NEKOPARA Vol. 1 Review

NEKOPARA Vol. 0 Review Screenshot 1

Disclaimer: This review is based around the Steam version of the video game. This means that the review is based on the censored version, and does not include nudity.

This is the story of genetically modified cat-human hybrids, and a passionate human baker. This is one of the most hilariously odd games I have ever played. Chocola and Vanilla are the main cat-girl characters, and are quite simply the pets of the family. As the baker, you’ve moved out of town to start a new business in a nice and spacious bakery, but you find two boxes that you do not remember packing yourself. After investigating, you find that Chocola and Vanilla, two of the family’s pet cat-girls have sneakily found their way to your bakery, through your delivery. Chocola is the more upbeat cat-girl, while Vanilla is more relaxed and monotone. These personalities contrast in a funny way, as Chocola is always excited, while Vanilla just follows along a few steps behind. Throughout the game you meet more cat girls, and many characters who spice up the plot.

Let’s get straight into reviewing the game design wise. When you start the game, you are given the choice to set up what languages you would like to have, subtitle wise. This is good, because subtitles are very useful in understanding what’s going on, especially in a visual novel. Once you get into the game, you can revisit these options, and also extra options for example the loudness of each character’s voice. Alongside those options, there are also many options for the text that displays, for example the speed of which it displays, what buttons to use to skip or to skip the voice alone, etc. To the right there are also display settings, for example full-screen and windowed. And last but not least there is the previously mentioned language settings, which asks for the UI language, the Main text language and the Subtext language. I chose to only have the main text, while turning off the subtext. I chose the UI and Subtitles to be English. In the Effect&Sound menu, there are a few extra options to tweak. Whether or not you would like to mess about with the “chest bounciness”, or whether or not you would like to change the volume for each piece of sound in the game. All of these options are thought about carefully, especially the “chest bounciness” option. That option caters to the audience of Japanese Visual Novels as I imagine a lot of people would prefer the bounciness to be very high.

NEKOPARA Vol. 0 Review Screenshot 2

The art style is very nice, and so is the animation and the lip sync. The lip sync is perfect to the audio, and the animation draws away from the attention that Visual Novels are usually quite static, and does not have much game play apart from pointing and clicking. This makes the experience a lot more interesting. While that’s the case, I found a situation where basically all it showed was the background, with none of the characters actually being shown in the conversation. It occurred at the start, with the food stand lady and cat girl. I’m not too sure to this point if it was a bug or intentional, but it absolutely felt lazy, and I got very bored of the whole conversation. I would have preferred the animations to continue, like before. After the conversation ended, it returned to showing the characters on-screen. This slightly confirms that it was intentional. Any situation that involves a lot of movement also has a similar lazy situation.

When it comes to the media such as the music, it’s very uplifting, especially the menu screen and whenever you meat a new character. The music is always very happy and quite simply works genre wise with the type of game this is. The best way to describe this game is a Visual Novel with sexual implications, most of the time at least. I noticed at a sad moment, when you basically tell the girls that they have to go home, a quite beautifully composed sad song played. Now I’m honest, I didn’t progress so that I could listen to it. The music for this game is quite a great feature. When it comes to any sort of sounds, most of the time the sound is said aloud by the voice actor. This makes it easier for the games developers, but then also if there were too many sound effects the whole game would seem silly, and we wouldn’t want that in a game full of human hybrid cat girls who call you master, now do we?

NEKOPARA Vol. 0 Review Screenshot 3

The game is extremely easy, due to being a Visual Novel. There is no difficulty to it, there is barely any game play in general. The game is just focused on putting the story across and entertaining. But because of that, I don’t see myself replaying this particular episode of the game. What would be the point? I wouldn’t gain anything extra as there aren’t really any decisions in this game that aren’t scripted. The only thing that wasn’t obvious from the start was how each text looks when it’s a different type of talking. For example, text alone with no other graphics to the text means that it’s being thought, it’s in the mind only. While obviously if it has a name above it, and a microphone icon, it’s being spoken aloud. If for example it’s in square brackets “[]”, then that means you are saying it, as their master.

In conclusion, I give this game an 7/10. For a visual novel, the game is very good. It’s entertaining, it’s cute, and it’s actually pretty funny. But for a video game in general, it is lacking in-game play, and also the laziness in some scenes when it comes to animation. If you are into the weird culture of Japan, and also love visual novels, then you’ll love this game! But just remember that the game has a lot of flirting, and the uncensored patched version is NSFW and includes sex and nudity. Hopefully this review is helpful, have fun out there.

Rating 7

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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