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Review of Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO

SubjectKono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World - EU Day One Edition
ByVote: 9filipv on 2021-04-12
Review"Yu-No a Girl Who Chants love at the bounds of this world". A beautiful and long title that made me first think that it was a romantic visual novel. Boy, was I wrong.
This game is a click-and-point adventure game that is part of the scifi/fantasy mystery genre, and is a former eroge. It has multiple routes and several death scenes/bad ends. That is the type of game that I really enjoy.

The branching story tree is long and since it's invisible at first it may appear overwhelming to complete. But all in all it's really not that bad - just go with the flow and see where the tree leads you throughout the story. I'm not going in any detail on the story itself, because I want you to enjoy the storylines. :-)
However, I do advise to keep the "hints" on if you want to avoid clicking all over the place pointlessly. Don't be scared of it, as the hints are less hand-holding and more like "something will happen in this location. What? Figure it out yourself", similarly with items. The hints may show you need an item in the current location, but you don't know where, or there's a good chance you may not have the item (yet). It helps to avoid spending hours of constant backtracking or using dozens of items because you don't know how to progress.

All in all, I did very much enjoy this game. I understand why this is considered one of the classics. However, it stumbles a few times too much to be a masterpiece.
These aren't harsh criticisms by any means, but more "things I noted and didn't please me as much". So don't let the following points drag your opinion on the game down too much.

First, this game constantly reminds you that its original was an eroge. The protagonist (Takuya) is nicknamed "The Walking libido" and he certainly honors his name. There are story routes this aspect of his character integrates perfectly well into the current storyline and where it receives a thumbs up from me. However there are also other moments where it hinders the progress of the story or makes you cringe (most notably in the Yu-No route).

Takuya is also a passive protagonist. Yes, I get it that reacting to what the player does is a default for click-and-point adventure games protagonists. But there's a huge difference between classic C&P characters like Phoenix Wright (who actively wants to help his clients and everything he does is to gather evidence/clues) and Takuya who just seems to be wandering around in the city half of the time. That is because Takuya doesn't seem to care much about his own story arc and just happens to come across some answers during the story arc of the characters he interacts with.

Since this story has multiple routes, it cannot be avoided that certain plot points end up being repeated through the different routes. However, when it comes to Kaori's route it's less of a "full story", and more a collection of the Kaori plot points from the other routes with some added extras. I pushed this story route back as far as possible and I'm glad I did, because this one was kinda annoying to sit through. The story parts aren't always coherent, the MC and Kaori constantly act as if they're meeting each other for the first time and for some reason half of the time you're actually playing Kanna's story.

Also, a final nitpick. Spike Chunsoft has a dedicated webpage for this game (the official webpage for the game as linked in vndb). Do NOT visit the character page, as it spoils a LOT of the Yu-No route.