Suzunone Seven Review

October 9, 2009 at 1:50 am 10 comments

SZ_Title_Screen

Company: クロシェット (Clochette) lumie
Game site: スズノネセブン!
Release date: January 30, 2009
Links: Getchu, walkthrough, seiyuu listing

Suzunone Seven is Clochette’s second title, which receieve above-average reviews and will be getting a fandisk in November. Kido Yukimura has been selected as one of the ‘Worst Seven’ in Suzunone Gakuen. Will his best memories come from being with the worst in the school?

There is a patch (ver 1.1) for the game that fixes some minor errors.

Opening Theme

Nothing special here. Just typical chara intros and CG slideshow.

Scenario

Kido Yukimura is running late to school again. While taking a breather at the park, he meets another student who isn’t in any hurry to get to school. She introduces herself as Daikanyama Sumire, upon which he realizes that she is the schoolmaster’s granddaughter. Sumire questions his relation to her grandfather and then leaves saying that things have become more interesting.

Yukimura and his childhood friend Mitsumine Minato are asked by their teacher Kujou Kaname to see her after class. She reveals the bad news that they have been chosen as part of the ‘Worst Seven’ in Suzunone Gakuen and must attend a month-long camp where they will live and study together. In addition to their studying, they must each accomplish a specified task. If they fail to do so, they will be expelled from the school.

Kaname-sensei tells Yukimura that his task is to “make someone’s precious wish come true using magic”. Will this be possible for someone who doesn’t know how to use magic?

『魔法で誰かの大切な願いを叶える』

SZ_CG

The route structure in Suzu7 is quite simplistic with a short common route to introduce characters, followed by 4 independent heroine routes depending on input from six straightforward choices. Similar to Rakugaki Over Heart, the major plot obstacles are resolved in most routes before H scenes wrap up the story. There are some common events, such as the Shizuho Drive experiments, construction of the engine that runs on magic, and the appearance of the mahou shoujo, but you do not need to play the routes in a particular order.

Set in a magic school, it is natural that magic will play a major role in the stories. However, it is mostly used as a plot device instead. The central themes are helping each other to overcome problems and to remain optimistic, never doubting yourself even in times of adversity. As Momoko remarks, avoiding your problems would be like taking a taxi in a marathon. If you believe in yourself, your wishes will become reality.

SZ_CG2

As I can hear Zen gagging in the corner, you’re probably thinking that these themes are very common and cliched. Indeed, the stories are as predictable as the sun rising in the east. It feels like everything just ‘falls in place’ without any conflict. To me, cliches are fine if they are written well, and in Suzu7, the story-telling fell a bit short. However, some scenes, such as Yukimura’s confession to Nino, were really well done and I was absolutely giddy reading them. ^o^

Similar to most romance ADVs, perspective changes are used. This is depicted in the game with a cascading star effect. This switch of perspective is used quite well in Nino’s and Yuzuri’s routes, allowing the viewer to understand their thoughts and feelings too. Then there’s the magic scenes. You actually don’t see many magic battles in the game, aside from in Yuzuri’s route, where I thought I was playing Ragnarok Online all over again. Not that that’s a bad thing.

SZ_CG3

My personal favorite route was Sumire’s, since it was very simple and sweet, albeit maybe a bit too straightforward. The best route in the game is Nino’s. There were a lot of elements within her story and numerous trials for the new couple to overcome, but everything was neatly resolved. I especially liked the presentation of the relationship between Nino and her mother. Yuzuri’s was ok, and can be considered a joint route with Riri. I hope that Yuzuri and Riri’s routes in the fandisk will answer some of the questions that were left unresolved, especially those concerning their childhood.

Minato’s was one of the most boring routes that I’ve ever played. The pacing was awkward and plot development was badly structured. Then again, the writers might have put themselves in a bad position from the start since Minato’s personality fit a subcharacter role better than a heroine one. I had to force myself to finish it. After finishing it, it felt like nothing had happened except for one incident that suddenly occurred. Without significant plot and character development, I can’t bring myself to believe in their relationship.

SZ_CG4

Micchi’s recommended route order:
Sumire, Minato, Yuzuri, Nino

Micchi’s route rankings:
Nino, Yuzuri, Sumire, Minato

Characters

Kido Yukimura

Yukimura is a first year magic engineering student at Suzunone Gakuen. He is actually Sanada Yukimura from the Sengoku. A great cook. Just like other eroge protagonists, he is kind and awesome at times. When he wants to accomplish something, he will give it his all to get it done. Loves teasing Nino (who doesn’t?).

He’s your typical protagonist. Tsundere. I’d prefer him having to work a bit harder to ‘win over’ the girls.

SZ_Nino

Nonomura Nino

Nino is a lively girl, who’s also a little tennen. She possesses a lot of magic power, but she can’t control it when she is surprised or embarrassed. This often ends up with her causing an explosion at school and troubling everyone. Due to this, she doesn’t have confidence in her ability to use magic. It seems that she has a dream that she wants to fulfill, but with her current state, she believes it won’t be able to come true. Quite good at cooking, although not as good as Yukimura. She’s a bit of a crybaby. There’s a point where if she gets teased too much, she’ll withdraw into an ijike-mode in her own cardboard house until the next day.

Hauuuuuuuuuuuu~ Ninonchi is so cute! She’s fun to tease a little since she gets flustered and confused so easily XD (Just need to remember to keep Zen away from her). When she gets embarrassed, she’ll keep on saying ‘hau~’ and ‘au~’. So cute! >w<b

SZ_Yuzuri

Takatori Yuzuri

Yuzuyuzu Yuzuri is Yukimura’s senpai in the magic school and is the daughter of the owner of the top magic item company. For some reason, even though she comes from a family of magic users, she was chosen as part of the ‘Worst Seven’. Surprisingly a good cook for an ojousama. She very obviously lacks experience dealing with guys. Actually likes dramas and anime, but keeps it a secret from everyone.

Yuzuri reminds me of Amane from Flyable Heart since she doesn’t like to lose and will always do the ‘right’ thing. She also has a cute and sweet side, although Riri likes to keep that all to herself. In her route, the perspective changes allow you to understand her feelings, revealing that she’s just like any other girl. While not my favorite, she’s fun to have around.

SZ_Minato

Mitsumine Minato

Minato is in the same magic engineering class as Yukimura and is his childhood friend. Even though she cannot use magic, she admires magic a lot, believing that it brings happiness to everyone, even though she can’t use it herself. Although she is highly motivated to do well, her grades are downright awful. It’s probably because she’s a total baka. Very positive and can become friends with anyone very quickly. Her stomach is a vacuum.

I don’t like Minato. She’s more donkan than most eroge protagonists. I’m amazed that there was even a romantic relationship. She’s be better off filling a comedic subcharacter role and letting Riri or Momoko be a heroine.

SZ_Sumire

Daikanyama Sumire

Sumire is a first-year student in the magic school. Even though she’s the granddaughter of the Suzunone Gakuen schoolmaster and has great magic potential, she doesn’t seem to have any interest in studying magic. The highly popular school tabloid Suzusupo! is written by her. Her observation skills are top-notch and she is very diplomatic and polite when talking to others. However, if she doesn’t like something or someone, she will make it known, with a smile no less. She has an older sister Momoko who assists her in writing articles for Suzusupo!.

Beware! Sumire looks cute and innocent, but that’s not all she is! Behind that loveable exterior lies a cunning mastermind who will blackmail or deceit you into doing what she wants or maybe just for her amusement. Whatever you do, don’t make her jealous! Her acting skills are also amazing. This is great for me, because… it’s super imouto time! >///<  Her meromero side is amazing and she’s surprising quite ecchi. She even has a beret and ribbons <3 To sum it up, she’s awesome and she’s mine. Hau~ omochikaeri~!

SZ_Riri

Subcharacters

There’s a handful of subcharacters in Suzu7, but their appearances are mostly limited to one or two route each. Rounding out the ‘Worst Seven’ are Riri, Yuzuri’s best friend who is like a sister to her, and Shin, Minato’s older brother who is just as much of an airhead as she is (it runs in the family). The extremely perverted schoolmaster Juushirou is Sumire’s grandfather, while Sumire’s older sister Momoko is a bibliomaster and Rank S paparazzi. Don’t get her angry; You will regret it. Kaname-sensei is in charge of overlooking the ‘Worst Seven’, although whether or not she’s capable is another question altogether. Shizuho is the lead researcher and is held in high esteem by Minato and Shin.

I really like Riri’s distant personality and after playing Yuzuri’s route, I wish that she got even more development in a route of her own. Well, at least Riri got an H scene, which was very well done. Momoko was also nice to have around, since she gives great advice while exuding a calming presence (although sometimes I wonder if she takes things seriously enough). All the female subcharacters (Riri, Momoko, Shizuho, Kaname) will have routes in the upcoming fan disk Suzunone Seven -Sweet Lover’s Concerto-. Woohoo!!!

SZ_Shin

Micchi’s character rankings:
Sumire, Nino, Yuzuri, Minato

Graphics

SZ_CG5

The first thing that is striking about the artwork is that the eyes are very big, round and relatively opaque. This is a feature of lead illustrator Oshiki Hitoshi and Clochette’s work as shown in their previous work, Kamipani!. While it may unsettle Zen, I believe that the colorful artwork fits quite well with the fantasy/magical backdrop and generally comedic story. The backgrounds are quite detailed, although not to the extent shown in Tenshin Ranman. There are lots of variations in tachi-e, as well as facial expression variation within CGs. As a matter of fact, characters often change expressions while talking, which I thought was a good idea.

SZ_Cutscene_SD

The only SDs used in the game are in one cutscene during the common route and the disclaimer at the beginning of the game, although it’s not really anything to really complain about.

System

SZ_Interface

Guess what? The interface is pink! It’s cute, easy to read and very intuitive. I love how they added a button for repeating dialogue on the interface itself in addition to those in the backlog. There’s also an option to go back to the last choice, although I never used it.

As opposed to most eroge nowadays, Suzu7 still uses the top menu bar for settings and some controls (returning to title screen). However, there’s a LOT of configurations that you can set. It is possible to assign different commands to keyboard and mouse buttons, change volumes for all sounds, change messages and automode speeds, customize animation speeds and set text window transparency, among others.

SZ_Save_Menu

There are 80 save slots, in addition to one quicksave. The scene title, screenshot and timestamp are saved. If you happen to run out of save slots, you can add more pages (8 save slots per page).

SZ_Backlog

Backlog is easy to read, but takes some time to scroll through.

SZ_Cutscene

Group shots are used as cutscenes in the common route. There’s three of them in total.

SZ_Sumire_Cutscene

When you are locked into a heroine’s route, the cutscene changes to that character. Note that on subsequent playthroughs, you have the option to skip the prologue (prior to OP). There are no choices during the prologue.

SZ_CG_Mode

Finishing any route will open up the Extra Mode, which includes the CG Mode, Scene Mode and Sound Mode.

SZ_Scene_Mode

I like how the Scene Mode has ‘safe’ pictures for buttons.

Sound

SZ_Sound_Mode

There are 21 tracks in the Sound Mode. I can’t say any of them made an impression on me, including the OP. The ED was a bit better, but still not as good as other games’. The seiyuu cast for Suzu7 is not that well-known, but I thought they did a decent job. Nino’s voice was quite cute ^o^

H Scenes

SZ_Sumire_HCG

Each of the 4 heroines has 4 H scenes, with 1-3 positions per scene. There’s also a bonus H scene for subchara Riri. Depicted within these H scenes are some of the best HCGs I’ve seen. Now I understand why you all love Atelier Kaguya so much. (;´д`)ハァハァ However, being a cultured person, it is not purely because of the ero that I like the H scenes in Suzu7 so much. The scenes have meaningful dialogue and not only a crescendo of passion (although that’s fine too). The thoughts and feelings of each heroine are conveyed to the viewer, and sometimes the events that occur are used as a plot device later on in the route. In addition, the heroines’ traits are reflected in the scenes themselves, which make them all the more enjoyable.

すみれいいよすみれ (;´д`)ハァハァ

SZ_Nino_HCG

Overall

All of Micchi’s reviews will be rated by assigning scores out of 10 to each of the following categories: Scenario, characters, graphics, system, sound, and H scenes. Half marks may be given. The scoring is as follows:

  • 10 – Absolutely satisfied
  • 9 – Among the best, only minor improvements
  • 8 – Good overall
  • 7 – Average, a mix of good and bad
  • 6 – Below average, slightly disappointing
  • <5 – Very disappointed

The overall score is a weighted sum (3x Scenario + 2x Characters + 2x Graphics + 1x System + 1x Sound + 1x H scenes) for a total out of 100.

  • Scenario: 7
  • Characters: 8
  • Graphics: 8.5
  • System: 9
  • Sound: 7
  • H Scenes: 9
  • Overall: 79

Suzunone Seven is a lighthearted magical tale of a group of relative strangers forced to band together, slowly becoming friends and helping each other with their problems. While it won’t be winning any awards, the combination of the vibrant artwork and fantasy setting makes it quite enjoyable. Remember, it’s always SUPER IMOUTO TIME.

SZ_CG6

「なんでだろ。涙、とまらないよぉ...」

Entry filed under: Reviews. Tags: , , , , .

Saimoe 09 – Quarterfinals Shinobu’s Too Cute to be a Girl

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. m3rryweather  |  October 9, 2009 at 2:31 am

    The thoughts, emotions, and passion are what makes ero-scenes grand and spectacular.

    HEY LOOK AT ALL THE PINK! PINK UNIFORMS, PINK TEXT, AND PINK INTERFACE! The powers of love and friendship will always triumph! *Include sparkly sound-effects and music* MOON CRYSTAL POWER, MAKE UP!

    I seriously need to write some reviews of my own.

    Reply
  • 2. Wrathkal  |  October 9, 2009 at 7:36 am

    m4rry has awoken?

    Good review, covers quite a lot of stuff quite well. The guy there somehow looks like Nezu Haruhiko from Princess Lover, especially when he’s getting upstaged.

    Sumire or Sana, who would you pick?

    Reply
  • 3. Reikon  |  October 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I have to say that this is one of the more generic games I’ve seen in-depth. Nothing seems to stand out at all nor does it seem interesting at a glance. I guess it doesn’t help that I don’t like the art. It’s probably not a game I would ever play without a bunch of people recommending it.

    I really need to get going writing another review. Rather, I need to start playing again… I don’t think I’ve put more than 2 hours in eroge in the last 2 weeks.

    Reply
  • 4. Accany  |  October 11, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    This was the eroge that I didn’t want to touch since it looked pinkish.

    Doesn’t look too bad but seems like it’s passable after reading through the whole thing.

    Reply
  • 5. Micchi  |  October 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    @m4rry: Yes you do. Pink is always in our hearts.

    @Wrathkal: Sana, hands down. Sumire is nice to have around, but Sana is just too sweet.

    @Reikon: I’ve been pretty busy myself lately too. Trying to fit eroge into my schedule ><

    @Accany: I played it mainly cuz the fandisk was coming up. And for Sumire.

    Reply
  • 6. Kalan  |  July 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Do you think they’ll ever translate this or tenshin ranman into english?

    Reply
    • 7. Kalan  |  July 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      or should I go F*** it all and just learn japanese?

      Reply
    • 8. Micchi  |  July 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Most likely it won’t be translated. The level of Japanese required is not high, so it shouldn’t be too bad once you get a grasp of the language.

      Reply
      • 9. Kalan  |  July 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        But I’ll also need to learn to read hiragana and the other 2 writing styles right? (In order to see the what the protagonist is saying or thinking)

        Reply
        • 10. darkmessiah42  |  July 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

          You can always make a guess by the other character’s dialogue. Well thats what I usually do and in some games, with the characters expression too.

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