Developer: Yuzusoft Sour
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: NekoNyan Ltd., HIKARI FIELD
Genre: Visual Novel
Parquet is the most recent visual novel by Yuzusoft, whose previous works include Senren * Banka and Riddle Joker. More specifically, it’s the first title in their all-ages imprint Yuzusoft Sour. Further, it’s notable that it was released in English just one month after the Japanese version.
First of all, keep in mind Parquet is mostly a kinetic novel. Aside from an after story with a single option, everything about this narrative is linear. Though I usually consider this kind of visual novel the toughest to recommend to newcomers due to its lack of interaction, I have to say Parquet offers an engaging story throughout.
Taking place in a near-future setting, brain-machine interfaces (BMI) have become commonplace. As with smartphones and other technology nowadays, engaging with these devices adds new layers of functionality to life. In this particular case, people can now record and share memories.
However, the BMI also opens up new avenues for research, some of which are dangerous uses for the technology. In dealing directly with the brain, its applications can lead to devastating consequences, as well as new forms of crime.
Parquet tells the story of a young man whose life was a product of such experimentation. He’s an artificial human created with the sole reason of becoming a genius whose memories would allow him to have excellent performance at his job. Then, after being sold to a failing company, he raises it back to its glory.
Following these actions, he begins questioning his own life. He wants to know about his origin and what it means to live normally. To become a human instead of simply being used as a tool, he decides to set out on a trip of self-reflection and discover his true purpose.
Once he arrives in another city, he ends up having trouble obtaining a house. By chance, he meets two girls who help him out when he’s in a pinch. They were also affected by BMI research, and together the trio may find out what happened in the past.
One of the girls is Ibaraki Rino, who works at night and first finds the protagonist vomiting in an alleyway. Though she may seem cold at first, her honest personality makes her unable to hide her real feelings. Seeing her stuttering and wearing her heart on her sleeve despite trying to be the cool loner makes her pretty cute.
The other heroine is Kido Tsubasa, who loves food with a high amount of calories. She works during the day as a waitress and is usually smiling and acting friendly. However, her jokes can sometimes be a little tasteless when she tries to mock herself.
The story isn’t lengthy, but that is a plus in this case, as it cuts on material that would only be there to fill some extra time. The few smaller arcs help the player understand the world and spend time with the characters without dragging. There’s even a nice mystery side to it as some hints allow players to figure out what’s going on before the revelations if they pay attention.
Characters are very charming, including those that aren’t as important to the main plot. In the case of the protagonist and the two heroines, it’s easy to see how much they care for each other, creating a sense of found family while teasing romance. The story nails that aspect of building relationships, and I honestly loved the dialogues a ton.
There are, however, a few moments of the English text with errors. Most of them are minor typos that don’t cause too much issue. However, there are also a few situations in which the questionable consistency can be confusing. One good example of this is the first time a character called Hashihime is presented. She’s called “Doctor” by the bar owner, but the game uses “Professor?” as her temporary name.
Parquet is a great visual novel with an engaging sci-fi setting and memorable character interaction. It’s honestly an impressive first release for the Yuzusoft Sour imprint and a game I loved playing despite my minor gripes with the translation consistency. So those who are interested in diving into a unique sci-fi narrative look no further.
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