What is Sweet Volley High
Sweet Volley High is a romantic visual novel with predominantly lesbian characters. The authors did indeed add a heterosexual relationship, but it’s pretty obvious that they prefer homosexuality. As in most visual novels developers has also chosen anime style and stories are therefore set into a typical anime environment and time (as the name suggests, Sweet Volley High) – High School, penultimate and final year. You will be playing as a young student of Arts High School – Aya Mizuki, who lives in Tokyo with her mom in a small traditional flat. As it’s customary in Japan Aya is also a member of a club as a part of extracurricular activities. How did a well-developed, not too sporty introvert book-lover like her end up in a sport club? It’s up to you to find out!
It’s not a story as a story
To tell the truth, Sweet Volley High was my first experience with the visual novel category. Honestly I was expecting a love triangle, unrealistic drama with even more unrealistic happy end. The opposite was true. Sweet Volley High has so authentic story, that it made me wonder. It’s surprisingly realistic and down to earth, while certainly not boring. The first decision comes after you are sufficiently familiar with all of the characters (about two hours of leisure reading). During that time you will like someone, whether you like it or not. I personally saved my game before each decision. There’s plenty of space to save your game, even though the game itself doesn’t have so many decisions yet. Are they planning story expansion in the future?
Even though the story is perfect and totally okay, it doesn’t mean, that the visual page can be bodged. And the graphic in Sweet Volley High is a little bit bodged. Because I kinda know how digital arts works, I automatically see the imperfections. Characters have 1 main pose + circa 3 different facial emotions and 3 outfits depending on the environment (civilian outfit, sport wear and underwear). Here and there the characters appear in a special pose or outfit depending on how important is the situation you are in. But what really punched my face was the author’s laziness and the perfect examples are 2 poses of the one character (concretely Nanami). The second pose is identical with the first one (in underwear), they just “dressed her up” in the civilian outfit and changed environment and accessories (which perspectively don’t fit), while on the right breast you can clearly see her bra from pose 1 underneath her T-shirt. Well, just look below on the pictures. J It of course didn’t ruin the whole impression from the game, maybe someone didn’t even notice. 😉
Let’s begin with positives. Voice actors are amazing and talented people. Unfortunately, the version I played had only partial voice acting and sometimes it was incomplete. It’s a pity, but other technical glitches this game probably doesn’t have. The authors probably plan to complete it, because they have already released some voice patch. But I still have enjoyed it, but I would recommend the authors to release complete visual novels next time. I really don’t think that visual novel can be released incomplete. Interesting and exciting story saved Sweet Volley High. Without it I wouldn’t play it.
In conclusion, I would like to add that I didn’t like how statistic were the environment at the beginning. Introduction was a lot about thoughts of the main protagonist, so the only thing I was looking at the whole time was empty school hall, empty classroom, empty closet, empty gym or an empty flat. Environment (backgrounds) probably isn’t original (it doesn’t look like original art), or it was made to order in limited quantities, or acquired as an art pack. Shortly said it is obvious that the developers have worked with limited options, but they managed to nail it. For that I give them a big plus. My current gaming time at Sweet Volley High is 11.5 hours and I had finished only 2 of honestly I don’t know how many endings. I read absolutely everything that appears on the screen, I didn’t hurry, I put my time and experienced different situations. I didn’t skip anything. I would say that the price is directly proportional to the length of the gaming experience. I definitely plan to follow all the possible ending.
- thrilling and interesting story
- authentic situations
- original characters (own design)
- great voice acting (even though incomplete – talent counts)
- multiple endings
- option to decide
- touching story
- they worked with less than they have released
- main character evolve, doesn’t stagnate
- here and there bodged graphic
- panels in the menu are too slow
- incomplete voice acting
- low character variability (same poses all the time and same outfits)
- scenes with environment outbalances the ones with characters