Neko-Nin exHeart 2 (PC) Review

By Colin Beauchamp 27.05.2018 1

Review for Neko-Nin exHeart 2 on PC

It's easy to be a bit cynical when it comes to these types of visual novels. Visual novels receive lots of flack in general, but this eroge subgenre in particular tends to get the brunt of it due to criticisms of overreliance on common tropes, forgettable plots, and often a lack of actual substance. On the contrary, it could be argued that dismissing a visual novel on the basis of it containing cat-girls could cause you to miss out on some legitimately well written stories that are in fact worth reading. Is NEKO-NIN exHeart 2 worth your time, then?

In case you were unable to tell, this game is very niche and is meant to appeal to an incredibly specific audience. It's written towards those who enjoy (and/or are aroused by) the presence of cat-girls, which is, as you could probably guess, a combination of human girls and cats. As a sequel to NEKO-NIN exHeart, there is some potential to build off of the foundation and world-building of that to make an engaging story beyond "cat-girls do cute things all day" and perhaps even disprove the stigma that these are low-quality titles without any meaningful plot.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart 2 on PC

If you haven't played the first, though, there's a handy summary of it on the title screen. The basis of NEKO-NIN exHeart 2's plot is set around a high schooler named Haruki who lives with two ninja cat-girls, Tama and Yura, who are dedicated to serving him. It sounds like a perfect life, until trouble arises when a mysterious rabbit-girl named Maya (in case you wanted to see more than just cat-girls), who has amnesia, shows up. As Haruki takes her in to keep an eye on her in case she turns out to be an enemy ninja, tensions rise across all of the characters.

Well, perhaps saying that tensions rise is a bit much. It's mostly used to throw more instances of cute girls doing cute stuff, similarly to the first entry, this time with the addition of a rabbit-girl. There are a few moments where it looks like something serious is about to happen that will take the story in an intriguing direction, but it always ends up being played safe and then goes right back to more cute stuff.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart 2 on PC

The fact that things get played safe so frequently is what stops this VN from being more interesting than it is, actually. There's one moment where it seems like a character is seriously injured, only for it to turn out that said character was actually hungry and everything's fine. Any semblance of suspense during these moments loses all impact immediately when you realise that the story is never actually going to go through with any threatening situation it presents, so it begs the question of why the drama gets piled on so hard in the first place.

Similar to the original, NEKO-NIN exHeart 2 is fairly short and has few choices presented to you during the story (none of which seemingly affect the ending), but it works fine for what it's trying to accomplish. It's worth noting that the game does have sex scenes that have been cut from the Steam version, unless you are willing to pay for a patch off-site to put them back in. Without this patch, you are just going to have to settle for a character eating a banana while muttering various euphemisms that shall not be mentioned here. Riveting.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart 2 on PC

One thing that does deserve credit is the presentation. The artwork is nicely drawn (a lot of it is reused from the first, but that's understandable enough), and there's tons of voiced lines. You can even record certain voice acted lines to store in a voice test mode, which is neat. It's a shame that the rest of the story is so generic and uninteresting; it's certainly not terrible, but it's a far cry from being a great piece of literature. Perhaps it's a bit much to ask for that, since it could be argued that this isn't the type of experience you go into expecting a fantastic story in the first place. It's just that the world-building is actually interesting enough that it could lead to good things if the game went all out with it and offered some bolder storytelling.

Screenshot for Neko-Nin exHeart 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

NEKO-NIN exHeart 2 isn't notably awful, but it's unmemorable and bland nonetheless. Due to the experience's predictable nature, there's a lack of engaging plot points. It looks and sounds nice, but the writing simply isn't enough to make the game stand out. It's hard to recommend this to anyone outside of the target demographic, but if you are in that demographic and liked the first game then sure, give this one a look. Otherwise, though, you won't lose much by skipping this.

Developer

Whirlpool

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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   

Comments

How does the game even seqway into the sex scenes?

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