With December quickly coming to a close, I felt like I should do a write-up on a holiday themed visual novel. Might as well, right? Lucky me that I pick the one with a main character that’s more of a Scrooge than Ebenezer himself. This girl’s so pissed off about the holiday season that she even makes priests want to bash their skulls open in frustration. Someone pissed in Jennifer’s cornflakes. And her lunch bag. And her TV dinner. And her damn midnight Twinkie. Every Christmas, she writes hate mail to Santa, cursing him for not fulfilling his duty as a white bearded wish granter. Bah humbug.
Jennifer is notorious around town for hating Christmas. She stomps her way around the snow, attacking everyone she sees for their merriment. Fed up with everyone’s cheer, she decides to go for a drive in her car. While driving, she sees an old man stranded by the road. Not one to ever say no, she agrees to give him a lift to the local cemetery, the very same one that her brother, who died on Christmas, rests in.
There, she meets a supportive stranger that can relate to her grieving. They connect during their conversation, where the stranger tries to convince her that she doesn’t hate Christmas. Whether or not their meeting is enough to change Jennifer’s mind about the holidays, is up to you to find out.
DragoonHP’s visual novel “Christmas” is a heartfelt story of loss and restoration, and a sad one at that. The grammar errors might make it hard for some people to enjoy the story. Some of them were glaring, but easy-to-make mistakes. For instance, “loose” instead of “lose,” and writing “this” instead of “these.” Small stuff. It’s a kinetic novel, meaning that there aren’t any choices. The customized main menu screen screams winter. The game gives you the option to play it edited or unedited. The unedited version contains stronger language. Coming from various sources, the music and filtered backgrounds were well-picked.
Zhee’s character art isn’t the shiniest, but that’s alright. It’s endearing, all the same. Who cares if the art isn’t highly detailed? Visual novels aren’t just the pretty pictures. They’re like an intersection of story, art, music, and programming, each contained within their own universes. And, was the art up to par for this work? Yes. Don’t let comparisons to others’ stories stop you from releasing your story. Do you have something to tell? Tell it, then. But, I digress. Back to DragoonHP’s work. The icon being a snowflake is a nice touch. Everything works in conjunction here to build a wintry setting. Christmas, indeed.
It’s definitely not the happiest Christmas story out there. I don’t know if it was because of her Scrooge sensibilities in the beginning of the story or what, but even the somewhat uplifting ending left me feeling down.
Christmas was released on Jan. 27, 2011. Review written while playing version 1.1