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Fox Hime Review

This kinetic visual novel by AsicxArt and SakuraGame features a male student Yan(小源) who attends college and works part-time at a bookstore. Having grown up to an adult with a fox spirit Mori (茉莉)who has heard Yan's mother's prayers at her shrine years ago and became his guardian, fellow college student, co-worker and bunkmate at the bookstore sleeping quarters, Mori intends to make Yan fall in love with a classmate Liya (丽娅) at the college, where Liya and many girls at Yan's college appear to mistake Mori for Yan's girlfriend and live-in partner.

I decided to give this kinetic visual novel a score of 8/10 based on the following factors:

Plot and character backgrounds The plot is written as a romantic comedy with fantasy, drama, humour, fan service and has a nice happy ending where it will take approximately a couple of hours to read through the entire kinetic visual novel. As a remade version of AsicxArt's earlier game ContactS, the plot and storyline is shorter and contains romance and fan service with some humour this time. Also, instead of every character expressing their feelings to the wrong person at the wrong time, there will be a good ending this time while keeping Mori and Liya's relationship with the protagonist more or less consistent with the earlier title ContactS.

As the visual novel is shorter, Mori's character background is revealed in further detail to explain Mori's motivations for staying beside Yan. Yan and Liya's backgrounds however had a number of important background information that were omitted in this visual novel. As a result, the romance between Yan with Mori and Liya feels rather rushed. It would have been nice to add a few of the earlier critical defining moments in ContactS which might make it easier to explain each person's motivations for being interested in one of the characters. Following a patch update on 11 June 2018, the game has considerably fewer errors in the English version.

Full gameplay video of new game version after 11 June 2018 with author narration and commentary on YouTube by GrayLowe

Artwork and CGs The artwork is great by being very colourful and attractive among the game's CGs with animated sprites in each female character with equally attractive artwork in game cover, Steam achievements and profile backgrounds. The opening theme does well in introducing the cast of characters in this visual novel while the ending theme will show an animated slideshow of different CGs in the game. The game also has a cute animation of a running fox during the game's loading screen. It would be nice if the game would also add a few SD CGs that were featured in ContactS as well to bring out the humour in the game as a romantic comedy.

A selection of SD CGs from ContactS (Not featured in Fox Hime)

Background music

The background music is generally pleasant and appropriate to match the different moments in the game with Continue Life, Piano Feels Happiness, Dream Culture and Sunshine version 2 to match the happy moments in the game, Doobly Doo and Rainbows to match the comical moments, and Sad Trio to match the sad moments. The theme song with vocals Where You Are by KEI that was introduced to this title as the game's opening theme song, last scene and end credits is the main highlight of this visual novel and makes this game stand out over its earlier title ContactS as a ballad that stretches up to 8 minutes long in duration which also helps to make up for this game being shorter in duration and having less text and dialogue.

Continue Life at 0:00 in both gameplay videos below

Rainbows at 0:51 in first gameplay video below, 3:41 in second gameplay video below

OP and Where You Are at 4:40 in first gameplay video below, 13:40 in second gameplay video below

Sunshine version 2 at 6:43 in first gameplay video below, 15:43 in second gameplay video below

Dream Culture at 18:05 in first gameplay video below, 32:37 in second gameplay video below

Sad Trio at 20:27 in first gameplay video below, 36:17 in second gameplay video below

Doobly Doo at 29:46 in first gameplay video below, 49:58 in second gameplay video below

Piano Feels Happiness at 1:05:52 in first gameplay video below, 0:53 in third gameplay video below

Where You Are and ED at 1:37:03 in first gameplay video below, 38:33 in third gameplay video below

Overall, this game is recommended when at discount or bundle offer for fans of SakuraGame who might be interested in collecting the titles by SakuraGame as a short kinetic visual novel with great artwork and theme song with vocals. The Cosplay Album DLC are recommended at discount only for those who like the story enough to support the game and developers or to qualify for the free game key promotions by SakuraGame.

Full gameplay video on YouTube by 狐美羽-KitsuneMiu Gaming

Full gameplay videos with author narration (Chinese Traditional version) on YouTube by 他口燒麻糬

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