Brighter than Dawning Blue

After the Drama in Parfait chocolat second brew, and the sugary sweet romance in Nanatsuiro Drops, I came to Brighter than Dawning blue (Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na), A game I’ve been putting off for a while. Why?

Because whenever I hear praise for it, it’s always about the music, the voice acting, and the art. I have never come across a single post mentioning how great the story is. So I played this game, with little expectations. Surprisingly, around 90% of it bored me. Yes, this game missed the bar by a long shot, let me tell you why.

Information

Title:夜明け前より瑠璃色な ( Yoake Mae yori Ruri Iro na)
Company:オーガスト (August)
operating environmentWin98SE/Me/2000/XP
Price 9,240Yen (tax included)
Sale Date2005/09/22
Art:べっかんこう
Warning: 18+
http://august-soft.com/yoake/index.htm

In the future, the earth and the moon are 2 countries with high tension in between each other, remnants of a war fought centuries ago. You are a seemingly normal high school guy, but your father disappeared when you were little and your mother died soon after. Ever since then, your cousin had been supporting the family. You, your cousin, and your younger sister all live together, and you work at the restaurant that your neighbor owns. You have 3 dogs and like them a lot. One day, your cousin (who happens to be the curator of the moon museum) announces that the princess of the moon is going to be part of the home stay program, and that she’s going to be living with you….

Characters:

The characters are full of clichés and they are pretty static.

Feena Fam Earthlight

The Princess of the moon kingdom, she’s coming to your house as a home stay. Beautiful, smart athletic, and kind, she has the admiration of her people and everybody in your class when she transfers there for 2 weeks.

Mia Clementis
A petite and shy maid, complements of the princess. She’s there to take care of Feena’s needs but never talks about what she wants. She works hard at anything she does.

Mai Asagiri

Your younger sister who’s not really blood related. She plays the flute and you often go with her for practices by the riverside.

Natsuki Tsukamizawa

Your childhood friend, class mate, and co-worker (she’s a waitress in the place you work, which happens to be her family restaurant.) She’s very helpful and never says no to her friends.

Sakuya Hozumi

The pillar that supports the family, she’s really bad in the mornings. She once went to the moon on a scholar ship and wants to ease the tension between the people.

Wreathlit (Wreath) Noel

A mysterious girl who acts like she dosen’t really care about anything. She dosen’t speak much, but when she does, it sounds like something that’s way past her age. She never talks about herself and dosen’t seem to get hot, even though she’s wearing a big layered dress in the sweltering summer.

Graphics: 9/10

High quality, but not to my tastes. It is clear that a lot of effort has been put into it, the characters are well designed, have many poses and there’s even a glow effect on the character images. All the art is clean and fresh, and the guys don’t look that bad. But it’s simply not to my tastes. I don’t like the way the eyes are drawn or the designs of the cloths. Another problem is that even though there’s a lot of cg, most of them are for the h-scenes.

Music and Voice acting: 13/15

The music fits the mood very well, but none of them standout all that much. I don’t have a particular like or dislike for either opening songs. Oh yes, there’s 2 opening songs and many background tracks, quite a bit of budgect had been put into that.

I think that the voice adcting was very well done. The voices chosen fit the characters and I was particularly impressed with that of Feena’s. She had a voice of elegance that could powerful at the right times. All the voices were pleasing to the ears, and there was no squeaky high voice anywhere to be heard.

System: 7/10

The options are what you would expect from a visual novel. The interface’s not as pretty as those in say, Otoboku, but they do look quite good. The game lets you review all cg and character poses.

When you first go through the game, you are forced through Feena’s normal ending. After that, Mia, Natsuki, Mai and Sakuya’s paths are unlocked. Finishing all those paths will unlock Wreath’s ending, which in turn unlocks Feena’s true ending. All paths besides the true ending will unlock a short story accessible through the main menu. The story will be mostly comedy and an h-scene.

Story: 4/10

The game follows a precise formula:

3 giant slices of life + realization of love + a ladle of confusion + 1 confession + a liter of love + 1 date + something that stands in the way of them being together + overcoming the obstacle = the happy ending.

I’m not saying that this formula dosen’t work, but there’s too much slice of life and descriptions. For me, the parts that I really enjoyed were the confessions and overcoming the obstacle, and those are sadly the smallest parts of the story. In the true ending, there’s a lot more drama and quite a twist, but the way they solved everything feels too much like a deus ex machina. I think that people who really enjoy slice of life stories would like this game a bit better though.

Gut feelings:2/5

I think that this game is badly planned. A lot of effort was put into Feena’s true ending, but you have to go through so much to get to the good stuff that I don’t think it’s worth it. My advice is to play Feena’s normal ending once, then get a save file from the internet, and go through noel’s and Feena’s true ending. Afterwards, you can go through the path of any girl that interested you.

Total score: 35/50

A decent way to pass the time, but turn away if you are looking for something exciting or deep.

I played this game in Chinese so some information might be incorrect. Please leave a comment if you stop any errors.

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6 thoughts on “Brighter than Dawning Blue

  1. I’ve always wanted to play a game like this… Unfortunately, I can’t read Chinese, I can only understand it…

    Looking forward to more of your reviews on these kinds of games! They’re interesting

  2. *sigh* I love Visual Novels. It’s one of the main reasons I’m working so hard to learn Japanese.

    But about this game, I started laughing once I read the, “Little sister, but not really” character. They got all the typical girls covered in this game, you can say that much. But the art really looks good, just a little strange in some images, but well-done I think.

    If you keep doing these reviews, I’ll keep reading them, though it’s more like torturing myself since I can’t really play the games, lol.

  3. I’ve finished Feena’s story, Natsuki’s, and Midori’s.
    The PC ver of this game has 6 heroines introduced in this entry.
    But PS2 ver has more 2 heroines,Midori Toyama and Estel Freesia.
    I like Midori the best now.
    I haven’t finished all the heroines, but I want to finish them ASAP.

  4. Pingback: New translations, and they’re all mediocre « Calamitous Intent

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