Galge Review – Hoshi no Ne Sanctuary

hoshino12Now doing the review for one of the most expected Galges for this month. But why all this hype? I don’t know for sure, but this game sure is darn cute! This generally is enough for most H-games. But is this title something more?

hoshino09This is a story about a possible future in Japan where technology evolved to a point where high schoolers train in school using heavy weaponry called “Armored Dress” (and here it comes again: Japanese people choosing random english words that might sound cool). They try really hard everyday so, in the future, they may enter in a special force called Slepnir. Yes! This is, once again, a “magic school” type of plot.

Even though it’s unmistakably a “magical school” game, but the “magical” element is actually much more scientific (depending on how much you’re open minded to the concept of special weapons that give super powers). The main character is Katsuragi Masato, he is one of many who is striving to become a member of Slepnir, just being a bit more passionate about it than the rest. He is a decent guy, even though he is unable to use his own “AD”, since he is considerably smart, he becomes a dependable member for the team when it comes to strategy. When personality is concerned, however, he is not so remarkable. He actually behaves like most Eroge stereotype protagonists: The gentle and naïve guy.hoshino10The remaining cast is integrated by a set of 4 main heroines, a secret “bachelorette” and 2 support characters. Other people appearing during the story are either depicted as extras without names and graphics or generic shadows (for the case of criminals). At least they are all voiced, except for the protagonist (of course!).hoshino01Shinriyouji Hisui is the “cover heroine”. Masato’s childhood friend who made an import promise with him while they watched the stars. Being pretty honest here, she is a silly character, her gimmick is that she is a “cold queen” who never cares for anybody, thus, she insists she is not Masato’s childhood friend, even if it’s pretty obvious. It gets boring really fast.hoshino05Serina Margrid Octavias is your typical “ojou-sama” type. She self-declares herself as Masato’s rival and seems to be the only one capable to feel his latent power. Her family works with AD development, so her route has a bit about how this technology influences the society.hoshino08Katsuragi Ria is the regular imouto. Of course she is obviously in love with her onii-chan since her birth, for no good reason, while he is totally indifferent about her (wouldn’t be interesting to see the opposite for a change?). At least I have to admit that Masato did some awesome stuff for her in the past (not related with H-scenes, of course! This comes later).

Until now the heroines have being pretty normal. Nothing much special, actually. And them, there was Komatsubara Yomihoshino07Being a kouhai with a “poisoned tongue”, which means she is the kind who likes to irrationally insult everyone around her. However, what happens here is a deconstruction. What would happen with a person such as her in the real life? Obviously, she would be hated and avoided by everyone. Yomi suffers with her loneliness. In fact, she is conscious about it and even herself thinks she is a bitch, but she just can’t control it. The only person kind enough to even talk with her is the protagonist, and she still treats him like shit, just to feel extremely bad for what she did seconds later. This was a really original proposal for a Galge heroine (at least until “this game” comes out next month).hoshino06The problem is how different she is depicted after you enter her specific route, where she suddenly changes to not being conscious of her insults. She even thinks her harsh words are normal and that it’s weird for people to get angry at her, thus turning her considerably more annoying than in the prologue. The reason for this inconsistence probably lies with the game having two writers (Yoshikawa Yoshika and Kitagawa Hare), being possible that the one who wrote Yomi’s route had a different idea for the character.hoshino11Every route in the game is pretty short, which means the prologue (and the demo) consist of about 70% of the game scenario. There is a fair bit of “action scenes” in the game, but most of it is not so important or complex (there isn’t even CGs for action scenes), being Hisui the only one with a more action-oriented route (like it tends to be, since she is the main heroine).

Marmalade is a pretty known company in the Galge world. Their games are not known for having good stories, but for being able to please most different tastes with their cute girls while giving an acceptable plot (at least most of times, I believe). This is not different for this title. Having an absurdly cute art style for its characters (courtesy of Naruse Hirofumi), but being a rather weird design at a close look. The point is that all girls look to be elementary students that had their heads torn off from their bodies and reattached on a teenager body. It gives a really strange impression but, it’s okey! They are over 18, according to the message at the start of the game…hoshino13The story is “Chuunibyou” to the MAX! (Which means there are tons of names and terms that use engrish just to try to sound “cool”). The main problem is that the heroines are too stereotypical! What leads to sickly cute girls trying to sound all serious and badass when holding gigantic weapons and shouting names like “Gray Phantom”, “Chronos”, “Tempest” and such. It just doesn’t match well in my opinion.hoshino02Overall, this was an “Ok” game for me, it was the weakest Galge I’ve reviewed, but certainly not the weakest I’ve played this year (or this month).hoshino04

5 responses to “Galge Review – Hoshi no Ne Sanctuary

  1. In a world where people have special superpowers manifested as special weapons, our protagonist, who has powers but inexplicably cannot use them, goes to a special school for students training their powers, along with a childhood friend, an ice queen (literally has ice-elemental powers), a blonde-haired rival ojou-sama, and one more girl (aww, no imouto). Koiken Otome.

  2. I’ve only read it up through the prologue. My Japanese is not nearly good enough yet to read VNs raw efficiently. I think the current translation project is at around 40% recently. As you said, the scenarios seem to be getting more and more repetitive. The whole magic(actually SCIENCE!!!)-users school thing reminds me of To Aru Majutsu no Index, with the clincher being the seemingly useless protagonist who actually has some hidden gamebreaking power. The protagonist in Koiken Otome even looks like Kamijou Touma! (at least the hair.) Like most of these kind of galge, it’s probably only worth your time if a particular heroine tickles your fancy. Koiken Otome does seem to have a larger cast of decent supporting characters than average. There’s one girl that’s pretty much a clone of Futaba Anzu, the NEET loli from Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls. Unfortunately she does not have a route.

    • Yeah! Now I remember that the sub-chara seemed more interesting…danm it! I hate when this happens! By the way: There is a lot of Galges copying To Aru Majutsu no Index recently. Yuzu Soft’s last title had a girl who talked exactly like a Misaka clone. I was not expecting that…

  3. Pingback: Galge Review – Natsu no Osananajimi to, Fuyu no Kanojo | Otaku Overdrive

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