Another kinetic/linear story with the maker calling it short. Not much information written in the visual short story’s thread, either. Hm. This one’s going to be a complete surprise. All I have to guess the plot on is a plain, pink menu (coincidentally, it’s the same Ren’Py theme that The Rutabega had – what’s up with short stories and the color pink?). It goes by the name of Ripples, and this is sake-bento’s first released story on LSF. A search on the maker’s deviantart page says that this game was meant for her brother Kiyo. There’s not much else I can say in the introduction, so I’ll head right into the story.
The story is seen through the eyes of Koda, a photographer with a negative outlook on life. He hates people in general, never understanding why people even try to change the world. “Things never change,” he says. “…One person’s life is just a drop in the bucket.” One day, on a search for non-people crowded places to photograph, he sees a pink haired girl named Kuu kneeling over a bunch of kittens. A conversation starts from there, and the start of the development of a friendship. Through the story, you learn a bit more about the girl and her baking dreams.
Just as I was starting to get into it, however, the story ends. The ending was very sudden. It was almost like getting to the top of a hill on a rollercoaster ride. You’re there, about to go down and really get into something fun when…oh, what’s this? That’s the end of the ride. All this build-up, all this everything was leading to a very nice ride that had to come to a sudden end. Hopefully, sake-bento will find my words and decide to do a continuation because I felt kind of cheated here…or at least, badly teased.
I found it interesting that Kuu and Koda were opposites. You’ve got one down pessimist and one cheery optimist. Their conversations were good reads. I just wish we had learned the reasons behind Koda’s attitude.
Gentle background music, very good for reading. The music doesn’t disrupt my focus when reading and isn’t so weak that it shouldn’t be there at all. A satisfying balance.
Oh, and Kuu has a voice. Yes, a voice. Her accent makes her very cute. I was so glad that she didn’t have one of those squeaky anime voices that are so *in* right now or whatever. No, people, anime voices aren’t great. They’re annoying, especially when you’re trying too hard. That being said, the voice was natural sounding. The only issues I had were that in the beginning, her words were spoken way too fast. Slow down. Lines delivered slowly are better heard and more pleasant to listen to. Not only that, but, talking so fast loses the emotion required for a line.
For example, there’s the sentence: “Like I said, it’s because they eat them.” Slowing the line down would’ve given the delivery more strength and caused the way the voice went too far “up” (if you get me) at the end of the sentence.
By the middle to the end, though, the voice really works. The lines’ emotions match the expressions on Kuu’s face. Hardly any monotone pitch that you find in some games, both amateur and professional. I don’t know how most people in the OELVN scene feel about voice acting, but I believe this is an example of the fact that voice acting in OELVNs *can* work and work well at that. Good job.
It was a weird switch going from a real picture of clouds to the unreal background. It would’ve been better if the clouds were drawn or filtered heavily to better match with the background. There’s only one scene, so there was only that one background. I couldn’t exactly tell what that place was. Benches surrounding a square-ish water-filled well not too far from a circular mud pit. Or something. Buildings and a hill in the distance… A written description for the scene would’ve helped a lot.
Kuu was drawn to fit her personality – bright and happy schoolgirl. I wrote earlier that her hair was pink but that’s only one of the colors. It fades to a nice blonde-orange combo. The coloring on her hair was well-done, as were all the expressions she had.
There weren’t any special effects and hardly any customization. All that was different was the text box being rounded off at the edges. Oh well.
Why did it have to end like that? Blah…
A short kinetic novel with an endearing, if somewhat simple, storyline. If it had been longer, there’s no doubt that it would’ve left more of an effect on me. A good first effort that probably made the person it was meant for very happy. Download it here in its discussion thread.