Title: Sister Travel
Release Date: January 24, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Kagura Games
Genre: eroge RPG
As someone who has always considered themselves a fan of RPGs, I never really found myself dabbling into the eroge RPG sub-genre. The blending of H-scenes and RPG systems just didn’t sit right with me and I can’t even begin to explain why, but nevertheless, I avoided them. Which is why it’s totally out of character of me to have an interest in the genre now, but hey, here I am.
Developer Inusuku has released their newest eroge RPG Sister Travel with the promise of a deep story, adventure, and cute girls. After playing, I found myself pleasantly surprised with my first experience with a title like this. Not only do I think that the developer delivered on their promises, but they have also made me a fan of these types of game.
Sister Travel has a pretty simple premise that expands over the course of the game. You play as a character whose name defaults to Brother who is tasked with exploring the surrounding areas in order to make discoveries and map out the world for other travelers. This is a dangerous job, but it does pay well. Throughout the game, players will progress the narrative by visiting markers on the map to explore the surrounding land, take on quests, and fight monsters. However, the game’s progress relies heavily on completing all the tasks, which is good of the developer to find ways for the player to see everything, but it can feel a bit linear. In my experience, I encountered a roadblock in the story about 3 hours in, only to discover that I had I missed searching a particular dot which revealed more of the map and also a tutorial screen that explained something that I learned within the first 20 minutes of the game.
The direction in the game requires the player to pay attention to what the characters are saying. If you somehow miss out on what to do next, you could be left mindlessly going through every zone looking for a quest marker on the map to indicate that there’s something to do in that area. More times than once, I would wander around with no idea what to do. For example, I was searching everywhere to figure out what to do next, only to find out that I had to sell apples to a person, which for some reason progressed the narrative, and yet had nothing to do with the story. Although, as cryptic as it is, it does provide a satisfying feeling when you do find a new path.
Exploring in the game is actually pretty rewarding, even though most of the game is represented by moving a cursor around a map to click on dots. Each time I discovered a new area or the characters began speaking about their next plans, I felt like I actually stumbled upon something important which made it pretty easy to feel immersed in their overall quest. Exploring also rewards the player with finding monster girls who are generally pretty tough to battle against but will join your party as an accessory if you beat them. Exploring also uses up stamina, which varies from character to character. Once stamina is used up, the character becomes weak and must head back to the inn to recover.
Additionally, there are few bonus CG scenes for players who return to areas and explore again as they gain new party members with unique skills. However, I’m not totally sure if I would have been required to complete those quests later down the line, but it added to the fun of exploring in the game.
The battle system is really good if you enjoy turn-based RPGs. The game has a nice level progression which slowly unlocks new skills for each of the characters as well as a decent equipment selection. Each character is fully capable of holding their own in battle, even the resident medic character who has a pretty OP skill that inflicts a load of status ailments against the enemies. Battles also have a decent layer of challenge to them but don’t really require you to grind too much, which leaves more focus on hanging out with the female characters and exploring new areas.
When it comes to the characters, each one has their own personality, but what I found more interesting is that none of them fall into the usual tropes you’d expect to find in this game. Instead, they all come off pretty normal and just excited to be a part of the team. None of their personalities are blown out of proportion or come off as annoying, which makes the whole story pretty enjoyable. Similarly, the main character is also pretty capable of holding his own in a conversation but does often spin conversations into a more perverted angle, but it adds a nice comedic element.
Graphics are basic, but character illustrations in battle remind me a lot of character designs from the Etrian series, which is a huge compliment to the developers. Furthermore, there’s a surprising amount of CG scenes that happen throughout the entire story and features a good balance of the main girls as well as some of the monsters girls. I also thought that the music paired well with the entire adventure and helped with the immersion.
Being an H-game, there is no shortage of h-scenes, but they are generally pretty vanilla and while I expected something more along the lines of a Rance style approach, this is not the case in Sister Travel. Instead, brother is pretty sweet to all the girls and waits for permission before taking the next steps with them, but there are only a couple times when the game will give you a choice about which girl you’d like to hang out with, which adds to the possibility of replaying the game if only to see what happens.
As good of a time that I had with Sister Travel, I did encounter some things that I didn’t completely enjoy. As I mentioned before, players use a curser to get around the map, but this could get pretty annoying after the first couple of hours. Leaving the town for the 50th time and having to watch the cursor slowly move down the screen gets a little old. Also, the game lacks many system options that make customizing the experience a bit bare bones. Additionally, there could have been a feature that lets you know where to go next implemented in the diary of your room, which is just used to replay scenes with the girls.
Sister Travel has a slow beginning that turns into a great adventure of exploring a large map. Sadly, the lack of direction makes seeing the entire map much harder than it should have been. With that said, I had fun with this cast of characters and couldn’t seem to put the game down for its entire 10-hour runtime. Similarly, the battle system is more than I expected and I feel that it is one of the game’s strongest features.
With a kickass soundtrack and plenty of lewd and action filled moments, Sister Travel ended up surprising me in more ways than one. The game plays on its strengths so that you don’t mind the haphazard way that it leads it from place to place. Instead, I just ended up enjoying the thought of what was going to come next.
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