It’s been a while since I’ve completed Narcissu Side 2nd but it’s better late than never so here’s my review of the game.
Side 2nd, like its predecessor, has a very simple interface. I didn’t really notice any glitches or anything with it while I read through the game. It does its job so I was pretty much fine with it for the most part. Being able to jump around the chapters was very nice, more games need to support this feature.
Unfortunately, the engine in question gives you the log by inserting the text in the textbox instead of giving you an overlay. This always annoys me and I wish people would stop using and/or developing engines like this.
There aren’t a lot of pieces of artwork to speak of here but the ones that were there I was very pleased with. The background art seems to be on par with the original while the character art has improved significantly in my opinion.
The choice of background music is excellent and appropriate for the scenes in question. I really like both the instrumental and the vocal versions of the opening theme song. Going through the tracks randomly through the game right now brings a small to my face as it reminds me of the different scenes of the game where the tracks were used. :)
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like the original Narcissu. The game felt very anti-climactic to me. Perhaps it was because I knew how it was going to end before I started, I don’t know, the game just didn’t really evoke any emotions in me.
Side 2nd on the other hand struck an entirely different chord with me. To me, the story of Side 2nd was actually trying to get somewhere. It really seemed to me like there was a message that the story was trying to get across to the reader. Besides that, there was actually development going on for both Setsumi and Himeko as the story went on here. Setsumi had to ponder over her dilemma regarding her fries and Himeko had her own thing going on with Christianity and all that. Yu and Setsumi’s characters in the original seemed rather one-dimensional in comparison if you ask me.
I think part of the reason I liked the story so much was probably because of Himeko. I loved her as a character and her voice actress Natsumi Yanase really did an excellent job portraying Himeko. I particularly liked the scene where Yuka and Himeko meet again by the beach while Himeko was out there with Setsumi. That was really quite a painful scene to endure, kudos to both voice actresses.
The game is longer than the original but I’d say it’s doable within five or six hours. I think I’m kind of an outlier since it seems to me that most people liked the original more than the sequel. If any of you reading out there didn’t like the original, please do give Side 2nd a try, you might end up enjoying it as much as I did. If you do play this game, please read the epilogue. It’s a brief scene of the events after the ending of the original.