Friday, February 19, 2010

Eroge Game Review: Yume Miru Kusuri

Hey guys! Once again we have an eroge PC game for review. This time around it's Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug That Makes You Dream by Ruf. Originally released in Japan in 2005 this visual novel took a while to make its way to the States, but it received an English translation by Peach Princess. Like most other eroge visual novels Yume Miru Kusuri is rated 18+ and contains adult content.
Similar to other entries in the visual novel genre Yume Miru Kusuri puts you in the shoes of a male character on the verge of an adventure in relationships and sex. The content of the story is quite captivating at times, and quite cheesy at others, but throughout it you are given a sense of control over some of the events. For instance at various points you will be presented with options like what to do, where to go, or who to hang out with. Each results in a different path, though they all converge on a larger storyline.

The story follows Kouhei Kagami, who is your average Japanese school student with solid grades, friends, and such. Like most kids his age Kouhei feels a little on the lost side and though he's surrounded by people, he feels lonely to an extent. When Kouhei meets three girls who all share similar feelings about the world their destinies collide and their fates get tied together. As the story progresses Kouhei must choose between the three girls and decide what relationships he wants to pursue. I know this doesn't sound very different from other visual novels, and in some sense it's not, but the characters all stand out in unique ways and the manner with which the story draws you in can be quite captivating at times.
The success of Yume Miru Kusuri hinges solely on the quality of the character development. Things start out lighthearted enough with each of the girls (and with Kouhei for that matter), but soon enough the sense of drama increases and even heads down some dark paths depending on your choices.

The girls here are the quiet and isolated Aeka, the student council president Mizuki, and the bizarre fantastical cat girl Nekoko. How you meet each girl is a set part of the story, but how relationships develop is most entirely up to you. You essentially pick which girl you want to be with and from there the game takes you down many paths. In fact there are two different endings for each girl (a good and a bad) and in the end you're looking at six total conclusions to the game. Naturally that warrants many play-throughs and it's a testament to the quality of the game overall that this never gets tedious.
The game lasts a while too and is on par with the average length of a visual novel, meaning you can expect many late nights and a loss of sleep as you go through "just one more scene" before bed. It's a rewarding experience and one that keeps you coming back. One could say that's the real "drug" behind A Drug That Makes You Dream. With that being said if you haven't experienced a visual novel before or are looking for anything resembling gameplay you're going to be disappointed. It's just not here, and frankly it shouldn’t be.

Like many of the most successful visual novels Yume Miru Kusuri features some absolutely stunning imagery. The artwork by Haimura Kiyotaka is gorgeous on every level. It's detailed, vibrantly colorful, and all designs from the characters to the backgrounds truly stand out. Next to Princess Waltz this is one of the most beautiful visual novels I've ever experienced. Adding to that presentational quality is sound outstanding voice work quality and a soundtrack that is utterly captivating. It's a complete package that speaks highly to the production values.

Yume Miru Kusuri comes with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.
The writing is good as well and the English translation provided with this game is nearly flawless. With that being said there are some lines that just don't need to be there and stand out as being awkward. One presumes these were a part of the original title and therefore a part of the script. There's nothing glaring, mind you, but if you're getting into a conversation you'll sometimes be tripped up over silly statements and off-wording.
Now, what about the sex? Of course that's one of the reasons you are interested in picking up this game, right? The game offers many scenes with each of the girls and all of them stand out as being more erotic than hardcore. There's nothing too kinky here and the action feels just right somehow based on the relationships you develop. Once you complete each scene that particular one becomes available through the Event viewer in the Extras menu. To that end there are is also a CG viewer and music selection as well in the same menu.
From start to finish Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug That Makes You Dream is an incredible visual novel. It features a captivating story with several dark, dramatic moments in the latter parts of the tale. The characters are extremely well-developed and you'll want to play through multiple times just to experience what each has to offer. The script holds some lame lines sometimes, but that's really the only flaw here. If you're in the market for a new eroga PC title then this one comes highly recommended!

Maki Rating:

Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug That Makes You Dream
is available through the website that consists of epic win: Jlist. The costs are $34.95 for the DVD-ROM and $29.95 for a download.

Review material provided by Jlist.

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