Name: Love Forever (44.44% in 9 votes)
Company: Bunny Pro/Lilim
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
As the 20th century comes to an end, there are lots of games that depict this issue by having weird and mysterious stuff happening in the world. Love Forever is one of them...somewhat.
The year is 1999, and in Tokyo, there is a scientist. To fulfill his ambitions, he performs magical rituals in his lab basement (now, how do magic and science come together I wonder)...
Meanwhile, you play the role of Masato, a regular high school student but very good at martial arts and kendo. After winning the national kendo tournament and defeating your best friend Ukyo (who is the son of this scientist as well as your finals opponent), you go to a cute girl called Sayaka, who you fell in love with, and state your "gokuhaku" or "confession." Surprisingly, Sayaka also have feelings for you so the 2 of you come along together very well. This all happens on June 1st, 1999. It all goes well and peaceful for 2 weeks until the absurd comes when serious of weird things and suspicious people start to evolve around the 2 of you. To make things short, the 2 of you run away to your room to "escape" all of these happenings, but unexpectedly a familiar shadow pops up in the darkness....this is just the prologue of a tragedy and a nightmare.
The next day you found yourself injured in a hospital. The striking thing is that Sayaka is DEAD, and what's worse is that for some reason you have lost all memory about this girl......this is where the story and adventure really begins where you, through various ways, recover your memory bit by bit as well as find out the truth about the whole series of weird events that is happening around your town.
This game, if perceived in certain ways, is a combination of 2 famous "you" games - Cocktail's With You and Alicesoft's Only You. Resembling With You, LF is mainly a visual novel where you just read text and do nothing, but has a very very nice and enchanting love story (although I like With You's plot better, LF's story is definitely not your average story). This is especially true during the 2-week prologue where you **absolutely** do nothing but reading text and watch what is happening between you and Sayaka. After the tragedy, the game turns into a Only You-like interface, you will roam around town (to recover your memory about your girlfriend), and since you are the national martial arts/kendo champion, you will encounter lots of challengers. You will then enter a RPG-like mini game mode where you will fight these people with various attack moves. Since it's just a mini-game you don't level up or anything, but don't underestimate these battles because the only way to finish this game is by defeating final bosses. What is more interesting about battles is that most of your opponents are taken from famous arcade/console fighting games and anime as a parody. In addition, besides recoving your memory, you can choose to go after various other girls like in Only You.
The plot is an excellent love story, and it deals with the current issue about the mysterious nature at the turn of the millenium. As I said before, you will spend the first 2 weeks just reading text with no choices to click. It's pretty intriging to realize that the 1 hr or so spent is just the prologue of the story. What's even more fascinating is the 180-degree turn of mood from the prologue to the main story. In the prologue it's all happy (not to mention really really humorous), but after the prologue it's overall gloomy and sad. Because of this visual-novel and its enchanting story nature, the implementation of voices (which this game doesn't have unfortunately) would make LF much much better.
Music-wise, it's really nicely made. Not only are they extremely high-quality but also fits into the mood of the game very well. Graphics-wise...hmm, LF is ranked first on my list in terms of CG quantity. It's estimated that this game has at least 500 (!!) full-screen CGs, with a total of around 1200 CGs if you include background and "sprites". This is really amazing in my opinion because I seriously doubt seeing any game that has so much CGs. Lots of CGs doesn't mean a bunch of crappy drawings either. All the CGs are really nicely done and the girls are really cute, not to mention that the character design is by the person who did the OVA version of Pia Carrot 2!!! Therefore, you will definitely not be disappointed with the insane cocktail-soft quality graphics.
Overall, I am pretty impressed with Love Forever with all aspects (adding voices will make this game more perfect though). You can consider this game as an "end-of-century--fighting-love-school-adventure" game, so it's pretty "trendy". It has a really rich story with insane graphics (both in terms of quality and quantity) and music as well as a little added touch of RPG element through the fighting engine. Overall, like Cocktail's With You, Love Forever is mainly a visual novel. If you have a good knowledge of Japanese and like enchanting highschool love stories, then you have no reason to miss out Love Forever.
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