Jordan over at SwitchWatchTV has stepped outside his comfort zone a little bit to play and review The Fox Awaits Me, a Japanese visual novel game. It seems like he enjoyed his time, but don’t take my word for it. Check out his video below or read his review here on SwitchWatch.co.uk!
The Fox Awaits Me is a visual novel. Now, I’m not the most experienced visual novel player out there, but I do love a good story. This game fell into my inbox and I thought I’d give it a shot. Since it’s very heavily a visual novel, I’m going to approach this review very differently to our normal structure.
The Fox Awaits Me is set in a mystical, folklore infused world. You are a Kaito, living alongside a fox girl called Shua. As the story is of prime importance in a game like this, we’re not going to go into immense detail about where it goes.
The story is witnessed from the eyes of Kaito, a fella who’s suffering from amnesia, he’s walking through a bamboo grove to find a fox lady waiting for him. He slowly regains his composure, with memories of this Fox girl and his fondness for her. He sets out to discover himself and this mysterious environment and meeting 2 other girls.
It’s a game that promises tension, sadnesses with tonal slides into comedy.
The beginning of the story had me hooked with the mystery that it puts in front of you. Who are you really? What’s your role here? Who’s the black haired girl staring at you while you’re asleep? I honestly really wanted to know and the story got me. And while it does have a very interesting mystery story to it at time’s, the fact is that it’s a story that is mostly ridden with fan-service. Despite the promise of a great mystery, fan service is definitely the priority here. Now that can be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. It has the cliche Subservient anime girl, the overly obsessive girlfriend kind of thing.
Plus it has innuendos for days, teases, provocative situations. It doesn’t bother me in any moral sense, I was just personally a little disappointed it took precedent over the mystery and the narrative. For those who enjoy the fan service, you’re in for a treat. It’s cute, it never goes too far like something from Senran Kagura, it’s really quite sincere, and the humor can show. It’s not for everyone, of course. If your not into fan service, this won’t change your mind, but those who do enjoy it will be pleased.
Girls of questionable age in swim suits (although, to be fair, she’s supposed to be a timeless mountain deity), suggestive stripping after clothes get wet, waking up in the morning with a girl in your bed who suggests that something may have gone on without you being aware. It’s standard stuff, but quite cute in the grand scheme of things, especially when getting compared to other example of the genre. It’s not going to offend, it will probably make you roll your eyes more than anything if you don’t like it. If you do like it, well, you’ll probably love the cheekiness of it all.
If I was to put a figure on it, the story would be about 70% fan service stuff and 30% interesting and serious mystery. Personally, I would have preferred the ratio to be the other way around, but I’m not the target audience for this particular one.
There’s very little in terms of actually doing stuff here. It sticks to the visual novel genre to a T. However, there are different endings for Fox Awaits Me, 6 in total according to the publisher. I’m not going to vouch for that personally, since I’m a one ending kinda guy, whether it’s a bad or happy ending, I’m usually satisfied in any game. But it is good news for those who want more bang for their buck. Very rarely through the game you’ll have the choice between decisions, which can often give different scenes but these really are few and far between.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
While nice art work is often the case for visual novels, I do have to say that the art work found here in The Fox Awaits Me is actually really quite good. I love the color palette used here. The backgrounds are often quite lovely, although perhaps it would have been nice to have a bit more. The character designs are excellent and I love the way that they animate on the screen. Static characters are often a killer for me in visual novels but here as they sway gently and their expressions changing often, it kept me interested.
The music too is excellent, for the most part. When the game is trying to be serious there is some excellent relaxing music going on in the background, it made for a great chilled experience. When things try to get comical the music is fine too, but nothing that you would listen to outside of the game.
In terms of price, The Fox Awaits Me is going for quite a premium of 44.99 in the US, €40.99 in the EU, and £36.89 in the UK. That’s probably looking quite high, but this is a very niche release that is almost a miracle that it’s releasing in English at all. Is it worth that much? Well, if you’re into visuals, especially of the bishoujo kind with cheeky, tantalizing fan-service, then it’s perhaps it’s worth that price, although those who aren’t already convinced will probably want to wait for a sale.
Perhaps a better option would be going for a physical version, due to resale value once you’ve enjoyed the story. Sadly there’s no western physical version, at least not one that’s currently planned, but the Asian/Japanese release does have English, which is always a nice option. Not many Japanese visual novel physicals have English. This is one of them however.
If you want to head down that route, then I’ll pop links below as to where you can find it for yourself to import and add it to your collection. Affiliate links, so if you do buy something then it also supports the SwitchWatch team. And as a little bonus, if you use the PlayAsia link then when you check out, you can use the coupon code SwitchWatchTV for 5% off your order. A nice little saver if you want to import.
Story - 7/10
Gameplay - 7/10
Audio - 7/10
Visuals & Performance - 7/10
Value - 7/10
Overall in this succinct review of The Fox Awaits Me, if you’re into Bishoujo visual novels, then this is very much par for the course. While I’m not going to sit here and pretend the story and dialogue is a work of art, it’s still entertaining and will satiate ones who enjoy this kind of experience. It’s a visual novel swaying far more to the fan service type than that of a great mystery story. Those who are looking to jump into the genre or those on the fence will perhaps want to choose a more accessible or highly regarded game before diving into this one, or perhaps wait for a sale. It does have lovely art work though and an all-round nice presentation.
- Good visuals
- Entertaining story
- Not the most engaging