Phew, I managed to rush this before Majikoi A-3 got released =D.
Takeru lives in a commuter town a few stations away from the busy city. There are not many tall buildings except for those around the station and the new apartments lining the river. One could easily tell the time of day just by the placement of the sun, which shines unblocked upon the town. Late in September, Takeru was walking along the embankment with his friends. It was a normal day just like every other day. However, just because of one little thing, his path home became a path to love.
These little events are scattered amongst our normal daily lives. That moment when our eyes meet. That moment when we touched each others’ hands when reaching for the same book. That moment when you first smiled at me. These moments colour our canvas of love.[“Borrowed” from Micchi’s blog]
The game’s story is broken up into chapters, with the common route being 7 chapters, and the individual routes being about 10 chapters. The game is all business pretty much, and there is a lot less crap than other games of the same genre. What I mean by this is that there isn’t much idle chatter where you’re just waiting for things to happen. Given the game’s genre, expecting any level of story would be foolish.
The protagonist for this game, Takeru, has many qualities of your average eroge protagonist. Fortunately he also has some qualities that make him a bit more interesting. He’s a troublemaker, and is often told off for running in the hallway and for pulling pranks.
At the start of the game two of the five girls of Takeru’s “harem” are already in place; Sumire and Yuuka. He meets the other three (Natsuki, Misao, and Aoi) in fairly typical ways, and they all coincidently become members of the election committee that Takeru, Sumire and Yuuka also happen to be a part of. Though the common route is fairly standard in terms of quality, the quick pace makes it more than bearable.
Melty Moment uses a map movement decision system which deviates slightly from the norm. Along with having various maps areas to access, you also get to choose among a range of times. Heroines will generally be at different places over the various times, and each location shows a unique event. Despite this slightly different system, the only thing that really matters is WHICH heroine you choose. Because of that, I generally only looked at one scene and moved on with the story.
After you get onto a heroine’s route, the decision style changes since you’re only dealing with the one heroine. However the following style of map selection is also used in the common route a few times as well.
There are also a number of real time choices spread throughout the game. Sadly they don’t actually contribute towards anything, and your choice merely adds about 10seconds of extra dialogue.
“Girly talking” scenes provide nice breaks from the main story, and are pretty much scenes where the girls talk to themselves and reminisce about some earlier events. The content of these girly talking scenes are partly influenced by which scene you chose to watch during the map movement selection. Admittedly I did load to pick a different map movement decision to see all the variations of the girly talking scenes a couple of times. However I just couldn’t be bothered after a while; especially when the map movement decision was quite a way away from the girly talking scene. Along with heroine specific girly talking scenes, there are also a number of shared ones which are spread throughout the common route.
Development + Confession
There is very little romantic development in the common route, and basically everything is squeezed into about the first 2 chapters of each route. As you can imagine this causes all them pre-confession issues to feel fairly rushed; especially Takeru’s realization of his own feelings. I would have liked to see more development, but the amount shown still wasn’t bad.
All the confession scenes have Takeru pretty much listing all the events that you chose to see during various map movements. The listing part really made things feel bland…not to mention unrealistic. That aside, the OTHER stuff in the confession scenes were generally fine.
Characters and routes
All routes are pretty much 100% slice of life romance comedy, and are devoid of any drama.
Natsuki is the puppy like kouhai who is super shy, and has horrible verbal skills. She becomes attached to Takeru after he saves her a couple of times, and somehow ends up referring to him by “onii-chan”.
I admit Natsuki’s cute, but she’s really someone I would want as a little sister, rather than a girlfriend. And for all you siscons out there, when I say “sister”, I’m talking in the pure sense.
I’m not a huge fan of her slow talking, and as you might guess, there is a large focus on her shyness in the route. The route itself wasn’t very memorable, but I remember the ending was way too corny. EASILY the most memorable part of her route was when Natsuki’s mother asks Takeru if he’s a lolicon (LOL).
Masao is the serious kouhai character who has a strong sense of duty. Looking at the common route as a whole, I would say that it leans towards Misao.
I can’t help but chuckle every time I see her name because the English translate of it is “chastity”. She’s very cute and obedient, and her route does a good job to portray these qualities. I really enjoyed Misao’s ending because it differed from the normal standard you would expect in the situation that’s presented.
Yuuka is Takeru’s childhood friend who lives in the same apartment block. They are very close, and often do things that only couples would do. I would describe her personality, but you can probably guess what it’s like by just looking at her.
A very typical character type, but the execution was excellent. The added embarrassment between the two makes previous behaviour the two use to do fresh again. For a bulk of the route the two are basically living with each other, which leads to some funny developments. Her route ends on a very warm and fuzzy note.
Sumire is Takeru’s classmate and is known for her cool personality and sharp tongue. However she’s actually hiding her real personality, and is in fact very girly.
The “gap” in her personality is pretty huge, and this might be the reason why her girly personality felt a little overwhelming at times for me. The ending was somewhat disappointing as it was a very typical exposure of her real personality to the class.
Aoi is 3rd year student who is well known for being super energetic, and being all over the place. She’s good at pretty much anything she does, and there are often rumours spreading about her breaking a creating a new record. She loves to tease people, but is caught off guard and reacts timidly whenever Takeru counters her teasing with his some of his own.
Aoi is easily my most favourite heroine by FAR. She’s the only heroine who regularly gets jealous, and the fact that she’s older only makes the jealousy more awesome. After the two start dating, all her focus shifts to Takeru, and the rumours about her slow die down. Takeru notices this fact near the end of the route, and attempts to address the issue. However like Misao’s ending, Aoi’s route also differed what I was expecting, and was a pleasant surprise.
Route ranking: Aoi >>> Fuuka and Misao > Sumire > Natsuki
Side routes (Chiemi, Yua, and Kagami)
The side heroines’ routes are each 2 chapters long, containing a single H-scene, and are unlocked as you complete the other routes. The annoying thing about the side routes is that takes the same amount of time to get onto these routes as the original routes. So you need to skip through the whole common route, pick and watch the scenes,
These side routes are generally quite well done for how long they were. Of course they did feel a little rushed because it was only 2 chapters.
System, sound and other random junk
I’m keeping this section short because I’m lazy.
Plenty of save files (close to 200)
Quick loading from the log is a +
My only real complaint is that there was no jump feature, so you need to sit and wait while the text skips.
Graphics, sound and other miscellaneous stuff: 8/10
Melty Moment was a decent amount better than the other two games I’ve played by Hook (Sugirly Wish and Honey Coming). The characters, including the side characters, are generally quite likable, and the fast paced flow keeps things from getting too boring. The unique map movement system adds some novelty, but the overall system of the game is fairly standard. As a slice of life game I would say Melty Moment delivers quite well, and would please those who enjoy this genre of game.
Guess I’ll end things off with some light fan-service =p