I hate visual novels. Even more than the fact that visual novels exist, I hate the Ren’Py engine that’s used to write them. “Thanks to Ren’Py, an army of not-so-great game developers has broken into the gaming industry, and thanks to the simplicity of the engine, they’re still churning out clone games every week.
Digging through all this Ren’Py madness is a real treat, especially when you don’t like the genre itself. I don’t like it when a game doesn’t actually have a…game. But even in games like this you can still get pretty good ones, take The Wind’s Disciple. One of these games is Melody.
Plot in Melody and gameplay
As visual novels are usually unable to offer any gameplay at all, these games focus on the story.
The protagonist is a middle-aged musician who has a bad marriage. His wife drives him out of the house, takes away his car and leaves us only the basic necessities, well, and guitar, which recently GM gave her as a gift. Now we’re broke and living at a friend’s house.
In an attempt to earn extra money, the protagonist even decides to sell the guitar, and here’s the twist – the buyer is an attractive woman, and also offers us a job. The job is to teach musical arts to her young daughter named Melody. That’s where it all starts…
Melody, although the main, but far from the only girl in the game. From the very beginning of the game a whole bunch of girls of all kinds are dumped on the GM. You’ve got the redheaded neighbour, Melody’s girlfriend, the friend’s little sister, and many more, including, of course, our ex-wife.
The gameplay is very simple and is based on right or wrong answers, that lead the hero to one or another story arc and scene. Here the developers have cheated a bit – despite the abundance of choices in the local dialogues, we actually have little effect on anything. The only important character in the game is Melody, she has a scale of trust and relationships, all the other devs lack this, which is strange, because their storylines are not any shorter than the main one.
The final relationship with Melody will essentially determine the ending. Nevertheless, don’t openly throw yourself at everyone, as the game is very fond of pushing the hero to the game-over, which will happen if Melody is not the ‘main’ choice for the character.
The game has good, by the standards of the short story genre, graphics, but it’s not the one that will catch your eye. With a title like this, it would be a shame not to have a beautiful soundtrack. In the course of the tutorial, our mentee often sings very beautiful songs… I don’t know if the songs were recorded specifically for Melody, but they sound so worthy that sometimes you want to compile a separate playlist to listen to in the future.
I’m used to Ren’Py’s copycat games resembling each other like two peas in a pod. But I do not remember that these games once had 3D animation (and when it was there, it would be better not to have it). In fact the fact that folks at Ren’Py love to shove their static images to me mostly and scared me off. There was a feeling that the screen is simply rubbed plastic people. In Melody, the developers have…made an effort. Every scene has not only art with the right angles to the charms, but also pretty good 3D animation of the key sexy moments.
Almost all of the erotic scenes in the game look very juicy and natural. There are some minor flaws in the form of simplified or speeded up animation in places, but they do not interfere with the overall mood of the game. Given the huge number of erotic scenes, Melody is quite suitable for “stress relief” or raising the “mood”.
Overall a solid 4 ❤❤❤❤ fapability out of 5. If the game had interesting storytelling mechanics that mimicked the player’s presence, it would have been a 5.
A little about the downside of the game
I never thought I’d complain about it – but Melody is incredibly drawn out. It took me over 20 hours to get through the game, even though I skipped a lot of the dialogue. And there’s a lot of dialogue, as well as completely unnecessary choices in them. If you pass the entire game thoughtfully reading the text – get tired, as from reading a giant book. It’s a bit of a shame, as the plot in Melody is really not bad, romantic, but…full of water.
Many choices, especially on secondary characters, contain no choices at all – just a “kiss” button, a “touch ass” button, etc. Maybe the writers simply didn’t want us to miss important aspects of seducing the heroines, dunno.
The cool soundtrack during Melody’s musical performances outside of those very performances is replaced by ridiculous musical accompaniment in the vein of The Masked Show or the Sims series of games. Personally, it made me want to mute the game again, since the characters aren’t voiced here anyway, even in the erotic content.
The disadvantages listed above are more than offset by a lot of pluses. Definitely recommend it – all the girls in the game are sweet, walk your hand off…you get the idea. The game more than copes with its entertainment duties. Despite the fact that Melody is a visual novel, I can pretty much call it…a game I enjoyed. Well Melody herself can even get attached to the game in the process.