Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

Recently, I got the opportunity to review a game for a bigger game site for the first time since I started “Between Life and Games”. The site is Unikgamer, an awesome gamer collaboration site where people rank their favourite games in many categories, and a total ranking is formed and regularly updated. The game is Cherry Tree High Comedy Club – a quirky Japanese indie adventure game, apparently created by the small team 773, consisting of just one full-time member and several contributors. Now, you know me, one of my principles about “Between Life and Games” has always been that the site would be built around my gaming activities, not vice versa (at least until I go professional, hehe :)). So I’d just play the games I want to play, and then write about them. And CTHCC does not contradict that – just looking at the screenshots and short YouTube video available, combined with its apparently modest length, already convinced me that it would be a blast to play it right away and then review it.

CTHCC Title

Game: Cherry Tree High Comedy Club
Developer: 773
Platform: PC
Original release: 2012
Territories: All

As a script-heavy game that is just so Japanese at its core, the localisation effort was what would make or break Cherry Tree High Comedy Club for Western players. Nyu Media and Tezuka Productions, famous for their fabulous work localising the Phoenix Wright games, have done a very good job in that regard, preserving jokes from the original script that would be recognised by non-Japanese, and replacing the ones that were just “too Japanese” with references to material we would be familiar with, like Star Wars. Dialogue is really a major part of CTHCC, and whether you enjoy the jokes and the tone will greatly determine if you’ll enjoy the game as a whole. Despite being (even) more light-hearted, the game does remind of Phoenix Wright’s overall feel, which can only be a plus.

The gameplay is quite simple – you’re the energetic senior student Miley Verisse, and your goal is to recruit at least three people for your club by the end of April (the game starts on March 22nd). To do so, you must first identify your targets and then befriend them enough so that they agree to join the comedy club. For that, you’ll need to gain expertise in subjects they enjoy, like Video Games, Sports, Politics, Fashion, History, Pets, etc. It’s all about stat-building, gaining money to increase your stats, and of course putting those stats to good use by talking to the people. All that in a rather limited time frame. It makes for a rather frantic adventure, spiced up nicely with the story and likable cast of characters, each of them with their own ambitions and problems to take care of, and Miley willing to help them. Last, but not least, there are multiple endings, depending on how well you do!

Read full review

Advertisements

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

The best time to write a review for a game is after you’ve recently finished it, while it’s still fresh in your mind. I’ll usually stick to that rule on this site. My second review is of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona PSP remake.

Persona PSP

Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Developer: Atlus
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Release: 2009 (PSP remake)
Original release: 1996 (PlayStation)
Territories: All

I decided to get into the Persona series after I read unimaginable amounts of praise for the third and fourth installments on just about every game forum I’ve visited. And since I like being able to play through a series and observe its development in every next installment, I started at the first game, if by playing its PSP remake as opposed to the original PlayStation version.

Persona (or Revelations: Persona, as the original PS1 game’s name was) is a traditional JRPG by Atlus with turn-based combat. The game’s age certainly shows, with some of the mechanics being outdated, but there are also some very interesting ideas I had not seen before. The story is focused on psychology, if only on a fairly juvenile level, as the main characters are high school kids, still searching for their purpose in life.

Read full review

Why “Between Life and Games”?

My first real post is going to be a short story about why I chose the title of this site.

It was actually suggested by my girlfriend, and I liked it a lot. Aside from the obvious wordplay and the implication that games can be a serious matter, not just a way to recreate and pass the time, there is the inevitable division between the material and the virtual. “Life” is a blanket term for the material world used quite often online, while “Games” are only a part of the virtual one (not any less so than books or movies), but games are the main focus of this site, so I will concentrate on them.

Back when I was young, games and playing outside were the two major things I was busy with aside from school. Already then, the compromise existed. Sometimes, I would choose to play a game instead of studying or playing football. Still, most of the time I would just go outside with my friends. Today, though, I no longer have that choice. Working on a desk with internet access 8 hours a day gives me the chance to keep up-to-date with gaming news, but little time to actually play games anymore. My backlog keeps growing, but I still do my best to put in as much time as I can.

So there I am… Between life and games. I can’t skip work, refuse to see my friends or to take my girlfriend to see a movie because of a game anymore. I’ve grown up, I guess… But games still hold the same magic. They have helped shape me as a person and I will help the people who read my articles with my advice. Because, indeed, there are games that every human being deserves to experience. The magic will never fade away!