Important Importables Review: Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu for DS

May 28, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports Review: Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu for DS

Section: Reviews, Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Adventure, Sim

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暗闇の果てで君を待つ Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu DS

Title: Kurayami no Hate de Kimi o Matsu
Price: around $55
System(s): DS
Release Date: October 22, 2009
Publisher (Developer): D3 Publisher (D3 Publisher)
ESRB Rating: N/A, CERO B for Ages 12+
Pros: Great blend of adventure and otome (girl’s dating sim) game. Interesting characters. Nice assortment of puzzles. Quite a few CGs to collect. Story is pretty well written and involving. Good voice acting. Heroine is quite strong and intelligent.
Cons: Very text heavy, which could deter importers. Have to beat the game once to get Kousaka’s ending. While each character’s ending is different, the same character is always the “bad guy.” The villain route is incredibly demented and dark (with 2 twisted endings), which could be incredibly unsettling to some players.
Overall Score: 8/10

Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu is undoubtedly unique. It’s not often you find a dark, serious adventure game about a serial killer that also has dating simulation aspects. Honestly, it’s probably the first and, while there are a few minor disappointments, it offers a really intriguing experience to anyone willing to play. Just brace yourself if you decide to take a route where the heroine sides with the villain.

暗闇の果てで君を待つ Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu DS

You’re trapped in a school by a serial killer. Time to find the truth, a way out and… love?

Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu starts out with a lighthearted idea – Miyuki Hasekura and a group of five other, male students are going on a school sanctioned hiking trip with a teacher and teaching assistant. Of course, things don’t go as planned. Mikimoto, the trainee teacher, loses control of the bus after an accident and when everyone wakes up, they’re trapped in a deserted school. Miyuki, her childhood friend Katsumi and Mikimoto find themselves trapped in a locked room and Mikimoto leaves through a window to try and find a way out.

Hope you didn’t get attached to Mikimoto, because there’s a loud noise and he’s found dead. It turns out everyone in the abandoned school have been trapped there by a serial killer. The killer says that each one is a sinner and, if they can’t get out by the next day, he’s going to kill them all. The heroine must then team up with a partner from the surviving students and teacher to find out what’s going on and escape.

暗闇の果てで君を待つ Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu DS

Escaping a school with your partner isn’t easy.

Even though Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu is classified as an otome game, it’s really first and foremost an adventure game. Players guide Miyuki and her partner around the school, investigating rooms and solving puzzles to save the lives of the other students and find a way out of the school. You’ll also have to talk to the other characters to find out what’s going on and build relationships. It’s all fairly standard, point-and-click adventure fare, and the touch screen works wonderfully.

Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu is notable for another reason and that’s Miyuki, the heroine. She’s probably one of the strongest and smartest otome game heroine I’ve ever encountered. In all routes except one, she’s the strongest, smartest and most reasonable character there. She’s able to figure things out, without panicking, and manages to save everyone with her quick responses (in all routes except one). It’s refreshing, since some games have heroines that are completely clueless, submissive and even a bit stupid. It’s quite a drastic change, especially if you compare Miyuki to Tamaki from Hiiro no Kakera.

One thing I would have liked to have seen was a bit more variation in terms of the storyline. With the exception of one route, where things get totally turned around, Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu‘s major points remain the same. There’s the same purpose and the same villain each time. I really would have liked to have seen D3 experiment a bit more – maybe have a different guy be the villain in each route. It isn’t a deal-breaker though and is really just wishful thinking on my part. The way the game plays out each time works as well, as each route you complete helps you better understand the story and motivations of each character.

Speaking of routes, there’s one in Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu that could be triggering for some people and is incredibly dark and violent. That’s the route where the heroine actually ends up with the serial killer, because he’s actually one of the dateable bachelors in the game. It is incredibly twisted, which could turn a lot of people off of the game. Ironically, this devious path is also one of the most intriguing, since it completely shifts the purpose and point of the game. You just have to play the game once through with another, normal guy, in order to make it accessible on a subsequent playthrough.

暗闇の果てで君を待つ Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu DS

An interesting twist on the dating sim adventure

So Kurayami no Hate de Kimi wo Matsu may not be the perfect adventure and otome blend. It’s still pretty darn good. It would have been perfect if the villain in each route would have been different, but manner D3 chose to go with does provide consistency. The story is intriguing, the puzzles slightly challenging and most of the characters are pretty believable. Plus, the route where the heroine ends up with the villain provides some seriously unsettling twists and turns, for people who like darker tales. It’s an intriguing effort and worth a try for any adult otome fans.

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