If My Heart Had Wings (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 20.09.2019

Review for If My Heart Had Wings on Nintendo Switch

If My Heart Had Wings is a pretty textbook kind of romantic visual novel. In fact, if someone were to describe it in one brief phrase that would simply be "just a visual novel" - or, more specifically, "just a visual novel, which also happens to deal with gliders and stuff." Sounds interesting? Take a look at the Nintendo Switch version, then, which puts this light-hearted, slice-of life drama/date-sim on your hands, courtesy of MoeNovel.

It's been years since Aoi last visited his hometown. Now that he is back, and because visual novels, his mother made him dorm... err, dad of an all-girl dormitory, which is filled with all the healthy, nutritious tropes expected: the childhood friend with the naughty humour, the slightly tsundere girl, the more mature one, and because, well, hard to imagine why, two very, very, very young-looking twins. In other words, this is your typical date-sim kind of deal, where besides enjoying the story and character development, you are also meant to flirt around a bit.

Similar to any other Western port, the Switch one has removed all H-scenes, which, depending on one's taste, may or may not be a bad thing. What is definitely bad, however, is that the censorship has gone a bit too far, removing far more than it should, with the result being devoid of any kissing, or sexually suggestive lines of dialogues, apart from a few, more "safe" ones - "my, what big... eyes you have!" and all that nonsense.

Screenshot for If My Heart Had Wings on Nintendo Switch

The good news is that this is actually far better in its "innocent" form, especially since there are two, uncomfortably child-like lasses between all those nicely-developed teens. Moreover, the game's strength lies not in how titillating it is (because it's not at all), but more in how, through some very good writing, manages to make you feel a connection to the characters... at least some of them... ok, only one of them, Amane Mochizuki; tall, busty, kind-hearted, intelligent, and a klutz, how can anyone resist?

Kidding aside, while all cast members are pretty stereotypical, both in behaviour and design, they are quite likable, plus more complex than they initially look, if only by a small margin. One minor note, is how Kotori's disability is handled in such a way that it almost doesn't exist. The fact that she is confined in a wheelchair is an element that definitely has its use story-wise, but it's refreshing to see a game that doesn't focus too much on it, as it feels substantially less manipulative that way. It could definitely be used more, but it is nice how, when you think 'Kotori,' you won't instantly think "that girl in the wheelchair."

Screenshot for If My Heart Had Wings on Nintendo Switch

It's also important to note that this is mostly a dramatic tale that leans more towards the optimistic side of the scale, or at least the bittersweet one, so those expecting some overly dark tale, better look elsewhere. The visuals are the perfect analogy. Locations in VNs are rarely ever bleak or dirty, and that tradition continues here as well, with the - sadly, very few - backdrops being extremely squeaky clean, and with the whole thing looking as if it takes place in an eternal, spring morning, with vibrantly coloured grass hills, bright blue skies, and a couple of semi-futuristic structures sprinkled around.

A great emphasis is given on a parallel story of sorts, which deals with the 'Soaring Club' Aoi and the girls are all members of, which is dedicated to the creation and flying of a glider plane. It's a pretty weird choice for the side-story of a romantic visual novel, but this actually helps the narrative, capturing the beauty of flight, and adding to character development while at it, as each girl approaches the task in a different way altogether.

Screenshot for If My Heart Had Wings on Nintendo Switch

Here's the deal, though. When If My Heart Had Wings talks, it talks a lot. Literally everything, from getting to know the girls, to crafting and flying your glider, takes way too long to get moving. Case in point, the very first choice you'll have to make (amongst the very few available), will not appear before hitting the 10-hour mark, with your first play-through lasting about 25, with not much happening during that very long time. Even worse, some routes cannot be followed if you haven't completed the mandatory, wheelchair gi... err, Kotori one.

This can't be emphasised enough. This is an extremely slow burn. Annoyingly so. There are longer VNs out there, but these tend to have a bit more complex plots, and characters, not to mention, far more routes to follow. On the technical side of things, while If My Heart Had Wings doesn't use any "modern" tricks, this port is fine and all, with the only problem being how opening up the log freezes everything for three seconds or so, something that occasionally happens when skipping dialogue, which is pretty weird for such a light product - nothing game-breaking, though.

Screenshot for If My Heart Had Wings on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

If My Heart Had Wings is an entertaining, slice-of-life, light romance/comedy tale, which, strangely enough, also delves with the creation and flying of a glider plane, and even succeeds in making that part entertaining. That being said, this will probably only appeal to fans of the genre and no one else, as it's a somewhat generic choice for a visual novel. Even fans, however, should expect something that takes a bit too long for anything to get going. Prepare yourself for lots and lots of reading, which can eventually put you to sleep.

Developer

MoeNovel

Publisher

MoeNovel

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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