(non spoiler review)
PoseMage coming in 4 days so I really had to get this game done. I swear I spent my entire Saturday and Sunday on this and what a great fandisc! I have always been a fan of the original game and bought all the Radio discs and event DVD, and am really glad I played this because it only made me love this series more!
This loading screen really summed up the game well, I’d say.
The game was unexpectedly volume-y, with lots of development in the relationships and my favourite kind of bittersweet scenes and the occasional cuteness. I have to say that I hated Masamune in the original game because he was a perv, but I really liked him in this game. Too bad that he still got 12th place though haha. My favourites in the original were Sakuya and Natsuhiko but I’ve turned to Heishi, Senri and Sakuya this time round. I guess some characters just had more room for ‘growth’ and others were developing in different ways. Norn life was kinda meh since you couldn’t use the joystick or anything to move the 8bit characters, and it was kinda annoying when you lost tickets. It was a good idea and could have been improved on, though.
I initially didn’t intend to play this game because Otomate’s fandiscs usually kill the games rather than add life to it, but when I saw it had a gold rating form Famitsu just 1 week before the release I knew I had to get it. And of course I would have to get the Imagine version which comes with two drama CDs from Nanami’s team!! So I had a total of 4 drama CDs (*´▽｀*)
I’ve not listened to the CDs yet, but I will soon. Limited edition came with a mini booklet, the usual Otomate thing where they just throw in character designs and a weeny bit of extra like the manga panel here. Just for keepers.
Would have gone for the Stella set for the awesome Police uniforms but I prefer Drama CDs rather than SS and I hate can badges (;´･ω･) The famima set looked pretty good too since Ron, Masamune and Natsuhiko were in the Drama CD but can badges again. Annoying.
Besides, the set I got has Nanami in the drama CD together with my 3 current favourite characters 😀
As you may already know, there’re four parts for the game,
1) Prelude (my favourite) where you see a little of their lives before they board Norn
2) Concerto where they get past their struggles in their past as a couple
3) Fuga where the original story is told from the male’s POV
4) Fantasia where episodes of them not getting together with any of the guys happen.
I did all Concertos before Fuga for Koharu’s group and all Fuga first for Natsuhiko, Ron and Itsuki, and I’d say that it really depends on which you prefer doing first. Personally, I prefer doing the Concertos first for Koharu’s team because their main stories were very memorable and I didn’t need reminding, but I absolutely can’t remember Itsuki or Ron’s stories lol so I had to do their Fuga first.
System ( ｀ー´)ノ
Bad because it’s not touch responsive except for choices, reading text and loading data (lol). Pretty moving opening screen with a few more great BGMs by Kevin Penkin (I would call him a modern genius composer). If you follow me on Twitter you’ll see me complaining about the strange additional art of the characters, whereby the face is oddly positioned unlike Teita’s usual style. Someone said that may be the work of a lazy intern (-ω-) and I’d have to agree, since Teita is probably working on many other projects as well.
Other additional features include eye and mouth animation and dimming of text screen, and also one or two more position/faces per characters.
The bug in Kakeru’s Concerto route gave a few others some problems, and one even called up Otomate to ask, but they denied it. Lol. The bug causes you to not get to Kakeru’s Good End in Concerto, and I had to delete the whole application and reinstall the game again, skip-play Prelude and Kakeru Concerto again to get his good end. To get to his Good End, you will have to see a system message that says “The requirements to see Epilogue has been fulfilled” by the end of Kakeru’s Sun(Nichirin) where the CG of him and Koharu comes up.
I have a suggestion for those who are afraid you’ll encounter the bug in Kakeru’s Concerto route if you don’t want to go through skip-replaying like me. These are not tested suggestions, but you might like to give it a try anyway.
1) Download the patch and see if it works. To be safe, try this with #2
2) Choose only the right answers on your first try at Kakeru’s Concerto. (You might like to follow Choro’s guide) You can do the bad end on a second round. If you still don’t see the system message by the end of Sun, that means you’ll have to delete and reinstall like me, I’m sorry
If all fails, reinstall data. Everyone who reinstalled data (including me) managed to read Kakeru’s epilogue part, so it should be alright for you when you reinstall too. It’s gonna be a little annoying but his route is the only one with this bug. I noticed that only him and Ron have their Sun and Moon reversed, but Ron’s route was alright.
The order in which you can play Prelude is fixed. Only Masamune is there when you first play, and he unlocks Kakeru who unlocks Sakuya who unlocks Natsuhiko, and so on. When you reach Heishi, you’re done and it unlocks the rest of the other sections, Concerto, Fuga and Fantasia.
I enjoyed Prelude the most because of the interactions between the characters, and that’s always important in a game. As Norn’s premise allows for 12 characters and more, there are lots of personalities to play with and there were moments I really laughed out loud. I had no idea Kakeru was good friends with Sakuya and Akito though, because we never saw that in the original game.
Lots of hot stuff too. (*´▽｀*)
Each story had its own revelations and fun, and Itsuki’s revealed something interesting and made me like him more. Masamune’s route was pretty cute too, especially their forest wedding!
But what made Masamune’s route interesting was because it seemed like the after story of a bad end (not really) and I was all sad for Mikoto because of her strength and viewing it from Koharu’s POV made me wonder how her good friend felt all these time. (teary)
There’s no play order, but I finished them from left to right. I couldn’t wait to get to Heishi though, so after Natsuhiko I jumped right to Heishi and went back to Itsuki.
You’ll have to play it to know why I liked Senri so much, but he was just trying so hard for Koharu it made him so precious. And the bits about Koharu’s dreams of him were ROFL.
And of course, there were lots of interactions between the couple and the other characters too in each route, with really random happenings that made for lots of fun!
The writers explored each of the character’s traits really well, and the complications behind their relationships (like the aftermath of whether Reset was done or not) were well resolved, and the settings of where they chose to stay after they became a couple or what they were doing were totally random and unexpected, which made the Concertos really interesting for each of the characters.
And cute stuff like this make you really ‘awwwww’ I still can’t get over the fact that Mikoto (a proud Noble family’s daughter) would allow herself to be living in a random place with a random guy whom she initially really hated. I mean sure, he’s handsome and has a sexy voice but still…… I preferred Natsuhiko in the original game. And honestly, the reason I enjoyed his concerto was because of the presence of Setsu and Ron (lol). They are irreplacable!
And honestly, I still like Sakuya tons. I mean, which boyfriend has tea and a change of clothes ready for you when you wake up in the morning? And combs your hair for you? And is like an absolute gentleman? He’s a butler, Prince and boyfriend all-in-one. I also really liked Mikoto in Sakuya’s route because we get to see her more vulnerable side and see her deep in love for once. It’s rare for heroines to be so deep in love because they’re usually made to be easily swept away by “doki-doki” and other amateur stuff, but they explored the complication of Mikoto and Sakuya’s past really well.
The CGs are all basically from the first game which was a pity, but I guess the story made up for that lack. There’s only one additional CG per Fuga, and mostly at the end of each original story. There’re 4 chapters in each Fuga, a summarized version of the original game from the male’s perspective and it was really well written so you don’t actually get bored even if you’re the type that doesn’t like re-reading stories. It’s interesting to see how guys feel about their love interests anyway, since all popular media tells us is that they want to get bed-ded (lol)
I like Ron and Kakeru’s Fuga the most because they’re guys that are hard to understand, and Akito too, for the cute bits. And Heishi’s was kinda fun to see since he’s always kinda idiotic but his mature side shines through nicely in Fuga too! Heishi!!!
Wasn’t very interesting in my opinion, and it was kinda a filler whereby the boys have to help each other in order to get out of a chibi-state imposed on them by Sorata who is sick of their squabblings. The girls also haven’t chosen any of the ‘routes’ so Natsuhiko is also forced into having to work with the Norn boys. Nanami’s team is always funny though, because of Akito’s fear of birds, Ron’s heck-care attitude and Heishi’s stupidity. ( *´艸｀)
Like I mentioned, it was a tad annoying because the 8bit game wasn’t as control-easy as I wanted it to be, but you are able to change between the three heroines. Nanami’s events give the most tickets, but the possibility of losing them due to random things are higher too. My suggestion is to not talk to any of the guys outside of the heroine’s group (i.e, in using Mikoto, speak only to the heroines or Sakuya/Natsuhiko/Itsuki) until you have bought everything from Norn Store and couldn’t care less whether you lose tickets or not. Lol.
And if you’re not Mikoto, don’t even try talking to Setsu because his hentai-ness always makes you lose tickets rofl. If you’re in a great rush, just keep using Nanami to look for Akito or Heishi when they have that red exclamation mark because it means you’re gonna get 50 tickets (*´▽｀*)
All characters, even Aion make an appearance so it’s pretty random and cute, and if improved on would be great fun I think.
I think this is pretty obvious, but if you finish all scenarios you unlock everything and to buy from Norn store you need enough tickets from the Norn Life game. You’ll get around it as soon as you play it. Easy peasy.
I was really happy to be able to ‘buy’ the music collection because I love Kevin Penkin’s bgms as I mentioned above, and though I have the original soundtrack, I’d love to have a BGM CD for this game too. He was also the composer for Jyuzaengi and I couldn’t buy his BGMs there because they were only available in the US Itunes for some reason and my Itunes is region locked in Japan lol. (y u do dis)
I have to get a cable to rip his BGM out of my Vita soon ヌフフフフ
I really enjoyed this fandisc and if you still have not gotten a VITA yet, I think it’s time to get one because Otomate’s VITA games are way better than their psp ones. So many new titles coming too!
I didn’t want to summarize 9 concerto stories and the Fuga (because spoilers are nasty for games you want to play) and I’d say go get a copy now to meet the Norn boys again!
I’m hoping Otomate makes another Norn game, I don’t know how, but Norn has been and will be one of my favorites for its character moe and well written story! Coupled with top notch music, character art and BG art too, I’d recommend this fandisc to anyone who played the original game!