Neko-Nin exHeart (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 01.07.2017

Review for Neko-Nin exHeart on PC

Since the Warring States period, the loyal shinobi have served their masters. Yura and Tama Fuuma, demi-humans from a remote ninja village, have pledged both body and soul to "Lord" Houjou Haruki. This is more than a little strange, seeing as how Haruki is just an average student. He lives in a middle-class house with his always-absent parents, not exactly the next Ieyasu Tokugawa. Regardless, his mundane life is quickly turned upside-down and inside out. Why is it that nothing ever turns out the way it should? Catgirl ninjas were once a teenage fantasy; now, they're a horrifying reality. Nin!

First off, praise must be given to Neko-Nin exHeart for its resolve. This is a visual novel that takes a silly concept and runs with it. There aren't any half-measures or shortcuts here. Yura and Tama are full-fledged catgirls, and they'll take every opportunity to remind both Haruki and the viewer of that fact. Expect a lot of purring, ear twitching, licking, and mewing. It's sickeningly sweet and nauseatingly adorable. The story is essentially a slice of life tale. Haruki tries to adapt to a new lifestyle, Yura and Tama fawn over him, and there's an unknown threat. It's serviceable and predictable, but much like fast food, it gets the job done.

What keeps this title from being another shallow excuse to show naughty bits? Perhaps it starts with the protagonist. He's a bit of a frustrating jerk. The ninjas are just trying to serve and protect him, but all he does is ignore them. It gets to the point where the poor girls are sleeping in a playground and it just breaks my… dammit. At this very moment, it's like the walls of my fortress of cynicism are being penetrated. The appearance of Yura and Tama is probably the first good thing to ever happen in Haruki's dreadfully dull life; the least he could do is treat them with kindness. Indeed, this is how the game functions; it takes full advantage of any weakness in one's defences. Before long, the shinobi's presence alone causes spirits to lift.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart on PC

Considering the relatively short length of this visual novel, the production values are quite high. The voice actresses put on an admirable performance, injecting a lot of life into these quirky characters. There aren't many CG scenes, but they're all exceptionally well-drawn. Another appreciated aspect is the wealth of "auto" settings. Usually when "playing" these types of games, the auto-mode isn't personally used, since it runs far too slowly. With this game, however, it's possible to customise the speed. It's easy to find a setting that allows for an almost entirely hands-free experience.

It goes without saying, but this game has H-content. The adult scenes are available via a DLC add-on. If the viewer is that attached to the characters, then, sure, go for it. Personally, there are some lines that just can't be crossed. Seriously, Tama calls Haruki "Onii-chan," and always refers to herself in third-person. That's just way too weird! Then again, what isn't weird about heavy moaning, followed by a passionate meow?

Anyway, this is another one of those relationships that moves too quickly. From the get-go, the girls can't seem to keep their paws (and tongues) off of the protagonist. This is a twisted conclusion to draw, but at least the tale is rarely boring. It's amusing just how absurd Haruki's predicament is. Maybe he was better off never meeting the ninjas. At least his life would have been peaceful. Oh, well.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Like root beer, Neko-Nin exHeart is so bubbly and cloying that it's almost vile. Yura and Tama's antics will cause viewers to shift their feelings from uncomfortable to heart-warming in as little time as it takes to snap their fingers. Despite these sudden shifts, they're liable to stick around and see the story to its end. The most frightening possibility is that they're likely to enjoy it. Sure, the high-quality artwork and solid presentation make for a pleasurable experience. There's just something so insidious about the whole affair. How deep does this rabbit hole go? After witnessing this spectacle, can someone still admit that they're the same person as they were before? …Nin.

Developer

Whirlpool

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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