Christmas

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.

You can download Christmas from the Ren’Ai Archives here and discuss it here in its LSF thread.

Christmas was released on Jan. 27, 2011. Review written while playing version 1.1

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About vnr4

Visual novel reviews and reporting with a main focus on independent visual novels. Enjoy.
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5 Responses to Christmas

  1. DragoonHP says:

    Thanks for taking out the time to ply and review it… ^.^
    And I will be sure to have the script properly edited in the re-release version…

    Once again, thanks for playing and reviewing,..

  2. vnr4 says:

    You’re not bugging me at all, don’t worry about it.

    The beginning of the story could be tightened up. Since the townspeople know Jennifer’s reason for hating Christmas (she mentioned that during the graveyard scene), they’d probably be more worried and unsure how to act around her. How is she towards everyone when the Holidays are over? Or, has she become aggressive and withdrawn ever since her brother’s death, and Christmas is just when she explodes? The townspeople’s reactions will depend on your answer to those questions.

    As for the priest, his reaction towards her didn’t make much sense to me. It’s easier for me to believe that he’d try to reach out to her, to help her, but she rudely tells him to back off and he calmly leaves, maybe telling her he’ll pray for her regardless. She’d probably think prayers were useless. But those are just my suggestions to get your mind going. It’s your story to tell, after all, and not mine. 🙂

  3. DragoonHP says:

    Yeah… I agree.
    In actuality, she isn’t like this on Christmas; she is just kind of withdrawn and keeps to herself during the end of year.
    But the day before the start of the KN, she gets a dream bout everything that happened to her on Christmas… and so she was mad…
    All is explained in the new version…

    And about the Priest… again I agree…
    It will actually, (in an indirect way) firm her character…

    Thanks for your help and review…

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