Indie Corner: Petit Novel Series: Harvest December
Petit Novel Series, developed by Talestune, made it to the West as a Nintendo 3DS eShop game. As the title already suggests, the original game was divided into several episodes. Japanese gamers could download a new small novel from the start of Harvest December until the end of Perfect December. It worked well in Japan but for the Western release, the game comes packed with all thirteen stories in one download.
It’s not a game
First things first, this isn’t exactly a game. If you’re hoping for an interactive story game like Heavy Rain, you’ll be disappointed. The Petit Novel Series is exactly what it promises to be, small stories, developed for the Nintendo 3DS. There’s no interaction at all. The game offers thirteen different stories set in the snowy town Tagami. Here you’ll follow the life of Masaki Konno, a teenager prone to fall into sticky situations during his final year of high school.
This means the ‘game’ doesn’t offer that much interactivity between the reader and its characters, just like a book. The difference between reading these novels or a real book is of course the use of images during the story; you’ll see some typical Japanese images popping up on the top screen. These aren’t really that special but they do put a face on the characters you’re reading about.
As said before, this collection consists out of thirteen small novel stories. The book starts rather slow and confusing but the more you read, the more interesting it all gets. Depending on the month you’re reading, the setting of the novel changes drastically. During some month you’ll read heart warming love stories while the next month might be violent. It’s this variation that keeps the story fresh and fun to read.
Don’t be mistaken however; this is a game that’s best suited for a Japanese audience. The way of writing and the mysteries you’ll face are very Japanese and hard to follow. There’s a lot to remember while reading and keeping characters apart isn’t always that easy, even with the images on the top screen. If you want to fully understand the story, you’ll need to pay attention from the start.
Don’t skip stories
In this release, you’re able to skip certain novels by skipping a month. Right from the start, you can read every novel that’s been released but we wouldn’t recommend this. The game is meant to be played in the right order. Sure, you can read the novels separated from each other but you’ll miss out on the main story for story. If you enjoy reading, you’ll love this release but make sure you’re prepared for some weird writing. Japan isn’t afraid of taboos or sexual content. This isn’t a novel young gamers should read for sure!
|The good:||The bad:|
|+ Interesting plot||– No interaction|
|+ Lot of variation in the story||– Too Japanese|
|+ Great climax|
Petit Novel Series: Harvest December is a hard game to judge since it’s not a game at all, it’s a novel. If you like to read, you’ll certainly enjoy this Japanese story filled with mysteries and interesting characters. Just make sure to pay attention from the start since the story is rather confusing and hard to follow. Also note that the novels are meant for an older audience, there’s a lot of typical sexual manga content in here. This doesn’t take away the fact we enjoyed reading the story. It starts rather slow but builds up to an interesting climax.
Score: 3.5 out of 5