By Justin Guillou / February 14th, 2015
After trying again, I decided to focus on just one bird. I guess I just learned firsthand that being a player is a rough life that can end in disaster. And people say you can’t learn important life lessons from video games! As I got further along with some of the birds’ paths, I started to really get into them and their stories. Some end with the character realizing their dream while others end in complete tragedy! Seriously, one ending will have you going on quite the “Feel” trip. I would love to go into more detail on this but… spoilers! Some paths can only be accessed after completing another bird’s path, so multiple playthroughs are encouraged. Before you go thinking things like, “I don’t want to play through this multiple times” or “Stupid game artificially extending game length due to terrible design,” you can fast forward through text. If you click the arrow in the upper right portion of the screen, the text will fly by really quickly.
The graphics are… well… interesting. Everything has an anime-ish style to it except for the main characters. Actual pictures of birds were used for the characters’ portraits. It makes for an unusual effect, but works, given the bizarre premise of the game. Unfortunately, they are not animated, and there are only a couple of expressions for the birds. To be honest, I actually do not see it as much of an issue considering you are going to be focusing on the text on screen more than anything. Speaking of, the writing is actually pretty good. Hatoful Boyfriend is fully aware of how ridiculous it is and will provide some laughs, and even manages to break the fourth wall at times.
Your first playthrough of Hatoful Boyfriend will take about an hour or two. Subsequent playthroughs will go much faster thanks to the fast forward button. I am not kidding! You can blow through the other endings in about 10 minutes, if that. Once you complete all of the endings, you will have access to the “Bad Boy Love” storyline. This continues the story, and is actually rather dark. The tone and mood in Hatoful Boyfriend has the amazing ability to go from very happy-go-lucky to “WOW! Someone hold me right now.” If there was ever an appropriate time to say, “Well…that escalated quickly,” it is while playing this game.
Hatoful Boyfriend currently costs about $10 on Steam. I would say it is 10 bucks well spent. As I said before, it is not the longest game, but it is quirky enough to catch your interest. I have never played an Otome or dating sim that stars a female character before. Playing a game like this was definitely a ‘different’ experience than what I am used to, but I have no regrets. The characters are fun, and the story is solid. If you are interested in this game in even the slightest bit, check it out. Whether you are alone today, or spending it with a hot date, a friend or family, I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day! Take advantage and show the people that matter to you just how much you appreciate them. Go forth and spread the love!
Review Copy purchased by author.
Pages: 1 2birdsdating simHatoHatoful BoyfriendOtomeSteamvisual novel