Following in the wake of the immense excitement that was built during the Final Fantasy XV event, we were left with a little bit of a lull as we waited for more episodes of Brotherhood to release (which finally did come and is now coming consistently and is almost complete), more information and especially for JUSTICE MONSTERS V. After a couple small delays, it’s finally out!
Platforms: Game Boy, Virtual Console (3DS)
With the major success of the Mario Bros. franchise thus far, it came as no surprise that Nintendo would kick off their new portable console with its own Mario game. Rather than depending on the familiarity of the hit Super Mario Bros. games, they decided to go a slightly different route with how they’d approach platforming on the Game Boy: variety. This singular concept ends up being the defining factor that helps to fuel (and ultimately hurt) this cute gem within the franchise.
Platform(s): PC (via Steam)
What happens when a couple of stray cats turn into human children and are thrown on the doorstep of a hapless young man? My Little Kitties is what happens. This visual novel is a story about childhood innocence as this young man does his best to try and raise these two girls on his own.
Thanks to Sekai Project, this Visual Novel which is based on a Korean light novel gets to enter the hearts of us Western consumers. One of the things that I found most interesting is how the game is completely PG in the way it handles situations. There is a very suggestive scene early on (which actually leads to an early bad ending), but other than that the story is mostly revolving around the character development of Sora and Nuri, the two little girls.
It starts off rather abruptly, giving a quick flashback to set the scene then fading into the current situation within the visual novel. Realistically this was my only substantial complaint about the story. I haven’t read the light novel, so I can’t say for sure, but it feels like there is much more to the fact that these girls were originally cats than the game lets us know. That aspect of the story isn’t explored much outside of some cat-like habits and tendencies that the girls retained from when they were four-legged creatures. Luckily, as you progress further and further into the story you eventually forget about this minor gripe, since the story really is focusing on the whole family relationship and growth between the two girls and the main character along with a woman, Yura, who serves as the dynamic balance between all the characters.
Another minor issue I had with the game was that there weren’t too many opportunities to make decisions in the game. I don’t actually know how many endings there are, since I’ve only unlocked three of them so far, but I can’t imagine there are a ton. To help make up for the lower amount of choices in the game compared to other visual novels I’ve played, there are a small handful of interactive mini-games that are spread throughout the story. None of them are particularly innovative or special, but it’s nice to have some kind of interaction to make sure the player doesn’t get bored of too much reading.
Speaking of reading, the voice acting is absolutely adorable! Of the visual novels I’ve played, this certainly has a better voice acting level. This is especially important since there are really only 4 characters you will see for practically the entirety of the game. To help accentuate this is some gorgeous artwork. I’ll be honest, that’s actually what drew me to this game to begin with, and the game didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The downside to this is that the environments are a little limited, but it’s hardly noticeable since the game is more about how the characters interact rather than where they are.
The best part is that even though both children can be annoying brats in their own ways, they grow on you quite quickly. By the time I had finished the first hour of the visual novel I already loved all of the characters in the game. The story actually tackles some important life lessons that children should be aware of, and presents them in a way that makes sense to the characters’ personalities. It also helps to accentuate the difficulties and rewards of being a parent, even though these kids aren’t the main character’s children by blood. He’s essentially adopted them into his life and they work as a happy family which is sweet. Ultimately, the story doesn’t have any crazy twists or turns, but rather it’s a very grounded game that helps to hit home some very real themes that many people can relate to in their day-to-day lives.
My Little Kitties isn’t a perfect visual novel, but it’s an extremely charming, cute and heart-warming story that should be checked out. It’s especially enticing since it’s doesn’t have any sort of adult-content (outside of some brief moments of innuendo), which seems to be a crutch that too many visual novels that I’ve played seem to depend on. At around 4-5 hours for an initial play through, and with me not having unlocked all of the achievements (in-game), CG art and other bonuses, I can easily recommend this based on the current price.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This game was provided to A-To-J Connections free-of-charge by the publisher for the purpose of review.