  • Tak: “Don’t worry.  If he keeps on refusing your lunches, I will eat them every day.  So, just keep making them every day until Ryu does start accepting them.”
  • Johji: “Well, even if I tease Ryu, it’s not much fun on account of him being so dense.”
  • Ryu: “If you don’t like what I’m going to do…punch me.”
  • Me: What a romantic.

Overall: Mostly this route makes me want a route focused on Ryu’s family.  As a relationship story, it just doesn’t gel for me.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo: Takeshi Sequel Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The main character and Takeshi pursue their post-high-school goals while trying to make a relationship work.

Positives

  • The flash-sequences are still as goofy and funny.

  • Ichigo has taken over Rihito’s job of being unimpressed by cutesy moments.

  • The MC looks at her interests and gifts and chooses a college path separate from Takeshi.

  • I still like both the MC and Takeshi for the most part.  The relationship also still feels like two teenagers figuring thing out, not like an overly grandiose drama.

  • The secondary female characters are people, not caricatures.

  • Both the regular and best ending are good, but I prefer the regular one.  It has more funny quotes, including my favorite of the game:
    • Takeshi: “We haven’t done anything yet.”
    • All: “What do you mean, ‘yet’!?”

Negatives

  • The MC has a couple of “engage your brain” moments in service of the plot.

  • Absolutely everyone comments on Takeshi and the MC’s relationship.  Does no one in this town have anything better to do?

  • Oh good. Here’s *another* family member who won’t talk directly to Takeshi about how they feel.

  • The grandmother’s unresolved plot from the main route is not addressed. Maybe it will be picked up in the next release?

  • As in the main route, some of the word choice is off.

Overall: Recommended to those who enjoyed the original route; it feels like the same writer did both.

Voltage’s Dreamy Days in West Tokyo is available on iOS and Android.