If you’re a fan of visual novels and haven’t read through Muv-Luv and its sequel Muv-Luv Alternative, I urge you to clear your schedule and do so. The series contains some of the best character and story writing that I have experienced in a visual novel and has some strange twists in its timeline that will make you question if it’s actually the same visual novel that you started by the time it ends.
Thankfully, the story didn’t truly end as Muv-Luv photonflowers* is here to add additional context to some of the events following both Muv-Luv Extra and Muv-Luv Alternative. What you should know going into this title is that it requires you to have already played the previous titles in order to understand the character’s relationships with each other and the general timeline. What fans get out of this title are dozens of more hours with the Muv-Luv series and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Beginning Muv-Luv photonflowers* allows the player to choose which series of Fandiscs they want to play through. I began with the first Muv-Luv title, which has a school setting and features all the characters that fans will remember. While some stories are just short events between characters, others provide a bit more depth to the characters such as learning about the events that follow Kagami Sumika’s ending from Muv-Luv Extra. This prologue gives fans an insight into how the two characters handled a serious relationship after being friends for so long. However, other stories keep things a little more playful like taking the girls out to try on bathing suits.
Similarly, going into the Muv-Luv Alternative side of the collection offers just as many extra stories, but I felt that Confessions offered an emotional storyline that all fans of the series will enjoy. These stories also include some more action-packed moments with mechs fighting and a war brewing around the main characters, but yea they still find time for focus on their friendships, yes, that includes romance.
Muv-Luv photonflowers* is truly all about the fans and the game doesn’t really care about anyone else. Even though I felt it could have been left at that, the title does include a rundown of the events in the game to catch players up to speed on what happened. Each Fandisc also has a nice description of the story before you enter, but I would have liked it if they added the approximant time of completion as well so I could see which events were the longest.
Continuing with the game’s UI offering, there’s plenty here for the player to customize in terms of text and sound. Furthermore, the game saves each of the CG scenes and includes them all in one place to view later. Like the series, one drawback is that these stories are all fairly kinetic and I wish these Fandiscs would have messed around with a non-linear plot. However, with each story being so different in terms of content this can be easily overlooked as you’ll be jumping from various timelines throughout the story.
Visually, you can tell which of the titles are older than the others. However, Muv-Luv definitely has a charm to given that some of the Fandiscs originally released in 2004. While the events of Muv-Luv Alternative feature more smooth animations and unique shots during gameplay such as characters interacting while laying in bed. Regardless, they are both visually impressive and the game has a large number of CG scenes.
The sound and audio find the cast of characters assuming their roles once again and I thought everything sounded great. This works extremely well during the action scenes where a lot of explosions and characters yelling take place. Furthermore, the music is just great, as fans of Muv-Luv will expect.
To review Muv-Luv photonflowers* properly I had to take a look at all the content offered in this title, and there’s a lot here. Sure, some moments aren’t as strong as others, but they are completely overshadowed by the moments of pure fanservice that these Fandiscs provide. However, anyone who hasn’t played the previous titles should probably stay away from this release as it will definitely not makes sense, even with the quick summary of the story.
Muv-Luv photonflowers* offers more than enough in terms of quality Muv-Luv content and I was happy to experience more events with these characters after so many years. The Fandiscs in this release offer enough in terms of drama, comedy, and emotional moments to make this collection a must-play for all fans of the series.
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