Don't know where to post it, so I'll post it here.
I pre-ordered and played through the Beta. I enjoyed it.
Being a Yuri fan, I, of course, played Anne's scenario. No question who I picked as a love interest.
It was a bit more constrained as far as relationships and storylines go. Loren spoiled me. But I enjoyed it. Leaps better than Sprited Hearts (Which I also enjoyed but has it's faults).
1. While constrained, I enjoyed how there was an actual backbone and meat to the story. I also liked how the romance added to it and not seem like a side story running along side it. Can't speak for the other love interests, but I loved how (censored just in case)
2. One thing I also enjoyed and stood out: Isabella wasn't the obvious f/f choice. I stayed away from most of Roommates promotional images and material just like I'm staying away from Loren 2 and Season of the wolf. I know I'm getting it, why spoil myself? :p
Back on point, for the first half of the game
I loved the subtext, however. To me, it added to the story as we focus less on Isa's sexuality and more on her personality
3. I don't know why, but the stat grinding didn't wear on me as much as Sprited Hearts and Love & Order. Both were decent, but there were times that it was a bit of a slog between story bits.
4. Most games, mainstream and indy, outsmart themselves. This one didn't. Too many to list, but I loved the bells and whistles. Multiple save slots, a screen that lays out at least the base skills you want to pick out for a love interest (Which I didn't pickup on till late in the game), all the way down to the fact that every choice, even if you SKIP the event, matters, even if it's a minor change. I look at mainstream games like Beyond Two Souls and shake my head. They try to be 'different' and shoot themselves in the foot. Stay simple, Tell a story, make it easy for the player to follow it, and if the player wants to go a certain direction, honor it. Roommates does this and I enjoyed the heck out of it.
5. CG's and Sexy scenes in general. Good job with the subtext without turning things up too much. I would've liked the Loren option (the ability to switch between PG-13 and R), but I understand this will (hopefully) lead to bigger audiences.
And besides, there's always Loren 2.
6. When a game has 'comedy' as a focal point, it often falls flat for trying too hard. Fortunately, this game succeeded in having some chuckle moments, including a scene that literally had me break my face in laughter. It was wonderful.
7. Again, can't speak for Max, but I loved how objective the game is. Loren was like this as well. I liked how Anne wasn't a Mary Sue. For example
Cons (Nit picking alert, but I have to be objective here)
1. The game was a step down in that, unlike Loren, I felt the game is over after Isa. Sure, there are other love interests I'm curious about (like how Max/Anne differ from each other's point of view, which is clever), but I felt constrained. In Loren, I had the choice of Loren, Elenor AND an expansion character. So I had a bit of replayability, and that's before you make the game changing choice
. I guess it's the lack of options that had me down a bit.
2. I understand why they were there, and I may be in the minority, but the advanced jobs broke the game for me. Once past
I pretty much coasted, swapping in a rest period as necessary. Not that I complained, as it made it a breeze to get to the story bits. But it would be nice to make those advanced jobs more tiring, for balance sake.
3. Choices, outside of relationships, were way too easy to decipher. Basically if you follow two general rules:
You'd do alright for the most part. The only time I screwed up was where
. With that example, THAT type of choice would change a passive reader to an active one... because it forces you to try and get to know the character. The best Visual Novel games are the ones where you're properly foreshadowed as to the potential consequences without it being handed to you on a silver platter.
One idea to consider: There's a game called long live the queen. In that game, you could die due to past choices, combined with stats that you neglected. In short, you need a build strategy AND you need to pay attention to the story so that you can make smart decisions that benefits how you built the character. You slip up even once... dead (or you wish you were). Considering that there were stats I was ignoring after the halfway point, there should be a consequences for doing such. It would make me think on how I build Anne.
So, yeah, great game, well worth the money spent. Thanks for the hard work and time spent, and I will be looking forward to Loren 2 and Nicole (Yuri version)