Yotsunoha – Review

Yotsunoha is a visual novel developed by Hiqo Soft and localized and published by Sol Press. The English release is for PC only. It follows the main character and his group of old school friends in a nostalgic look back at their old school memories.

The story opens as the school they all attended, Mochizuki Academy is closing down. The group agreed to come together one last time before going their separate ways to bury some of their possessions in a time capsule. The plan was for them then to come together several years later to unearth it.

The time soon skips to the date where they are meant to unearth the time capsule. This did not go to plan due to the interference of one of their teachers who took the contents and decided to hide them, with clues for the group to help find them.

As the game continues, you start to reunite with your old friends and see that while some things change, others remain the same. This is shown through the extensive use of flashbacks to better times when they were all close friends. Quite a lot of the focus is on the relationships between the characters and the story is mostly about this.

I didn’t find the story or characters too interesting. There were some serious events, but they never seemed to affect much. There was some humor, but it fell flat. The characters did not seem to have much depth to them either, with the main character being particularly two-dimensional as a somewhat perverted person without much else in the way of personality and the others feeling fairly generic. Quite a few of the interactions with the various heroines felt fairly repetitive too, with the characters reacting in a very limited amount of ways to near enough the same thing, over and over.

The gameplay is fairly standard for a visual novel, with a bit more interaction. There are segments where you can control your character and move around the school. This happens on a map with a moving character, rather than just a menu. Quite often a lot of the options do not have any purpose and essentially say ‘this room is not the correct place’ if you choose anywhere except the correct option, so it is not as free in choice as it might sound.

One thing which stood out right away to me was that the game seemed quite dated. The game did originally release in 2004, but it felt older than even that. There is no widescreen support, with a small window or a stretched full screen being the only option to play.

Graphically the game has a very old style. In many parts, it feels more like a mid-90’s visual novel, rather than one from a decade later. A few parts are exceptions such as animated (but not lip-synced) faces and some overlays and CGs.

The audio side is fine, but nothing amazing. The voice acting is decent. The background music selection is fairly limited, but it works well.

Pros:

  • Animated characters.
  • Some nice CGs.

Cons:

  • The story is not amazing.
  • Fairly generic characters.
  • It looks even more dated than it is.

Eden gives Yotsunoha a score of 3.0 out of 10.0 (70) Moe Blobs.

In summary, this is a rather poor visual novel. It is a pity as I went into it expecting to enjoy it from the description, but I don’t feel they told the story well or had interesting enough characters to pull it off based on character interaction alone. If you would still like to purchase this, it can be found in Sol Press’s shop.

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