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Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.1 Onikakushi review
Meh
by Uneducated_Reviews

This being my first visual novel I can't argue about how it compares to other works of the sorts, therefore my commentary about is based on my experience with novels and anime/manga.

I did enter Higurashi not knowing anything about it and I'm not sure what is the best possible way of entering this series, however, I'll assume that you know at least the basic premise, if not, and you want to "play" this visual novel with zero knowledge about it you may want to stop reading this right here (I'm not giving away spoilers but to know the premise may "ruin" one of its twists). Getting back to the premise, maybe it would be more bearable to know what I was getting into that going in with zero knowledge.

The story starts as generic as they come, the main character is a blank slate that transfers to a new school in a rural town in Japan, he knows some girls with generic tropes about them, like the cute one, tomboyish, stoic, etc. And in a sort of way it became like a harem anime, the story (at first) revolves in their interactions and their club activities that consist mainly in games and challenges since their club is about that, in this interactions you get to know more about the main character as well as the other characters and you get a grip pretty quickly of who are they, the problem is that they're incredibly boring and generic and this thing goes at least for the first 4 hours of my 10-hour playthrough, I was about to quit by this point.

However,

The promise of this story getting darker or more interesting keep me from quitting and in a way, I believe that it paid off more or less, as I said before I'll not spoil anything but when the story goes from harem slice of life to horror it was hard to consider quitting this time around. Although the story took a solid route from here onwards, some moments or twists were still generic or dull, so if you still didn't like the writing to this point, probably you'll still be turned off, for me tho', the first "scare" took me off guard and it was incredibly effective, however, this sentiment wore off a little since it kinda repeats this trick in a few times later in the story, that's not to say I wasn't enjoying it and the last chapters were so unsettling that I needed to take short breaks from time to time. This visual novel doesn't have any choices at all so you're basically reading the whole experience, the only choices you have come in the form of optional short lectures that give you more context about certain characters or events that I think they couldn't fit in the story naturally. Although I believe you can skip them since they're not that necessary to the main plot, they are also so short that it won't hurt that much to read them tho', probably you want to skip the ones about the classroom girls, since its more of the boring dialogues and interactions with them.

Given the amount of time you have to invest to get to the better part of this visual novel is hard to recommend it, mainly because its 1st half is pretty weak, almost unbearable, however, once you get to the point where things get interesting, you'll be rewarded more or less of your lost time. As for me, I'm considering in giving a shot to the next chapter since I get somewhat hooked by the cliffhanging ending and where the story is going, maybe next time the writing is more focused and maybe you get to know the characters in more interesting ways, although currently there are 8 main chapters to this series so it's going to be a long ride.

Other reviews4

Translated by
Microsoft from French
This game is a must-have in the category of kinetic novel. PATCH HIM UP! I would only advise you to Patcher it with the sprites and voice of the play station, the old sprites being not superb. (Google to find the patch) The story plunges you into a village very sympathetic, but appearances are deceiving... A bloody past lurks in Hinamizawa, where a curse seems to crack every year. 10/10 for history. If you like puzzles and horror, this game is for you. Do not expect however to get the solutions to the puzzles: there are many elements of response to many mysteries, but never a universally true answer. What is the strength of the "when they cry" series (のなく頃に) is that it is the player's responsibility to interpret what he sees. Many of the things that will appear obvious to you at the beginning of the game will seem a lot less safe a few hours later.
Translated by
Microsoft from French
This steam version, is faithful and complete by part writing. The new characters sprites are rather smooth and cute but are cruelly lacking expressions. Some, are so to speak rather "missed", I aim in particular Ooishi-San who sees his face redrawn to the axe, Tomitake-San, far too muscular, Takano-San who lacks cruelly charm and his creepy smile. Mion as for her, suffers from an oversized chest that jumps a little too much to the eyes for my taste. In background, I am not at all Fane of this effect brought to photos that does not stick at all with the Visual of the characters. The music, too simplistic and sloppy does not meet my expectations. It does not prevent that I had a good time reading and I recommend it to anyone who does not know Higurashi or who would have seen only the anime. Fans of the first version and the one on PlayStation will surely pass their way.
Translated by
Microsoft from French
Higurashi when they cry or Le Sanglot des Cigales in French, is one of my first Visual novel (I had started with Doki Doki literature Club but I have not yet finished it at the time I write this evaluation). I knew Higurashi through the lively where I had loved the first two seasons, season 3 was passing and for the 4th season... I am quite mixed but still is it that I had loved Higurashi with the animated! So I decided one day to start in the Visual novel of Higurashi and I'm not disappointed at all, the fact of making Chapter 1 of Higurashi reinforces strengthens my "love" for the latter! In the Visual novel, we take the time to set up the atmosphere (which can be one of the faults of the animated) and it allows to make a very good contrast between the very cute, the humor and the horror, the anguish! What I can reproach in relation to the steam version of Higurashi is to have no basic voices that are used in the PS2 and PS3 versions (which can be had via a mod with the graphics of the PS3 version whether it is the decorations or the sprites so fault to MO but also the French translation that was made by Pierre Bancov in 2011 (although I don't really have a problem with English). Count at least 18h to finish Chapter 1 and it is important not to hesitate to make Higurashi when they cry, the price is well worth the shot in view of the quality of the title!
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