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Review of Musicus!

SubjectMusicus!
Musicus! - Steam Edition
ByVote: 5bcirno on 2021-04-14
ReviewI went into musicus as blind as possible and unspoiled in order to have as little bias as possible and enjoyed the first 4-5 hours of it, maybe longer. Also this is my only Setoguchi and Overdrive vn, so i can't tell if it's any better or worse than kira kira, for example. During Yako route (and i actually like heroine) and after it my enjoyment level dropped gradually. And here's reasons why:

-Musicus is a bad visual novel and mediocre book. Text feels like a book, but suffers from VN issues. It’s extremely padded and dragging at times. Why even bother with eroge and why not just write a normal book? Why not remove padding from it?

I don’t like the way musicus handles text and especially dialogues, link the whole text screen is just literally one text line, it took me exactly one click to fill the whole screen with text, and it’s single voice line as well. Why not just divide it into parts? Why throw so much text and long-ass audio clip like this at a time onto the reader? I have no issues with NVL in other VNs, just like I have no issues with reading actual books, but musicus way to use nvl is just lazy.

-Production value. Sure, musicus has tons of sprites and sprite variations, even for some random side characters reader going to see for a few times at max. But this is the only aspect of Musicus! with production value in it. Bgm is extremely generic, when narrative describing it as something beautiful touching heroes very heart and soul and changing their lives, it still sounds extremely generic. Disappointing for visual novel with music as main theme.
Funny how art and narrative are different, like link link
Or how (slightly nsfw cg, minor spoiler near beginning) Mikazuki clothes changed between cg and her sprite in a span of two lines out of nowhere link

-Engine. Probably related to production value issues, but there is no volume settings for individual characters voices, there is no ability to disable voice line cut-off, there is no backlog jump, no jump to next choice, no opacity settings.

- Comedy. Kaneda is a comic relief character, he is funny at first, but turns into an extremely annoying character eating too much screen time. A lot of musicus humor jut gets dull and boring after some time. Yes, it’s not a comedy vn, but why put so much (lame) jokes into it to begin with? And it's not even possible to lower Kaneda annoyingly loud voice, because engine is shit.

- Yako and Meguru routes. I understand why they’re needed and what they need to show, but these 2 routes are extremely boring to read. Nearly fell asleep a few times. I have my regrets about not skipping their routes. Or maybe regrets about not skipping the whole game at all.
Not only their routes, but Setoguchi way to describe events over and over again is annoying. Just like annoying his way to build L O R E while dropping a bunch of random band names and talk about them, their history and their music, just to never bring them up again. So naturally reader won’t even remember them after a few minutes

- H-scenes. I understand musicus is not a romantic story and h is not important, but h in musicus is half-assed. Short scenes, no ejaculation cg and just 5 scenes for whole game. Why even bother with h scenes to begin with? Why not just go all-age route like Key? I see no purpose and no meaning in musicus h, except very few moments. I’d rather prefer better songs than these half-assed h-scenes.

- Drama, protagonist and other issues. While I could say a lot about the protagonist (like his amazing inner monologue during h scene lmao link ) and forced drama with characters feeling as mix of robots and psychopaths, I don’t really want to put spoilers into review, but here some end-game spoilers Mikazuki route end is a pile of hot steaming shit, sudden Mikazuki transformation after live-show and shit about “I feel like I’m cheating on my fans” just feels forced. Not gonna comment themes and philosophy, because this part is too subjective, just gonna leave this wonderful deep screenshot link
Verdict: meaning of life - not found.

Comments

#1 by chino-kafu
2021-04-14 at 06:52
< report >Still playing through it and seem to like it more than you, but glad I am not alone in despising Kaneda, just heading toward the start of the Meguru route currently and he is the worst thing about the game by far, his shit got dull even before getting into the Yako route.
#2 by herhoffer
2021-04-14 at 07:01
< report >>no ejaculation cg
>still somehow gets 5/10 not 1/10
that's some kamige shit I seeLast modified on 2021-04-14 at 07:01
#3 by bcirno
2021-04-14 at 07:18
< report >#1, Kaneda is actually getting better in Sumi route lmao.
#4 by mrjeffy
2021-04-14 at 09:52
< report >I was enjoying this game but I'm bored to tears of Yako's route, I feel like they've been setting the band for hours now.
Are the other routes better? I don't want to skip anything important but I feel like this can get much better.Last modified on 2021-04-14 at 09:56
#5 by bcirno
2021-04-14 at 10:43
< report >#4, yeah, last two routes are better for sure
second route is not that much better imo
#6 by mrjeffy
2021-04-14 at 10:49
< report >Thanks for your input, I'll bear with it then haha
#7 by sakurakoi
2021-04-14 at 11:37
< report >
Not gonna comment themes and philosophy, because this part is too subjective
Let me do that for you then:

The only proper way to implement 'philosophy' (also includes politics and culture) is either to write an actual dissertation (or alike) i.e 100% or make it so subtle that it seems 0% and the reader is made to make their own conclusions. Every other implementation has proven to be utterly pretentious, obnoxious and only leads folks even further astray than when they make wrong conclusions due to bad writing being taken seriously.

I'd say that it is a death sentence for an author to be told that they are pushing their views onto the reader but alas reality is different... personally, I'd be still ashamed to death and I might be glad that I never finish anything I started writing out of fun (I don't like writing short stories). I sure do have my views as well and while I try to avoid having them influence my characters, I can only claim to try and not be as obvious as Musicus which I indeed to view as pretentious since I see no way how the linked quotes can be justified.
#8 by ember
2021-04-14 at 11:54
< report >I have to say the philosophical monologues (it has a philosophy tag after all) could be a bit better. The thought that the 10/10 guys read these passages and were mindblown is kinda hilarious. IMO the emphasis on monologues with the protagonist often just passively listening didn't do the novel much good. And I don't think this can be blamed on the translation.
#9 by ember
2021-04-14 at 12:01
< report >#7, there are lots of ways to meaningfully implement philosophy. You can construct a plot that reflects an ethical dilemma, you can play around with conflicting points of view (e.g. Rashomon) or really just let charaters discuss ideas in a way that is actually interesting and insightful. Only in this case it didn't go too well from what I've seen.
#10 by bcirno
2021-04-14 at 12:47
< report >#7, i'm gonna agree here, musicus way to talk about philosophy is very obvious and bold
not even memeing, but out of things i've read recently, i like Maitetsu way to deal with philosophy much more
#8
> The thought that the 10/10 guys read these passages and were mindblown is kinda hilarious.
Maybe you just need to never touch any books in your life. Probably same reason why people so excited about musicus having unusual writing/storytelling style. Because they just never read books.
#11 by being
2021-04-14 at 15:10
< report >I got really curious about this game because of the love/hate response to it and because of my own experience with music. so I've been playing it the past several days, finished one route (Yako's) and I'm feeling around a 5/10 as well. It's not bad, but I just don't see how you can either love or hate this tbh. It's just decent. Maybe the true and bad routes are better?

- H-scenes. I understand musicus is not a romantic story and h is not important, but h in musicus is half-assed. Short scenes, no ejaculation cg and just 5 scenes for whole game. Why even bother with h scenes to begin with? Why not just go all-age route like Key? I see no purpose and no meaning in musicus h, except very few moments. I’d rather prefer better songs than these half-assed h-scenes.
This is something I find puzzling as well. Philosophically Musicus is trying to impress 14 year olds. I think that's fine, 14 years old is the perfect age to have your "life changed" by media. For me it was Pink Floyd albums, weird movies, and other things. Perfect age for those, and I think Musicus might've impressed me at such an age. But for an 18+ audience I don't see how this really cuts it or makes sense. When the most important part of the audience for this game (impressionable teenagers) left out because of what, 5 pressumably unnecessary H-scenes, they must be misunderstanding their audience completely. What I like about 18+ VNs is usually how extreme they are. I'm not necessarily saying extreme porn, but just, the whole weeb culture is so off beat, unusual, and different from anything else. 18+ VNs can tell really ballsy stories, have really crazy humour and porn, and so on.
But something like Musicus just barely skirts the line. It has no balls. The writing is so
milquetoast I can't really get excited about it.
I'm still gonna push on because I do think there are some things it's doing well enough. occasionally I get really interested. Let's hope it's not just a 5/10... But if Meguru's route is as ehhh as Yako's, I'm not sure I'm even gonna be in the mood for the rest :/
thanks for the review.
#12 by forever-here
2021-04-14 at 16:24
< report >so I just reached first choice.

too much talk about the future and all that. its uncertainty and whatever. well the future is covid for what it's worth, like it or not. I hear enrollment (even in online) went a drastic decline just because some students know a fresh college graduate who shed blood and tears for all that grades and all awaited them is a pandemic. I also hear that beer and wine sales went up over 500% despite the huge job loss. some people predict that the pandemic will still last 5 years just because there are interests that coincide with continuing the pandemic and will do whatever it takes to extend the crisis.

having said that, I'm really thinking of dropping this just because of the stupidness of it all plus it seems the routes doesn't look all that good from what you guys are saying.
#13 by being
2021-05-11 at 03:49
< report >Well I finished it. Unfortunately there is nothing particularly great waiting for you here. It's an average VN through and through. I have no idea why everyone is showering it with 10s. I have no idea and I don't mean it in a "I don't get this game!" way... I think I get this game just fine. And I think what this game wants to be, is all well and good. It simply failed to be that game. Swan Song was great. IDK what the f happened here.