Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! is a visual novel sequel to the original game, Cherry Tree High Comedy Club. I! My! Girls! follows the club as they try to get started and… that’s about all it does.
If you’re expecting much of a “game” from Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! then you’re looking in the wrong place. Throughout my whole time playing this, about 4 hours with several breaks in there, I was sitting there hoping I would get at least something in regards to actual gameplay. It never came – the entire 4 hours was spent reading and watching as they moved about. While I haven’t played the original title yet, from what I understand it at least had actual gameplay (and a bit in the style of Persona). Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! maintains that Persona-like layout, but completely strips any gameplay from it outside of “please select an episode.”
The game has 12 episodes – 7 “main” and 5 “sub” ones. After playing (reading) through all twelve, it really felt like they could have just been all set as “main” episodes. The entire game felt like like it was just building up characters and then it was sort of just like… Oh right, I’m done. It definitely feels like a filler game, but for the $3.99 price I guess you can’t expect TOO much here… What is there though does feel good, and it does at least somewhat bring in new players (though I’m sure having knowledge of the first game would have helped so much more).
There does seem to be some minor grammar issues present here and there, but it’s hard to say if they are actual translation errors or just how that character speaks. Sometimes, characters will talk in “another language” (they are speaking in Japanese in the storyline, even if what you are reading isn’t Japanese). This is showed <like so> but it throws you off the first time you see it. It wasn’t until I was playing a sub-episode and they said something like, “In English you would say <Not interested, thanks!>” that I finally realized it was them “speaking” in another language. I was left very confused for quite awhile until I came to this realization when early on a character said “beginner” in Spanish.
The artwork of the game has its own charm to it. It did become a bit weird when I looked a bit closer and realized that everyone looked eerily similar on the map – the same fact, pose, height (despite many references to being shorter or taller), and so on. The dialogue and overlay appear in a Persona-style, much like how the first game seems to be. For example, you can always see what day it is (along with the general time of day) in the corner much like in Persona even if the game does only cover about a months worth of time.
For $3.99 it’s about the length one could expect, and it does state right on the Steam store page that it is a “linear visual novel.” It still would have been nice to actually be able to walk around some on the maps, even if it was to just get from point a to point b without any interaction in between. As it is, the only gameplay is literally the “Choose an Episode” menu. It is great to see that they went with a truer Japanese-style this time with the translation, and have even announced that the first game now features the same translation style and is not longer Westernized!
Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! Review Score
Minor translation things are questionable here and there, and the game really should have just been 12 “main” episodes. A little more actual “gameplay” would have been great too, but you can’t expect too much from a game advertised as a linear visual novel.
This review was done from a copy provided by the publisher, Nyu Media.