Hellooooo everyone!!! 😀 How have you been? I have good and bad news. Bad news is that this weekend I had an awful series of headaches and could barely do anything 😥 I really hope my health improves cause’ I haven’t been feeling all that well lately plus I’m losing my appetite :’D but worry not cause’ I’ve already made an appointment with the doctor for a check-up so hopefully they help me 🙂 I’m also thinking of doing a sport. I bet that’ll help me lots. As for the good news *drum roll* I became a premium member at Crunchyroll!!! Ohoho, but that’s not all! I found a video game seller in Buenos Aires (where I live) who is really trustworthy and can bring video games upon request!!! This means that I’ll finally be able to get my hands on physical versions of otome games (and other games of course)!!!! No more excessive digital purchases 😀 and now that we’re talking about digital…he also sells steam cards!!!! YAAAY!!! And last, but not least, I started translating Cafe 0 ~The Sleeping Beast~ to spanish 😀 That’s right, the game I’m about to review!! Well, truth is I already wrote a review about this game on steam (ask me if you wanna know my username 😉 ) but I also wanted to write a review here, so it’ll be kind of similar (there might even be some copypaste lol) to the one on steam but at least it’ll keep my blog fuller ❤
Without further ado, let’s begin!!!
NOTE: This review contains mild spoilers so read at your own risk. If you want to avoid them, though, just jump to “conclusive thoughts”.
First of all, like I mentioned on my steam review, I’d like to say that this visual novel is NOT an otome game. It does have a bit of romance here and there but if you’re expecting a game where you can date many characters then this one isn’t it. However, Cafe 0, apart from being a game heavily focused on mystery, it is also a game heavily focused on love. What’s my point? Well, love isn’t purely romantic, is it? Love can be romantic, of course, but there’s also family love, friendship love and even partnership love. And this is what I’m talking about: Cafe 0 ~The Sleeping Beast~ is a game about love.
You play as Corliss, a maid hired to work for the Ashfords, a noble family living in a modest village. Unfortunately, Corliss is dead by the start of the game and arrives at Cafe 0, a place where “lost souls” gather when they don’t know where to go after death (it reminded me of a sort of limbo). Here, she meets the grouchy waiter Noir, who tells her he’ll send her 7 days prior to her death so that she can find out why she died…or could there also be something more? Of course there is, it’s a mystery game after all ;D
The game has a total of 5 routes; 4 of them are for the Ashford twins (2 for Nathan and 2 for Ethan) and the remaining one is the true route, which is unlocked after you finish the other 4. Personally, I recommend this order of playthrough:
1) Nathan Family route
2) Nathan Friendship route
3) Ethan Couple route
4) Ethan Partner route
5) True route
Before you can even ask, no, this isn’t an otome game 😆 Yes, there is a romantic route, but there’s more to it than just romance. Cafe 0 is primarily a mystery game with lots of twists but, again, it contains different types of love depending on the route you’re on. And now that we’re talking about love, let me tell you why I LOVE this game.
Let’s start with the characters. How should I put it? They are so rich and interesting, especially Corliss and the twins. You can’t even imagine just how close you’ll become with them. At first glance, Corliss seems like your typical ‘kuudere’ girl who only shows emotions when she gets to know the person. Even though that’s not entirely wrong, Corliss isn’t a kuudere. She’s actually kind of a doll-like person, instead of not showing her emotions, she’s empty. This is because of the way she was raised, only to do what she was told and, thus, developed this doll-like type of personality. Fortunately, when she meets the twins, everything changes. Thanks to her interactions with them, she starts discovering different types of feelings along the way (or along the routes 😆 ) and, therefore, grows as a person and finds herself. Some may think Corliss could be boring because she “doesn’t feel anything” but NO, ladies and gentlemen, Corliss is a GREAT heroine who will also make you laugh several times due to her bluntness and, as she starts developing different types of feelings, she’ll warm your heart. Then, of course, how can we forget the twins? Nathan, the tsundere yet kind boy and Ethan, the cheerful yet mysterious boy. I don’t want to spoil anything because it’s really a much better experience if you found out for yourself just how charming and loveable these 2 are. Let’s just say they have a great way of catching your attention by being themselves 😉
There are also other characters which will make an appearance in the past; this is due to Noir’s power, but only when you find a HINT. Another reason why I recommend to play Nathan’s routes first is not only because they have the least spoilers, but also because the game gradually gets darker and darker…and I’ll leave it at that.
Second reason why I love this game so much: the story, but of course. A game with an amazing story is a great game, no matter what. There can be mistakes here and there but a good story is the main basis for a good game, at least in my opinion. Even though the descriptions are not that good, since there’s a lot of repetition with words such as “suddenly” or phrases that are too commonplace like “tears rolled down my cheeks”; Cafe 0 shines BRIGHTLY with the dialogue. Oh jesus christ, the dialogue, THE DIALOGUE IS SO GOOD you have no idea. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, it’s mysterious, it’s sad, it’s so many things at once you just can’t get enough. Even the characters that I didn’t like (not because of how they were written, but because I thought they were jerks) have some great lines that just stay with you. And let’s not forget about the twists. Since this is a mystery game first and foremost, of course there are twists which make you go “HOLY SHIT, IT WAS LIKE THAT?!”and make you think that now everything is starting to come together and make sense. Kudos to Roseverte because they managed to make a mystery game with unforgettable characters, engrossing story and bittersweet but fitting endings.
And last, but not least, the art and OST!!! Art and music are very important to set the mood in the story. Not only are they gorgeous but also very fitting!! Even the GUI has that ‘something’ that makes the feeling of the Cafe 0 world so much better and captivating. The game even comes with japanese voice acting (which is super good, btw!!) Nuff said, everything belongs together. A pity that there are not that many CGs, but I’m content with the ones that appear 🙂
So, to conclude, what are this game’s pros and cons?
-Beautiful art and GUI
-Excellent OST (which you can now get on steam, yay!)
-Great story with lots of mystery and twists, but also heartwarming and funny moments
-There are very little repeated conversations, and they actually function as a sort of bookmark to the story
-Amazing characters (especially Corliss and the twins)
-Incredible japanese voice acting
-If you leave the default name ‘Corliss’, the characters will call her by her name
-You can easily go to the menu with just a right click on the mouse
-The descriptions are not as good as the dialogue
-This is not really a con but the birthday scene only changes on the true route, which is ok but I would have liked to see a little more variation of this scene on the other routes as well
-This is just personal preference so you can ignore it if you don’t agree but, having played a wide variety of visual novels, I’ve really grown accustomed to skip buttons being on the textbox. It’s true that some of them are quite big and, therefore, cover a bit of the screen, but I’ve seen many visual novels (particularly otome games) where the skip button was small and convenient
Anyway, of course I recommend this game, it’s a must play, and, in this blogger’s honest opinion, the best game Roseverte has to offer 😀
Hope you enjoyed the ride! See you next post! (≧∇≦*)/