Even though Harutoki 5 tied last year in an unofficial poll for the worst otome game of the year, I liked it enough to get the fandisk, and I’m playing it now. However, the problems with the first game have only partially been fixed.
One of the main problems was fixed, or at least it seems like it – I’m not going to explain fully because it’s a spoiler, but in the main game when you save the world, almost always a few particular people are sacrificed, there’s no way around it. And this problem is totally glossed over in the epilogues, which makes the heroine seem pretty jerky (unless you have magic disbelief-suspension abilities like me, or just assume that the writers screwed up and forgive the heroine). In the fandisk, it seems like the main plot is about how to prevent this, which actually makes me like the original game better as well.
But some of the other problems remain, not least of which is Neoromance’s continual refusal to provide full-voice, or even voiced scenes when it’s important. I can’t believe all the character-specific scenes aren’t voiced, it’s just ridiculous at this point. It makes me not want to buy their games. If they’d just provide more voices, I would be so much more willing to buy the overpriced special editions; instead I always buy the regular editions.
And my other problem with this Harutoki in particular is that in the CG’s, the heroine often looks emotionless, or non-human. Part of it is Mizuno Tooko’s artstyle – the huge eyes without pupils that she always gives heroines tend to look blank, but I swear she did better in #3 and #4.
Anyways, I’m just finishing up (hopefully) Ryouma’s route, then I’m going to stop in order to start either Brothers Conflict or Jyuzaengi, both of which I recently got. High school contemporary or Three Kingdoms catboys, hmmm…