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Review: 大図書館の羊飼い

Last modified by Mitchell on December 24, 2014, 1:18 AM

Dec 23 2014

I've now finished playing through all of 大図書館の羊飼い, as well as 大図書館の羊飼い -Dreaming Sheep- (which is a fandisc of after stories), and I figured I would write down some of my thoughts (I haven't yet finished 大図書館の羊飼い~放課後しっぽデイズ~, which is a side story fandisc).

Story/Characterization

  • The story for 大図書館の羊飼い just isn't as tightly written as that of Fortune Arterial. The base game, 大図書館の羊飼い, is designed in the standard form of a common main trunk, which then branches out into the separate character stories, with the True End route locked until certain requirements are fulfilled. Fortune Arterial is written such that each of the character arcs helps contribute knowledge towards the True End; in contrast, the primary character arcs in 大図書館の羊飼い don't, although (as expected) they do help flesh out each character. In an interesting twist, however, the True End route actually consists of multiple endings: one for Kodachi Nagi (which is more independent), and one for each of the other girls (which result in minor variations).
  • The stories in 大図書館の羊飼い -Dreaming Sheep- consist of one after story for each character's ending in 大図書館の羊飼い (five main heroines, three secondary heroines), along with one ending for a secondary character (Takigawa Aoi) which attempts to explain her personality and motivation and one story arc, named the Toshobu arc, that covers a "blank" of a month that occurs during the True End routes.
    • In an unusual twist, Shirasaki Tsugumi's after story occurs after her True End route, while the other after stories occur after their normal endings. To further confuse players, although one of her appendix stories occurs after her True End route, the one she shares with her younger sister occurs after her normal ending (her other appendix story occurs sometime considerably later, and isn't tied to either).
    • Aoi's route is an interesting decision as, although it starts with an Aoi like in the other arcs, it ends in an Aoi that is substantially different from any of the other arcs.
    • The Toshobu arc is fluff. Entertaining fluff, but still fluff (obviously, as it was completely left out of the True End route).
  • The various stories are, as expected from August, appropriately heartwarming, with a considerable amount of humour sprinkled throughout.
    Such as this image, where Sakuraba Tamamo and Suzuki Kana are trying to figure out how to respond to a really bad joke by Tsugumi). For the most part, August doesn't seem to opt for considerable amounts of angst. tsukkomi.jpg
  • Kana is awesome.
    kana.jpg Nothing more needs be said.

    Although, this is also awesome.

  • The main character, Kakei Kyoutarou, has an odd choice of cell phone.
    According to Japanese Wikipedia, this is an au Windows Phone IS12T. That's a particularly interesting choice, given the very small representation Windows Phone has in Japan.windowsphone.jpg
  • For what it's worth, the anime appears to have gone pretty much completely off the rails. The Fortune Arterial anime largely stayed pretty close to the source material (although it wove another Erika route), but the 大図書館の羊飼い anime has gone places the game never did.
    • As an entertaining cameo, 大図書館の羊飼い makes mention of a student council president, Sendou, from Shuuchikan Academy.

Gameplay

  • As a standard visual novel, there's not a whole lot to say here. Although one interesting feature August added (which I wish more companies would add, now that I've seen it) is the ability, in the dialogue history, to jump back to any point. It's really nice for seeing some of the happenings "in context."

Artistic

  • The character designs... well, they're August character designs (i.e. べっかんこう). You might love them, you might hate them, but they definitely don't change. There's even a "joke" gif that I've seen that takes characters from different August games, puts them in greyscale, then cycles through them.....
  • August decided to take the art assets they had for character dialogues and use them in broader situations, which allowed them to have some interesting shots without needing new art.
    artassets.jpgThey mostly tweaked lighting and occasionally focus. I think they did a good job with the additional images.
     

Technical

  • Ah... the times I hate copy protection. I've purchased these games, and they still don't work reliably. August, like several other companies, uses SETTEC's Alpha-ROM, and it just doesn't work as well as it should. What bothers me most about copy protection is that I'm relying on a third party to remain in business - if they go upside down, then the games I've purchased become unplayable.
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Created by Mitchell on December 22, 2014, 10:07 PM

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