NaNoRenO 2016: Phantom of the Hospital

4/24/2016


Actually, I was planning to post at least one review a day last week, but Accounting and Statistics happened and that plan flew out the window. T___T On a happier note, I'm now just one month away from the end of this semester, so... hooray! I can't believe how time flies so fast!

Ahem. Anyway, here's the next post in this series of NaNoRenO games! <3
otometwist review nanoreno phantom of the hospital
GAME INFO
Name: Phantom of the Hospital
Developer: Hidden Masquerade
Release Date: April 2, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Romance, GxB, GxG


STORY
You'll be playing as Helena, a young woman who likes to party. One day, she wakes up in the hospital after a car accident. Upon waking up, she meets this boy named Alex, who does a good job of riling her up. Mistaking him for an intern, she eventually shares some sort of bond with him, even though her best friend, Mel, warns her about such guys. Little does Helena know that he's hiding more than what she thinks...
otometwist review nanoreno phantom of the hospital
Five minutes into the game, and I was already hooked. To be honest, the premise didn't really excite me that much. Girl wakes up in a hospital after a car accident? There's absolutely nothing new about that. If not for thaat title, "The Phantom of the Hospital," I probably wouldn't have kept reading. (Okay, I probably would, but...) Then Alex showed up. And that guy... is awesome.

So basically, the title comes from a rumor that permeates within the hospital's walls. Apparently, there's some sort of ghost that roams around at night, stealing patients' souls or causing them to go insane. This scares Helena a lot, thought she doesn't want to admit it, so she asks around regarding the phantom. Her nurse is quick to dismiss this, though, saying that it's just a rumor made up by bored nurses. However, Helena's not so convinced.

She has the right not to be convinced, though. (Hihi, not gonna spoil anything guys!)

CHARACTERS

Oh my gosh, I super duper love the characters here! And by love, I mean really love. I wish there was a longer game where Alex would be one of the obtainable guys, with his own legitimate route and everything. Hahaha. I just love that dude.

Helena and Alex have this sort of chemistry that makes it so easy to just fall in love with them. The moment they started their friendly banter, I already knew that they were totally meant for each other. <3 Hahaha, okay, I'm just kidding, but seriously though, I ship these two!

Even Mel, Helena's best friend, was really lovable! She's your typical, overprotective best friend, who wants nothing but the best for Helena. Actually, she reminds me a lot of my own best friend from elementary and high school. (Shoutout to Mia, in case you're reading this!! Though I doubt you are, hahaha!) When Mel came into the picture, I kinda thought that she and Alex could be better together, but after the end of their first conversation, well... perhaps not. Hahaha.
otometwist review nanoreno phantom of the hospital
But anyway, I applaud whoever had come up with the characterization for this game. They all feel like real people to me, you know? I only played this for like 25 minutes but I feel like I had gotten a glimpse of some other people's life in that short span of time. That's how real they felt.

However, if you guys are looking for a short romantic comedy, then this game isn't for you. Sure, it has the elements of a rom-com, but you're just gonna be disappointed if you expect it to turn out like traditional romantic comedies. There wasn't even a legit ending in the game, at least, romance-wise. It was... way too subtle, if you ask me. Then again, I like it better when the story allows its characters to develop romance naturally. It just sucks when the romance is forced, I think. (Or maybe this is just because I don't believe in "whirlwind" romances, or "love at first sight" things. Hahaha.) But, yeah, if you're looking for a legit romantic story, this is simply not the game for you.

WRITING

At first, I found the writing to be really pristine. It was quite refreshing to see something written so simply. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the "thoughts in parentheses" style when it comes to visual novel scripts, but it was pretty refreshing to see here, somehow. Also, the dialogues all flowed smoothly. They all felt natural, despite the fact that some of the lines felt too good to be used randomly in real life.

Near the end of the game, though, I noticed some really minor typos, like missing periods/commas and uncapitalized "i"s. I guess the beta-testing only went up to a certain point in the game, or something. Still, it's acceptable, considering that this is a NaNoRenO release, after all.

ART

The art is good! At first, I thought I wouldn't like the it because I'm not a big fan of the style, but it just... grew on me, I guess. The coloring is great, although I personally think that maybe the lines are a bit too soft. Or maybe, I'm just someone who likes solid lines. Hahaha. The BGs were rather simple, but still pretty to look at. Actually, the whole VN has this "simple" style, that's actually quite pretty.
otometwist review nanoreno phantom of the hospital
I can't say the same about the CGs though! The anatomies of the characters look kinda weird, I think. I'm not an artist, but... yeah.

MUSIC

The soundtracks used here were okay. Not too noticeable, but I'd rather have not too noticeable music than distracting ones.

GUI

Custom-made, simple, yet nice to look at. Like I said, it's pretty even though it's so simple. (Or maybe it's pretty because it's simple, huh?)

WRAP-UP

If it's not yet obvious, haha, then I'd just like to say that I greatly enjoyed playing this visual novel. Everything about it, the premise, the art, the characters, is simple, yet it turned out really nice!

It's a pretty short game, so be sure to try it if you've got the time! You can download it here!

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