Written By: JP
Developer: B-Dasan Suisen
Localized By: RoseVerte
Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Release Date: July 2011 (JAP), June 2013 (ENG)
Love Sniper is not an EVN per se. It was originally released in 2011 to a purely Japanese audience. While I have no idea how it did over there, I do know that Roseverte decided late last year to localize it for a Western audience. For those of you who remember my Duplicity review, then you know of my run-ins with that particular brand. However, since many have demanded that your humble host review more titles from the Source Wall, who am I to disobey?
And so, the madness begins.
Love Sniper is not to be taken seriously in any way, shape or form. Its story, if you can call it that considering how light it is, is just a convenient excuse to see how many twisted ways Heiji’s desires can be destroyed. It is a decent mix of dark and light humor with some jabs to romance clichés. And while there are some truly hilarious and memorable endings, there is a good chunk of the endings are pretty forgettable because they’re either too serious or the joke just doesn’t translate to ‘funny’ in English.
Unfortunately, that’s just the law of the jungle. But what does work works very well is the main character Heiji. As the center of this unfortunate string of events, we have to not only laugh with him and at him, but also sympathize with him. And the timing of his dialogue is so sharp that we manage to feel all three when appropriate. I can only compare him to Daffy Duck or Tom (of Tom and Jerry of course) where knowing something bad is going to happen to him makes you laugh.
What will also make you laugh is the little devil that’s interjected himself in Heiji’s situation. Picchu is an arrogant, ridiculous looking thing who levels the playing field a bit in that no one is expected to feel sorry for him. His banter with Heiji is rightfully the highlight of the game and the two make a great tandem. Unfortunately you never really feel like Picchu gets his comeuppance for being so arrogant, but at least the ‘apple’ gets flicked around a few good times.
Considering the universality of his situation, it’s a pretty morbid to take so much enjoyment in the complete failure of the supernatural to help him out. I can only surmise that this is because we actually do want him and Ageha to become a couple…even though their only basis of a relationship is an eraser and Heiji’s willingness to go through so much crap for even the possibility of her affection. This small theme is hammered in a few of the endings and it is one of the things I mentioned before, but when you get to the True Ending of the game it manages to ring true enough that you feel a sense of success.
Like I said earlier, story-wise it isn’t bulletproof. It really is just a mechanism to drive you to want to collect the endings. But it manages that okay and lets Heiji and Picchu do the rest of the heavy lifting. And despite a few missteps, I was laughing along with them.
Stray Dog in Love Sniper (2013-2013) T__T
Presentation & Gameplay
Gameplay is pretty basic as well. Choice doesn’t factor in until the last minute of the regular game, when Heiji directs where Picchu will shoot his arrow…so I guess that April Fool’s about FPS: the Visual Novel kinda came true here. Because the goal is to collect the endings, there really isn’t a ‘wrong choice’ to make. The only problem is that you do have to remember what your previous combinations for the endings where, otherwise you’ll risk repeating a few routes.
And the translation from Japanese to English is...pretty rough. We're talking 90s anime dub rough. From what I understand English isn't the first language of anyone involved and it isn't a total distraction, but lines such as, 'So he's the type that is called the Enemy of the Girls' will cause your teeth to grind into new, fascinating shapes!
Hide Under Her Skirt! She'll Never Find You Under There!
- Bad End 6. Bad. End. 6. If the game didn't make this joke, I would've sued.
- Bad End 11 which is just amazingly funny to me for some reason
- The True Bad End
- The True Good End (it really is pretty sweet)
+ Fun Story With Entertaining Characters
+ The Comedy Doesn't Stop Until The True End
- Some Jokes Just Don't Translate Well
- Some Endings Are More Equal Than Others