Ryu’s Musings – Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (Game)

Posted on March 2nd, 2013 by Ryu Sheng |

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Comedy fanatic and high school student Miley Verisse has decided to set up a comedy club in her school, but her nemesis and the head of the student council, Octavia Richmond, isn’t about to make things easy… The school rules require a minimum of 5 students to set up a new club and Miley is 3 people short! Spring break has just started and Miley has until the end of April to recruit the 3 new members she needs to start the club or Octavia will have the last laugh!

Guide Miley through idyllic Cherry Tree Town as she makes new friends and endeavors to persuade them to join her high school comedy club in this anime-style comic adventure game.

Explore the town and level up Miley’s repertoire of conversational topics by reading books, watching TV, etc. then apply them to persuade potential recruits to join your new club. Some topics require money to build up, so you will need to find part time work such as cleaning the local temple and making jewelry accessories.

Developer 773’s game features a host of quirky characters, catchy music, and is a must-play for fans of anime and manga. Laugh and the world laughs with you!

So i picked this one up over christmas and forgot about it lol. It’s sat on my PC ever since gathering dust, and that’s probably where it’s gonna stay.

The game itself is frequently compared to the Persona series, specifically Persona 4, only without the dungeon crawling. I’ve not played Persona 4 yet, waiting on my Vita to arrive, but I’m hoping it’s not as dull as this game was.

Now, kudos to the Dev., 773 is essentially a one man bad who brings in the odd other person when he needs assistance with a specific task. On that basis i have to admit the game is pretty damn good. It’s easy to see that there’s a lot of work gone into the game, and that it was a labour of love.

However despite that the game itself is boring and tedious to play through. The main character is a perky teen, but i found her personality to be grating after a while. This could be because of the localisation of the game, rather than doing a translation of the game 773 brought in Tezuka Productions who basically went through the entire game and rewrote it in an american style.

In games i don’t generally have an issue with this if it’s done write, Recettear being a prime example. However the westernisation in this game feels wrong, forced and not very fluid for me. After a while i was so sick of Miley that i was on the side of the student council wanting to get rid of her. This is a really bad part of the game, the main character is supposed to appeal to the play, not alienate them.

the other characters i encountered as i played through did have a better sense of personality to them. I liked Sara Croft, she has a good personality that came out really well. they really captured the reclusive personality of her. As was Cindy’s personality, i loved the way she fights with Miley, probably because she feels the same way about Miley that i do lol.

The personality issues and over westernisation could have been forgiven, but the game play is rather tedious. You basically run around talking to people and that’s it. With no sort of combat in it or other form of distraction, the game gets boring very fast when you realise your just repeating the same thing over and over again.

There was potential for other elements to be added, since there’s an arcade you can visit as well as a crane game. There was a lot of potential here for mini games that would have broken the tedium, and could have potentially saved the game.

Another issue the game has is the sound assets. In a game like this, with no dialogue, the music is crucial, sadly it’s totally crap. We do get a rather peppy bit of music, but it just repeat; over and over and over and over and over. Yup that’s it, talk about tedium on top of tedium.

Finally we have the art. I’m not going to say the art looks bad, because it doesn’t, it actually looks good for what it is, a 2d side scroller. However the game is locked to 640*480 which means you have a tiny box in the middle of your screen. I don’t even have my monitor on full HD and the box looks terrible. You can ALT+Enter to go into full screen, but all it does is stretch everything, which makes the sprites and fonts look bad. The character art used when characters are talking doesn’t look to bad, but everything else does sadly.

Given this game is relatively new, there’s no reason for it to be locked to such a low resolution. 773 should have made it high resolution so it looks better when in full screen.

Finally we have the problems with getting it to run. I bought this on steam and there’s a lot of issues with getting it to run. These are issues with the game engine not being compatible with steam, but also not being compatible with later OS such as Vista and 7. You have to alter settings within windows itself to get the game to run.

Again, since the game is new (it’s less than a year old coming out in Apr 12) it shouldn’t have these issues. Both stem from the engine the Dev. used, RPG Maker XP, which is frankly a bad engine to use for modern games due to it’s limitations. There are several other engines that lend themselves to this genre that don’t have the issues that RPG Maker has.

Now, the saving grace of this game is it’s cost, it’s only £5, and does frequently go on sale. I bought it when it was on sale for £1.99, and based on that cost I’d say it was an okay purchase. I can’t really recommend it at it’s current price, but when it’s on sale, for the hour or so it’ll take you to get bored with it, it could be an okay purchase. I left it installed and will probably finish it over a period of different game plays. But it’s unlikely I’ll ever play it for more than an hour a time.

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