Visual Novels - because insomnia builds character.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

YinYang! : X-Change Alternative

  • Title - YinYang! : X-Change Alternative
  • Author - Crowd/Peach Princess
  • Style - Multi-path Visual Novel (interactive)
  • Rating - Not for sale to minors, 18+
  • Trial - No
  • Engine - Proprietary Engine by Crowd
  • Price - 30$
  • Website - Crowd Website (Japanese)
  • Get - J-List, Peach Princess, RightStuf

EDIT: Somehow I forgot to put a intro paragraph on this review, sorry folks. Here is goes:

X-Change is a quite popular and somewhat infamous series of eroge (emphasis on the erotic part). As one might suspect the name comes from the common feature that the main character changes into a female (XX chromosomes, hence the name). That means that delicious red headed girl is actually that (equally delicious) red-headed guy. Since YinYang is a fresh take on the X-Change series I decided to give it a shot.

Graphics - The art is bright and clean. In particular, the male characters which are usually neglected get distinct, eye-pleasing designs that could just as easily be in a otome title. Tachi-e (character art) are of the same quality as event CG. Lots of variations for emotion and dress (or lack of). Scene specific variations like male Kaoru in the female uniform are included so the tachi-e match with the story. The vast majority of Event CG are H. Anatomy looks a bit strange in some shots but certainly passable and consistent. Some event CG are reused but the staggering amount of CG makes up for this (128 with variations). CG reuse aside, the art is pleasant and varied. 9.5/10

Music/SFX - There is really not much to say here as the background music is pleasant but simply average. Its not bad by any means, its just forgettable. Luckily, there are 22 tracks so at least the reader doesn't get bored too often. Sound effects don't stand out very much either (but I generally consider that a good thing). The two vocal songs (opening and ending) are both very good. I highly recommend picking up the OP mp3 from Crowd's website, its such a fun, happy, song and fits the game very well. 8/10

Voice - While the voice acting is nothing ground breaking it is certainly a valuable part of the work. Unlike many works (especially in the realm of yaruge) the males are not only voiced but done with care. It has often annoyed me how eroge makers would not bother with voices for side characters or the entire male cast (the protagonist is a different debate). Even relatively high budget titles seem to have this problem. Refreshingly, YinYang shows great attention to the male voices as well as the female one's. 8.5/10

Story - I will note here I have not played the X-Change series that inspired YinYang (I likely won't as I hear it has a whinier protagonist). YinYang makes no pretenses, its goal is to have as many sex scenes in as possible while still keeping a comedic tone, all rolled around easy to follow plot. It does so well. There are 6 major characters with 1-3 endings each (12 total endings). Many routes are split by if Kaoru stays female or not but this is not the only factor. Though I've mentioned this above, since Kaoru lives with men, sleeps with men and fights with men it is nice to see them presented as individuals. Tohya's and Renji's routes are very different even though they both could have been played as "childhood friend" generics. I am slightly disappointed in the lack of Sengoku or doctor routes but the game has 12 endings already. You would be hard pressed to find a better yaruge in terms of story. 9.5/10

System/Extras - This game uses a proprietary engine for Windows (but works on WINE pretty well). Much of the most heavily used interface is integrated into the reading window such as save/load, skip, and, backlog controls (including voice replay). Options are also accessed this was and load in a separate standard window. The usual CG and Music modes are present, the music mode is particularly well structured and has information on when each song is used. As is common in more sex-focused games a "memory" mode is also included. This mode is especially nice as it has thumbnails, titles for each scene, and shows some dialog to make finding the desired event easier. 5/5

Select dual core systems may occasionally crash but this can be prevented by setting xca.exe to only use Core 0 in Task Manager (I only had to do this once). I'm not dinging the title for this as it was made before dual core processors were common.

Overall - Despite some flaws, Yin-Yang has earned it's self a spot as one of the top yaruge (sex-focused games) on the market.

Score - 40.5/45 - 90%- Exceptional

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

do you know the title of the opening song? please reply to my email