Galge Review – Timepiece Ensemble

timepiece24GLace! I believe I’ve never played a game from them before, but Wakase Riyou – the writer – worked on Akikon, and I love that game! So It’s looking promising, and since I am writing this as I make my playthrough, I am hoping my future self at the end of this review gets to enjoy this title!

Prequel

summer_tituloAs it turns out, prior to this title, the writter worked for ALcot Honey Comb to make 1/2 Summer. For some reason, he decided to make this game for GLace as a spiritual sequel. Since I didn’t play the previous game, I will not be able to get references to the plot from the first title. However, I am more interested in how this sequel can even happen. Are ALcot and GLace partners? Did the writer buy the rights for the story? I don’t know and would appreciate more info about this subject.

Story

Nanami wants to desperately fornicate with her childhood friend Taki and she is pretty blatant about it. For this end, she goes out of her way to revive a suspicious club known as “Dice dots club” just so she could have a room to have some particular time with her precious one. Unfortunately, she choose the wrong person to love for all eternity, as Taki is a female magnet. Many cute girls keep showing one after another for different reasons, but every single one of them ends up joining the club thanks to Taki’s… charisma… probably!timepiece22For this reason, the inverse of any other Club-based story happens: They don’t have to look urgently for new members. Instead, unwanted new members continue signing up and, for this reason, Nanami keeps a grudge with all the other heroines, since they ruined her oasis. Nonetheless, they all become good friends, even though they are all aiming at the same guy. However, their sudden increase in members results on their small research group to becoming a full-fledge club. This ultimately leads them to be forced to participate in the school cultural festival. With no idea of what to do and with little to no experience, they have a hard time preparing for it. As they get to the final day before the festival, Taki finds a mysterious store owned by a child wearing a hospital eyepatch who sells “time”. She gives 24 hours as a special free service to Taki, which provides the extra day they need to prepare for the festival. Everything goes smoothly, until Taki gets involved with one of the girls from his club, forcing him to look once more for that strange shop.

Characters

timepiece21Surprisingly enough, Torigoe Taki is not so predictable and boring like most Eroge protagonists. He is usually treated with respect by the heroines and they even rely on him because of how mature and responsible he is, it’s a shame that he is not much of a help. Even if he is good at something, there will always be someone among the heroines that is able to do much better than him. Therefore, his role in the group is more to give peace of mind and moral support than anything else.

timepiece08timepiece25Kuramae Nanami is crazily in love with Taki since their childhood, but the death of her twin sister makes things get a bit awkward between them, so even though Taki notices her feelings, he avoids developing a more intimate relationship with her. But it’s ok, because her sister Konami gets better! Yeah! Nanami can be possessed by her, which is indicated by one of her eyes changing colors.

timepiece10timepiece19Tsukiyono Tiara is a good girl who lives alone in a shrine and joins the club to find a quiet place to read. Even though she can look a bit emotionless at first, she is just a slow speaker and a bit shy. The real problem with her is that her route is too predictable! Since very early she says she “has little time left” and that she want to be Taki’s lover for “a limited time period only”. Combining those hints with the supernatural stuffs happening around her, it’s obvious that she is not human and will eventually disappear, letting Taki desperate to find a solution. However, this is far from the worst thing about her route, as about half of her events gets reprised in a flashback and there’s a HUGE part without her…

timepiece28timepiece18Yanagibashi Saori is a very rich and beautiful girl who possess too many talents, this results in her being requested to take on many different tasks, both inside and outside the school, one of such being the seat of student council president.  On another side, this made her too full of herself and she became a work-a-holic, which means she started looking for problems to be involved into. However, even she was unable to deal with every single of her responsibilities, that’s what made her join Taki’s club, since they were not involved in any specific activity, she could use her time in the club as an excuse to hide from others and concentrate in a job at a time. It’s the way Taki treats her equally that makes her attracted for him, and during her route, she reveals to have an obsession to always be on top of everything, even to the point where she involves her future with Taki, since she insists to want him to be a househusband and would not let him work, and if there was a slightest chance for him to get a job, she would only agree if it was as her assistant.timepiece12timepiece15Yushima Towako is the most popular girl at school, it’s a shame she is targeted only by girls. She is not lesbian, so she is always running from her admires, and much like Saori, she joined the club to use the room as a hideout. She wants to make a boyfriend, so her followers could give up on her, but since she was raised in a male-free environment, she gets very nervous around men, but for some reason that never gets explained, Taki is the only male who she can interact with, so he agrees to help her with a “special training”.timepiece17Torigoe Sasa is Taki’s little sister. Different from most imoutos, she has a very calm and mature personality, which makes her sound like she is always bored (she can also sound very similar to Tiara sometimes). She is supposed to have an absurdly high IQ, the problem is, the writer himself (Wakase Riyou) is not as intelligent as he wished Sasa to be, so he uses the easiest method: When next to her, Taki becomes very dumb and worthless, so she looks smart by comparison. This is a very cheap writing technique used more often than it should, since the result is…quite depressing…timepiece05

Routes & Themes

timepiece14Like most Galges, the writer has this weird necessity to make the protagonist as average as possible, while the heroines, on the other hand, get a very special treatment, as they are made to be special beings gifted by the gods receiving countless special abilities without any need for training or effort. Well, at least Taki is not totally worthless like..let’s say, that pathetic creature from Moteyaba. He is, however, just an observer, since he is not able to do much to help the girls because he lacks divine gifts, so he just stays watching and cheering for them while they realize their dreams. In other words, there is not much of a character development for the protagonist.timepiece26timepiece11

It’s important to understand this is not a “time-loop” story. They don’t lose their memories and their actions don’t get reseted. They just get extra time to do stuff. With that said, while it’s a more fresh concept, this makes every playthrough very repetitive, since there are many scenes that get repeated, even when you already entered a specific route. At least, you can always skip those, even so, it’s still a bit annoying. This game needed a “scene skip” feature!timepiece02Thanks to this “buying extra days” theme, 90% of the game events take place during the school festival. That’s right! For those who love this kind of event, this is the Galge for you! For me, it gets repetitive really fast with the same clothes, locations and situations.timepiece03There are just too many H-scenes! Those girls are nymphomaniacs or what? This is NOT a Nukige (or so I believe) but the number of H-scenes can compete against one any day! The characters also suffer from “Lovely Quest” syndrome, meaning that they act all embarrassed by trivial things like touching hands, but they can become very proactive and copulate like wild animals all of a sudden. This doesn’t irritates me as much as amuses me! It’s so silly!timepiece13The writer also doesn’t understand a special condition called “Short Sleeper”, where he thinks only genius have this trait, so this gets constantly related as part of Sasa’s and Saori’s intelligence. This is a very popular Myth, since many celebrities had this. I know by a fact that this is bullshit, since I’ve always slept only 4 to 6 hours per day and I am very far from being a genius. This is more of a curse!

Graphics

timepiece27The drawings are all made by Sesena Yau alone. He is not the character designer though, but the girls he draws are very cute nevertheless. Even though they suffer from “same-person-with-different-wig” problem…

Sounds

timepiece06timepiece07This games has Kaibara Elena as Saori’s voice, which is a great plus for me as she is one of my favorite Galge seiyuus. She is a bit underrated, but she can do many type of voices, which fits her in many different roles. She can sound mediocre in some of her works, but on games with a bigger budget, she usually does great! Probably because, on those occasions, she gets a decent director to guide her. It’s this or the better payment serves as an incentive for her…timepiece01The BGM for this game is actually good! There are some really nice tracks! Like “Sunny Spot Running” or “Night Swallowtail”, and I know them by name thanks to a Jukebox window, which is a nice touch!

Conclusion

timepiece16In the end, I regret ever playing this game. The more I played only made matters worse. Weak protagonist, self-inserted heroines, predictable developments, abandoned plot points, unnecessary explanations, repetitive events, and much more. The downfall was when the writer finally got bored and, all of a sudden, made Sasa  pull a wand out of her ass and go all “Majikaru-Majikaru” and stuff, which made me feel REALLY STUPID for paying attention to all that scientific crap she had blabbered, because she instantly becomes able to do any kind of magic with no need for practice, tests, energy or explanation. This completely defeats the purpose of making her super intelligent to begin with!timepiece23 I cannot personally recommend this Galge to anyone, but I have my own way to see things, there are a lot of cute girls and icha-rabu events, so I am certain that many people will love it.

Advertisements

14 responses to “Galge Review – Timepiece Ensemble

  1. “Lovely Quest” Syndrome? I shall be using that term for a lot of the chara-ge that I come across from now on.

    Regardless, I thank you for a wonderful review that literally saved me 10-20 hours from playing it. I’ll be starting school soon, and it wouldn’t be pleasant to waste several hours on an average (or below average in our standards) game.

    The game looks horrifyingly similar to your stereotypical chara-ge, only with the “time-loop” element involved. I also sincerely appreciate that you mentioned repetitive scenes and atmosphere (how everything’s taking place during the festival), since that’s another turn-off for me.

    My behind is really being saved by all these reviews! While I do feel a bit guilty of letting you waste your own time, we’re both here to save others from wasting theirs, right? XD

  2. Great review, I haven’t read everything since I’m still on my third route. Anyway, 1/2 Summer isn’t really a sequel but they do share a certain character though. You don’t need to play 1/2 Summer to enjoy and understand Timepiece Ensemble. The only thing you need to know is that “Kuroha” is a walking plotdevice and “Deus Ex Machina” just like 1/2 Summer and it’s not important why she can do all that.

    • Kuroha is so powerful that it feel wrong even when she is helping the protagonist, because how she makes every difficult situation seems like a joke. She normally do things like: “you can’t hit me because I just made myself untouchable” or “so you have attained ultimate power? Not anymore!” . This look like a child playing super-heroes -_-‘.
      But wait! I’ve read that she was freed only in the true ending of 1/2 Summer. I can just imagine what type of monster was capable of imprisoning her in the first place…Nah! It’s probably something silly!

  3. At least the true route in Timepiece Ensemble trumps all other routes in 1/2 Summer. What Galge are you going to play next?

    • I am playing Magical Marriage Lunatics right now while I wait for this month new releases! It’s an ok game. The opening reminds me of my marriage with princess Sissy.

      Man, that was some wacky ceremony!
      Nevertheless, I don’t intent to review this title since you’ve already done a pretty decent one for it.
      My list for the next releases include:
      KimiKishi: http://vndb.org/v13342
      Sekachu: http://vndb.org/v13224
      I played their trials and both seem pretty good, but my favorite until now is Kimikishi, which everyone is considering a dark horse because how similar it is to Koikishi, but in my opinion, this piriri’s title is WAY better!
      What is in your wish list for next month?

      • Magical Marriage Lunatics!! was a decent moege. It suffered from lengthy issues though. I remember skipping all those boring scenes but yeah, it was still okay.

        January release? Looks like a great start of the year for all the fans who’re looking for charage/nukige/some scenario. Bradyon Veda caught my attention so I’ll probably do it last in fear that the other eroges of the month will not satisfy me. Oh, I’ll try out KimiKishi and the new Lump of Sugar game. There’s also that new Minori game but meh, I’ll reconsider playing it. Melty Moment might be worth checking out but before I start playing everything above, I’ll have to wait for positive comments regarding the games. I do that most of the time since I don’t want to step on landmine.

  4. so your not the only one eh…

  5. Pingback: Well well… I just decided I have too much time so here we go DO NOT READ UNLESS READY « Algester's Mind Dump

  6. lol you said about Tiara disrespecting the gods BUT SHE IS ONE THEN SHES DISRESPECTING HERSELF? think not still… she’s cute :X but I dont think cuteness is justice is effect in here

    • Great! Someone noticed those extra texts on the images! This is so rare!
      Yes! Tiara is cool! Not a name I would expect from a Japanese spirit-thing, but…Anyway, I don’t even know why she would use that to tie her hair, it doesn’t look like it would be a good ribbon, and she isn’t setting any good example by using that, either.

  7. I wished they’d atleast do something for the last CG on Nanami’s route…
    The one where they’re distributing the flyers.
    You know how Nanami’s eye changed color when she’s taken over?
    I wish they made her fully purple eyed in that last CG or something to give somewhat of an effect.

    • I feel like it has been so long since I played this. I don’t remember a bunch of stuff but, did Nanami had heterochromia since before Konami’s death? And isn’t Konami the one who was supposed to be naturally purple eyed, while Nanami had red eyes? Either way, this game is half-assed in a lot of aspects. It had potential, but I know why it was chosen by the Japanese community as one of the worst Galges of 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s