NekoPara Vol. 0 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 04.10.2015

Review for NekoPara Vol. 0 on PC

Pick any random visual novel, and chances are that it will be a harem one, like NEKOPARA Vol. 1, which, while similar to most of its kind, mainly targets the neko-loving demographic - those who find cat-girls adorable, and/or sexually attractive. However, before releasing Vol. 2, Neo Works decided to give a small spoonful of cat silliness, with NEKOPARA Vol. 0, a fanservice episode revolving around a typical day of the original's cuties. The result is small, quite cheap… and not that tasty, to be honest.

Japanese visual novels, and the ones that play/read them, are frequently misjudged. Similar to anime, a title can be deeply emotive and entertaining, and yet, that can be impossible to explain to the person that has just entered the room, only to witness a scene with four, adolescent-looking, naked girls taking a bath. Then again, why care? Haters are going to hate, right? The thing is that, sometimes, "haters" simply can't understand what the fuss is all about, like the NEKOPARA series, where the majority of reviews go along the lines of "I like cat-girls. This has cat-girls. I love it."

NEKOPARA Vol. 0 does indeed have cat-girls - six, extremely cute ones, to be precise. Should people love it just for that? No, because visual novels need something more, especially kinetic ones such as this, since they don't offer a branching story, or any sort of interactivity. On a further note, while this is actually Vol. 1's prequel, don't expect to learn more about the characters and their in-between relationships. This is just a simplistic, slice-of-life treat of a day in the lives of those girls while their master is absent.

Screenshot for NekoPara Vol. 0 on PC

Sure, not every visual novel has to be interactive, or have an actual plot, especially this one, which is super cheap, super small, and is just supposed to be cute and funny; not challenging, moving, or thought-provoking, just cute and funny. Unfortunately, this is only cute. The first scene, a perfect taste of things to come, shows Shigure, the sister of the original's protagonist, trying to wake Vanilla and Chocola up by tickling them. The girls are beautiful, in all their sugary glory, and their response to being tickled is hilarious, but can this be considered humour?

To put it simply, the entertainment value of this title relies in whether gamers can enjoy the girls and their antics, which, quite honestly, is similar to watching cat videos on YouTube; super cute and "funny" in a way, but certainly not worthy of having a price tag. Then again, this is supposed to have been made with fans of NEKOPARA Vol. 1 in mind, therefore, it should probably be viewed from that perspective, shouldn't it?

Screenshot for NekoPara Vol. 0 on PC

It turns out that, apart from the girls' shenanigans, this doesn't have enough content to be considered a decent fandisc (as it is labelled). For starters, the nekos, which were already one-dimensional to begin with, don't really use their character traits enough to make an impact. From Vanilla's coyness, to Cinnamon's pervy mind, things are way too subtle for a title that would be 10 times better had it embraced its silliness to the fullest. The exact opposite happens with Shigure's brother complex, which goes a "bit" over the line when she suggests showing some of her nude pictures to her brother's supposed love interest in order to ruin their relationship - the nude pictures of a child!

What else is there to do here? Most of the time it's possible to pause the dialogue sequence and pet the girls, which, depending on the body part touched, results in a slightly different reaction, but, once again, this only adds to the cuteness factor. Oh yeah, girls can also jump by pressing 'P,' which gives about… one second of jiggly entertainment - or more if the Breast Bounciness meter is set to full. That's right. A Breast Bounciness meter.

Screenshot for NekoPara Vol. 0 on PC

If there's one good thing to say about NEKOPARA Vol. 0, that would be the fact that it looks great. The obligatory visual novel bedroom-kitchen-street-bathroom scenes have pretty generic backgrounds, but the protagonists look fantastic; their colourful eyes, hair, and clothing pop out; their - very few - chibi appearances can lead to an insulin emergency; and the E-mote animation system, which makes everything semi-animated and 3D, brings them to life. Finally, apart from the mediocre music, the - Japanese-only - voice-acting is of very good quality, and subtitles are available in English and Japanese, as well as Traditional Chinese.

On a final note, those expecting an 18+ patch can keep on dreaming. Unlike the original's non-Steam version, this doesn't have any naughty stuff to stare at, apart from a bath scene, where the girls are completely naked, with the magic steam of censorship obstructing the view - or, in the case of Cinnamon's milkshakes, trying really hard to do so. That's all there is to be said about this game. It's an undoubtedly good-looking, yet very boring fetish item that only those desperately in love with nekos will appreciate.

Screenshot for NekoPara Vol. 0 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Just like some anime series that have an ecchi OVA, whose sole purpose is to give fans a dose of mindless guilty pleasure, NEKOPARA Vol. 0 is just an excuse to watch the cat-girls of the original do what they know best; look cute, do cute stuff, and worship their master. In other words, apart from those who are so in love with nekos that they don't mind the total lack of gameplay, plot, and actual humour, this should be avoided even by those who enjoyed the original - and no, the tiny price tag doesn't have the power to turn something boring into something enjoyable.

Developer

NEKO WORKs

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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