Shukufuku no Campanella Revisited

Or, Shukufuku no Campanella Part II: This Time is Personal.

So instead of playing anyone of the other possible games I had, I decided to check the new content added in the PSP version of Shukufuku no Campanella, and ended up replaying the whole thing. Exactly why is beyond me; I didn’t even like this so much the first time around. One thing is clear: my time could have been better spent elsewhere.

This does give me the chance, however, to better articulate my thoughts on the game, which didn’t happen so well previously. Or rather, there was some time lag between me playing the game and making the review, so the experience wasn’t as fresh as it could have been. Which is all an elegant way of saying that the former review was actually a piece of crap. So don’t check the previous link. Or this one. Which is actually the same.

Shukufuku no Campanella is a 2009 game by Windmill Oasis. It had an all ages PSP port in 2010 and a fandisc later in 2010.

Shukufuku no Campanella

vndb EGS(PC) EGS(PSP)

Shukufuku no Campanella is somewhat of a mixed bag. The engine and interface are neat, especially in the PSP version, which even gives use to the analog stick. Graphically is very pretty; the number of CGs is not so high, though the number of their variations is huge (it should be noted, however, that in adapting to the PSP aspect ratio, the PSP version’s graphics lose a sizeable bit of their margins). I particularly like the character designs: I may have something for long skirts, but found the design of every main heroine (and sub characters also, at most only a little less) very appealing.

And even not counting the designs, the characters themselves are very nice. Or rather, is the dynamic between them that’s very funny. I actually didn’t feel a whole lot for the characters by themselves (which means that the romance would need to try harder -which doesn’t-), but when they’re together comedy flows naturally. And there are quite a few characters; the main character gets points for not being an usual hetare protagonist (he can be quite dense, however), and the game as a whole gets points for having that rare species that is the parents characters: both parents for both MC and osananajimi, and if the parents are not present for some other character, there’s usually a reason (like, they live half a world away).

So at its best, this game is comedy gold. Not always is at its best, however. After a somewhat extended prologue starts the main trunk, consisting in a series of quests. This is where the game shines the most: when the characters do silly quests and their conversations get sidetracked by endless manzai routines (without the Tortilla sisters, the most hilarious characters ever, the game would probably lose half its value).

(With respect to the quests, of note is that the PSP version upgrades the combat system, to a very simple system, and though it feels a little more RPG-ish, the difficulty may have even lower than in the original).

It’s also awfully saccharine. Even before the routes, which start with a parade of icha icha, everyone is just so good with everybody else it may as well give you cavities. Even the villains are actually good persons. Not being bothered by that may be a requirement for enjoying this.

When the routes start, those silly quests and most of the comedy disappear. The romance starts; but since there wasn’t a whole lot of foreshadowing for that in the quests (or elsewhere), it seems to come from nowhere, and the game doesn’t really make a good case for it. For the MC, at least; it was already made very clear that the heroines were all heads over heels with the protagonist (which may or may not be a plus).

And after a (not so short) while of icha icha the real drama starts, the shit hits the fan, the whole world is in danger, and everything is saved at the last moment. Medetashi medetashi. These routes are not terrible by a long margin, and the final scene does manage to be quite awesome, with a good use of the BGM. They’re not particularly stellar either, and, like everything else in this game, probably a bit too long (this is no Twinkle Crusaders, but still has quite a bit of text for 4 main routes). Also, consistence between the routes is not a forte. Is not actually as bad as I remembered, which comes to show that a forced playing order could have helped, since that way there’s a neat progression of reveals and menaces. But still the case of the fourth route is particularly egregious. If you get bothered by those things, this will bother you.

Which also means that even with world menacing troubles this feels basically like a characters based game which uses those troubles as the scenario ending drama every game of the kind has.

So overall, like I said at the beginning, this is a mixed bag. The character interactions are amusing, and the character designs are nice, but the drama is not so good (even if it doesn’t reach “bad” either), and there’s an awful lot of it. But for a light, fun read (if not exactly quick), it may be worth it.

Shukusai no Campanella!

vndb EGS

Loli time

This fandisc for Shukufuku no Campanella adds after stories for the main heroines (and Nina), and alternate scenarios for the Tortilla sisters (this time individually) and Avril. There’s also a quiz scenario prominently featuring Garnet (still no Garnet sexy time, though).

The main heroines after stories are not very interesting. They consist in a little bit of drama, but that never was this game’s strong point. And once again, they’re longer than they’d probably need to be. If I’d need to use a single word, it would be “boring”. There’s some points for featuring Mise (though not as much as I’d liked), which turned out to be one of the most hilarious characters ever.

The subheroines scenarios are not much better, but they’re at least more interesting, shedding some light on characters that didn’t have so much screen time in the original.

Cooking time

And the quiz part is kinda fun, though also somewhat hard (at least for the non Japanese me). Though once you progress it does become easier. The short stories part are neat, but the busywork needed to reach them may be somewhat excessive. It does lose novelty fast, but the quiz parts remains reasonably fun (and can also be quite educational). There’s also a lot of Garnet, so you may want to play this for that.

Overall, kinda on the weak side, as far as fandiscs go. The best part of the original was the silly comedy, and there wasn’t anything of it here. You do get to see more of some minor characters, though, so there’s that.

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