The Ten Worst VNs of 2017
1) Blossoms Bloom Brightest (ReineWorks/Dharker Studios)
Let’s just run the plot down together, shall we?
In this world, a secret organization has develop a race of women that can survive in space because they think the world is going to end within the next few hundred years. They then released most of their test subjects to the public, allowing them to live normal lives until kidnapping two of them for reasons not made clear by one of the test-tube babies who becomes one of the project’s leaders AKA the protagonist. After they are kidnapped, they are not allowed to leave the space ship or question the leader or chose NOT to participate or they will be killed. Oh, and you can romance either of these two to ensure they go along with the plan and to get your rocks off because, hey, might as well get laid since you’re all stuck together!
The most repulsive thing about Blossoms Bloom Brightest is that there were a million different ways to tell this story. It could have been a Men in Black situation where the girls were recruited and the game followed them in their early days of their training for the mission. ANOTHER more malevolent force, alien or human, could have kidnapped Kotoha and Sarah; allowing Erica to make the rescue and begin the plot from there. Literally ANYTHING would have been a better option than ‘the main character kidnaps two other girls, forces them along her spaceship and expects Stockholm Syndrome to keep them in line’.
You cannot write your way out of that hole, but there is merit in trying. The developers ditch that effort though and decide to just keep digging: playing keep away with the reason Erica did what she did for two-thirds of the game in favor of Slice-of-Life antics and that whole Stockholm Syndrome thing I mentioned earlier. Worst yet, Erica is framed as not only sympathetic, but right in her actions the entire game. This goes from insulting, to disgusting when you realize that since Erica is a goddamn psychopath, we have no reason to believe her. We don’t see anything in game to support her claims: we just see her using those claims to keep the others in line. Conveniently, when she’s finally able to tell them the truth, its too late to return to Earth. So, for all we know, Erika was just told to do everything possible to keep them on the ship and the rest she came up with herself.
This would make her a Complete Monster, yuri fans. And no; no amount of two girls kissing can cover for that.
But the final insult, the last slap in the face comes from the game’s publisher: our old friend AJ Tilley and Dharker Studios. Upon release of Blossoms Bloom Brightest, Tilley and Dharker promised it was only the appetizer for Galaxy Girls: this story but expanded and with better art for fanservice and loaded to the brim with storyline DLC to finally flesh out these terrible, terrible characters. So then, if this is the direction Dharker KNEW they were going in the first damn place, why does Blossoms Bloom Brightest exists at all? I have no clear answer and I’m not going to speculate. I WILL point out that the full Galaxy Girls game will run you around thirty bucks…IF you really think any of this has justified the price tag.
So there you have it. These are the worst of the year and anyone who saw my twitter feed when I played Blossoms Bloom Brightest knew this one was coming. I hope I never play its likes again….although that may be hoping to much.
Thank you. Fuck you. Bye.