Otome Game Review: Norn9 -Act Tune-

Otomate can’t seem to put their cow to pasture so they pooped out another Norn9 game. Unfortunately they’re completely out of ideas and grasping for straws so what better way to do this then to use different writers and artists and just do a bootleg mashup of Last Era!? Not much of a review ahead and mostly just rambles about the game.

Memoria

turbo Ikemen
turbo Ikemen

The game has 3 sections Memoria, Norn 9 Quest and Cantabile. In Memoria everyone decides to swap groups at random but after spending time with others they realize they miss their original set up…. And everyone runs back to their original groups. After this each guy has 3 short scenarios, one being in the after story of last era, one after the last era after story, and an au school life scenario.

  • Memorable moments:
    • Koharu gets knocked up by Kakeru.
    • Senri and Koharu finally get engaged and everyone throws them a congratulations party and gives them the dress and tuxedo too. 😂 But still no real wedding end.
    • Koharu in a box (which btw was not in the gallery)
      • box
    • Mikoto gets angry at Sakuya over him reading her horoscope.
    • Itsuki looks like Natsuhiko in one of his cgs:
      • wat
    • We still have no name for Mikoto and Natsuhiko’s child. 😑
    • There’s still no route for Setsu.
    • Adult Sorata is hot af.

Honestly this was the most boring section. A lot of it just felt like a rehash of what we saw in Last Era and the school scenario had barely anything memorable in it. Any kind of fun school life templates you usually think of – they didn’t even have. I can think of countless tropes/jokes/silly stuff they could have done but the writing was lazy like they didn’t even care to try to engage the reader. Overall Memoria left no memorable impressions on me.

Norn9 Quest

They gotta save Sorata from some dragon. Turns out the dragon is Aine and she’s been possessed by some evil amulet which our gang destroys and turns her back to normal. Meanwhile Sorata is her BFF and Koharu can ~hear her feelings~ while she’s a dragon which is how they figure it out. In the epilogues, each girl has a 3P end (though it’s pretty much rated G lol.)  Nanami’s was the best though cause she got to be in a hot spring with 3 half naked dudes 😂. Overall Norn9 quest started out ok, but once you finished one group’s stuff, the others got kinda boring. It was not as fun or interesting as the RPG adventures in say Dot Kareshi.

They're all wearing pants so I guess it doesn't count
Not sure if they’re actually naked or wearing pants/towels. No fucks given about Nanami just being there to gander at all of them for some reason (especially amazed at lack of reaction from Akito lol.)

Cantabile

Red Ninja Hood at your service
Red Ninja Hood at your service

All the girls get shrunk into chibis and all the dudes fawn over them. I guess it was kinda novel in Last Era but now it just felt redundant and pointless (´・ω・`). Eventually by playing some mini game you can turn the heroines back to their normal size. Some parts were cute/funny but they were repetitive – like Nanami fluffing Akito’s wolf ears in the akazukin dream sequence. The endings were really abrupt and strange for each guy too. The twist was that Setsu turned them chibi and recorded all the girls as chibis and then was raged at by Natsuhiko 😂.

minigame
Mikoto’s dodge the boots/brooms/pumpkins game was probably the easiest.

The annoying part is I had to basically spam this mini game in order to get the rest of the tickets to unlock Heishi’s final CG. The Snow White apple game was trash but the Cinderella and Red Riding hood games were ok and you got like 40-50 tickets for Hard mode so I was able to get the final CG quickly.  Nothing as grueling as the norn9 quests in Last Era and Var Commons.

The final set of CGs were in the short stories – which thankfully were voiced but the CGs were rather weird. They looked like the kind of thing you’d see in some mobile game cause it would be the back of Koharu’s head or her face would be partially blocked etc lol. Heishi in a dog suit was kinda cute I guess though lol.

finalthoughtbanner

I enjoyed Senri's explanation that in an RPG you barge into people's houses and go through all their items to complete a quest.
I enjoyed Senri’s explanation that in an RPG you barge into people’s houses and go through all their items to complete a quest.

I mean what else can I say other than there was no point to this game. Amazon Japan reviews revealed that the staff was changed which explains why some Cgs looked off but mostly why the writing was so unimpressive and dull. I wouldn’t mind the CG issues but the story was just so un-engaging. Any jokes that I found funny were just repeats from the original game. There was nothing new, and there was really no reason for the game unless you really go out of your way to make some kind of fun AU. They didn’t bother to do that, but they couldn’t figure out what else to do with these characters either. Nothing at all stands out to me about this game  and I  couldn’t even enjoy the route of my favorite characters. Since the Amazon reviews echo my feelings, I know it’s not just me. The game got a sad 2 stars there and it’s honestly not a surprise. I’m glad I only got the regular edition, but after this, the disappointment with Yunohana Spring and Code Realize FDs, I’m honestly starting to wonder if Otomate even tries with their FDs anymore? My expectations for the KLAP FD are kinda low now too…and I am debating between just getting the regular edition for it as well. I don’t want to convince myself that mobile industry is eating up what’s left of the console one in terms of otome games, but the constant release of this kind of quality isn’t helping me think otherwise. 😔

12 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Norn9 -Act Tune-

  1. Sorry to hear this game was not enjoyable. It definitely sucks when you’re expecting a game to be fun and cute but then it just makes you facepalm everytime you find something you don’t like. I’m playing the first Norn9 right now (sadly the localization is not very good but, oh well, at least it’s something), just missing 3 routes, and it’s sad to know the characters lose so much of their shine when you just want a fluffy and romantic FD because the main game focuses more on the story. Plus changing writers…definitely not good and quite risky. Also, those CGs remind me of the eyeless heroines nightmares from mobile games. What gives? They could definitely make something better :/

    Hope your next game is more enjoyable, Hinano!! Don’t lose hope 😀

    1. The first game was okay, and the 2nd game (Last Era) helped fill in the holes of the first game. This game though…no idea what the point of it was lol. If you enjoy the first game I’d prolly say play last era – but don’t bother with this one.

  2. I still need to get back to Last Era. Only finished a couple routes so far, it pretty much got forgotten among all the other games that I’ve bought since then. Though I guess I won’t be missing out on much by skipping Act Tune. Setsu is my favorite Norn9 character and when Act Tune was announced my only wish was that he would finally get a route, so I lost interest in it quickly when he didn’t.

    1. I thought Last Era was pretty decent, since it helped fill a lot of gaps of the first game. This was just awful and you’re right, 3 freaking games and not a single Setsu route!! Unacceptable.

  3. Once I saw that it was going to include a school, I immediately had Amnesia World flashbacks. So I waited for reviews so I won’t regret later.
    The Amnesia series should have stopped at Amnesia Later, but they continued milking it, and the results are……ugly……
    I just hope Otomate stops at Norn 9 Act Tune, its more than enough……
    Thanks for the reviews as always~

    1. Honestly while I thought Amnesia Crowd was crap, I actually weirdly enjoyed Amnesia World. That said I don’t disagree that the franchise for went to far so I’m glad otomate stopped for now. Norn9 was just…bad like they aren’t even trying. I was at least able to enjoy Amnesia to a point but this was just different writers AND artists so you can’t even enjoy the game for that reason either.

  4. I’ve been reading your blog since I was 13 and I’m 19 now, so that’s kinda something… and I’m kinda curious… what otome game has satisfied your standards ;______;

    1. check out my anniversary post, the best section has a few gems I enjoyed this year…even if it may seem like every game disappoints me lol. I mean I’ve played so many and it becomes painfully obvious when Otomate is just milking a series because the original game did well and hoping people enjoy the milking bandwagon without them having to put much effort into it.

      on another note, thanks for being a long time reader! 😛

  5. Random but I stumbled upon this blog around 2015 and thought you were gone for good but seeing you post so recently makes me so excited TTuTT!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

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