I first played Re: Alistair++ a few years ago, when I still didn’t know many otome games. Being one of my earlier ones, it holds a special place in my heart (just as Winter in Fairbrook, which I’ll probably write about soon). After so long, I decided to replay it :-).
The story revolves around Merui, an impulsive high school girl who loves video games and plays one called Rivenwell Online. One day, as she’s about to beat a boss and get a cool item, a guy called Alistair barges in and defeates it instead. Merui wants her item back but Alistair has other ideas. After finding out he goes to the same school, but not being certain of who he is, Alistair challenges her to discover his real identity. If she wins, she’ll get her item back. If she loses, she’ll have to give him all of her gold for a whole month. There are 3 guys besides her who were also using the internet during lunch break (before it suddenly shut down). Can Merui figure out who this Alistair is, before the time runs out, and get revenge?
Note: This review contains spoilers so read at your own risk. If you want to avoid them, though, just jump to “conclusive thoughts”.
It’s really praiseworthy how sakevisual managed to make a free otome game with as great quality as this one (it even has a walkthrough, yay!). The art is superb (it even has expressions for the cute online avatars!), the music is very catchy and the writing is amazing. Apart from the visual novel aspect (where you need to choose the correct options), Re: Alistair++ has a simple stat-raising gameplay where each stat corresponds to a different guy from the 3 available to romance. This dating sim was made with Ren’py, so it has a very friendly system.
Let’s talk about Derek first. Derek is the vice-president of the student council and an avid basketball player. Being quite the social butterfly, he has a lot of friends and is very forward with girls (aka he’s a flirt 😆 ). But even though Mr. Pinky Lock of Hair seems quite laid-back, he is pretty hard working. Also, he has some family issues. Derek feels that he is never good enough for his parents because he’s never the best at whatever he does. They’re also very overprotective, since he has to go home early and his parents give him allowance according to how well he does at school. Derek is actually my least favorite of the three but I really liked his route, nonetheless. Merui was a total sweetie in this path, being very kind and supportive to him. I loved this, because it shows that she isn’t just some short-tempered girl who’s impulsive. Merui is also very mature in her way of thinking, and it shows when she tells Derek that his parents are only human, and them being strict must be their flawed way of showing how much they care about him. Derek has also made an impression on me with his unexpected sensitive side: he throws coins into a fountain to make wishes (how cute is that??). Anyway, after some cute encounters at the mall, the month finally reaches it’s end and Merui finds out that Derek is Alistair. Poor Derek feels awful, because it turns out he was actually angry at his parents and went online to chill out (only to take it out on Merui, in the end). He found out Rui was Merui early on and was scared she was going to hate him (aww, sweetie). Of course, she wasn’t angry anymore, and they start dating ❤.
On to Travis, now! The handsome megane boy is the president of the Computer Gaming Club (the club’s lab is where Merui plays Rivenwell Online, whenever she’s at school). Travis is serious, responsible, logical and very respectful of the rules (we’ll see, lol). He also has family matters, but these involve him being a good onii-san and son. Even though Merui and Travis share similar interests, being both gamers, these two start off on the wrong foot :lol:. Merui thinks he’s extremely RUDE and Travis finds her very ignorant. But even though they’re always bickering, they quickly become friends after Merui agrees to help his club (when another member catches a cold). Out of them all, I think Merui’s interactions with Travis are the best, they’re super hilarious (and cute) and their relationship development is very natural. They talk about games and whatnot while keeping each other company in the computer lab. No, seriously, I really loved how they gradually become closer. Also, he calls her Rui because he saw that she liked being called that on her ‘Spacebook’ (that’s so adorable I can’t even). However, Merui only wanted to know why he called her Rui (since that’s her online name), and ends up telling him about the Alistair affair. Megane-kun gets super mad (in a hot way) because those types of bets aren’t allowed on Rivenwell Online and real money is involved (what makes it legally complicated). But Merui knows he can’t possibly know all of this unless he plays Rivenwell Online as well, to which he answers by trapping her against a wall and advising her to stop being nosy (well, they always say curiosity killed the cat but I wouldn’t mind if it meant Travis trapping me against a wall and staring at my lips ohoho). At the end of the route, Merui figures out Derek is Alistair but he’s being a jerk about it, pretending he doesn’t remember the deal. Travis comes to save the day by revealing he has the chat log of the incident so Derek can’t play innocent any longer. Turns out megane-kun is actually a global moderator of Rivenwell Online (aka Oda), but he was hiding it since students aren’t allowed to have jobs outside school. Travis confesses his love, believing Merui doesn’t feel the same way. But, obviously, she does and they start dating ❤.
And last, but not least, Shiro! Even though I rambled a lot about Travis, japanese shota boy is my favorite, for some reason. Shiro is Merui’s shy classmate, who gets easily embarrassed (and teased) and loves puzzles. He is also very smart and does well at school. However, he doesn’t have a great relationship with his parents. Unlike Derek, though (who also has trouble with his family), Shiro’s problem consists of his parents not having much time for him (Shiro and Derek are pretty much opposites, in a way). They work 24/7 and are rarely home unless it’s for sleep. This has caused Shiro to be extremely lonely and feed on cup noodles regularly. Merui has to work on a class-project with him and, thus, begins to know him little by little. On one of their encounters at Shiro’s house, they fall asleep on each others’ shoulders (so cute!!!) after having worked hard for the project on Athens. Of course, when Shiro wakes up, he’s all (#ﾟﾛﾟ#) omg I’m sorry!! :lol:. Some days later, on their next significant meeting, shy boy receives a phone call and Merui takes advantage of the situation to snoop around his room. She finds a Rivenwell Online packaging in his trash but, unluckily, Shiro returns too soon. Merui apologizes but shy boy is still mad at her and demands she returns the package. They struggle for a bit and OH MY GOSH, fall on top of each other (⸝⸝⸝ ≧ㅿ＼⸝⸝⸝)/. They start talking about how Shiro bought a sword and blabla until Shiro asks her to get off of him 😆 (while being tomato red, of course). Their scenes are absolutely adorable, I mean it. Besides, it’s really sweet how Shiro admires Merui for being corageous; I feel we people are many times attracted to others who have something we lack. In my opinion, Merui and Shiro complement one other (*´꒳`*). The last time they get together for the project, they go to Merui’s house (and room, much to Shiro’s embarrassment lol). Here, Merui learns that the poor guy was bullied when he started high school but, fortunately, his parents took care of the situation. Merui lets him know that this is proof enough they love him because they noticed something was wrong. She encourages him to talk to them, adding that the reason they may not spend time with him is so as not to disturb him with his studies. At the end of the route, Merui finds out Derek is Alistair and he goes into jerk mode again (much like in Travis’ route). Shiro intervenes and blurts out he should stop being such a douche. Derek glares but agrees to return the item. Merui recognizes Shiro’s way of talking and discovers he’s actually FionaWings! He confesses his love for her and kisses her on the cheek (and of course they start dating ❤).
Oops, I totally rambled on the last two routes. Anyway, back on topic, this game is super cute and very professional for a free game. The plot is simple but works very well and Merui is a great heroine. Even though she can be rash and at times, she’s kind and considerate. Also, her way of thinking is quite mature (and has left every single guy in the game speechless 😆 ). The three boys are loveable and I enjoyed their routes a lot. I liked the fact that all of them had certain issues with their families, which helped to understand the characters better, and found it funny that they warned Merui of each other due to certain rumors (for instance, Shiro warned her about Travis while Derek warned her about Shiro). Combine all of this with the beautiful artwork and the pleasant music and you get this exceptional game, which is short but very, very sweet.
Hope you enjoyed the ride! See you next post! (≧∇≦*)/
January is DatingSimonth, so be sure to check what other people post as well 😀 !!