Adventure of a Lifetime (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 10.10.2018

Review for Adventure of a Lifetime on PC

As far as premises go, Adventure of a Lifetime is as typical as a coming of age story can be. In returning to the Ogasawara Islands after a four year absence, protagonist Hiroki Mizuno finds himself in a love triangle of sorts between his childhood friend, Chisa, and a new girl he met on his voyage over, Emily. Conceptually, it's about what one would expect. Where Adventure of a Lifetime differentiates itself is in how fast paced and light on drama it is. Rather than playing a straight up love triangle, the three characters form a genuine friendship with romance on the backburner, along with the narrative featuring little to no fluff, resulting in a fresh take on the coming of age story.

As basic a coming of age story Adventure of a Lifetime seems, it does, to its credit, open with a fairly introspective introduction that manages to set a reflective tone for the rest of the visual novel. Hiroki looks back on a sea he's no longer familiarised with and almost laments the passage of time. There's a clear sense of nostalgia imbued in the novel's opening, and it never quite goes away, which is fitting all things considered.

Coming of age narratives are, in a sense, inherently nostalgic. They take a look back on what it means to be young, along with the nuances of growing up. Hiroki's story is really no different in that regard. Life moved on while he was gone from the Ogasawara Islands and this summer vacation is his chance to reconnect to a feeling, a people, and a setting that once meant so much to him.

This theme of reconnection, or even just basic connection, is explored through the novel's two co-leads: Chisa and Emily. Chisa is the aforementioned childhood friend, whereas Emily serves as a breath of fresh air for Ogasawara, at least so far as Hiro's arc is concerned. They are both rather simple archetypes for both the genre and medium, but the characters ultimately work in favour of the story due to how they are written.

Rather than playing up the romantic angle that most visual novels and coming of age stories do, Adventure of a Lifetime instead plays into a core friendship for the three main characters. This allows both Chisa and Emily to exist outside of just Hiro's context, while giving them more character interactions than they would otherwise have if they existed solely to be love interests for Hiro.

Screenshot for Adventure of a Lifetime on PC

Hiroki himself is mostly on the plain side, despite how well established he is. He does grow and have an arc, but Chisa and Emily are the real focuses of the experience. This doesn't mean Hiro is a bad protagonist, however. He's perfectly serviceable in the role and brings enough insight to keep the read-through enjoyable.

As for the writing, the editing can be rather hit or miss. There are some instances of less than ideal grammar or spelling decisions, but the prose is, for the most part, solid enough. There are bouts where the script taps into some genuinely great dialogue or introspection, but the majority of the read, like Hiro, is just fine. Nothing is particularly groundbreaking, but the writing isn't offensive, either.

Adventure of a Lifetime is at its best when it's crafting a scene. The soundtrack invokes a genuinely nautical atmosphere that pairs well with the script's sense of nostalgia. On top of that, the use of crisp blues makes for a stylistically pleasant read through with plenty of ambience thanks to some great sound design in so far as the sound effects.

The visual novel isn't exempt from bouts of fan service, which do feel all the more out of place here given how much tact is given to the subject matter, but it's all mostly harmless. It helps that any moments that come off as padding are done away with rather quickly. Adventure of a Lifetime goes by at a brisk pace and it's absolutely for the better. There's virtually no wasted time in the story, allowing for the narrative to move as naturally as possible. The plot itself does lean more into the slice of life angle, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the relaxing tone does ultimately make sense for the story Adventure of a Lifetime is telling.

Screenshot for Adventure of a Lifetime on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

What Adventure of a Lifetime lacks in excitement, it makes up for in a well-paced plot framed through a rather introspective lens. Hiroki isn't a particularly engaging protagonist, but he's not so bland as to detract from the story or lacks in an arc, and both Chisa and Emily, the visual novel's co-leads, feature plenty of characterisation to move the story along. Where Adventure of a Lifetime really shines, however, is in its sound design. The entire read is scored by a nautical sound that genuinely brings the Ogasawara Islands to life. Adventure of a Lifetime could have done with a tighter script, but it nonetheless makes for a solid, if a bit light, read with just enough to take away.

Developer

MoeNovel

Publisher

Playism

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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