1 person found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 5.5 hrs on record
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 @ 1:31pm
Updated: Oct 13, 2017 @ 10:52pm

VNs are, or maybe should be, ultimately about getting to know characters, and Hustle Cat gets this, avoiding the usual otaku-pleasing route of assembling the bunch of bare-bone, trite anime tropes, and presenting instead a likable, for the most part, cast of characters that, while somewhat archetypical, don't look like building blocks out of a set; the anime art-style is nice, but if you switched it out for a different one, the word "anime" would probably and hardly cross your mind.

The premise, in equal parts Faustian of sorts, Human Centipede, and Cats-and-the-Internet, is about a young'un, out of a job, with no money, and trying to find a way in the big city while living at their aunt's flat, who carelessly signs away their soul, or better yet, takes a job at a cat-themed cafe, involving a curse turning employee into cats whenever they leave the premises; it is one that if you had pitched to me, I would have replied "thanks but no thanks".

I found the writing enjoyable overall, if a bit lightweight, and it's definitely a plus that the gender identification of the main character is customizable, and all of the characters can be romanced, regardless. Also, no sex whatsoever.

The ending, however, feels somewhat simplistic, hurried perhaps?, and left me kind of disappointed, not very willing to go back and play a different story-line, as I imagined this would have been, for the most part, replaying the same story with just a different character being romanced. BTW I got in a same-sex relationship with Finley in my first playthrough, without trying: I was fine with it, although it felt a little sugary, lovey-dovey for my tastes.

I cannot remember the last time I was able to finish a VN, without succumbing to continuous attacks of eye-roll-itis, so this gets my thumbs up: while not without flaws, I would say the positives prevail, and Hustle Cat is a relaxing, enjoyable experience that doesn't go anywhere terribly interesting in particular, being content with entertaining the player with a tale of finding friendship and love.
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