Well, well, well.. I finished this game. I was left a little conflicted after finishing all the routes in the novel and wanted to type out my thoughts. There were things that I enjoyed; things that I didn’t enjoy. While my review might slant more positive than negative, I will also be discussing the stuff that peeved me a little. I'm going to be covering as much as a I can.
- Now for the 3 male leads in the game – I’m going to be starting with Mitra. His route was the most light-hearted one from the three. He’s arguably the healthiest LI for the MC. His route follows a more traditionally romantic one. I found it to be a tad lackluster in terms of story and thrills, as well as Mitra being somewhat one-dimensional in personality. On the other hand, his route was the most complete from beginning to finish. If you like a light, more fluffy and feel-good route, this one is for you.
- Onto Reska.. his route was my favorite. His route was the perfect blend of angst, steaminess, story, thrills and edge. It just felt really well-balanced and included everything I tend to like/look for in a route. I thoroughly enjoyed their character development. In my honest opinion, it felt the most authentic from the 3. I appreciated how they’d reach common ground and learn to trust each other more, in spite of their differences. I was fond of the fact that even with very minimal conversation at the start, you’d get to witness how their trust would deepen; how Reska would gradually soften to the MC (in his own way) – changing his demeanor with less growling or cold stares. No longer getting on edge or defensive when being approached/touched and having his wounds redressed; signaling him becoming more comfortable and less wary of her presence. The gradual shift felt fairly natural; neither rushed or slow. While I loved his protective side when it came to the MC, and occasional gentleness – I absolutely lived for his low growls and sensual purrs during the more intimate scenes. And the licking and neck nuzzling – aahh… so good. His wild, animalistic side at times was just too hot. Finally wrapping up my fangirling for this character – my favorite part about him was his perseverance. Despite comparatively having a weaker physique to the other Komodos, he encompassed a strong fighting spirit. Even if his success wasn’t secured and he was physically outmatched, he still would not back down – giving everything that he’s got. Not letting past failures get to him, but rather using it as fuel to get better – either to prove himself to his father and tribe, or protect what is his – Tamara. To me, I see that as admirable. If you want an angsty, steamy route with a lovable tsun, then this is for you.
- Last but not least, Rama. His route was the most lore-heavy, emotional, and least romantic. In Rama’s, we get more insight, not only into who he is, but into Loma’s history and dark secret. It touches on trauma, lost loved ones, and how those things can change a person. As I mentioned, this route isn’t as focused on romance, as it being more focused on healing deep-seated wounds, forgiveness, moving on in life and finding happiness. While, I did enjoy this route, it was clear that throughout it, Rama still harbored intense feelings for Ayu and hated himself for what he failed to do to save her. He also had a difficult time trusting himself – believing himself to be a dangerous person who can pose harm to others. And to add to that, he didn’t easily trust others; convinced that they had nefarious intentions. For the reasons cited, it’s why you can sense this invisible wall he’s established between himself and the MC. He does become closer to her, but that distance is never fully breached. Even on his good end, where their intimacy seems to have increased a bit more – it’s taken 2 years after their prior time together for Rama to finally move past his feelings for Ayu. To be honest, I don’t blame him. He’s gone through a huge deal of pain and it’s obvious how it’s seriously messed him up; leaving him mentally scarred from it all. Deep scars and trauma isn’t something you can swiftly move past. It can take years to heal, and some people never get over it. Nevertheless, their lack of closeness, and the persistent barrier positioned between the two main leads for chiefly the entirety of the story did lessen the enjoyment of this route an adequate amount for me. All in all, if you prefer a more dark, story-focused, emotional route, involving helping a broken LI get through their internal demons whilst they hide behind a playful mask to the public, with limited romance, then this is for you.
Story and writing:
I think that the writing came off as a bit childish during some moments. In certain scenes, this would negatively reflect on the characters by them every so often talking and behaving in rather juvenile ways, even in grave situations; making it hard for me to take these situations seriously sometimes and creating a more comedic effect instead.
Moreover, for the story, you do have to suspend disbelief a tiny bit. There are some parts that left me questioning about it or that didn’t make sense to me.
One example of this is how Tamara is sent to go back in time to somehow restore peace between the Avians and Komodos; saving humans from extinction. Because, as is revealed, humans were descended from Avians. But here’s the part that’s inconsistent with the rest. If Tamara needs to go back in time to save humans from extinction, then why does she and other humans exist in the future, before she goes back in time? Wouldn’t that mean that peace was restored between the Avians and Komodos, and that the Avians survived long enough for humans to have descended from them, as well as successfully multiply? I mean, somewhere else they do specifically mention they are Tamara’s ancestors. So, am I led to believe that these ancestors who are descendants from the Avians - went extinct, instead of all humans? Then why do they earlier mention about saving humans from extinction? They never do clarify this, and I consider it this game’s biggest plot hole.
Another thing that seemed unrealistic or that didn’t make that much sense to me either was how Tamara became fluent in the language in a matter of 4-5 days. Like how? Especially when she was struggling 3 days prior? My only guess was that her father imparting with her some basic Indonesian, and her encompassing the ability to naturally understand the Avians speak it, somehow aided her in being able to pick up the language faster than the average person. Or.. she’s simply a genius and is being exceptionally modest about it.
Regardless of my criticisms, the story is all in all enjoyable. At least as something good to pass the time. I do believe, though, that the main plot becomes less and less important as you do the following routes after Mitra. I wish the main story wouldn’t have been copy and pasted to each route – save for a few minor changes to the dialogue and relevant added lore for each character. They literally follow the exact same sequence, and purely devolve to background noise/skippable scenes; leaving you only to prize the interactions between the LI and Tamara. Some of the scenes felt kinda draggy and boring, specifically the ones not involving the LI – as they were mostly Tamara doing monotonous, mundane tasks in Loma or having uneventful conversations. I get it, though, It’s a free game and only one writer, so I guess I can’t really complain.
I do commend the effort that was put in exploring Indonesian culture and mythology. I in fact find that to be one of the strongest suits in the game and something that I had genuine fun learning about. I appreciated the encyclopedia and how it expanded on the references to Indonesian customs/traditions in-game. The theme being based on both ancient and modern Indonesia is something I felt made the game unique.
OST and Art:
The soundtrack was okay. It wasn’t anything too exceptional. There were 1-2 tracks that stood out to me, but that was all.
The art style is descent. It’s not the most polished and the characters do look a tad rough at times, but I can tell that there was heart and passion put into it. The design is interesting. It’s more than appealing enough for me to sit and play through the game. Rama’s CGs look the best, tbf.
Anywho, Reska is best boi and the hottest overall. You can’t change my mind. Nusantara may not be the best visual novel I’ve ever read, but it was pleasurable enough. Thanks for supporting Linux as a platform!