Sugar * Style

Finished Sugar*Style, gonna write some thoughts since I remember seeing someone asking about it a few threads ago. 

I liked the dorm/vocational school setting, I think it was used pretty well at least during the common route. The common route was enjoyable with the usual SMEE gags, made better by the fact that all the heroines in this game can be described as ノリがいい and have good chemistry with the MC. The 男の役割 system, in which you choose between 4 "roles" for how the MC contributes to the dorm, changes what events you get during the common route, which made replaying the game 4 times more interesting than the usual "hold-ctrl through common". 

The actual routes and romance parts in general were a bit disappointing compared to their past titles. I'm not sure if it's connected to Hayase Yuu being listed as director instead of scenario writer, but I found the writing a lot weaker. Although the games that Hayase Yuu wrote for all basically had the same formula, he used that formula well. I didn't get that same level of enjoyment from the writing of this game, although Ichika's route was close. One thing in particularly that bothered me was the hints and references to the MCs past and his family throughout the game, which wasn't really ever expanded upon. Same goes for the plotline of him joining the school in order to find his own passion, which is treated more like an afterthought than a main part of the the story in most of the routes. MC's role in general was done better in previous titles. 

Still, the heroines of this game are great, which is why I was compelled to finish all of their routes. Some of the BGM tracks are fantastic and the art is also decent, better than making lovers and kanojo step at least. I loved Ichika's seiyuu, who I only noticed afterwards also voiced Senri from PriministAr, another one of my favorite heroines. Basically, play this game if you're someone who enjoyed their past titles, for the token comedy and the heroines, i.e. the reasons you read SMEE games in the first place. My ranking for the routes is Ichika >>> Kaname > Mao >> Hare. 

SMEE games are really a guilty pleasure of mine, especially as a sort of 癒し between reading heavier games. I'll be pretty sad if they ever stop making games like this.