By Diego Hernandez / May 25th, 2020
|Release Date||April 23rd, 2020|
|Genre||Visual Novel, Yuri, Romance|
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita|
|Age Rating||MATURE 17+|
In an uncomfortable reality, let’s shift gears and talk about a dream in Yumeutsutsu Re:Master. A tale of finding love while making games that released back in June of last year. In short, a girls’ love story from the very special team over at Kogado Studios. The last sentence will seem familiar to you and that’s because this isn’t the developer’s first trip down yuri lane. You may recall a title by the name of Nurse Love Syndrome, I know I do since I have a review on it. On the subject of that review, I spoke about how Kogado brilliantly shines a light on mature themes in an initially frightening setting while keeping things all-ages. It seems they got the memo from a lot of people echoing the sentiment as they double down for Yumeutsutsu. Four scenario writers, two new artists, voice actors aplenty. How does it hold up?
Welcome to a tiny town by the name of Koenji. Your new name is Ai Otori. Life may be boring right now, but it’s your past that’s interesting. You used to have a very close relationship with your sister until three years ago when she texted you to stay away from her. Try as you may to figure out the reason for such an unexpected change of heart, it’s impossible right now. That is until you receive a job offer from an unlikely field: game development. The head of Eureka Soft sends an offer with a cryptic message: Save your sister. Things keep getting weirder by the minute, but you decide it’s time to finally figure out what the hell is going on. After moving into the company’s dorms, your first day is about to begin. Little did you know that this would be the first domino to fall.
The beginning of Yumeutsutsu Re:Master keeps the Kogado tradition of making sure you’re as far out of the loop as possible. To clarify, that means you will understand nothing. Normally, and justifiably so, you’d call this a bad thing if you were a newcomer. However, consider treating this like the slow start of a very fast roller-coaster. Game development is a special kind of hell and mixing in romance is asking for trouble. Without spilling the entirety of the beans, Ai’s got a lot of work to deal with. Furthermore, it gets even more challenging when she doesn’t know a single thing about game development. Back to reality, as the new assistant director, you now have a new set of colleagues and choices that will lead you down some unexpected paths. Let’s take this time to introduce those very special people.
Let’s start with the narrative writer, Saki Mugendo. Saki comes with a warning label off the bat – do not underestimate her. She may be small, and she may look young, but she’s a incredibly mature and self-centered woman. She’s known around the office as the Tinysaurus. As cute as it sounds, you’ll do well to avoid trespassing on her den, or desk. Her roars may be frightening, but be mindful and heed her occasional words of wisdom. She’s one of the founding members of Eureka Soft that worked tirelessly to earn her place in the industry. However, it’s very easy to forget that when she treats the office like her home and only ever wears a tracksuit amidst an unpredictable sleeping schedule. Looks can be deceiving, just don’t let her know you thought about that.
In my first year of writing reviews for Operation Rainfall, I’ve learned that writing is a mentally exhausting task at times. Whether it’s my own reviews or hearing about developers struggling to make a story that sticks. Needless to say, when I found I could go on the writer’s route, I was expecting a grim reminder of that fact. The scenario written by Naoyuki Takeuchi details the familiar struggles of striking a balance between meeting a deadline and keeping your sanity in check. All while reminding you that support from a close friend is all you need at times. Saki’s route is far and away the most innocent of the choices as a testament to her appearance. The best way to describe it would be to say that at the end of the day, this dinosaur is a girl with a heart that needs warmth. A perfect first route choice.
Next on our list of dazzling heroines we have the ever-charismatic Nana Tachibana. As forward and silly as they come, this girl’s a part timer at Eureka Soft. An aspiring voice actor who seems to be struggling landing gigs. As such, she takes multiple jobs to pay the bills. However, that doesn’t stop her from being the light in the dark path of game development. She’s been around long enough to know how to read the room and properly calm everyone down when needed. She accomplishes all of this while cosplaying as a maid and naming herself the Banana Maid, adding onto an already silly profile. She’ll be your best friend in your first few days in the company, and she’ll be quite forward with her advances in an effort to ease you back to this grim reality. However, something about that smile doesn’t seem entirely natural.
Voice acting, the eternal battle royale where only one comes out on top for a prime role. Who better to convey such emotional struggles in this industry than the second scenario writer, Hatsumi Shimizu? Yuri fans will be quick to recognize this name as they’re responsible for the scenario in the Flowers series. A series best recognized for its extensive drama and perplexing mysteries on top of forbidden love. Transitioning to this route after finishing Saki’s route lowered my guard for an emotional ambush. While I won’t give specifics away, this is not a route for the faint of heart. As the wheels of fate expose more of Nana’s past to you, the choices you make go way beyond simply winning the heart of a damsel. It’s a matter of life and death. Being the brightest smile in the room doesn’t mean anything if it’s fake. Proceed with caution.
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