Sometimes you just need to sit down and play a game about falling in love. Sure, the thrills can be cheap, and the stories when you step back and look at them can be relatively weak, but who cares about that when you can just check out and imagine yourself as either stand-in or matchmaker for the main character who’s beset by all kinds of potential lovers? Of course, I’ve discussed a dating simulation before so I don’t really need to go into many details about my feelings on the genre. Instead I’m going to turn the spotlight to a little gem hidden in a more obscure corner of the internet, a game that sends my heart singing for its immersive nature, its relatability. It is truly a game that promises both love and gaming satisfaction, even if only in fleeting doses. It puts the novel back in “visual novel”. So shall we foray into love with each other, but with someone else? Indeed, let us begin with today’s game.
atashi no riri is a visual novel where you play Kento-kun, a relatable fellow who is new to the school of Neko Academy. Now sure, this whole “new student” thing is pretty played out, but Atashi no Riri breathes life into the stale cliché. You see, Kento-kun isn’t just a new student… He’s a human in a school filled with neko-chans! Now what is a neko-chan you say? Well it’s a very special kind of person who has a unique magic power. For example, Otoko-sensei knows everyone’s name. Also, Kento-kun has a lot on his plate, both being a new student at school and a big brother to his wonderful sister Imoto-san. Kento-kun feels as if he doesn’t belong in the school filled with magical humans and kawaii neko-chans, since he doesn’t have special powers, but with our help he can surely make friends and even find love!
atashi no riri does follow common visual novel structure, with a setting being constructed in the introductory dialogue and subtle changes made to the outcome via choices along the way. During crucial conversations, Kento-kun will have to make pivotal decisions that will determine who he will grow closer to. Perhaps the straightforward Tomodachi-san will win your heart! Or maybe the enigmatic Shekushi-san? The possibilities are endless!
atashi no riri isn’t just a promising love story, it’s also a crusader for equality. The game isn’t afraid of championing love of all kinds, allowing Kento-kun to romance the men at his school as well. Furendo-kun is so supportive, breaking the stereotype of the flaky, flamboyant gay lover. You may also find the bishounenful Otoko-sensei san to your liking. No kinkshaming here folks! (unless you try to romance your sister. That’s just GORSS.)
atashi no riri does have its flaws, of course. For one thing its set up is rather long, meaning you’ll have to wait to let your kokoro free. Luckily there’s a save feature that can be used at any time to allow you to jump to your favorite part, so you really only have to play through once to make the path to other hearts open to you. Another downside to atashi no riri is the presence of words. Luckily, the creator thought to provide only the best voice acting to read the words to you, making gameplay less of a chore.
In the end, atashi no riri is really a stellar game. So stellar, I want you to play it right now! Seriously, download here: http://www.mediafire.com/download/m6oi9lbdalg69ww/ATASHINORIRIv1.2.rar It’s sure to delight! Oh! And if you want in on a little secret, come in close… Okay… When given the opportunity to do something during lunch, go home and see if any special options appear. I won’t say anything else! I want it to be a surprise. Just be patient and don’t close the game, even if it looks like things aren’t happening. Definitely try other endings first though, just so you know what you’re getting into. So open your heart and dive deep into the narrative of atashi no riri, a love story for the ages!