Cherry Tree High Comedy Club
Peppy, cheerful Miley Verisse wants nothing more than to start up her very own club in her school, but her former friend and now student council member Octavia Richmond is carrying a grudge a mile long and has no intention of making it easy. Miley just wants to follow in the footsteps of her idols and become one half of a new comedy duo, but the rules state that new clubs require a minimum of five members to start. With a deadline for the end of April just a month away, are Miley's dreams of comedic greatness over before they even begin? Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a unique, light-hearted game from 773, Nyu Media, and Capcom that delivers a blast of ultra-high energy sweetness to your day. Part adventure, part visual novel, part simulation, and all beautiful, light-hearted fun.
Miley needs three (or more!) new recruits by April 31st, so it's time to hit the pavement and track down likely candidates. Gameplay is split into three time periods, and during each one you'll be able to decide where to go and what to do. Potential members are all over town, but a winning smile will only get you so far. You'll need to buddy up to them and increase their Friendship Level to 5 to win them over to your cause, so make sure you spend time with them. Miley has the gift of gab, so you can participate in activities to boost her chat capabilities and charm people faster. Of course, different people are different things, so it's important to make sure our heroine is well versed on a variety of topics, from video games, to history, to travel, and much more. You can check out how suave Miley is by viewing her Repertoire in the menu when you hit [esc]. Additionally, you can perform a variety of part-time jobs to earn cash to spend on items to increase Miley's knowledge, or even just to pass the time. Just remember, you can only discuss each topic with a character once, so it might be a better idea to wait until Miley is stronger at a particular subject to get the most out of it.
During regular gameplay, use the [arrow] keys to move Miley (hold down [spacebar] to run) and press the [up] arrow in front of buildings to enter and [spacebar] to talk to people you're standing in front of. From the town map, you'll be able to travel to different locations where you can encounter different characters and story events. At Miley's dormitory, you'll be able to chat with her friend Harriet to save the game, but also work on... ugh... homework. The pencils represent the number of assignments she has left to complete. In addition to keeping her grades up, you'll also want to keep an eye on Miley's fatigue at the bottom of the screen and make sure she isn't running herself ragged. Just don't forget to keep an eye on the date; as new potential recruits become available, you'll want to prioritize winning them over. But don't give up! If Miley can't achieve her dreams, who knows what horrors the comedic world will have to make do with instead?
Analysis: If you're trying to find a game more aggressively energetic and cute than Cherry Tree High Comedy Club, well... good luck. From the vibrant presentation to the cheerful, wonderfully light-hearted story and concept, it's just the sort of game that makes you feel happy. It looks absolutely beautiful. Each of the potential recruits Miley can interact with have their own stories and personalities, and Miley herself makes for a particularly... dynamic lead, but it's nice to see how unexpectedly perceptive and caring she can be around her friends. The goofy jokes and overall tone of exuberant silliness won't be for everyone, but sometimes all you really want is to play a game that's trying its hardest to make you smile. It's chock full of anime and pop culture references, jokes, likable characters, and a whole lot of colour. If I could give some sort of award to this game for being like a shot of rainbow sprinkles in the eye, I would. It's very refreshing compared to some of the heavier titles around.
In a way, Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is structurally (and even rather stylistically) similar to Atlus's Persona series, specifically the two most recent titles. Only, uh. Without the deep soul searching, demons, and murder. If you've played Persona, then the relationship building mechanics will feel very familiar to you, and What this means is that Cherry Tree is at once both simple and yet surprisingly engrossing; the time can fly by before you realise it. In a way, this is also a bit of a curse. While the short game time demands you spend all your time interacting with people in a way that staves off repetition, it also makes the skill and homework mechanics feel a lot shallower and more like busywork. Especially since only being able to talk about something with any given person a single time is silly, even if the skills only serve as a boost to the standard chat option. The game's simple mechanics aren't necessarily a bad thing since it makes it a lot more approachable, but on the other hand players who crave deeper experiences will feel like there's some missed opportunity going on for it to be even bigger.
Light on drama but heavy on style and charm, Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a gorgeous, peppy gem for people who are looking for something different and friendly. While it definitely feels like some aspects of its mechanics are underdeveloped, it's still a perfect casual introduction to the genre and excellent relaxing gaming. At around three hours or so, it's a bit on the short side, although if you want to get all of the potential club recruits you'll probably want to play again. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, of sorts, or at least a strong implication that there's another installment coming somewhere down the road. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a lot of fun while it lasts... a light, occasionally unexpectedly touching treat that's perfect to brighten your day.
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Cherry Tree High Comedy Club
Basic Game Information
Days are split into three pieces: morning, afternoon, and evening.
Actions that pass time will move the day to the following time slot.
Actions that will pass time are marked with a green arrow at the bottom of the screen.
You must recruit three or more people to join the Comedy Club by April 31st.
You can explore the town to meet people and potential people to recruit.
Time spent with people will increase your friendship with them.
To be able to recruit, you must reach level 5 of friendship with a person.
When talking with a person, you can only use a topic one time during a chat.
To increase your catalogue of chatting options, you must read magazines, watch TV, see movies, and do other things to help provide topics.
You can and will need to buy items. At the start of the game you have $30.00.
You use your keyboard completely for the game.
Enter or the space bar will select an option.
Your arrow keys will scroll through things as well as make you move.
To run, press space bar while going left or right.
To talk with someone, walk on top of them and hit enter or the space bar.
Hit Esc if you don't want to do something or need to exit out of a screen.
You can save game progress by speaking with Harriet.
On your screen you will have a status menu which includes:
Fatigue: Eating or drinking will decrease fatigue, while doing activities will increase it.
Homework: Each pencil represents one homework assignment.
Recruits: You will have a total of six available recruits in the game.
There is a calendar to help keep track of the date.
There is an event tab to help remind you of any activity going on in the future.
The blue bar between the status and the town shows the names of shops or places and will indicate the needed arrow key movement to go in or out.
Hitting ESC will bring up a menu. The menu has a tab for repertoire, targets, items, and options.
Repertoire: Shows all the skills available and what your level is in each skill.
Targets: Shows the people you have so far found and targeted to recruit and the level of friendship you have with them.
Items: Shows all the items you have purchased, such as food or magazines.
Options: The options allow you to change text speed gradual to instant. You still can't skip the text altogether though. Also, you can adjust the volume of music and sound effects.
The circular gold items on the ground that look like coins can be either an empty bottle, dog droppings, or a magazine someone left behind. The empty bottles can be turned into Dina for money.
Cherry Hill Park: A hot spot that buzzes with people on the weekends.
The Campbell House: A traditional old house in a quiet residential area.
Cherry Tree High School: The protagonist's school. Library is open to the public.
Orchard Shopping Precinct: A nice, old shopping precinct.
Cherry Tree Station: A street of new stores.
In Front of Unity Dorm: Peaceful, residential area where the Unity Dorm is located.
At Unity Dorm (where you live) you can move between the first floor, Miley's room, and Harriet's room to start.
Different spots allow for different actions.
Desk: You can do homework from here or call a friend. Doing homework will finish one assignment. Calling a friend increases friendship level but you must be high enough level already in order to obtain the phone number of the friend.
Table: You can make jewelry or watch TV. Making jewelry earns you money but also increases your fatigue. Watching TV will increase chat skills in a specific area depending on the show watched.
Bed: You can read a magazine or go to bed early. You must have purchased a magazine in order to read it in bed. You can read a magazine multiple times but the skill level gain is decreased dramatically upon a second reading. Going to bed early greatly diminshes fatigue and leaves you feeling refreshed.
Prosperity Shrine: A historical shrine overlooking the town.
Port Garden: Has a museum where you can attend guest lectures for a fee or view the art exhibit for a fee. Guest lectures only occur on the weekend and change every week.
March 30th: Opening of Port Garden.
April 6th: A picnic in the morning.
New student in the dorm.
Likes talking about pets.
Is the son of Stan the Comedy man.
To unlock Curtis, you must first go to the Campbell House. Speak with Stan the Comedy Man.
Later, read a book in the library at the high school about the area. Do this by reading from the bookshelf.
Locate Curtis and speak with him.
Dislikes video games.
Located outside the Unity Dormitory by the Candy Shop.
Likes video games.
You meet her at the Port Garden opening.
Encounter him after Harriet informs you she feels like she's being stalked. Go to the front of the Unity Dorms to confront him.
Likes video games.
Posted by: Meaghan | May 14, 2012 3:44 AM