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Lingering Fragrance Review

This kinetic visual novel with adult content (ecchi CGs, text and dialogue only) by BLESTWORKS, 橘子班 and NVLMaker features 3 different unnamed male protagonists in 3 different stories in a dystopian Chinese setting. In the first story Lingering, it features the first protagonist who is going to enjoy two days at a resort for the rich, powerful and famous with his high-school girlfriend Daisy after they both take many part-time jobs to afford their tickets to the resort. They plan to spend their last two days together at the resort to enjoy their last moments together before they separate, go to attend higher education and have their memories of each other erased in order to have a job and a future assigned to them by the government. In the second story Fragrance which is unlocked after completing Lingering, features the second protagonist who spends much of his life within the garbage and toxic waste dump beneath the resort as a Nothing in order to resist the temptation to submit to the government and receive an education.

In the third story Nothing that is unlocked after completing Fragrance, it features the third protagonist who held a stable job at the resort and faces arrest for violating a law. Reading and listening through the text and dialogue and unlocking all achievements by completing all three stories will take a few hours. The game has great artwork in game cover, CGs, soundtrack album cover and achievement icons, attractive animation, pleasant background music and believable voice acting where it conveys the mood of the character well. The plot appears simplistic at first as a romance between a couple and later becomes a tale of three different characters where their adult lives are affected by the government and the people around them. Although the title of this visual novel and the choice of colours used in the game artwork cover suggests a sweet romance and ending, it is actually far from that where all three stories become more bleak and end at a neutral or tragic ending. Also, there is significant lag each time upon starting the game while loading the animation at the title screen. This game features a dystopian Chinese setting with attractive anime artwork, good voice acting, pleasant background music and easy achievements. The implied political overtones may make some readers feel uncomfortable due to being familiar with actual real-world events and personalities. Also, it has adult content which is neither here nor there by not having artwork, humour or voice acting to bring it out.

For those who don't mind any of these, this kinetic visual novel has an interesting storyline as a drama visual novel in a dystopian Chinese setting which not many visual novels have. After seeing how the development team are responsive to user feedback and reviews to address technical display problems and errors in the text and dialogue of the game, I am recommending this game with soundtrack DLC when they are at discount or bundle offer. This is because the entire game can be completed in around 3 hours where at full price, it fell short of my expectations of a dollar for an hour of playtime by a bit and the game is also a kinetic visual novel where there are no choices to be made. For the soundtrack DLC, it does not contain any song with vocals which made the soundtrack DLC less appealing. As such, I could only recommend both the game and soundtrack DLC when they are at discount.

Initial gameplay video with author narration and commentary on YouTube by warharobrine LV1

Initial Chinese Traditional gameplay video with author narration and commentary on YouTube by 他口燒麻糬_亂玩亂唱實況

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