Title: Amatarasu Riddle Star
Release Date: October 10, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
It’s possible for life to overly dull at times, but sometimes the weight that one might feel can turn to disdain for everything around them. That’s pretty much the angle that Softhouse-Seal takes in their newest visual novel. Amatarasu Riddle Star. While the premise of finding interest in your friends and town is there, the focus here leans heavily on the eroge elements of the game.
Amatarasu Riddle Star begins by introducing the main protagonist Doumoto Takaya. An average student who has lost interest in his town and finds everything to be rather boring. One night, he agrees to go out stargazing with his childhood friend, where he makes a wish on a star. Well, I’m sure you could guess what he wished for, and it turns out that the “falling star” was a crashed ship containing a bunny girl.
That’s about when everything changes for Takaya, and it happens within a blink of an eye. Interestingly, as things begin to turn around him, he is more surprised than glad exciting things are happening. The first part of the game focuses on his relationships in school as they try to make sense of the events. Things like headless maids and characters straight out of Fairytales find their way into Takaya’s world, and he does his best to adjust.
Depending on the route you find yourself on, Takaya slowly changes throughout the story. He’s not very likable, but that does end up changing as he realizes that the people around him are essential to his life, especially his best friend, Yua. Yua’s route was perhaps my favorite because you got to see the most growth in Takaya. Also, Yua has feelings for Takaya, but he’s too stubborn to realize, even though she is the only person he can put up with for long periods. There’s also a route for the Kokoro, the princess of a mysterious castle. Her route ended up mostly focusing on her personal growth, and I felt that Takaya was just an accessory in this regard, which makes this a rather fun route that serves no real purpose. Also, she has the smallest chest out of all the girls who have the biggest breasts outside of an Alice Soft game.
As for the other routes in the game, each character finds a way to make their move on Takaya. However, Madori’s routes felt more like filler, and nothing happened. Outside of her being probably the most attractive heroine in the game, her route doesn’t fit in where I saw Takaya’s character leading. As for the rest of the characters, Miu and Ai are by far the most interesting and work well with Takaya’s quest for life to be less boring. That said, they are both extremely sexual characters, but they still extreme opposites in terms of personalities. This makes it necessary to experience each of their routes, which only makes the story better.
When it comes to the art direction, I ended up liking the background environments as well as the overall character designers. Given that Amatarasu Riddle Star has a fantasy theme, the developer seemed to have a lot of fun with these characters and their illustrations. The CGs themselves are beautiful and show how skilled this team is at creating an adorable cast of characters.
Amatarasu Riddle Star ends up getting slightly perverted in its second half, and that theme continues to the end. There is no shortage of h-scenes in this game, and that turns out to be its primary focus until the end of the game. This isn’t a bad thing, given that the heroines are just so likable, even though not every route leaves the same impact. The game is also without mosaics for the adult scenes.
As for systems in Amatarasu Riddle Star, everything is here that a visual novel fan could want in terms of customization. The sound design is also rather lovely, and I ended up enjoying each of the characters and their quirky responses to the strange happenings around town. There is limited interaction, but getting on a character route is rather easy and happens after a choice. With that said, there are branches in the story that allow you to be mean or nice to certain characters.
Although Riddle Star tries to tell a story of love, there is plenty of comedic dialogue during the game. I found it interesting to see how Takaya slowly regrets his wish for a less boring life, but I also enjoyed watching him not be such a total ass to those around him. His change of behavior was warranted, and I felt that the writers made his story arc make sense within the respective routes.
Amatarasu Riddle Star does enough to offer readers the chance to go on a fantasy adventure that’s really unlike many visual novels available. It’s fun and charming but might focus on the h-scenes too much after you get on a character’s route. Still, I ended up liking each of the characters, even if I didn’t enjoy some of the routes. However, after 20 hours, I felt the game was mostly sexual encounters while the story took a backseat for a bit.
I know it’s a trend to have a rude main protagonist who changes throughout the story. Still, Takaya, getting thrown into this random situation, made him realize a lot about himself, which was entertaining to watch play out. If you’re looking for a fantasy-filled eroge with an interesting premise, I don’t think you go wrong with Amatarasu Riddle Star.
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