|Posted by SheldonRandoms on December 19, 2015 at 5:45 PM|
eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to be catching up on some reading with the visual novel stories of the Petit Novel Series – Harvest December. Released in Japan many years ago (in Japanese of course), the stories come out of Japan with translated text thanks to the efforts of Circle Entertainment. In Japan on the 3DS eshop, each story was released a month to match the month the story takes place in for 13 months in total, in this version, you get all the stories in one package. Since I review games, this is going to feel a bit different, but I’ll give it a go. Will the stories keep me entertained until the very end, or will I put back this book on my bookshelf and forget about it? Let’s turn the page.
The plot of the visual novels follows a year in the life of Masaki Konno, who moved to the town of Tagami. He makes new friends while finishing up his final year in high school, but in this town, a god just so happens to be there, as in, walks and talks with the characters, something gods don’t tend to do that often. Although Masaki is the main focus of the story, sometimes his friends are more of the focus in a certain story. The story at one minute can be humorous and touching, and the next, can be violent and have some “naughty naughty” talk, since this is an M-rated (Pegi 12 for Europe) game, or should I say, visual novel. Since harvest December leads up to perfect December, I recommend starting from harvest December, since it’s the first story in the series, but if you wanted to, you can read the story in any order you want (but you’ll only be spoiling the plot for yourself), the story starts picking up the more you read, so trust me, it’ll be worth it, and there’s plenty to read, as each story has plenty of text in it to fill an entire book (not the biggest book, but one that’ll have a good amount of pages in it, also, the block size is an indicator to that).
Player interactions (meaning you, the reader, not the characters in the story) is very limited, as you don’t really do anything that can change the course of the story, most of the time, you’ll be turning virtual pages with the A button, or if you don’t want to do that, you can let the visual novel do that for you by pressing L or R for auto mode. You can increase the volume of the music and sound effects, change text speed, and even go back to reread what you just read (or might have skipped by accident). There is also an option to save and load from where you want to stop and take a break at, basically in a nutshell, a bookmark. On the touch screen, that’s where the text you’ll be reading and looking at most of the time, occasionally, a word will be in blue, and if you touch that word, it’ll show a pop up message defining that word, which is usually Japanese terms and words (can you tell me what “kubikirimaru” means without looking it up on Google? Thank goodness for those blue words defining it for me, because otherwise, I would have no idea).
Visuals in this visual novel are that of a Japanese anime style, which will appeal more to those that’re a fan of the style. While there are some pretty good drawings, most of the time, you’ll be looking at drawn, full body cut-outs of characters, changing their faces when they’re happy, shocked, angry, etc. While it’s the story that matters most, this can make things look the same and repetitive, which might be a turn off to some. There is also a lack of 3D in this game, but since this is a visual novel, it’s effects were not really needed in this.
Once you finish reading the entire year in the life of townsfolks in Tagami, coming back to reread the entire story again will be entirely up to you. The only real reason to come back is to reread the story, there’s no glossary that tells a short description of the characters you’ve met, a gallery of illustrations, or an index of the defined words that were blue, which would’ve been a nice bonus if you had to find the words to unlock them in the index because they would’ve been question marks otherwise. This would’ve been an incentive to keep your eyes peeled at reading the story, but it’s nothing that’ll make or break the story at all.
All and all, Petit Novel Series – Harvest December is another visual novel that’s suited for fans of the genre, as well as those that want something to read on their 3DS. While its extra content and interaction might be lacking, the stories themselves have their moments, and will make me want to reread them in the near future.
I give this visual novel 8 seasons of the year out of 10!
Cost on the eShop: $11.99
Memory used: 3,509 Blocks
Review code provided by: Circle Entertainment