Welcome to another installment of Hemisphere’s “So What Title Am I Resuming Now”. Today it’ll be ExE, Yuzusoft’s scond title, that I’ll be talking about!
Yuu’s route is the only main route left for me to clear in ExE, barring minor character routes such as Saya and Madoka. Two things, however, prevent me from clearing it completely. One is that Yuu, while a rather likable character, is voiced by Aoyama Yukari. She’s not really a favorite seiyuu of mine, and it’s an understatement to say that hearing her can sometimes drive me away from playing a title due to how comatose, deadpan, and monotone her voice acting is. It baffles me as to why the Japanese love her so much. Second is that I played through the other two routes first, making certain events in Yuu’s route rather redundant.
For example, Natsuki’s route delved into ExE’s world of magic and sorcery with the events of Touya’s training. I played through her route first so I thought it would be aunique event – imagine my surprise when the same thing happens in Yuu’s route. My suspicion for this is that they intended for me to try out Yuu’s route first and see how Mio’s and Natsuki’s routes have common story elements blended in with Yuu’s route before it branches out on its own, so I would have some familiar ground once I decided to pursue the other two and be motivated and interested as to how these routes would branch out and progress on their own. Unfortunately this wasn’t what happened.
Instead of the aforementioned effect that the game would have on me should I have taken Yuu’s route first, I’m left thinking that it’s rather unoriginal. That and I tend to go for the skip options whenever I reach events that I’ve already gone through before, which tends to leave me uninspired and rather bored (which clearly never happened with Itsusora). Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten myself past those events (still stuck with the training event with Natsuki), which leaves my motivation at a record-low. Not that ExE’s a bad game, it’s just not pulling at me strong enough thanks to those two aforementioned factors.
Take for example Natsuki’s route.
I liked her route a lot! Her quirky character, somewhat-monotone-but-not-really voice and her absolute love of anything and everything bread is absolutely awesome. It’s rare to find someone this goofy yet so totally lovable and adorable (hello Narukana-sama, Euphoria-chan) which is why i can’t help but fawn over Natsuki! There’s also the matter of her story, which involves her insecurity over her family and her abilities as a mage. The drama was okay especially during the latter part as Natsuki grew to believe in herself with Touya’s support.
…What I didn’t like about her route, however, was this.
Why did they have to clean up her look? I liked her long hair look! Not only did she end up looking like a child with her new appearance, it removed some of her quirky and badass charm! I mean, just look:
That is so much more awesome than her short hair look. Why, oh Natsuki, why?!
For Mio’s route, oh god. Before I started playing ExE, it was no surprise that I fawned over Mio Kifune a whole lot. Just look at this:
Who could resist fawning over such a deliciously awesome character?!
Then I got around to playing ExE, and at the start, Mio was indeed the badass that I thought. Awesome with the katana, and her initial fight with Natsuki was kickass to boot. Then I got to see more of Mio’s character. Saya’s partner and friend from the Organization? Fuck yes! I loved Saya and her teasing, toshima onee-sama nature (and you know that Ishiki Hikaru’s voicing plays a part in that), so when I found out that Mio was friends with her and shared some traits with Saya, I promptly went bonkers. Both of them are so awesome at teasing Touya, I feel sorry for the guy should he end up living with both of them in the same house. With Makina-chan. Poor guy.
Progressing further into MIo’s route, I went “what the fuck” a bit. So apparently Mio’s so shitscared of her past that she turns into a helpless little girl at the mere mention of it? That she ends up being so helpless that Touya has to slap some sense into her? Well, this part infuriated me a bit because after all the “Mio is so tough omg, she so osm!” buildup, they show me this. 10/10. But it wasn’t all that anyways – continuing the story shows how Mio gets to toughen up her resolve and decide to move onwards, leaving her past behind.
It was a pretty good resolution, made even better by showing us how both Touya and Mio gained the strength to look for their answers by taking their own separate paths. It’s not like it’s a miserable ending just because they don’t end up together – there’s always the chance that they’d meet up again, as Touya said. That, and they both wanted to make sure of their own paths in life first before they meet again.
Seeing as both routes have been great, I can’t wait to see how Yuu’s unfolds. I’m pretty sure that it’ll be mostly about her childhood days in the hospital and the circumstances regarding her fateful meeting with Touya, as everything in the game is relevant to the fire that happened several years ago as seen in the game’s prologue. Here’s to Yuu’s route!
Another noteworthy thing to mention is that I LOVE ALL THE SUBCHARACTERS! Saya-san, Madoka-chan, and especially Makina-chan! The game’s humor is totally hilarious, and I can’t help but laugh everytime I remember the wild boar incident. Or the milk drinking incident! Oh Saya-san, you and your lines are pure win! The music is also great, as I listen to tracks like Honor Student, Have a hard time, Rosy shock and such on my iPod. For visuals, the game looks gorgeous, and the interface is handy and easy to navigate – it also fits the game’s theme pretty well!