The fact I have an anime section on this blog should make my opinions on Japan pretty clear, but I’ve got a paragraph to fill, so I’ll yack a bit. I’m not the type of person who wants to or has travelled very much in their life. While there is a certain appeal to visiting new locals, the transportation and in the case of very far away places, a language barrier I would need a paid assistant to help me with. And even though Japan does have a bunch of cool shit in it, I would much prefer to build a machine to plop the country right next to California and wait for English to become a common second language in the reclusive country. Oh, and for the sake of this review, I’m calling Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip To Japan~ as its subtitle because the punctuation of Go! Go! ticks me off.
Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip To Japan~ Review
My First Trip To Japan is centered around an English speaking male from a country that I can only assume to be Britain going on his first trip to Japan where he ends up living with two underage girls while their parents are away. From that description alone the concept of things getting naughty arises, but the game is clean for the great majority of what I’ve played, which amounted to the main character loving just about everything he sees. While simultaneously hoping the player wants to go to any of the places that you can access in the game’s given week, which pretty much requires two playthroughs to see everything. Even though I only went through one despite the game being pretty short.
Yet, My First Trip To Japan does feel the need to tell a story of its own involving a the two cliches the main character is stuck with, both of which do end up as the one the main character falls in love with depending on, well, getting lucky I suppose. And if calling them cliches did not make this evident enough, the actual story here is not that great, even though there are no divergences. It is enjoyable to a certain extent if only for how goofy and awkward things can be at some times, and I did laugh even though I doubt that was the intended reaction most of the time. Although, the game was made to support both Japanese and English at the same time, so it is understandable that the writing can be more than a hint awkward at times. In fact, I’d say its better than I expected if it really is a direct translation between the two languages.
Actually, along with the feature that asks for the Yen conversion and the amount of detail that goes into things like local backgrounds and just about every meal at a restaurant, saying the game resembles an elongated advertisement for the country is a bit of an understatement. As an ad it certainly does show the really cool things the country can offer to tourists assuming they have friends they met in IRC and are fluent in Japanese, with my criticism being made evident by that very statement. Thus leaving it to be judged as both a story and a game, with the latter being very much non-existent, as its diverging paths are minimal and player inputs being selecting things from a menu. Not even a personality system so you can make the protagonist not come off as a mild pervert.
Instead what is there is something I actually really did enjoy, but only in small doses over about three days as I took my time, voicing out the dialog, and doing what amounted to a let’s play of the game in my room, alone, in the middle of a friday afternoon. As lonely as that might sound, the idea of playing the game with a friend is among the better scenarios I can muster, as I found the story simultaneously stock and engaging. It is a cute inoffensive tale with only a few groan worthy moment that has a noble goal. And I certainly cannot knock it for that.
What I will knock it for is in the visual department. Firstly, the two primary cliches the protagonist sees as humans, meaning they are the only ones given proper art for aside from the protagonist’s eyeless face, have designs and… sprites which I am tempted to dub, “pretty goldarn crappy”. Topped off by an odd decision to make the A and D cupped sisters brunettes, even though they are both Japanese. I would then like to compliment the backdrops, as they do seem to have far more effort place in them, even if they do use obvious photos as a base, but they are oddly few and far between for certain things, like a convenience store interior, while rendering tourist destinations of Kyoto when they are only around for three minutes if you are reading the text in an even more lipsy voice than normal like I was. Although I’d still place it above the often droning music.
Go! Go! Nippon ~My First Trip To Japan~ was a curious little duck I couldn’t help but examine and while it is not the most plump and lays eggs that gain quality through their lack of costs, it’s hardly much of a prize. A fun and certainly care and attention filled title that I’m glad soared through the five digit barrier of sales within a matter of hours, but one I would recommend waiting on and preferably sitting down with a friend to play alongside, as weird as that may sound. Nothing all that spectacular but it was ultimately endearing and I suppose I could have not asked for much more.
The game is good at its core, that much is very true, but the hiccups start to get more than a bit too present to be pushed aside, or the title might just be lacking in a textbook full of different manners.