Deardrops Distortion is a PSP game based on the adult themed visual novel. It was also a hentai themed game for the Pc. The PSP port was developed by Overdrive and published by Cyberfront. The porn scenes and underage drinking that was in the original visual novel were removed and replaced with new scenes. The game is a Japanese exclusive so online import retailers or amazon is the only to get it. Two new endings were added to the existing four endings of the game making it six.
The story is set in the same universe as Kira Kira, its predecessor. In the story, violinist Suganmu Shouichi, a prodigy in the classical music world, returns from Germany to stay over at his childhood friend’s place. He lives in a converted bus on the top of his friend’s house. The place he is staying is also a popular music hub called 696. He learns his friend is part of the rocker scene in Japan and is starting a band. Suganmu Shouichi is drawn into this different music world and takes up the guitar. Suganmu and his new friends want to become the next big rock band in Japan.
The story atmosphere puts even more focus on its rocker aesthesis whereas NANA focused more so on its slice of life elements and the punk aesthesis were used as window dressing. Its also very idealistic unlike in NANA as well where it had the harsh realities of being in a band and relationships.
This game shares some similarities with the anime Your Lie In April like Suganmu being forced to become a violinist by his greedy and selfish father. Shouichi like the main character of Your Lie In April, is soft spoken and something of a pushover and it takes a certain someone to rekindle his love for music. The game is not as dramatic as Your Lie In April with happier endings.
In your first playthrough of the game, it’s like the Science Adventure series where its locked on the main route and you have to play the game multiple times to see the other endings. Riho, the heroine of the story’s route is the most musically focused and truly about creativity and passion while the other routes were mainly romance stuff and side plots popping up and out. The menu screen at the start is in English but when you pause, it is in traditional Japanese. This is a strange choice as visual novels in Japan like Chaos Head Noah have both pause and start screen in English.
The control system was pretty easy to learn. It is a real shame that there wasn’t any rhythm game section as even K-on's visual novel had musical elements in it where you could play songs from the anime. Auto play is forced and not optional in the game. You could turn it off but this was really unacceptable for a visual novel game.
The background art was decent while the character designs were nothing special. Character expressions were very static and hardly ever changed. The cover art design I like way more than the actual art of the game. I also liked how it broke trend in visual novels where the main characters face is obscured but he isn’t voiced however.
There are about 91 pieces of art scenery in the visual novel but the story was mainly told in 696 for most of the game and hardly any other location in Japan which is very limited in scope, especially given how Suganmu’s band grows in popularity as time goes by. A lot of the art in this game is recycled especially the facial expressions.
The music score was ok but sometimes it loops over and over again and some of the good songs were not used as much as they should have been. There were actually some covers of very famous rock tracks from Nirvana’s Smell Like Teen Spirit and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven. There are about 22 tracks in the game and you could play them anytime you wish. Sadly,the game doesn’t include much singing.
The opening scene of the visual novel, the stop motion effects were awkward but it made up with special effects and rocker nature. The scenes used to replace the adult events in the novel were bland romance.
Characters appear in and out of the story multiple times and some take a while to show up and some had more focus than others. There was not much interactivity besides the dialogue choices. The games dialogue just went around in circles, described the obvious and things just dragged on for a while. I even looked up some screenshots of the English translation and it had some pretty bad grammatical errors. All four routes are given to you when you start to play the game instead of taking the main common route.
It’s a fairly long game with the main reason being the slow pace at the start. Some of the endings could have served as good climaxes but it just kept dragging on for a long while like Riho’s route. Thankfully, the endings try to wrap up loose ends in the story. The game isn’t as slick with its cover up of sexual content as it thought it was. There still some innuendo like the number 69 being used as graffiti. The game doesn’t leave any plotholes behind and the endings are very satisfying.
Deardrops Distortion is a good game but not memorable.
It’s a 3 out of 5 stars.
A chance of it getting an anime adaptation seem to be very likely since just this year, it was on the cloud gaming system of Japan Ooblets and it was also ported to the android in Japan as well. There is a sequel D2B VS Deardrops from what I understand which is a crossover between both games.