Genre: Adventure, Casual, Simulation
Release Date: Nov 1, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger
Little Busters! is a VN that was originally released in Japan in 2007 and only now, a decade later, got an official translation into English. Despite the wait being very long, the edition we got has all of the improvements made to Little Busters! through different editions over the years, which makes it all worth waiting for.
As with most other Key visual novels, this one also has pretty light-hearted and fun common routes but gets more dramatic and emotional with the different routes that come afterwards. Speaking of routes, this edition comes with the additional routes first released in the Ecstasy Edition of the game although, following the example of all the other editions released after Ecstasy, it does not contain any of the erotic scenes from Ecstasy Edition nor is there an 18+ patch. Still, considering that the main theme of this visual novel isn’t romance but friendship, that should not bother anyone.
Fitting of a game made by Key that was also responsible for Clannad, Air, Rewrite and others, all of the characters are great, well developed and experience growth throughout the game. Obviously, some more than others, but still, no characters are left behind. While the story is okay, since it takes a backseat to the characters, it is more than adequate enough to accommodate the level of quality needed.
The common route is, in itself, quite long, going up to 20 hours and more, depending on the speed you read it at, and there are six heroines with a route for each of them and three more heroine routes from Ecstasy being unlockable. Finishing the whole game can take more than 50 hours. Writing is quite good and aside from some typos here and there, there is nothing that stands out as being overly bad. The typos, while distracting, are not common enough to be an actual problem in a visual novel as long as this one is.
The game features a couple of mini-games of varying degrees of quality. They are mainly the Batting Practice for Baseball and Dungeon Crawling mixed with an FPS combat. There is also combat, which is a mini-game in the most basic of ways since it’s largely dependent on RNG and automated with no direct input from the player. In fact, the only input the player can provide for the Batting mini-game is tactically deciding when to engage in battle and when not to. The other games are more engaging and provide a bit of respite from all of the reading from time to time. They are all optional, though, and can be turned on or off.
Batting Practice consists of moving the character in a certain space and clicking or pressing ENTER at the right time to bat the ball at other members of Little Busters! and trying to make back-and-forth long combos. The Dungeon Crawling is pretty basic but still fun. Just like in any other Dungeon Crawler, you move your character on a grid through a dungeon. If you engage in combat, it goes into a shooting mini-game, which is weird but easy to understand.
As with all Key games, the visuals aren’t all that amazing, but the English Edition visuals are HD when compared to the original game. On the other hand, sound is pretty amazing. Not only are all the characters (except for the protagonist) voiced, the opening theme and all the different route’s ending themes were nicely done and most of the in-game music fits the current mood. Not to say that there weren’t some that could have been better, but overall, it’s a pretty nice soundtrack.
It is a visual novel that I can, wholeheartedly, recommend to any Key fans as well as any VN fans that want a very long story that focuses on friendship and doesn’t feature any erotic scenes and any fans of emotional stories and drama.
- Characters that are extremely well done
- Good enough story to handle the great characters
- Writing that is generally quite good
- Excellent musical score
Mileage May Vary:
- No sex
- Some typos scattered throughout the game
- Visuals normal for a Key game
Faris gives Little Busters! English Edition a score of 9.1 out of 10 (91) Moé Blobs.
Little Busters! English Edition is available on Steam for $34.99 (USD).