Title: Lovely Quest -Unlimited-
Developers: Hooksoft & Piacci
Release Date: 27th March 2014
Age Rating: 17+
Length: ~15 Hours
(Official Site for this port is long gone…)
This game takes place in Amanotogawa Academy, a school that has been plagued by a spate of “impure” relationships. In order to better understand what makes a “pure” relationship, the school’s chairwoman recruits our lucky(??) protagonist to become the leader of the newly created “Lovely Smile Committee”. Here, he is given suggestions and questions about love to try out and write reports of his experience. With many girls around him taking an interest in this most unusual club, will there be a new pure love blossoming?
Zenichi is a pretty average guy who just wants to live out a peaceful school-life with his younger sister and childhood friend. He’s not sure what to make of the Lovely Smile activities and feels a bit awkward asking others to be involved but since the chairwoman asked him, he’s taking it pretty seriously. His hobby is gardening, particularly tending to his bonsai trees. He’s pretty donkan.
Sakuraba Minaho (CV Moriya Misono)
Minaho is Zenichi’s younger sister who lives alone with him due to their parents working overseas. She’s a very polite and well-spoken young lady that generally gets along with everyone, to the extent that she is considered an “idol” within the school. She’s very intelligent and an honour student at the academy.
Konose Hami (CV Hoshizaki Iria)
Hami is Zenichi and Minaho’s childhood friend who just happens to live next door to them. She’s a highly-accomplished cook so often comes over to make food for the siblings. Hami has a huge crush on Zenichi and gets embarassed easily around him but he has yet to notice her feelings. She lives with her grandmother, who happens to be the school’s chairwoman.
Aino Thea Couvreur (CV Yukito Saori)
Aino is a transfer student to the academy who meets Zenichi when the two bump into each other at a park. She transfers to his class and is currently staying with the Yaotome family. Aino could be considered highly energetic and outgoing so manages to adjust to her new setting easily. She immediately takes a shine to Zenichi.
Nishina Ayaka (CV Mizukiri Keito)
Ayaka is a third year student and the vice student council president. She’s a very kind and reliable senpai type of character. She may be busy with preparing for exams and student council work but she always makes time to check in and see how Zenichi’s getting along with his Lovely Smile activities.
Yaotome Iroha (CV Toyota Sienna)
Iroha is the older of the Yaotome sisters and is a classmate of Zenichi’s. She has a very sarcastic, almost sadistic personality and enjoys telling jokes. She’s quite lazy though and tries to get out of going to group activities or joining in with Lovely Smile stuff. She comes from a well-off and very traditional family. Iroha has a complete obsession with Shitatama Dango (the food).
Yaotome Hatsune (CV Nonomura Saya)
Hatsune is the younger Yaotome sibling and, while the two may look similar, they are polar opposites in personality. Hatsune is a very polite and kind young girl who is best friends with Minaho. She’s very skilled at sewing.
Character design and artwork were handled by both Rakko and Sakura Hanpen. Both have worked on other Hooksoft titles, with the latter also working on some Parasol games. Art assistance was provided by Mahiro, who has worked on many other hook/smee games.
Opening theme: Lovely Smile – Eufonius
The game’s BGM was composed by Sound Studio B, whom have primarily worked on Hook/Smee titles.
Compared to most standard visual novels, this game actually had a ~very slightly~ more complicated system. Essentially, there’s two types of choices – map & timed. The timed ones are fun to replay to see the heroine’s reactions but have no bearing on the story.
For reasons I literally cannot fathom, there is also a clock function added into the game?
Hooksoft (and their sister brands) are generally known for producing that specific type of galge that has enjoyable heroines and lots of cute fluffy scenes to enjoy (they combine the best elements of chara-ge and moe-ge when done right). Sometimes, after a hard day, that kind of healing atmosphere is just what you need. That being said, did this game bring a Lovely Smile to my face?
Overall, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the content and heroines themselves. They’re all cute, appealing (yes, perhaps slightly generic but still charming) and the character interactions themselves are decent enough.
The whole gimmick of the Lovely Smile Committee kind of “cheapens” the whole process of the “Friends to Lovers” blossoming relationship between the protagonist and the heroines which is one of the most important aspects of games like this for me. It forces the heroines and the protagonist into stupid positions that feel awkward and forced for the most part. Although, some could be quite funny.
Aside from that, the game is pretty much a pure-love, fluffy romance game so if the heroine’s look your type then you’ll enjoy their routes.
Everything that was present in the original game was of a good, polished standard, which deserves praise. Artwork was typically Hook-Soft but pleasant to look at, with the voice acting & sound departments of the game also being great. I’m absolutely gutted that this was one of the rare occasions that they changed the OP song of the game for the port because the original song is ADORABLE.
Okay, time to get down to what was the major disappointment for me with this game – the vita-exclusive content. Now, I’ normally very vocal in my support of “all-ages” console ports of eroge – they make visual novels more accessible, the portability of handheld consoles is superior to PCs and let’s be real, most games’ H-Scenes are “meh” at best anyways so you’re not missing anything much of the time.
This is actually my first game port from Piacci, whom went defunct not long after the release of this game (and I can see why). I was overall really disappointed with the glaring disjointed-ness of the new artwork compared with the originals, which is something that other companies (such as Prototype & Entergram) take really seriously when creating their consumer editions. See the below example:
I mean, putting aside why we need two CGs of Hami changing, the original artwork on the left is just so much better in both style, colouring and proportions. She almost looks like a completely different character! And this is not even the worst, oh no. Look at this monstrosity:
I don’t even know where to start with this one – it looks like something I would attempt! The proportions are so wrong in relation to Aino and the size of the bed in particular (either the bed has suddenly changed to a king-size or Aino is the size of a toddler). And that head omg. In a game where the cute girls are the main appeal, adding such ridiculously bad CGs in ruins the whole scene. I’d rather have no CG!
My Score: 5.5/10
I have one sentence here: PLAY THE ORIGINAL PC VERSION. The game itself is pretty decent with cute heroines and fluffy routes, so long as you can get over the initial stupid gimmick. However, the port adds in such terrible CGs and scenes that it completely ruins the mood and I genuinely would not recommend this version of the game to anyone.
I now understand why it was on sale for 1.5k & why Piacci went out of business after this. What a shame, this game deserved better!
Lovely Smile Committee is definitely a name lol. All of the character designs are lovely but I def gotta agree with you on your criticism. Who was your favorite girl?
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Honestly it was such a weird one lol
Umm, all the girls were cute but probably Hami because she’s so easily flustred + the gold old childhood friend trope never disappoints ^_^
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Heck yeah, childhood friend tropes are so good ❤
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