Visual Novel Review: Tomato Soup for the Heart

6/28/2015

Hi guys! Remember me?

Hahaha, okay, so um. I'm really, really, really sorry for suddenly disappearing like that, but I'd just like to say that I'm alive and well. Hahaha. So... just an update... my first year as a university student is already over! Thank goodness! <3 I'm currently taking midyear classes (huhuhu) though, so I still don't have as much free time as I had back in high school, but thankfully, I'm a lot less stressed now than during the regular semester. </3 I'm actually supposed to be on vacation from school (Vacation? What is that? Is it edible?) but I'm taking a few classes in advance in order to make next sem a little more bearable for me. Honestly, I really felt so drained during the first two semesters! So many things I wanted to do, but there were also so many things that I had to do first.

Anyway, this is one of those things that I had wanted to do but couldn't do... so I'm doing it now. Hahaha. A visual novel review!

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

Tomato Soup for the Heart is a 2015 NaNoRenO release by Synokoria, the same creators of the game A Halloween Otome. It's pretty short, as apparently, it was mainly meant to try out some game mechanics for a longer game-- which I am looking forward to, by the way. Hahaha.

Evie (default name) is in danger of failing all her subjects in the magic school she is currently attending. Her teacher gives her an ultimatum: a month to study with the rumored Demon, Tomatosoup, or a failing grade for all her exams. Of course, she has no choice. But would an excellent Demon like him actually tolerate a failing student like her?

Official Summary: Deep within the halls of a prestigious school for the magically gifted, trouble is brewing. Our protagonist faces expulsion. Her only hope lies in the hands of an unfortunately named classmate. Can they defeat the odds?

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

Never mind the ridiculous-sounding name, but Tomatosoup is not one to be messed with . He's quite strict, and he imposes this strictness on Evie. In all fairness to him, though, Evie does seem like a ditz at times, so I suppose she did need some Tomatosoup's strictness to put discipline into her system.

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

The characters were alright, alright. Tomatosoup was definitely a unique guy, if just for his name. Though I did like his interactions with Evie a lot! The writing was quite good, haha, and the story had me chuckling at some scenes. I'd say it's a fairly light read, mostly for good vibes than anything else, as the plot didn't really go that deeply into the characters' background stories or anything. I would have loved to see a lot more interactions between Evie and this Demon, though.

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

One thing that I didn't like about this VN is how I most definitely felt how grueling grinding was in here. It's a stat-raiser, so of course, there's no other way to raise stats than to make some choices, but some scenes between said choices were too short for me to enjoy. Yes, guys, in this VN, the grind is real.

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

You should know, I'm the kind of person  who doesn't mind long interactions between characters, especially if it allows me to get to know them better. On the other hand, this is actually a fault of mine, as I sometimes go overboard with conversations in my own visual novels, hahaha, so I definitely have a lot of things to learn, too. Nevertheless, I usually dislike scenes that are way too short for me. Again, that's just a personal preference, so feel free to ignore.  =)

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

Art-wise, it was quite pleasing to the eyes! The GUI, the chibis, and the sprites are all custom, and they were all nicely done. I really enjoyed the art style in this game. The backgrounds, which were made by a different artist and bought off of another site, were high quality and fit the art style quite nicely, too.

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

Ah, also, it's a soundless game, apparently due to time constraints, so please don't check your speakers if they aren't working, like I did. =) Not that being soundless is a bad thing, though, since most of the time, its main use is just to improve the experience of the player, anyway. Of course, it would have been better with some music, but I didn't get bothered by the lack of it.

visual novel tomatosoup for the heart

Anyway, that's about it. Haha. There's not much for me to say, honestly. It's quite a short game, just around 8k words long, and with only 1 default obtainable-- who is also the namesake of this game, so that should be obvious, haha-- making it fairly easy to finish this game. It is a little bit hard to get the endings you want, though, or even just to pass! I had to retry a few times before I actually got a passing grade, hahaha. One tip for you guys: always try to keep the stat bars at the same levels. It helps to balance out everything in order to get perfectly equal stats. :)

For what it's worth, though, the ending I got was quite sweet. <3 Yeah, there's a not-so-plot-twist here, which I really liked. I'm a sucker for plot twists. =)

7/10 strawberries. Not a bad visual novel, but not one of the best either. There are definitely a few things that could still be improved like, the stat system and the music (or lack thereof-- which was done on purpose anyway, hahaha). It's a nice little read, nevertheless.

You can check it out at Synokoria's blog here!


P.S. I wrote quite a few visual novel reviews this weekend (yes, I was in a playing and writing groove) so I scheduled the rest of the posts for the next two weeks or so. =) Midyear classes will be ending next month, with the first semester starting on the first week of August, so I'm really not sure when I will have the free time to write here again. *sigh* Soon, I hope.

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