Shira Oka: Second Chances – Visual Novel, American Style

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American visual novel “Shira Oka” is attracting attention amongst Japanese gamers as much for its deficiencies as its strengths.

In summary, it is an American developed visual novel patterned on a Tokimeki Memorial-style branching scenario, with mediocre artwork, no sex and an “all-star” voice cast whom the developers fail to name:

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A demo and purchasing information ($25) are available on the game’s official site.

2ch is less than impressed:

It looks pretty good, for something by Americans. I thought it was Chinese at first though.

Could pass muster, if it were a Flash game.

This is DLSite level alright.

It’s a real pity there’s no sex.

The art looks about 25 years old.

Maybe it would be useful for learning English.

Looks like a 1995-level game… how nostalgic.

What’s with them following Japan… I was hoping for something more American, like massive and stuff.

It’s like a doujin-game.

I thought it would be something like this:

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America is sprouting [moe-teiru].

For most observers, much apparently depends on whether the game is considered a commercial game or doujin soft.

Considering they face off against the established might of JAST, MangaGamer and DLSite.com, the developers do at least deserve praise for their boldness.

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