In my previous post I reflected on some of Voltage practices. To their credit: not only does the subsidiary work hard on localizing the games from Japan but overall they do seem to listen to feedback. In my previous post I think i mentioned how unstable Voltage seems to the fact we never know if we’re going to get next stories or not. For the new app for march. Scandal in Spotlight, Voltage changed schedule of releases. With SITS, we don’t get chunks of stories scattered over a long period of time. With this app, they give us ALL content available for a given character at a given moment in time, so they released the entirety of season 1 stories for the two characters they already released. This is a nice change and I think a better model of release plan as reading an entire route in one sitting makes a different impact and also we don’t have to feel so insecure about the next stories not arriving. Anyway, this is just to highlight the app and the characters of Scandal in the Spotlight, Voltage App of March 2015. Some spoilers as I include some screenshots but hopefully within what’s permissible by Voltage policies as I do not want to give too much away.
The Plot: You are an aspiring scriptwriter but a lyricist of a popular boyband exchanges places with you, pleads you to become a ghostwriter for the band. You reluctantly agree to postpone your plans for following the scriptwriting dream and instead write a song for the band that would refresh or stabilize their image. You get to live with them and work closely with your chosen guy.
Character Selection Screen
is a jerk type whose story beings in a fashion typical for the archetype but it is quickly dismissed to reveal a guy who’s warm and determined to succeed. He has an emotional need to succeed. He’s supportive and very respectful of the MC. He wants to be with her for the right reasons and would not take advantage of her feelings. He appreciates and backs up her dedication with unwavering belief. He’s a really nice character that does not deserve to be dismissed as just a jerk. The drama and plot on the route touch on the precarioussness of the music buisness and involve a bit of a triangle with a pushy rival/friend of Kyohei’s who desperaely wants to produce the band Revance. Kyohei shows a and Mc attempts to do all she can to provide the band with a great song, even when one gets sadly lost. So don;t dismiss him as a jerk if/when you choose to play his route. He really isn’t.
Kyohei’s selling point is his respectful/gentle manner of treating the MC in a moment of particularly strong emotional vulnerability. He does not take advantage of her upset state. There are many nice things to be said about him as he is a warm and dedicated and serious-minded character but I’ll leave the details for another time
He’s a cold/sadist type: no-nonsense, no sugar coating, cynical towards life and love at the start. He will call the MC all manner of rude names, but it is a facade. He is a bit immature in his relationship with his father, and very determined to remain a member of the boyband. His father, out of concern, wants to impose on him a certain model of life. Iori doesn’t understand that. He also has issues with women – but meeting the Mc changes that to an extent He comes through for her in spite of all the teasing and underneath the teasing hides a lot of affection of her, although his foul mouth may be a cause for concern. Nonethless, the Ms gives back and doesn;t just let him brainwash her into anything she doesn’t want. Their banter is fun and also she has a really vivid imagination. The route has some drama twists that involve protecting Iori’s stage integrity as well as dealing with his trust issues. MC experiences being harassed by jealous fangirls- I like the last twist. It’s a good route and Iori is a good character but as the type suggests he is a foul mouthed sadist on the outside and he mostly keeps up this facade, calling the mc his little “masochist”. He’s capable of extravagant gestures to show his interest and tries to encourage the MC to be more open/true to her feelings.
Iori type does carry certain warnings. Nonetheless, he is not a bad character only not prone to mushiness, but he’s not evil. Still, Kyohei treats MC with more courtesy. But to her credit MC stands up to Iori. Anyway, below I include some glimpses at Iori. The story is good. Sometimes the way he says things may make him prone to being misunderstood but the narrtive explains the words and his actions tend to be gentler than his harsh words and he does eventually start really supporting her efforts in becoming a scriptwriter (without feeling the need to crush anyone)- he heals, and also heals his relationship wth the world. also, this is a translated game. some problems may result from problems and dillemas with translations. So keep that in mind before you yell at an MC or at a character. I liked the father-son story here but the father was a little sketchy in that he seems to like women a little too much- and parts of that were a little risky to add but it didn’t turn into anything fortunately and dad and Iori managed to start communicating, too, also thanks to the influence of Mc – But that part could have been sketched up a little more in my opinion. some players-readers did have well-justified reservations but ultimately there was progress and there was hope for this character.
He is good with a sadistic streak. i guess we do find those types in dramas. Very cold hearted at first, to the point of being downright rude. Well I liked the parts that showed him progress. He could drop the foul language, but its in his nature to speak that way as is the nature of this particular character archetype. Its up to us to see beyond that and take words just as his manner of being (I know this is problematic but it works). Besides, Voltage offers enough variety for everyone and sadists are just some of may types we encounter in their fun apps. Overall, I feel like there is still much room for development for Iori in any future stories. He’s not as nice as Kouhei but he has his good points that could use to see the light more. Overall I did like this, though Kyohei wins me over more.
Stories in this app are shaping up to be a lot of fun, because the plot idea is fun and the MC is striving to fulfill her dreams as a scriptwriter- and I enjoy the idea.
I look forward to the rest of the routes, particularly Ryo who’s a little elusive.