National Park Girls Review
Studio Coattails and Sekai Project bring players to nature with their new visual novel National Park Girls. Featuring personified versions of some of our nation’s greatest treasures, should you set out to spend some time in nature?
National Park Girls Review
The freckled girl Zoe takes center stage of this visual novel. As a freshly minted park ranger, she has been given a second chance in this new role. After being dropped off by fellow ranger Jessie, she gets settled in her new outpost.
Everything seems to be normal until three girls make their appearance in her cabin. They’re not just any ladies though – Yosemite, Zion, and Yellowstone are human embodiments of their respective parks. They manage to have their own “quirks” too – Zion flies around, while Yellowstone has a geyser for a head.
This is admittedly a silly premise, and makes no sense when you think of it. However, the cutesy anime stylings make for a slice of life tale that entertains throughout its first episode. Some parts drag on a little bit – the act of making breakfast takes an eternity – but those who just go with the flow will enjoy getting to know this cast and crew. There are some nice flowery touches to the game as well, including moving portraits, solid art, and even a chibi-fied lesson on national parks at the end. The development team put a lot of work into this title, and it shows.
In true visual novel form, players will be doing a lot of reading throughout National Park Girls. Running for around two hours, there is a lot of dialog to process, along with a number of different characters. It’s not a silent affair though; the entirety of the title is voiced in English. The VAs are hit and miss – some characters skew on the kind of cutesy voices that you hear in dubbed moe anime, but it certainly adds to the title. The solid, if juvenile, script really drives these talents home.
It’s just a shame that this game doesn’t have a lot of “game” to it. There are no choices to speak of – everybody will have the same experience when all is said and done. In addition, only the first episode is included. There is still a decent arc that features enough action and a climactic moment to keep players occupied, but it’s akin to watching the first episode of an anime series rather than a whole arc. It’s not bad, and the low price point reflects this, but more would have most certainly been welcome.
National Park Girls successfully manages to combine slice of life antics with a truly unique concept. Though it skews on the side of cute, what is here is a solid (if brief) visual novel that will appeal to fans of the genre.
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