NaNoRenO 2016: Iris Dream

4/12/2016

This is the third post in my NaNoRenO 2016 series.



GAME INFO
Name: Iris Dream
Release Date: April 08, 2016
Developers: [see here]
Genre: GxB, Romance, Drama



STORY
Like I said, I decided to check out this game because I thought the premise was really interesting.

Regina is a singer who loves performing for her fans. One day, she finds out that she's sick and that she could lose her voice temporarily or *gasp* even permanently. The rest of the game is spent with Regina coming into terms with that fact, and also dealing with the other things that come with it.

CHARACTERS


The main character, whose default name is Regina, is someone that's easy to relate to. What I like best about her is that she's not your stereotypical weak girl protagonist. It's refreshing to see a protagonist who actually knows how to flirt back with boys. Honestly, when she went up to that one guy and introduced herself to him, I was like, "Wow, show me your ways!" Hahahaha.

Eric is the first guy that gets introduced to us. He's the manager, and I'm glad he's not a romanceable option. Hahaha. He's like middle-aged, and feels sort of like Regina's dad at times. I was surprised because at first, he asked Regina if she'd like to go out for a drive, and I was like, "Whaaaat?" Oh Ran, don't jump to conclusions now.
The next guy is Layne. He's sort of presented as someone that people tend to dislike, which I can hardly believe. I mean, he is so cute! Physically and even personality-wise. Physically he reminds me of that Korean actor, Lee Jong-suk, hahaha. <3 But anyway, personality-wise, I think he's quite adorable. Such a tease, but one who folds when you tease him back. What a cutie. Oh, and in the part of the game where Regina first gets sick, guess who immediately goes to her house to visit her and cook for her? Right, it's Layne. So. Adorable. He does have his bad side though, and that's....... the fact that sometimes, he just doesn't know when to stop the mean teasing. Dude, you're no longer a high school student, be a little more sensitive, will you? (Or maybe I'm giving him way too much credit for this, because... he can get dowright horrible at times.) However, I still think that he really, really cares a lot about Regina which is... well, sometimes that's all that matters.
Sieg is the next guy we meet, and, well, I don't have much to say about him. Apparently, he's really handsome. I say apparently because he's not my type. Hahaha. He's a little bit strange. Or, maybe it's Regina who's more strange? They first meet while Regina is shopping, actually, but when they're finally introduced to each other in the party, our girl doesn't even show a flicker of recognition.

The last one is Walker. He's a pretty shy guy, and Regina meets her in an arcade. He's the guy who gets alarmed when she suddenly introduces herself out of nowhere. Oh,

WRITING
Oh, I love the writing in this visual novel. There were no noticeable typos or errors, and I only noticed one case of a missing period. (Missing periods are a pet peeve of mine!) The interactions between the characters were all great and believable. There are also a lot of nuggets of wisdom within the dialogue, which I am a huge fan of. One line that I absolutely loved is this: "Before, I believed that defeat was losing my voice. In reality, that's not quite it. Defeat is if I fear losing my voice, and lose myself in the process." Awww. So true, it hurts.


ART
The art was fantastic! I absolutely love... well, practically everything about it. I'm not a huge fan of the art style, to be honest, but I still find the sprites really gorgeous. The coloring is very good too! To be honest, the sprite gives off a Rune Factory vibe to me. Hahaha. The art styles are in no way similar, but the complex designs remind me of that beloved series.
Even the backgrounds are really good. I just love how everything looks so well-matched to each other! For a NaNoRenO release, I think that's really amazing.

MUSIC
It's good. A little bit repetitive at times but... not so much that I had to turn it off or anything. Correct me if I'm wrong though, but it feels like the game only used like one track in the latter half of the game? The scenes kept changing yet the music stayed the same, which really confused me.

Oh, and I think there's some voice acting as well? Coincidentally, I started hearing them only after Regina was declared to have an illness. Harsh.

GUI
This game uses a custom GUI, and I think it looks really nice! It matches perfectly with the sprites and the backgrounds, I think.

[I know this has nothing to do with the GUI, but it still has something to do with the scripting, so I'm gonna put it in this section.] As for other technical stuff... there were plenty of times where the sprites overlapped each other though. Mostly in the center place. It was distracting, to be honest, but it's fairly understandable since this is a NaNoRenO release after all. Also, there was a part where the game showed an error (which I promptly ignored... twice.) which suggests that it was missed in the beta-testing? Again, it's a NaNoRenO release, so I understand that there's a time constraint.

WRAP UP
So... hmm. I don't know what to say here. Hahaha. It was a pretty good VN. Aesthetically, it was quite pleasing. So far, I've only played one route, and it's... well, Layne's. At first, I got a bad ending, which is a bummer because I kinda wanted to see how their cat-dog relationship would turn out. But after I played again, I got... well, the same bad ending, but I did get to see a pretty sweet scene between the two of them, so I'm a bit happier now.

The game is still pretty much unfinished, so I guess that explain a lot of the shortcomings here. I'll be sure to wait for the final build to come out, though, because I think this really has a lot of potential if only it was a little more smooth and polished. The art is fantastic, the writing is good, the story is interesting, but the problem is, I guess the one-month-deadline wasn't enough to polish the whole game. Nevertheless, it was a really fun, if a little disappointing, read.

You can download this game here!

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