Love At First Sight Review

20160611213555_1I should probably explain that my goal for this blog for the past six months has been to get one review posted every week, and I’ve been doing my best to curate my game playing schedule to accommodate that.  Unfortunately, sometimes I run into a game that I struggle to say much of anything about, and I spend very little time with before reaching the conclusion, as there just isn’t much to it.  That’s unfortunately the case with Love At First Sight, and I feel sorry for the game because of it, as it really is quite nice.

Love At First Sight Review
Platforms: PC(reviewed), Mac, Linux
Developer: FreakilyCharming
Publisher: Sekai Project

Love At First Sight is actually a pretty alarmingly simple game when you get down to it, being a kinetic, that is to say fully linear, visual novel about a young man who befriends and eventually falls in love with a girl who was born with one eye named Sachi.  A clumsy, injury riddled and kindhearted young woman whose reservations and fear about the main character’s approach organically lessen as time goes on, and their relationship with one another manages to have enough established and foreshadowed in order to come across as genuine.  20160611210552_1

As it stands, the only major sources of conflict are quickly dealt away with, and a complete story is tightly told within three hours with enough characterization applied to the heroine, main character, and the members of the supporting cast for them to feel proper characters.  Characters who archetypes may as well be written on their heads, but thorough characters regardless.  There is enough humor, drama, and oddities in the story to make for a solid and well put together romance story, which is exactly what Love At First Sight is aiming to be, and it succeeds in doing so.  

Based on that, this review sounds like a ringing endorsement, and if you’re interested in a Japanese flavored story about a man and a link between girls and monster girls, Love At First Sight should scratch that itch.  But little else beyond that aside from what a comparatively hefty collection of extras can provide.  Nothing that is needed to make the story work is omitted, and there are enough cute and touching moments for the story to be memorable, but when breaking down the story to its most basic elements, it does feel rather simplistic and formulaic, without digging too deeply into the unique attributes of Sashi.  20160609191141_1

Her condition is never really talked about, the details for any potential struggle having a single giant eye are never brought up, even though I would assume it would impair her reading capabilities at the very least, and despite being at the center of a story rife with neglect and abuse, those details are ultimately passed over.  I wouldn’t go as far to say the story is actively ignoring these things, but this unintended negligence can be seen as somewhat dismissive towards those who suffer emotional or physical abuse or deal with their own disabilities.  

This could be attributed to the fact that the creator of this game is Japanese, meaning he comes from a culture where mental health and such lack the same precedent they possess in the west, and this game was ultimately made over the course of two months.  Which is quite alarming for a one man endeavor like this, as the prior tangent aside, the story still remains well rounded, and nothing about the production stood out as particularly lacking.20160611213942_1

This includes the artwork for this game, which I absolutely love.  The best way I can describe it is anime-esque with leaner and almost lanky proportions, but with coloring and shading that is more reminiscent of a watercolor painting.  The end result is a collection of well shaded sprites that all manage to convey a good amount of personality and emotion in their appearance alone.  The backgrounds are equally if not more beautiful looking, with slightly exaggerated colors that are applied in distinctive blotches over what I’d guess are photographs of scenery that are brought to life quite wonderfully.  

For what it is, there is very little wrong with Love At First Sight, and for a short kinetic visual novel, you can certainly do far worse.  It’s a simple well done love story that has beautiful art and a uniquely designed heroine, but that’s all there is to the game.  It is an unfortunate sentiment to end a review on, but that’s what happens when you only ship with the bare essentials of your game, along with a scant few extras.20160611222145_1

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