After playing Swimmer Admiration, finding words to describe it has ultimately failed me; for starters, the game’s art is a mixed bag. While the female characters look good and even give off a painted feel, we then see the male characters who just look off, and that’s only the beginning.
Swimmer Admiration features four characters you encounter that come off like caricatures of people you might know from similar stories. I found myself either dismissing the dialogue with a joke or just rolling my eyes. The demo available is short enough to complete in about a half hour or so but leaves much to be desired.
Let’s begin with the art. As mentioned, I did appreciate the art design as the characters and setting look like a painting made with digital tools. This gives the backgrounds a nice uniform look that allows it to use a more natural blurring effect that works great.
The character designs for the female characters are decent and match the tone set by the narrative. On the other hand, the men look like they are in a slightly different art style. Not enough to really see at first, but the more you look at them, the more off they seem standing next to the female characters.
This also goes into the way the characters stand against the background. Usually, you would have different images for different poses, but the characters seem to have one or two poses when shown. Changes mostly happen in their expressions which can be subtle to slightly exaggerated depending on the emotion that they are trying to convey.
However, not having very many poses that can help convey that emotion makes the entire thing feel stiff to me, as if the world is not alive. This is also not helped because you only ever see the four characters interact with each other.
This brings me to the characters themselves. Based on what is shown in the demo, there are only these four characters: the heroine, Ishihara Kasumi, star swimmer Zoe Kaplan, local punk Aidan, and Coach Miller.
With the little time you get with them, they all seem very one-dimensional, but the two female characters have the most room to change and grow, considering the story focuses on them. Still, the two male characters don’t seem to show the slightest chance of growth and are set up in such a way that unless something drastic happens, I can pretty much see what role they’ll ultimately play.
There is still plenty of time before the full release for changes to be implemented. From what I have seen of the story, I hope that the narrative expands on what was shown. Still, even with some changes, I find it hard to see myself going back to it upon the full release. The game’s overall tone is just off, and I don’t really like where it’s going, but any improvement to the core narrative will make it a better product for fans of eroge.
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