33 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 2.5 hrs on record (2.5 hrs at review time)
Posted: Feb 16, 2020 @ 10:12pm
Updated: Feb 16, 2020 @ 10:12pm

At a Glance
(Adult) Content
No. Underwear.
Censorship
Not Applicable.
Hours of Gameplay
Two hours.
Modding Support?
No.
Patch Required?
Not applicable.

kirakira stars idol project AI is a virtual novel about saving a company with the charm and skills of a budding celebrity.

Gameplay
This is a virtual novel, which means that the "gameplay" is mostly clicking through text. Every so often, you will be given a choice, which (slightly) changes the dialogue you'll see. They have little impact, and the story will not significantly change based on your decisions. With that in mind, this title has poor replay value.

Story
First thing's first, we are introduced to the main character Ai (in more ways than words, if you catch my drift). You play as Nobuyuki, her childhood friend. He's sharing a room with Ai, and he's also her manager (more on that later). He was living on the streets before he encountered her, and she offered him a place to stay. He was removed from his dorm after a change of ownership, and

The next morning, he returned to his job (ODA Productions). He forgot to bring a lunch, but Ai delivered a homemade one his way. A man from ODA's parent company (Imagawa Productions) appears. He expects ODA to produce profit in six months, despite gross budget and staff cuts. Ai offers to join the crew as an "idol", in hopes of helping Nobu out. Idols are public entertainers, models whom sing and dance for the public. In this world, they are extremily popular.

She's got a lot to learn, but she shows a lot of promise as a future idol. She's the company's chance at redemption, and Nobu's chance at love. Most of the story is told from his viewpoint, but sometimes we get to peak inside Ai's head during key moments of her career.

In my opinion, the game (eventually) ended abruptly. However, it was implied that there will be a sequel.

Visuals
The title menu has what you'd expect (for a virtual novel), including a gallery (labeled as "Omake"). If you can't read Japanese, be sure to select your prefered language before starting a new game. The title menu is simple and appealing. When playing the game, everything you'd need (and expect) in a virtual novel is displayed at the bottom of the screen. To hide the in-game user interface, hit the "right-mouse" button.

The character portraits are rendered with 3D models, and are very animated. They look great, though only two characters have models. Of the two, Ai has at least four outfits, but I there were a handful of scenes that spared the models. I assume that the developers didn't have the 3D assets for these scenes. Every so often, a full art image will invade the screen, during important moments in the story. A lot of visual novels reserve full art images for just a few moments or the ending. The frequency of these scenes helps maintain a visual variety as you read along. These scenes can be viewed as desired in the gallery.

- The Goods -
Most of the full art scenes depict Ai. Some are mildly lewd, but most depict (non-adult) events in the story, mostly bonding with Nobu. They all look great, but nothin' was too saucy.

Verdict
This is a cutesy virtual novel, though much too short for the asking price (of thirteen USD). I'd wait for a (significant) sale before picking it up. But if you enjoy all-round happy tales, this story fits the bill.

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4 Comments
「死の火」 Yamino Takamaru Feb 20, 2020 @ 1:39am 
Yeah, it's called Visual Novel and this has a patch...research properly, idiot...
CanRanBan Feb 18, 2020 @ 8:20am 
Yeah I'm asking me the same since reading more than one review with the awkward classification as "virtual novel" instead of visual novel.
egeslean05 Feb 18, 2020 @ 4:12am 
I'm curious why you keep calling it a 'virtual novel' when it's a Visual Novel.