Sunnyrain Lovestory is the second title by HL-Galgame and SakuraGame as the prequel to its earlier title Tricolour Lovestory. The game features the supporting character Lucien Chih （迟耀）in Tricolour Lovestory as the protagonist this time.
Game cover artwork from CNGal.org
Lucien recently enrolled in Second Normal Experimental High School as a teenager entering school for the first time under his father's wishes. Naturally, he felt rebellious and had difficulty getting along with people. Despite this, the school's student council chairman Kelly Yep (叶芯), her cousin and student council member Green Luo (骆衍), and a chance encounter with Sunny Chih (迟菓), a girl working part-time as a food delivery person, would change things in his life.
Having played Tricolour Lovestory, this kinetic visual novel is considerably shorter than its earlier title only taking around 5 hours to read and listen to all the text and voiced dialogue. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it doesn't cause the story to drag too much, although I still think the protagonist having philosophical thoughts at certain points in the story could have been left out to leave a more fitting pace. The storyline in terms of the school life segments were lacking and almost non-existent. Most of the time, the protagonist was freelancing for a lot of people, along with some fan service thrown into the mix. I will also mention a warning to readers that if things like teen romance with nudity (text only) feels uncomfortable, look elsewhere, otherwise read on. The barrage system is a very nice addition in the game, although most of the comments are in Chinese.
In terms of artwork, the main characters have top-notch animated sprites and portraits which brought the game to an entire new level with animation even for portraits on the dialogue window. A lot of attention to detail has been placed to the characters' facial expressions at various points in the story.
Some of these examples are:
1. Characters frowning in deep thought or disapproval at the protagonist's words or actions. 2. Characters' eyes widening in surprise at the protagonist's words or actions. 3. Characters' lips curving into a smile.
The background scenes are as good as Tricolour Lovestory where different places will show the place during the morning, afternoon, and night with weather effects. The only part I didn't like as much is the artwork for Kelly Yep. Some of her CGs are a bit unrealistic and inconsistent with her sprite.
As for the background music, the songs and background music by project lights are also top-notch, with a variety of appropriate background music for the various scenes in the game, and original songs with vocals in the OP, ED and insert song. My favourite BGM is still the stirring background music Resolute（决心）to highlight that determination in the human spirit. For those who like the soundtracks in Tricolour Lovestory, some of the music in that game will be played again in this visual novel.
Opening theme on YouTube by 奏立華
The voice acting is also excellent where all the voice actors and actresses deliver each line of spoken dialogue in the game very well. Whether to make fun of a character, to admonish or to chide a character, curse and swear at someone, plead with someone, whine in distress, gush in admiration, express impatience, or just to make a punch line to grab the attention of the listener; the voice acting was outstanding.
Overall, this visual novel is highly recommended as a free to play game (Proof of ownership of the game Tricolour Lovestory in Steam library is required to play beyond the prologue) for anyone looking for an excellent visual novel as a school life drama with romance, comedy, and fan service. Sunnyrain Lovestory is one of the few visual novels with an engaging storyline that describes many challenges students face and the human interactions in their daily lives, top-notch artwork, animation, background music, and soundtracks and songs with vocals for free.
Lastly, I would also like to share that I worked on the English translation for this game. I was motivated to do so for my friends in Steam, and members of my Steam group (Visual novel, JRPG, Anime) to bring a cute, funny, and enjoyable school life drama and romance visual novel to an English audience even though the game has been since removed by Steam. Thank you to all my friends and family members who have supported me, and to HL-Galgame and SakuraGame for giving me the wonderful opportunity to work on the English subtitles for the game before release.
Initial gameplay video on YouTube by SoulCross Z.J. Wong