Title: Meteor Pendulum Heart
Release Date: June 11, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: JAST USA
Meteor Pendulum Heart has a title that means absolutely nothing. Unless it actually does, and I completely missed it. In any case, this is not a visual novel you’re picking up for the story. For some reason, I seem to go into these eroge adventures expecting a compelling narrative, and sometimes I luck out. Not with this one, though.
Developed by Chaos-L, Meteor Pendulum Heart stars a generic faceless protagonist named Umi, a high school student who finds himself embroiled in a galactic-scale war. After having an in medias res dream of the future that allows the protagonist to ramble some technojargon laden exposition that the story is going to use later on, he ventures with some classmates for karaoke before they are interrupted by the Galactic Police Detective Kudusha to rescue them from a member of the “Crime Nebula” named Scarecrow who is after one of them for mysterious reasons. At least one of which is connected to a mysterious energy source, n-073, which living things on earth are abundant with.
Coincidentally though, our protagonist has dozens of times more n-073 than other creatures, making him a target of interest of both the Crime Nebula and the Galactic Police.
This may make the story sound somewhat complex and have a modicum of depth, but let me assure you it does not. This is an incredibly generic erotic visual novel that provides little more than an excuse plot for H-scenes. Meteor Pendulum Heart has three different scenes. Apart from H-scenes, we have Battle sequences, where two of the waifu characters fight each other for whatever reasons, and the character interaction scene.
I phrase it like this because a frankly absurd amount of sequences in this visual novel follow an identical series of events. The “foreign girl encounters a scenario new to her that is just an everyday thing you the player can do, so the self insert protag explains it” scene. It’s a charming concept, and it works well even here. At least the first time. However, when you’re on your 10th variant on this scene in five hours (roughly the amount of time you’ll need to put in for 100% completion), it’s repetitive.
But hey, this isn’t a VN you’re going to be playing for stellar writing. That’s a footnote in the grand scheme of things. You’re here for the… visual aspect. Well, let’s start with the title screen. It’s a collection of portraits placed in various sizes on a fairly simple background eschewing a film poster. I can’t complain about that.
The fairly simple background is a fun geometric thing carried over into other menus with different color palettes and the text box. I like this. It’s not a clean text box, but it’s fun. The buttons, however, leave a lot to be desired. The icons are misaligned, the fonts vary in size, and the boxes look like they were made in Microsoft PowerPoint using the default gradient options, making them hard to read and ugly.
At least it isn’t the main text that’s perfectly readable with default settings. But if we look at what we can do to improve our experience in the options menu, we get a mess that features a misspelling of “configuration” and has one of its buttons positioned over half of an option. Otherwise, there’s a couple of basic tools here, but nothing special.
On the actual character side, the art is really well-drawn. However, the character designs can leave a bit to be desired, such as more clothes for a few of them. Aside from Alyssa/Kudusha, the girls don’t really interest me visually. As you would expect, the protagonist is faceless and voiceless, but surprisingly, so is the obligatory one male friend. I suppose this was to put the budget into the main visuals.
There is a rather limited amount of regular CGs in the game, but the ones that do exist look really good. As this is a JAST USA published title, you’ll not have to download an external patch for the real reason you came here. The H-scenes. There is a whole damn lot of them that remain consistent in quality, which will definitely give you your money’s worth in that regard.
I wouldn’t consider Meteor Pendulum Heart to be a quality eroge visual novel, but it at least delivers on the eroge. There are a few decent characters, but trust me when I say that the shallow depth of the galactic war premise is ankle deep. Other than that, the menu is an eyesore, and the half-baked story structure will feel like deja vu, but at least the h-scenes will be there to tuck you in at night.
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