How to Sing to Open Your Heart – PC Review

Genre: Visual Novel, Indie
Developer: roseVeRte
Publisher: roseVeRte
Release Date: Jan 17, 2019
Edited by Eden

 

How to Sing to Open Your Heart is an indie otome visual novel developed and self-published by roseVeRte. It is the third game in the Eroolia series. It follows Myana, the princess of Laarz, as she goes on a diplomatic visit to Eroolia in order to check up on a pact that was made between the two kingdoms in the previous game.

As soon as she arrives, she is disrespected by Ludovic, the Captain of the Guard of Eroolia’s King. From there on, the two of them keep getting in each other’s way as a mystery unfolds regarding the deal made between the two countries. I will not go into any more details as far as the plot is concerned as I don’t want to spoil anything. Though the mystery is not extremely innovative, the story is still interesting enough to make one want to get through it, to find out what is going on.

While the overall story and mystery are not the strong side of the game’s writing, the dialogue and characters are. The two main characters, Myana and Ludovic are well written and have very nice chemistry. Their interactions can vary between very serious and intense to very funny and lighthearted and they all work well. I loved how tsundere Ludovic seemed to be, while also being quite aloof at times. Since it’s an otome game, the primary focus should be on romancing a guy and that bit is done excellently.

The structure of the story works in such a way that there is only one person who can be romanced and that is Ludovic. There are some choices to be made by Myana in the first couple chapters which determine which of the two main routes the story will go. The routes are ‘Independent’ and ‘Teamwork’. The two routes have the same basic story in regards to the conclusion and main points but they differ in the approach with the one having Myana be more independent when dealing with the story and the other having her work with her friends and allies to figure it all out.

As previously stated, the ending itself is the exact same, no matter which route you choose. In that regard, I don’t quite see the existence of two separate routes as entirely justified since VNs usually justify different routes with them having different endings. That said, this seems to be the way all of the games in this series have dealt with the routes structure. I personally don’t mind it, but it could bother some people to have to go through what is essentially the same story, twice.

Speaking of the previous games, while they do happen in the same universe and are connected story-wise, it is not really necessary to play through them to play this game. The previous games do explain some things about the setting and the characters and their relations to some other characters, which is nice and useful in order to avoid the confusion at times, the story can still be enjoyed even without that previous info. It does slightly hinder the experience but it’s nothing major.

The visual aesthetic is nice if a bit generic. It is clear and shows what is going on well, without going too far in stylization. But it just doesn’t really do more than be nice enough to convey what is going on. That cannot really be helped as the game is indie and it would be unfair to look at the art style with the same level of scrutiny as some titles with a lot more money put into them. I do really like the designs of some characters, though.

The music is similar to the visual art in that it is serviceable and enjoyable but not too inspired most of the time. All the songs fit the theme and mood they are supposed to and due to the relatively short length of the game, none of them ever get annoying or tiring, but they just sound generic. That said, for the same reason as with the visuals, it can’t really be expected of this game to have an excellent soundtrack and it being enjoyable is more than enough. One exception to what I just said was the main, theme song, which was a full and custom anime sounding j-pop song. It is nice and is used nicely throughout the entire story, not outstaying its welcome. As it’s a proper j-pop song, it can also be listened to outside of the game and is available to be purchased on Steam alongside the game. I personally wouldn’t really recommend it unless it’s heavily discounted because it’s a single song for the price of about $3, but if you enjoy it well enough from hearing it in-game then by all means you should, as it’s nice enough.

One thing that is very well done when it comes to the presentation is the voice acting. All of the voice actors perform their roles well, convey the emotion portraited and are nice to listen to. One slight complaint I do have is the casting of the VA for Myana. I don’t hate the actress and she definitely does her job well, but her voice just sounds a bit too mature for the apparent age Myana is supposed to be. It’s not a big deal by any means and I did get used to her the further I got through the game, but I felt it would be good to mention that as well.

Pros

The characters are great
Ludovic is adorable
Romance and chemistry are amazing
Voice acting is good

Mileage May Vary

Soundtrack and Visuals
It’s pretty short

Cons

Price could be a bit lower
Not my favorite choice for Myana VA

Faris gives How to Sing to Open Your Heart a score of 7.9/10(79) Moe Blobs.

All in all, this is a short otome game that took me 9 hours to 100%. It has a cool romance but there is only one guy and it’s a bit lacking when it comes to the serious themes from the story itself. If you’re looking for a nice otome game that has an indie charm and great chemistry between the two characters and you don’t mind the short length, then I would recommend getting it on Steam. It costs $14.99 and if it seems like something you would really enjoy, then the full price isn’t bad, though waiting for a sale due to the length would be justified.

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