By Jakeums / April 10th, 2020
|Title||YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World|
|Publisher||Mages, Spike Chunsoft|
|Release Date||October 1st, 2019|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch|
|Age Rating||M for Mature|
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World is a visual novel point-and-click game brought to us by the fine people at 5bp., a company which I understand has much experience in this field. I’ve been curious about this game ever since I saw it launch but never really felt compelled to give it a try. Now that I have, I can say that it’s a very interesting experience. While I wouldn’t necessarily say I was ready for it, I wasn’t disappointed with what I walked away feeling.
First, a fun little history lesson. Upon research, YU-NO was originally released in Japan in the yesteryear of 1996 for the NEC PC-98, and was later ported over to the Sega Saturn in 1997. This game has had some controversy behind it as the more intense sexual content was cut for the Western release, which I assume would be a typical occurrence with these kinds of visual novels. The sensibilities of each region tend to differ, so it’s understandable.
In YU-NO you play as a young man, Takuya Arima, who throughout his life thought that his father has been deceased. But one day he receives a package from said dead dad out of nowhere with a gift that makes it possible to travel between parallel worlds and, thus, create multiple timelines throughout his history. With this, YU-NO becomes a mystery about where your dad is and through a series of dimensional shenanigans, you realize the truth and meet the love of your life. Unfortunately, with the story being the entirety of the game in this case, anything can be considered a spoiler. So I’ll just say that the endings I got I felt content with, though I know it wasn’t the true ending.
YU-NO‘s story actually goes hand in hand with the gameplay. Being a visual novel, it utilizes a point-and-click system to interact with the world and characters. There isn’t much to say in terms of your actual input with a controller, as there isn’t really any kind of “challenge” to the gameplay. Your choices influence the story and whatever timeline you go down, and sometimes you can click or check the wrong thing and that can get you in trouble, but there’s no challenge in the general sense of the word, which I found refreshing.
The game’s very sexual, there’s no getting around that. It’s one of its main standout points that you can make everyone fall in love with you to get multiple endings to multiple timelines, as well as the fact that whatever character you come across you can look at in a lustful way (including family members…). It’s a little weird at first, but I mainly chalk it up to a form of culture shock, as this is my first visual novel, and once you remember one of the points of the game is about attraction to other people and to have a lot of cheesecake shots, it passes quickly and I learned to ignore any discomfort I might’ve had initially.
The artwork in YU-NO is, of course, another enormous standout point with this being a visual novel. It nails the “visual” part, as even past the character designs the environments look crisp and beautiful. These are all remakes of the original art from the source game, and if they’re anything like this, it’s very impressive for 1996.
A huge point that stands out in YU-NO is the music. Specifically the opening tracks, it has a really nice classic feel to it as it combines smooth synths with square waves that make for a classic sound. The composer for the original 1996 release was Ryu Umemoto, and the remake uses the original tunes with remixes that come from Keishi Yonao. Even without the context of the game for set dressing, it’s a fantastic compilation of music and I understand how it was influential at the time of its original release. It still holds up fantastically.
YU-NO and the girl with a really long title was a fun, sexy romp through weirdness and time travel. The turns and twists are interesting, the artwork is beautiful and regardless of anyone’s feelings on the content, it’s clear that YU-NO has had a huge impact on its side of the industry. I’m happy to see these kinds of unique experiences come back from the past, as if this stayed locked to the past of the 90s, we would’ve missed out on a pretty fun ride. For $40, it’s one of the more interesting budget titles you’ll find. My about 8-hour playthrough would be neat to try again and see the true ending. I look forward to experiencing more visual novels!
Review copy provided by publisher, thank you!
5bpserogenintendo switchPS4visual novelYU-NO