Gift on the iTouch/iPhone, first impressions

2-02aA few days ago, a rich friend of mine got Gift for his iTouch and lend the thing to me for the weekend. I have spent a couple of hours on it. It lags, it’s slice of life on top of slice of life, it took me over 5 hours to get through the prologue and it feels like the rest of it is going to take me until the end of the year (not even F/SN’s prologue took me that long). Also, the translation feels like a 12 year old guy from Singapore using babelfish. Even with my absolutely rudimentary understanding of Japanese I can tell there are mistakes within the translation, in fact, you don’t even need to know Japanese to see the mistakes.

It’s not just the grammar, which is horrendous, by the way. For some reason, our protagonist is sometimes called a “Jolly dog”, and when his besi friend says “Amami-kun”, the text says “Dengkai”. The characters will often say things like “half a jiffy”, a dojo is somehow a “stable of kendo”, manga is “animation book” while shoujo manga is “lady comic”, and there are sometimes random lines of code. Let’s also remember the spelling mistakes (there has been every mistake from November to Gundam). The writer loves to use the word “Nuts”, and uses it ib the place of “what?”, “What the hell is that?”, “really?”, “NO!”, “too bad”, and “that’s not right”. And I’m always left wondering what the characters are really saying when they ramble on for half a minute with only 1 short sentence on the screen (the voice says “That’s not all it is”, the text says “And,”).  Girls are often called “he”, and vice versa. There has been many cases where I guessed more of the meaning from the character’s voices than the test itself because it’s so bad.

And did I mention that it LAGS?

The music is generic and the art is generic (see the above CG? They’re so cheap that they didn’t even bother to draw the background or use any interesting angles). The whole thing seems like it was ripped off from Da capo, and staring at a small screen puts a big toll on my eyes.

After going through too much Memories off, I am just sick and tired of happy slice of life, especially one where I have to read “I am thinking of free task of summer vacation” or “Now I should often memo for it” WHILE the words don’t match the character’s voice or expression.

But I feel had at asking the friend to get the game, and then not going anything. And I’ve read that this has a yandere in it. If the story’s actually good, I can always wait for the Chinese translation (which has already started by a translation group, it won’t strain my eyes, PLUS it won’t have all the translation mistakes, PLUS it won’t lag, PLUS there are more save slots in the PC game). So, any advice? Should I continue on with Gift or not? Is it worth playing on the iTouch? Is it worth waiting for a translation that might never come out?

Meanwhile, I’ll try to finish Kana little sister (finished the first 3 endings when it first came out but then got bored and deleted it, starting it again because I felt like it).


14 thoughts on “Gift on the iTouch/iPhone, first impressions

  1. I am glad you did this mini-preview of sorts. I own an ipod touch and I was contemplating on whether this app is worth the 10 bucks. And after seeing your description of the horrible translation, I think I would be better off waiting for the team on the sumisora forums for the Chinese translation

    My personal opinion? Given what I’ve seen of the anime and the relatively low scores around the web, I don’t think you would be even missing much if a proper translation never comes out. (The art looks like it’s a rip-off from Da Capo because Moonstone, the company, used some of the former staff of Circus to make this game)

  2. I’ve been playing this as well for the last day or two, and am a few days into the common path. I actually played some of the Japanese PS2 version of the game a few years ago, so this is my second time going through the game. I think part of the “generic” feel is that the game is a bit old now (I think it was originally a 2004 game?).

    About the lag, I actually haven’t had a problem with that. I’m using an iPhone 3GS, though, so perhaps there’s a difference between the versions of the hardware? I do notice that it rips through the battery life, though.

    But for the rest… I have to agree that the translation is rather horrible. I definitely use the audio to bring context to the written text, since it often doesn’t make any sense as written. Some of the translation choices are, as you pointed out, very strange. I’m already really sick of seeing “Nuts” used as a fill-in for just about every expression imaginable. Plus the awkward changes in person/tense are really random and an obvious sign that the translator really doesn’t know English very well at all (it’s as if they are translating from Japanese to some other language to English or something).

    I don’t know that the game will actually showcase anyone going “yandere”, though I haven’t finished the requisite path. I don’t think so, though; if you’re on her path, it’s very unlikely to happen. All in all, though, the game’s story reminds me a lot of the original Da Capo, which was fresh the time but is also looking a bit old-fashioned at this point. In the end, I’ll probably play it through eventually given that it’s on the phone now (could be good to keep me busy on trips and whatnot), and it was only $9.99, so it’s not going to break the bank. But I do wish they could have at least done a decent translation job, because this really is pretty poor.

  3. It’s unfortunate that the translated version of Gift for iPhone/iPod touch reads like the script was run through Babelfish by someone who barely knew English. But on the other hand, I’ve played several commercially released translations of H games which were not any better. It’s rather troubling to think that fan translations are sometimes much more coherent…

    I didn’t notice much lag on my 3rd generation iPod Touch. But the text was slow, unless I touched the screen twice.

    Also, I’m just past the prologue, and still not sure if there are save slots in the iPhone version. At least the player can pause the game, charge the device, and pick it up again.

    It sounds like an English version of Kira Kira will be released on Windows and iPhone. Right now I’m gonna wait and see. If the writing is better, then I might choose to pay less for the iPhone version, even if it lacks features.

    • I’m not sure if it works the same way for you, a double tap brings up the options. You can also change the text speed in the options menu. A flick to the right skips unread text, a flick to the left skips unread text.
      I don’t think that it’s troubling for fan translations to be of higher quality. Whatever people does for love WILL be better than what people do for money.

  4. By the way, as an update, I ran into a fatal app crash in the script under Riko’s path on May 3rd. Sent in a bug report, but I hope they can speak enough English to understand and fix it… ^^;

    I’d be curious to see if everyone else also has the same problem.

    And yeah, to dork at large, save slots are also accessible through the menu (which you can open by tapping on the screen with two fingers). You will want to use these in the event you run into the aforementioned bug. ^^;

    • Wow, you’re fast. I’m skipping through much of the common story (if it’s anything like Toheart2 or Da capo, those events won’t mean much, from what I can tell, they’re mostly fluff anyway). Anyway, only on the first day of Riko’s path, how do you feel about the story, as far as you went? (This game is LONG, going to the 20th feels long enough, but then I realize that this goes on until the end of MAY).

      • Well, I should say this is actually my second time playing through Riko’s story, the first time being on the PS2 version of the game. To the point where I left off, the story was still building up and was just approaching the turning point. From around May 5 on, the story changes tones to be a mix of romance and drama from there ’till the end (I guess that’s around the 2/3 point?).

        In terms of the story in general… Riko’s path is the “canon ending” of the game, so it gets into a lot of the secrets about Gift, and contains a fair bit of drama. It brings to mind the D.C. anime in some ways (and was also the base of the Gift anime). It also gets into some of Haruhiko’s issues as well. So, if you like those sorts of magically-influenced romantic dramas, that’s what the story’s all about. In some ways I do think the story is showing its age by now (since it’s all been done), but I would at least say it’s average or a bit above average. In the common path there is a fair bit of fluff, but as usual they leave little hints here and there about what’s to come. There’s still a long section in the heroine’s path before you get to the turning point and then work on the resolution.

        In general terms, though, I wouldn’t say this game is particularly long compared to most eroge these days. Probably around average? If anything, I would say that eroge stories have been getting longer on average over the last few years.

        Anyway, I’ve been continuing the game on the PC version for now and, actually, it doesn’t have that many more save slots except for the fact that you could manually rename the save folder to get a whole new set. One thing I noticed in the process is that the iPhone/iPod Touch version is basically the same as the PC version except that the excised any questionable CG. For example, I noticed that the PC version has a scene where Haruhiko walks in on Riko without knocking and she’s changing. In the PC version, you get a CG that shows doesn’t show too much, just a bit of Riko’s bra, but that CG is completely gone from the CG list in the iPhone/iPod Touch version. I guess that’s one way to avoid having to redraw/censor. ^^;

        Anyway, will probably complete Riko’s path on the PC, and then go back to try the other paths in the translated version (hopefully no more crash bugs…).

  5. Ahhh, iPhone app, why couldn’t they just do PC version.

    I thought the common fan consensus was that Gift IS Da Capo, just with Nemu and Kotori in reversed positions (=9), and hence it’s also why the Kotorism fans watched the anime with zeal.

  6. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

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