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Symphonic Rain

シンフォニック=レイン

Developer / Publisher: Kogado Studio
26 March 2004
Symphonic Rain [シンフォニック=レイン] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.90 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
15 Ratings /
#4,857 All-time
#107 for 2004
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2004 Kogado  
DVD
JP 4 959067 045140
2017 Kogado Degica  
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Favorite visual novel. It started out a bit slow, but the second half of the game was nothing short of incredible. The character development and plot structure is so good and so important that I simply can't say much without hindering someone else's own experience. I'll try my best to say a few things while attempting to avoid this as best as I can. It's a must-play, that's for sure.

There's a very strong theme throughout the game about showing whats "not shown". Throughout, it shows you more and more deceit and pretty much every moment is sprinkled by obscure emotions, intentions and depth. There is much that lies dormant beneath the casual conversations and low-key easy going atmosphere, of course, this is hinted at every now and then, but the sheer emotional scope revealed in the game's second half will surprise any reader, even if some "twists" may be understood in advance. Symphonic Rain is a game for introverts that are still fascinated by the human psyche and by our interactions. It ultimately comes together as something that is profoundly human. you have to follow its slow pace and let it consume you, you will be rewarded for doing so, even if it seems like not all that much is going on at first.

You play as a rather indifferent, asocial and talented boy called Chris who has been attending a music school for 3 years and is soon about to graduate. You are also in a relationship with a childhood sweetheart. She's been living her own life far away from you, though, so you write letters back and forth each week. The game has some "magic" shenanigans going on, which is in part a good thing, and in part a less good thing. The main good thing about it is the fairy character that lives in your room, a "sprite of music". Throughout the game, she plays an essential role. It also rains constantly in the town you live in, every single day, which is comfy-atmospheric. The less good thing is the musicality of the game itself, which is certainly NOT written by someone particularly into music, as they use magic as as a cop out instead of ever describing anything about music. Basically, musicians in this game are good not because of skill but because "lol magic". It was kinda like Quartett! in this area, another game about musicians but without really making that a truly interesting aspect of the game. The pretty backgrounds also reminded me of Quartett. Symphonic Rain is a beautiful looking game due to its backgrounds, and with the rain sounds and animation in the background most of the time, as well as the emotional focus of the BGM and rhythm game and being thrown into a dramatic situation that begs the question where it's all heading, it does have an appealing atmosphere going for it. This game certainly had me hooked even if it took its sweet time to reveal its genius.

So, despite being in a relationship already, this is sort of a Galge type of game, so at the start you're given a choice of pursuing 3 different heroines. Needless to say, you're not really meant to like what some of the characters pull off in this game. However the guy you're playing as is certainly not a playboy, nor is he stupid and inconsiderate. You'll understand him much better after going through more of the game. It has that kind of pursue the heroine structure because you need to have a singer partner for your graduation recital. Your girlfriend wants you to partner with her twin sister, Torta, but you're apprehensive. The other two choices are Fal, "perfect"-character, and Lise, "shymoe"-character. They're less important to the overall story, which is why it is recommended to do their two routes first, and then Torta's. After the 3 routes, the rest of the game is done in a specific order. I did the Fal and Lise routes first and they were enjoyable but the game only really got amazing after that. It also makes you look back at Fal and Lise routes and understand some things about them more.

Chris will spend a lot of the game time practicing. Since the setting is all about music, it makes sense that there's a rhythm game element as well. Now and then, you get a rhythm mini game, it's alright but not exactly a great part of the game. The mechanics and songs are fine although not what I would call great, but there's not a lot of songs to play, and in each route, you're going to play the same song many different times, without anything new getting added. I don't even think the requirements for passing the song goes up, so it's kind of a waste. It didn't take long until I could pass the songs on hard mode, the bar was set really low so that pretty much anyone can pass the songs, provided they have memorized their keyboard's layout, as hard mode will use almost every letter. Normal mode only uses 8 letters on your keyboard which was easier, I played that because I really didn't care all that much about the rhythm game, it was the weakest part of the game. If you want to, you can head to the Free Play section from the title screen and play several songs that you don't encounter in the main game. Honestly, I think that's a weird way to go about it, the rhythm game in the main game would've been a bit less repetitive if it had introduced all the songs there. Oh well. BTW, the BGM is pretty nice in-game, and although the songs in the rhythm game aren't that great, I gotta hand it to the singers, the girls voices are fucking lovely. Especially Mai Nakahara, her voice makes me shiver in this version of 'Secret' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL7b2ERCi-Y. An angel's voice no doubt, so soothing!

Symphonic Rain is an essential Visual Novel if you want to be impacted by a deep drama. It can get pretty damn depressing, but it's about taking the bad with the good. There are also uplifting things, but in general I would call the game bittersweet, or perhaps sweetly bitter. Just beware of its minor imperfections, some more casual parts can be a bit boring, Fal/Lise routes were a lot less good and even a bit heavy handed/cheap at points, the OST doesn't quite live up, musicality within the setting is weaker. Oh and while the art style is lovely (with particularly beautiful backgrounds) the CGs really don't stand out at all from the rest of the game, unlike most visual novels. The CGs are too often just plain close-ups of characters faces. Even these things considered I think this is a top 20 game for me and certainly my favourite story easily. I'm not really focusing on what's lacking or on the flaws, my rating comes from the absolutely devastating content, flaws be damned. This is suitable for all ages and has a solid english translation patch, so what are you waiting for? Start by looking at the opening video, I rarely like these in VNs but I really like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtkM0Aza4qw
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Catalog

kajajaa シンフォニック=レイン 2024-01-10T22:04:01Z
2024-01-10T22:04:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hevykofe シンフォニック=レイン 2024-01-07T01:42:32Z
Windows • JP
2024-01-07T01:42:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
willoverdoseonmusic シンフォニック=レイン 2023-11-05T19:33:38Z
2023-11-05T19:33:38Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
robert123451 シンフォニック=レイン 2023-10-02T15:24:51Z
2023-10-02T15:24:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
VNSalesman シンフォニック=レイン 2023-08-04T18:38:04Z
2023-08-04T18:38:04Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Indexxx シンフォニック=レイン 2023-05-21T13:07:12Z
2023-05-21T13:07:12Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dolu シンフォニック=レイン 2023-05-06T21:03:16Z
2023-05-06T21:03:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ROM4MB シンフォニック=レイン 2023-04-19T05:53:08Z
2023-04-19T05:53:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Anatomized シンフォニック=レイン 2023-04-13T23:46:33Z
2023-04-13T23:46:33Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JakeAsfaw シンフォニック=レイン 2023-02-05T20:33:28Z
2023-02-05T20:33:28Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kishinev シンフォニック=レイン 2022-12-14T06:12:40Z
Windows • JP
2022-12-14T06:12:40Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ectopicsage シンフォニック=レイン 2022-09-30T02:16:31Z
2022-09-30T02:16:31Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Sodebayashi 2022-06-07 17:22:54.213677+00
    uma obra que persiste e cresce pela recusa à domesticação narratológica. ainda acordo em dias chuvosos pensando na aura de degradação e melancolia que permeava a arquitetura, as estruturas afetivas e os gestos não concretizados.
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