Hello! My name is Touma Kotomi. Moroboshi-san seems to be too embarrased to review this game, so he asked me to stand in for him. Not that I mind or anything, since I draw ero-artwork and all. Anyways...
Visual appeal is important to any and all games. While the majority stick to high-quality artwork to carry them over, ero-ge artists tend to stick to certain styles that will help the game sell. Little Witch's Oyari Ashito, for example, sticks to character designs that ressemble young girls. G.J's Sano Toshihide, on the other hand, relies on his rendition of the onee-san type character to attract fans. The games of the yaru variety, however, tend to stick to just the visual aspect that goes according to whatever the theme of the game is. In the case of Cacao's Boin ni kakero!, the only important point is the bust size of the female characters...I can see why Moroboshi-san wanted me to do this. ^_^;;
Game: Boin ni kakero!
Boin ni kakero! was released by Cacao on July 21, 2006. The basic story follows around Takane Kazuki, a second year high school student (like you didn't see that coming) who at the beginning of the game is homeless thanks to the apartment his parents rented for him (since they work abroad) burning to the ground. His mother contacts a very distant relative in the town of Sakuranomiya, who allows him to move in with her family. This relative's name is Himeno Towa. Towa-san has four daughters, and due to the Himeno family's genome (allowing all of them to sport breasts starting at I-cup), Kazuki is more than willing to adjust to his new life at the Himeno house (which doubles as an inn for tourists).
The town of Sakuranomiya itself seems to have its share of mysteries, especially those surrounding the Inamori Shrine on the north part of town. Guarded by miko of the Inamori clan, the shrine stands as a barrier between the Millenium Cherry Blossom Path (a supposedly haunted part of the woods) and the populated parts of Sakuranomiya.
In total, Kazuki has eight girls he can end up with. Typical yaru-game structure, right?
Heroines (I'll deviate a little from Moroboshi-san's format, since I don't like to babble as much as he does o-o;)
Himeno Towa: Head of the Himeno family, and mother of four daughters. I'd say she's in her 40's or so. Hates to be called old. Does her best as innkeeper, while fighting off suitors who want her hand in marriage. Speaks in Kansai-ben (strange because she's the only one who does it full-time).
Himeno Chitose: Lead girl. Second daughter of the Himeno family. Knows how to cook. Get's embarrased easily, but also has enough modesty that she'll punt Kazuki into the air if he angers her. Initially has no backstory until we find out that she knows the whereabouts of her missing father (Himeno Reito, who has been missing for the last ten years).
Himeno Hitomi: Oldest daughter of the Himeno family. Is a teacher at the local school in Sakuranomiya. She is also the advisor of the technically-defunct Swimming Club (and she'll do anything to get it running again). For some reason, she breaks out into Kansai-ben when excited.
Himeno Yuri: Third daughter of the Himeno family. Clumsy and shy by nature. Generally expects to be scolded for her mistakes, and tends to get picked on by Hitomi and Matsuri. Works part-time at a diner, though causes some trouble there due to her constant wardrobe malfunctions.
Himeno Matsuri: Youngest daughter of the Himeno family. She's clearly here for the lolicons. Wears cat ears and ends her sentences with "nya". Very energetic, and enjoys giving people a hard time.
Inamori Kei: Younger of two sisters living in the Inamori Shrine. Loves Chitose's cooking, and is very protective of her. Though not many know it, she is also a demon hunter who works to cleanse the forests of Sakuranomiya of evil spirits. Unlike her sister, Nayuta, Kei focuses on the combat side of things, and has been known to put the kendo team to shame.
Inamori Nayuta: Older of two sisters living in the Inamori Shrine. Though she's only a little older than Kei, Nayuta preffers to socialize with the older women in the area (she often visits Towa-san to have tea). Along with Kei, she hunts the demons in the forests of Sakuranomiya. Unlike Kei, she focuses on the manipulation of spirits and sealing of demons. Nayuta is also the reincarnation of the original Inamori miko that sealed a great demon in the Millenium Cherry Blossom Path a thousand years ago.
Elena: The busty American girl. Currently staying at the Himeno house as a guest. Though she doesn't look like it, she's a spiritualist seeking to research the mysteries of Sakuranomiya and the famed Millenium Cherry Blossom Path (research that was started by her grandfather, according to her).
There really is no story, yet there is a story to be told in each route. Something I found interesting is that Boin's entire premise is deeply entrenched in the backstory provided in numerous routes. A good number of them are connected to the Inamori Shrine and the demons of the forest. After the prologue ends, the player can choose which route to follow through a map of Sakuranomiya with icons of each heroine.
After choosing a route, the player will follow a mostly-linear story until a handful of choices present themselves. What reduces the tedium of the routes are the "battles" that take place every once in a while.
The way the "battles" function is simple. Kazuki is given an objective to complete, and a set of options he can pick from. Sometime's he'll have a health bar, sometimes he'll have a counter for the number of player turns he has left to complete the event. The types of battles vary depending on the route the player chose at the beginning. In some he'll have to argue his way out of something, in some he'll have to compete with someone, in some he'll have to clear an obstacle course. It seems that if Kazuki fails certain battles, the only penalty he'll suffer is the girl involved liking him less. There are some that determine the outcome of the story, however.
In short, only two of the routes are stand-alone. The rest are all connected to the Inamori Shrine or the Millenium Cherry Blossom Path in some way.
This is where I have a problem with this game. I can see that Senbata Sakura-sensei wanted character diversity, but I also noticed that in trying to be diverse, a lot of her characters look...weird and disconnected. I could understand if it was just the hair color, but characters that are supposed to be related look like they were drawn by completely different artists. The best way I can put it is that the artwork is very inconsistent.
Sounds and Music
The music is utter crap, simply put. The soundtrack has 14 tracks, and all of them seem to be badly-instrumented music. Some of the cues are really innapropriate for certain scenes, and the overall atmosphere is utterly lost. I thought G.J was bad, but this game takes the cake for worst music ever.
Funny game, but has a lot of room for improvement. Moroboshi-san is a Nayuta fan, but I thought Hitomi was fun, even if her route made no sense. I'm sure onii-chan would like Yuri, though. >.>
Standing in for Moroboshi Yuumei