Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a charming little doujin put together by Japanese game developing duo 773 (a.k.a Nanami). Nyu Media and Capcom USA saw enough promise in it to bring it to North America. It was officially released on April 27th, and it will soon be available to download via Gametap, Capcom Store, and Steam.
Nyu Media was kind enough to hook us up with a copy of the game two days prior to its official release. Several people in the Japanator staff were curious about checking it out, and I somehow ended up getting it -- I had to smack Salvador repeatedly with my purse. Was scoring this title a blessing or a curse? find out after the jump.
Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (PC)
Publisher: Nyu Media, Capcom USA
Release Date: April 27, 2012
You guys are probably somewhat familiar with CTHCC from reading Chris’ coverage, but I will refresh your memories either way. The game follows the adventures of Miley Verisse, a high school student who wants to start a comedy club at her school. The goal of the game is to help her recruit enough members to get the club going.
School policy dictates that any club should have a minimum of 5 members prior to registration --Miley is 3 people short. You have about a month to persuade more people to sign up, and you can’t just bribe them with cash. The game functions a little bit like dating sim: you gain rapport with people by wooing them through conversations.
You can help Miley improve her repertoire of conversational topics by engaging in activities such as reading books, watching TV, or going to the museum. Certain skills require money to level up (i.e you gotta pay to go to the movies or play at the arcade). In order to gather the money to pay for upgrades, you have to take on a part time job.
There are 12 conversational topics you can upgrade and 3 part-time job options, but you gotta choose wisely; time passes each time you perform a task. You also have to make time to do your homework, and to talk to your girlfriends on the phone. Every so often you will unlock a special event, and those are time consuming too!
There are over 4,500 lines of dialog in the game, which is pretty impressive for such a modest title. Some of the dialog even varies on a day by day basis. While I noticed a few typos and some flaws in execution --like some location-specific lines being sometimes delivered in the wrong context, I thought that the writing was nice.
You could tell that they put in a lot of effort into translating the game. It’s clear that changes were made to its context: things like location names and pop culture references were tweaked to appeal to a western demographic. They justified Japanese landmarks by claiming that Miley lived in a multi-cultural town, which I thought was clever.
They didn't do the best job at Americanizing the game though. Chosen pop culture references, for one, weren't really all that funny --or not executed effectively. Despite being about the creation of a comedy club, there wasn't really a ton of humor in the game either. I think that pulling this off would have given the title that extra unf.
Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is actually a really pretty game. Its interface was pretty polished, and character illustrations were very well-done. The music in the game was also pretty catchy, but there wasn’t a ton of it. I’m not holding this against them though, you gotta keep in mind that this game was put together by just two dudes!
Any other cons I can think of? I would have liked to see special illustrations for unlockable events; sometimes it’s implied that stuff happens but you can’t actually see it. I also would have liked the game to last a little longer.
Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is pretty short. I’d say you can easily beat it in 3-5 hours, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing. It’s only $7.99 and it’s a great way to pass the time. To be honest, I thought that they did a great job with it; it’s pretty good for what it is. I’m also looking forward to seeing more games by this developer.
7.0 – Good. 7s are good, but not great. These series often have a stereotypical plot or are great games that have a few minor, yet obvious flaws. Fans of the genre might still love it.
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