By Steve Baltimore / January 10th, 2022
|Title||Moero Downhill Night|
|Release Date||November 9th, 2009|
Welcome to the first entry in JAST Classics Reviews. This will be a monthly series in which I pick a classic title from the JAST Store and give it a review. There are a lot of these older titles that I’ve never gotten a chance to check out, so this should be a lot of fun. I decided to start with Moero Downhill Night. My first impression was that this was Initial D with some eroge, but let’s see how this fast and furious ride turned out.
The story follows a young man named Daichi Shou that works at a soba shop as a delivery boy. The shop is located on Himeda mountain ridge, and the young man drives a badass moped on the same route everyday. One day on his delivery route, an accident happens that sends him flying through the air, knocking him out. Daichi awakens in the passenger seat of a taxi next to a beautiful girl. She seems to think he is a legendary racing navigator, but he has no memory of what happened after the accident. The girl’s name is Michi, and he has now found himself wrapped in a world of cute girls and fast cars!
The story here is very straightforward. Daichi is one very confused man that is just trying to navigate his way through life, but he keeps getting thrown into these extreme situations with Michi. She is a cute taxi driver with a father that is a bit unhinged, to say the least. Daichi becomes taken with her very quickly, as the two work toward her dream of being a racer. Though you will only navigate races with Michi, and the canon ending is hers, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some very intimate relationships with some of your opponents. Kyouko is a spunky girl whose family owns a kimono shop that she one day hopes to take over. Yuuna appears much younger than she actually is, and usually bosses her brother around as their navigator. She is very high strung and will not accept defeat as an option. Maria is a holy nun who lives in the convent at Himeda mountain. She has a guilty sin of racing in her blood, and you may be able to talk her into an interesting bet or two. Last but not least is Lily, she is a race queen and navigator. She is very much a mystery to Daichi when she shows up out of the blue, but if you spend some time with her, you might just figure out her mysteries.
There are basically two main routes through Moero Downhill Night. The true path will have you staying pure and waiting to get with Michi in the very end, but if you choose to have some sexy time with the other girls during your journey, each of them has an ending as well. These choices are pretty easy to spot, so staying on the path you want is very simple. The races themselves are done in a very interesting fashion. As the navigator during each race, you will have to make many choices to guide Michi down the mountain in order to win. These races play out in several PlayStation era style CG cutscenes with lots of character cut-ins for dialogue. The choices you are presented with can be quite hilarious given the circumstances, so even though this is very old, I applaud the localization team for having a bit of fun with this. You can save after each choice, and I highly suggest you do so because some of this is just plain guess work. I really enjoyed the overall style of this, it was a very nice throwback for me, but I think some folks would find those PS2 style cutscenes a bit of a jarring transition.
I have to say, the art style found in the old CG work here has really held up well over the years. The characters all have a unique style that fits their personality to a tee. This is one of the few times I didn’t really have a favorite, and just felt that all the girls were awesome in their own ways. The H-scenes are done well for the era they were made in, and each girl has a couple of them to enjoy, depending on whose ending you choose.
The music in Moero Downhill Night is pretty much what you expect for a game like this made in that era. Lots of upbeat techno music with pretty nice electronica tracks thrown in to boot. The character themes are very fitting, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of slower tracks. The voice acting here is mostly the girls. Daichi and some of the minor players do not have voiced lines, but I don’t think this hurts the game in the least. All of the girls do a great job bringing these characters to life, and giving them big personalities. Using headphones during the H-scenes is probably a good idea, but if you wanna share the joy of them with those around you, more power to you.
While Moero Downhill Night does show its age, this is still a fun title. The story here isn’t very deep, but the characters are interesting enough to keep you entertained. The racing sequences are unique, and you will laugh out loud at some of the crazy choices you are offered here. The artwork still looks great, and the soundtrack is something you will hum along with as you guide Michi downhill to her destiny! You can complete this game in 10 hours, but I feel it is worth the $14.99 price tag. This one may not be as polished as the visual novels we see today, but this racer still has some skill, even in 2022.
Game was purchased by the reviewer.
erogeJASTJAST ClassicsMoero Downhill NightRacingReviewsvisual novel