The recently anime adapted photogenic visual novel psp game from last year, comes back to the Vita with powered up graphics, extra characters to take pictures of, new awesome clothes, and an extra in-game week where you can be all love~ love~ with your new girlfriend, I’m here to talk you a bit about this really good game. Photo Kano comes from the creators of kimikiss, Amagami, and the true love stories games, i’ve personally only played kimikiss’s and Amagami’s, and if anyone else have played any those, then they might probably know what i mean when i say this isn’t exactly like most visual novels, it goes into the grounds of dating simulators, but is more an hybrid of that kind, will get into more details about that later. I won’t get into too many specific things or this will become too long, before going on, first i wanted everyone to know, after knowing it’s predecessors, that Photo Kano is a pure love story in all it’s essence, it’s really entertaining and, really, really, pace of life, this is a game that you can’t attack when you feel impatient, like their other games, you get to choose how to advance in the story with like 500 or more different mini events around, each route you do can have different events from before, it makes the game really good.
The power of wind
Basically, the game’s structure is like this: Number of heroines: 9, where 3 are secret heroines you get after finishing a number in particular of the stories of the original 6 girls.
In the main story, there are the 2 clubs, and you have to decide in the beginning in which belong to, the shashinbu (写真部) and the footobu (フォート部), shashin means “photo”, and the 2nd club of course is intended to be “photo club” too, but i can’t go calling them photo club and photo club can I? So, like the game itself, i will give a letter corresponding to each club’s story, the letter -L- is for the footobu, probably -L- of Love, where the members are just girls, and they made that club in order to make a real club that takes pictures of the student life, i say “real” because there was the -other- club, the shashinbu is represented by the letter -H-, rumors say its the -H- of Hentai and i imagine most of the people reading this here know what that means, but it is “meant” to be H of Happy, this last club has 3 guys and 1 girl, i won’t get into details about them here, but they pretty much believe that the true art is the “almost ero!” pictures, and i don’t blame them.
Holy… if only in my school days i could go to a cafeteria like this… or get food like this…
Anyway, i said all this in order to explain better the L route and the H route, the secret 3 girls just have one route, the main story events are always the same no matter which club you choose, but the main 6 girls, have a different main story that depends in what club you start the game, yep, so this makes 6 x 2 = 12 different main stories + 3 (secret girls), that well, at the end they end up pretty much almost the same, but the events that happens are different and makes it really interesting to see how things unfold differently and you end once again with that girl, for example, in L route, you go with Haruka, one of the main heroines, to the beach, but in the H route, you go to the aquarium with her.
Also, when you choose a part of the school in order to meet a girl, to do the conversation event, and if you do well, a photo session, depending of what topics you choose to talk about, the girl has 3 different parameters that raise, one is represented by a musical note, other by a rhombus and other by a heart. Depending on what parameters you raise, different events happen around school, this is where all the mini events happen, and there are MANY, if you raise heart parameters, you get events that involve you and the heroine, if you raise the rhombus parameter, you get events of seeing the girl doing things she likes to do (and get photo chance), for example a girl playing softball, or tennis, etc, and the musical note is to see her interacting with other people, you mostly see their circle of friends, and see them talking to other girls, they are all pretty entertaining.
V of! of!… what was it again
Besides those routes, the Vita ver. has a new week that psp ver. didnt have where you enjoy a week as boyfriend/girlfriend, you can also choose between clubs in that week, but the main story of the girl you choose is the same no matter which club you choose, all that changes is some missions you get from them, like get X picture with Y clothes with (if H club) erotic category or (if L club) beautiful category, and this brings me to the next point.
Every time you take a picture, it gets rated by points from 0 to 1000, and it can get a beautiful or erotic rating (or duck… i’ll explain in a bit), beautiful are normal pics where you dont go LOW ANGLE!! PANTSU SHOT! all over the girls, and erotic… well i guess i explained myself with that example.
These points have a purpose, you can show the pictures to the girls, the higher the points the more hearts you will get for them, and i recommend giving beautiful rated pics, if it’s erotic, they just get embarrassed, leave running, and you lose love points… It’s… it’s something i want to forget… But! this isn’t the only purpose, as you raise more beautiful or erotic points, you can get new bonus things to make your game easier, for example, you can get a memory card to take more pics in the photo sessions, beautiful’s category gives you stuff like, girls accept the pose you ask for more easily (they can say they are embarrassed and wont do it), resist more embarrassing topics in the conversation without running from you, as for erotic, you can get things like… you can go higher in high angle, and you can go lower in low angle *blushes*… ehem, and then there is the duck! category, in every map you can do photo sessions, there will be ducks around hiding, like, those ducks you get in the bath tub with you, and you can completely ignore the girl doing poses for you and go take pictures of ducks, this gives you duck points and you can also get bonus things with them, in my opinion, ducks bonus’s are the best ones, it unlocks the beach map for free photo session, you get a personality that you choose in the beginning of the game that gives all talk topics in max level, and last! the oh so “dangerous swimsuits” get unlocked, and they are… wow.
… Can i pet you?
After you finish a girl’s route once (remember for main girls there are 2) you get to choose her in free photo session, and here, you can choose whichever map you want, you can make her use any clothes you want, and use any kind of hair, accessories, etc., once you beat her 2 routes, you get ALL her clothes, you only get some if you beat it once.
Don’t look at me like that
The Vita game also brings 2 new camera modes, there is the old and trusty from the psp, the finder mode, where you move the camera with the buttons/joysticks like in the psp ver., there is now the touch mode, where you move the camera with the fingers using the Vita’s touch screen, but i rarely use it, why? Because there is the awesome gyro mode where you control the camera moving the Vita, this mode is simply amazing, it seriously feel like you are holding the camera, and it reacts perfectly to how you move the vita, best part is that the finder mode feels more limited to where you can move the camera, but the gyro mode, lets you go all 360 everywhere with no limits at all, it really is THE godly mode.
If legs could kill…
Then, besides the new modes, there are 3 different tools for the camera, now there is the camera’s flash light, you can turn it on whenever you want and gives some nice shots with some cool shadows, there is a tool that changes the, base color? …Don’t really know how to put it, of the photo you take, lots of software, cameras or cellphones with cameras also have something like that, I’ve seen lots of smartphones’s apps that can do that too, it can make the photo to look like an old photo, or all black & white, etc., and there is a tool that is pretty cool, it makes everything around the girl look all blurry, the camera just focus on the girl and gives an awesome shot.
And, as for the photo sessions, in the main story, you start with her love level, of course in 1, and she only has normal poses like, just standing, as you raise it, more poses appear, like sitting down or laying down, once you get to a point of her love level, that is her last love level before the ending scene, you get to do “private photo sessions” is the same but you unlock a lot of new poses that are more… ummm, how to put it? More… “omg just kill me already!” kind of, and, in the new week the vita ver. has, there is also some new poses that your new girlfriend can do, that are just exclusive for that week, also, the whole Photo Kano Kiss part comes from the fact that you can kiss the girls in the middle of the photo session in this extra week, and yes, is just touching the screen, if you do it like 3 times she gets embarrassed and photo session over… For some reason i expected more, but then again, is is the most they could do so it’s ok i guess.
“Omg just kill me already” (this is an event photo chance, not a pose, just in case)
The game is really a pure love story, and it can be as not “ecchi” (perverted) or as “ecchi” as you want, yeah, you get some scenes of the wind blowing up the skirt or the girl walking up the stairs, playing pool with skirt… but you can just barely see –stuff– (or nothing at all), the game doesn’t really puts you ecchi things like, in your face, those kind of events represent what the H club says, “the true art is the “almost” ero pictures!!” and whatnot, but there are many more events where is you just getting to know the girl better, and the main stories are really serious and interesting, im sure that any galge, or well, love stories, loving player would like a lot, it’s your decision alone to whether go low angle or not, i know that there are people that don’t like that kind of stuff much, so there is no need to worry, if you just want to enjoy the story itself with a clean mind, for a way to put it, is a fun thing to do.
So, if there is any question about the game feel free to ask, i pretty much talked about the game mechanics, and how the story is structured but i didn’t talked about any character in details, if someone wants to know how the MC is, or this girl, that girl’s story, or anything at all, just say the word and i’ll try to answer.