Name: Little Busters! / リトルバスターズ!
Genre: Romance Adventure Game
Official release date: 27th July, 2007
Price: 8800 yen
Compatible OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
Ok, keeping the introduction short so I can get on with the demo part. Little Busters! is the 6th visual novel produced by Key and will be for all age, which means there will be no ero scenes in it at all. What? Complaining about the lack of ero scenes? Hey, I don’t give a crap as long as the characters and story are interesting, if you want ero scenes, either wait for a sequel to Little Busters! like they did with CLANNAD through Tomoyo After or look elsewhere for your ero needs.
The demo is relatively short and the majority of the space required by the demo is because of the OP movie. The OP itself is also titled “Little Busters!” and sung by Rita. In comparison to the other OPs of Key’s works, for example Tori no Uta and Last Regret, I would have to say that while the general ambience fits the game relatively well, Rita’s voice didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. If anything, I would say that it is kind of plain, but I will reserve my final judgement until I have access to the complete game and completed all the routes.
The demo starts off with Masato (真人) charging into the room and declaring to his room mate Riki (理樹) that a fight was about to begin inside the dormitory. It is perhaps Concerned about the entire thing, Riki rushes out of his room and finds out that there was a huge crowd of onlookers that had gathered in the canteen. Masato was apparently having a fight with Kengo (謙吾). Masao takes a swing at Kengo, but the attack was evaded and resulted in the destruction of the table behind.
Kengo counterattacks with his shinai and leaves a crossmark wound on Masato’s chest. Riki asks the onlookers to stop the fight and they told him to stop it himself instead. Riki ended up waking up Kyousuke (恭介), who was sleeping somewhere and told him to break up the fight between the two since he was the leader of the group and older than them. Agreeing, Kyousuke stands up and states the rules of the fight – all the onlookers are to dump anything that can be used as a weapon into a box, even trivial and useless stuff. Masato and Kengo will then have to fight with whatever object that they extracted from the box. His logic was that it will be be less dangerous than fighting with fists and shinai. I have no idea how that works, but ok…Kengo gets a BB pistol and Masato gets a…cat. Yeah, a cat. A cat, as a weapon. Brilliant.
And so, the battle begins between the two. Kengo shoots at Masato’s eyes with the BB gun while Masato…eh…sends out his cat to scratch Kengo…He also finally realizes that it was the cat fighting and not himself. Half way through the battle, Kyousuke’s sister Rin (鈴) busts in and high kicks Masato for using the cat as a weapon. Fast forward pass the boring explaination on the cause of the fight…Rin gets pissed over Masato’s use of a cat as his weapon and decides to teach him a lesson.
The second fight begins with Rin using a three section staff (三節棍) and Masato uses an…unagi pie. Unagi pie. As a weapon. RIP, Masato, RIP, you are going to get OWNED. After the fight, Riki flashes back to the day when his parents died and when he met his group of friends, the self-styled Little Busters, the allies of justice that punishes evil. Riki was basically recruited into the group to deal with a strong enemy, which was a bee hive. Covering himself with honey, Masato charged towards the hive in order to distract the bees with a warcry. In the meantime, Kengo sprays at the bees with insecticide as Kyousuke sets it aflame with a lighter, burning bees and Masato with the makeshift flamethrower. It created a large ruckus as ambulance and firetrucks rushed to the scene, also securing a newspaper article that focuses on their exploits. This also marks the end of the demo.
To be totally honest, I certainly wasn’t expecting a RPG-ish element to be present in Little Busters! The status window gave me a huge WTF while also amusing me at the same time. Its purpose was soon explained by the fight between Masato and Kengo. However, as this is only a demo, it could either be a strong plot tool of the story or just a minor point in the full version. The entire relaxing and silly atmosphere also reinforced my impression of the game as a light-hearted visual novel that will be focusing on the element of friendship. In a way, it is comparable to CLANNAD in many aspects. The character, Masato for example also strongly reminds me of Sunohara Youhei from CLANNAD with the same rash attitude and boke role. The BGM also fits the scenes very well and creates an appropiate atmosphere for character introduction and highlighting special events. The character designs are certainly unique, if not bending towards outright weird and even slightly cliche, but as I had said before, this is ultimately, only a demo version and I can only make an informed and final judgement after playing through the full version in order to be fair.