Friday, 28 December 2012

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club Review

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a visual novel game, now available on Steam, in which you play the protagonist Miley. After getting to final year in high school and realising that her dreams to be a comedian are fast approaching breaking point, Miley decides that she is going to start a Comedy Club at Cherry Tree High School. Miley's attempt to enourage people to laugh and smile will be in your hands as you set off on your mission to recruit new members.

CTHCC is a very cute game, filled with the usual anime sweetness and light that you may be used to. There are a variety of characters to speak to, all with believable and interesting dialogue. As you become more friendly with each of the characters, more and more is revealed about themselves as you play along. You need at least 5 members to reach your goal, and with you and Hariet already enrolled, 3 is the actual base number you need to recruit. Many people ask, is the game actually funny? While it won't have you rolling around on the floor, it does have some dialogue that will make you chuckle.

The gameplay is broken down into different elements. There is the novel element which progresses the story as you level up, and this spurs you on to become closer to each of the characters. You progress through a calender, each with a Morning, Afternoon and Evening. In the morning and afternoon, you can choose to speak to various characters or participate in events around town. You can get a coffee, watch a movie, or chat to your friends. Miley herself has stats, and if you increase those your ability to talk about certain topics will increase. This all helps in recruiting new members, especially if they love a topic you are talking about!

You can make money by making necklaces, or by helping out at the local shrine. The game is supposedly set in America but everything about it is very Japanese, so I do find it odd why they've tried to label it as an American city.

I also really hate the controls. For some reason, they just don't feel natural at all, the select and cancel buttons are annoyingly interchangable and don't really correlate well. This is easily overcome as you get more absorbed in the storyline, but if you are playing with a keyboard it may get quite irritating. The artwork is very pretty, and the interface is not too bad either. The music, as most visual novels, is pretty generic but not annoyingly so, and it's a lot better than some I've heard.

Overally, CTHCC is a relaxing visual novel game, it's not very hardhitting or impactful but it'd be good for a playthrough on a Sunday afternoon. It's certainly very charming, and you'll likely want to play through it again as you can replay with data from your previous save, and you can aim to get a variety of endings, too. While a number of things could be improved, such as a raise in the difficulty, better controls, and perhaps a longer game in general, CTHCC is everything you expect from a game of this genre.

I give Cherry Tree High Comedy Club a 7 out of 10.


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