Have you ever seen one of those movies where someone will say something so epic that after they finish there will be a dead silence for a few seconds, followed by one person clapping slowly,until the whole room starts to clap and then there’s a thunderous applause? That’s the way I feel about this dating sim. I love to complain. Dear god how I love to complain. But with this game, Hourglass of Summer, I’m almost pissed because there’s nothing to complain ABOUT. The music is phenomenal, the story is original, and the characters are all amazing (even the self insert dude). There are 5 love options and EVERY ONE of their stories is fantastic. Anyone who knows anything about me will tell you. 9/10 times I HATE the main love interest.
In fact, it’s time for class kiddies!
Whether it be an anime, a game, or whatever, if it’s a harem show, and i know who the main character’s going to end up with in episode 1, I drop the show like it’s made of lard…and Will Ferrell (i do not like Will Ferrel). In my opinion, if this condition is met, there is NO POINT of the show being a harem show, if they basically broadcast to you in the first episode who the main girl is, and who he’s going to pick, there is no point as it could be a simple romance show with no other girls necessary as they will never be love interests no matter how many fanservice situations they are put in. (I’m looking at YOU Brynhildr) And what’s even worse, is when it comes to games, a good majority of them make you feel as if you got the “consolation prize ending” if you don’t pick the main girl they want YOU to pick. As if because you don’t like the main girl, somehow you’re wrong and you should get a “not so perfect” ending.
However, Hourglass of summer doesn’t do that. Every one of the endings feels great. In fact,There’s 2 of the endings that sort of intertwine and by the time you have to pick one of the girls, you feel bad no matter which one you pick as they’re both amazing. I NEVER like the main girl, but for this game, damn it they knew what they were doing.
Now before you ask, yes this dating sim is available in English, and you actually don’t even need a computer to play it. all you need is a DVD player. This was released a few years ago in English by a company called “Hirameki”. They are sadly out of business now, but they released a few good games. you can get this online on amazon for about $10 bucks with shipping. But hell, i’d buy it again for $40. It’s that good.
Enough of me brown nosing this game. (trust me, me loving something this much does NOT happen very often as you can ask either Midnight or Oki) What is the general premise? Well you’re a high school student who’s in love with this girl named Kaho. However, she’s really popular and she’s way out of your league. Feeling dejected, on the last day of school before summer break, you decide soon you’re going to try to ask her out, but tonight, you head home. However as you do, you come across a strange person in a trenchcoat. you get into a struggle and you end up being covered in a strange powder.
You wake up to find yourself on September 1st, the first day of class. you then discover that not only during that time have you become Kaho’s boyfriend, but on August 31st, she was killed. you fall unconscious to find yourself in a random summer’s day back in the past. It is then revealed that you are actually jumping through a two month period in time back and forth, never knowing where you’re going to end up. you meet the person in the trenchcoat who is really a Time cop named Li Gene and she informs you that her (and therefore your) mission is to save Kaho from dying. and that’s basically when the game picks up.
Here’s the thing that i absolutely love. Normally in one of these games, they’d make it so if you didn’t pick the main girl, she would die. However, in Hourglass of Summer, out of the 5 girls, no matter who you pick, Kaho lives. as long as you get one of them, she’s fine. so it isn’t one of those “oh you picked someone else so she dies.” There’s no guilt attached with the romance and i love it.
So, who should we pick…..the main shy popular girl Kaho…the spunky next door neighbor Ai, the sci-fi obsessed teacher, the emotionless shy swimmer Mana, or the time cop? Hmmmmm…know what? let’s go with my absolute favorite, Mana. the Swimmer girl. Why? Cause this ain’t no democracy!
Here’s the scoop. you find out that Kaho will die because a girl gets her wheelchair stuck on the train tracks so they have to shut down the train.
Kaho then takes a bus, which as she steps out of, she gets hit by a car and dies. so you figure that the best way to handle this is to stop the girl from getting in the accident that puts her in a wheelchair, therefore not stopping the train and Kaho’ll be fine. Over the next jumping back and forth you have to gain this shy, quiet girl’s trust.
Her whole goal is to be the best swimmer. She has a crush on her coach and wants to be the best. The sad thing is, if you want her romance there is no way to stop her from breaking her leg and ending up in the wheelchair. In fact, one of your most touching scenes is when she gets so depressed you have to STOP HER FROM COMMITTING SUICIDE.
She eventually realizes she loves you and becomes your girlfriend. You save Kaho and the timeline is restored.
This game. Holy crap this game. If this abstract concept of this game were a woman, i would make love to it. that is how strongly i feel about this game. Are there a few problems with some of the routes in this game? Okay, yeah for a few of them i could ask they tweak a couple of things. However, for this route? No. this route is perfect. I love everything about it, and like I said before, you will NEVER read those words on one of my posts again. Well, okay, there’s a very unlikely possibility you will. Now you may have noticed that i skipped over a LOT. the reasoning behind this is, i want you play this route. If you play ANY route in this game, play this one. I hardly want to spoil anything. it’s just that fantastic.
Now the question. Why is it good? Well that’s hard to pinpoint. First of all, Mana starts out very cold. She doesn’t really want anything to do with you and wants you to leave her alone. She’s so focused on pleasing her coach that she won’t give you the time of day. It’s then you see her floating in the water and you in your dumbassery thinks she drowning and try to save her.
Of course, she’s not drowning, but as she has to save YOU from your own stupidity as YOU begin to drown, she begins to feel closer to you and begins to warm up to you.
She’s not mean, she’s not a Tsundere. she’s just…sad. She’s sad and lonely. And the fact that you find your way into her life is so heartwarming and amazing and iwanttomakeoutwiththisgame!
Okay, now i bet you’re wondering something. “Hideki, (of which I’m sure you’re asking me with a top hat and monocle in a British accent) this is a dating sim. Where’s the porn?” And here’s the thing. At first this game was released on the PS2 in Japan as a “Clean” dating sim. A hentai PC version was released later. the version Hirameki did was the clean one. And this may sound weird, but i prefer the clean one. This is the kind of story that actually SUFFERS when there’s porn in it. You get so absorbed in the story and the characters that hentai actually DETRACTS from it. I know, crazy right?
Being all that said, Mana’s route, Hourglass of Summer gets a 10/10. … don’t get used to that score.
You guys still want to see the hentai don’t you? Well too bad, it’s all mine!
…….and it’s actually kind of hot