The LoveKami series contains some very good comedy and romance that’s often overlooked by visual novel fans. This may be in part to MoeNovel’s approach in bring a lot of ‘sexy-sexy’ into their Western releases.
When it comes to Lovekami -Divinity Stage-, the sense is more on trying to tell a solid story through a strong narrative, which plays into what readers would expect from a title such as this.
Whilst the game originally came out over 4-years ago, its only now made its way onto the Nintendo Switch. With exposure to potential new fans on the cards, does Lovekami -Divinity Stage- live up to the expectations of a gamer in 2020?
The story is all about romance, and much like other games of this genre, its purposely simplistic. What Lovekami -Divinity Stage- really sets out to do is to be as titillating as possible – and for the most part it succeeds. Overall Lovekami -Divinity Stage- presents a interesting premise where Goddesses descend to Earth to learn more about humanity.
Over the years, this becomes more commonplace, but in Akihabara specifically, the Goddesses have become idol celebrities who bring joy to their audience. The story centres around a popular group know as L☆SEVEN as they hold auditions for positions within the group.
We assume the role of Yamato, a shop owner who inherited a store, with one of the employees being Sara, a member of the L☆SEVEN. Sara’s reasons for working at the shop revolve around her doubts towards her abilities. It also helps give Sara some normalcy.
On this particular day, Yamato just so happens to run into two aspiring L☆SEVEN members, Shuri and Kagura. Shuri is the younger sister to one of the members who hasn’t told her sister that she’s trying out, and Kagura is just an over-sexualized siren with some idol talents.
The overall story does what it sets out to do and it does it quite well. Lovekami -Divinity Stage- creates a decent backstory for these characters to exist in and their friendship with each other are quite believable.
Yamato doesn’t really play much of a real role, but he is a master of being in the right place at the right time, which naturally plays into the comedy aspect superbly – if not a little clichéd.
There isn’t much gameplay involved other than occasionally clicking a button to move a scene forward. Lovekami -Divinity Stage- takes place over three routes that focus on a certain Idol.
Each girl has something that she needs to overcome. When Yamato shows up and somehow plays a role in their recovery, you’re off to the romance route. Lovekami -Divinity Stage- isn’t going to win any storytelling awards, as it plays-it-safe across all three routes. Thankfully the story is just about strong enough that it doesn’t need to be overly-overly sexualized.
Still, there are some cute moments of interaction and the girls’ lively personalities make the comedic scenes a little more impactful. The game also sticks closely to the themes of Goddess, with the characters being loosely based on Japanese folklore.
They play into their roles in a parody fashion, but some unique facts are thrown out from time to time. Given that their historical inspiration shapes the three girls’ personalities, they do come off as well rounded (no pun intended).
From as far as I can tell the Nintendo Switch version of the game is near identical to the Steam release of four years ago. This is a real shame, given that the art assets haven’t been updated for high-resolution displays. While the art looks colourful and crisp, the illustrations do become a blurry mess once they are zoomed in.
The characters are also animated, but are incredibly bouncy, so it works well. Unfortunately the lip-sync for characters occasionally seems a bit off during scenes, which highlights even more that Lovekami -Divinity Stage- is essentially a like-for-like port of the Steam version.
Music and Audio
The music of Lovekami -Divinty Stage- is pretty much how you’d expect it to be. It’s fun, chirpy and extremely “happy”. It does well to set the scenes, and in true J-Pop style the L☆SEVEN songs are incredibly catchy.
Audio wise, I was very impressed with what was on offer. Each of the Goddesses have a unique voice attached to them that to an extent matches their personalities. Whilst the novel is not fully voiced it does not need to be to tell its story.
Lovekami -Divinity Stage- gives us a fun story about Goddesses trying to make it in this world. Its comedy elements and lewd-ness carry the narrative well but, don’t expect to feel too attached to any of the characters after the games conclusion.
Whilst there is not a lot else I can say about Lovekami -Divinity Stage- without going into major spoilers. I did enjoy it as my first foray into the Visual Novel genre. Its a fun, enjoyable story that does not take itself too seriously, and is one that’s heavily focused on beasts and cleavage you could ski jump down.
Whilst this may be incredibly off putting for some. If you look beyond the over-sexualized aspects then Lovekami -Divinity Stage- is worth at least one read-through.
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