Name: With You Toybox (30.00% in 3 votes)
Company: Cocktail Soft
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
It has been exactly one year since With You ~Mitsumeteitai~ was released. Famous for its enchanting love story, even after a year the popularity of WY hasn't gone down a bit, despite the fact that Cocktail Soft lost its trump card artist who are solicited by Leaf. One good evidence is the release of the Saturn version or WY, and also this collector's item: With You Toybox.
Similar to Pia Carrot Toybox, WYTB is a side-item to With You with lots of wallpaper and most importantly, mini games. Instead of the internet browser interface in Pia Carrot Toybox, WYTB uses a sim-city-like town interface where you go to various places in Sakurami (WY's setting) and do various stuff. The following is a *brief* rundown of what WYTB provides in no particular order, if you want full instructions, either read the rules in the game or email me:
W-Sisters CD Player
This is located outside WYTB and it's a CD player program like the one in Windows. However, it takes up a 640x480 screen running a continuous animation of the girls in WY holding a concert. It's a nice design but let's get to the reality of this thing. The purpose of a CD player program for most people is most likely play their favorite CD while they surf the net or do their work etc. Most likely people will minimize the CD player unless they want to change tracks etc. This means that the animation part of W-Sisters CD Player, although cute, in practical terms it's inefficient, unless you have lots of free time and stare at your monitor.
Naori no Hyper Udon
This is a minigame located in St. Elisa's lunch hall. Basically, Naori wants to eat all of the chef's delicious udon. What you do is at the bottom of the screen, get the meal coupon and run up to the counter and eat your udon. However, in between the coupon station and the counter are students running back and forth and Naori has to dodge them. If Naori gets hit her will to eat will decrease, and if it hits 0 it's game over. Note that in later stages there are lots of udon type to eat and you have to eat a certain 3 in order to proceed to the next level.
Manami-chan no NekoNeko Panic
This is a minigame located in the residential area. As you all know cats love to climb on top of trees or streetlights and stay at the top and possibly try to commit suicide by jumping (but they have 9 lives so...). Being a devoted lover of cats, Manami goes to catch the cats so they don't get hurt and that is the purpose of the game. It looks easy but it can get confusing if there are lots of cats that do vertical jumps and slanted jumps at the same time. If you can't catch 3 cats you lose a life and if you lose 3 lives it's game over. Note that the game is a loop, meaning if you go beyond the far right u will end up at the far left.
EBC News Scramble Special Edition
Miako, being an active member of St. Elisa Broadcasting, provides us with a special news coverage at the school. It contains coverage of various places in the main WY game as well as interviews with various sub characters. A majority of the coverage is like what you see in Japan TV - pretty wacky. It is best enjoyed if you put it in dramatic mode so it really looks like watching TV, but there isn't really much to it and the fact there is only one coverage means that you prolly won't watch it for a second time. ^^
Mini Adventure/Side Stories
Like Pia Carrot Toybox, WYTB provides side stories as well. Unlike Pia Carrot Toybox which has only one major side story, WYTB provides 4 short ones. Each of them mainly mainly portrays one of the sub characters, which is a good thing because many sub characters lack character development in the main WY story. However, it would still nice to see a new long main side story like Pia Carrot Toybox has, and also some of the 4 stories are getting out of hand that it does not relate to the main story at all. In terms of going through each story, treat it like a visual novel like WY because you won't see any minigame in the course of the story like in Pia Carrot Toybox.
Naori the (*this MUST be emphasised, WY experts will know why: part-time) miko will do some fortune telling for you at the temple, of course in the japanese style. Obviously this is totally randomly generated by computer so don't depend on it. However, I suspect that the luck of each reading you get might affect the luck in the minigames you play in WYTB....
Basically the Music Mode, you can go to Manami's bedroom and use her stereo and listen to the music in WY. However the most important part of this is that this section contains recorded interviews of the main voice actors in WY, so if you want to know more about these voice actors/actresses you should listen to the radio on the stereo. Playback of these interviews is available in the MD playback function.
Haneru! Keiji Gotouda - The Worst 3 Days in the History of S.P.S
Gotouda, the policeman in WY finally gets his own star appearance in this minigame located at the shopping mall. It's very similar (and simplified) to those gun shooting arcade games like House of the Dead, Time Crisis etc. Basically you shoot targets by clicking your mouse and reload bullets when you run out. However, the story, like some of the side stories, is getting out of hand...to prevent spoiling the plot, please go play the game yourself. Note that there is a limited # of continues of this minigame.
Basically it's a quiz game where Miako will ask you question on various subjects from history to geography to western culture to questions about WY and WYTB to other Cocktail Soft games. If you answer incorrectly, your cute little sister Noemi will get harrassed somehow. If you answer 3 questions wrong it will be game over. This quiz question can be extremely hard for non-100% Japanese literates, because 1. don't know Japanese history/geography and 2. Even if they ask questions about western culture, it will take time for us to translte the katakana to real english. Like the shooting game, there is a limited # of continues.
The Legendary Archangels - Card Survivor
This is prolly the most enjoyable and most funny/wacky part of WYTB. Basically every major and minor character in WY will fight each other like street fighter but attack with cards. If you have played Plum/Great's Wrestle Angels series, the game follows the same engine, so for people who have played Wrestle Angels (like me) should be able to adapt to the game engine very easily. If not, it will take too long for me to explain the rules and game engine here, but there is a HTML help file on the CD on the rules. You start off playing the plots of the 3 sub-characters Noemi, Miako and Saeko. After you complete all 3 you can play the plot of X-Manami and the mysterious Saint Angel. After that you can select any player you want. The game in general is pretty fun and sometimes challenging coz of pretty good AI. However, like the side stories, the story is getting *extremely* out of hand even though it's pretty damn funny and wacky (depsite the fact that it states it's entirely fictional). What's most humorous is each character's final limit break attack....you have to see yourself.
Besides these mini games there are lots of wallpapers for you to choose from but sadly they are generally not as glamorous as the ones in Pia Carrot Toybox (probably because Cocktail Soft lost their trump card artists). In addition there is a desktop Manami Clock accessory where Manami can say out the time for every minute or hour.
Overall, compared with Pia Carrot Toybox, overall WYTB is a better misc. product simply because it has much more to do. However, WYTB does suffer the disadvantage of losing their trump card artists doing their artwork, as well as the fact that many storylines are way too off course to the main WY story. In terms of the "imitation" artwork, the newly drawn WY art, although not 100% the old insane style, are still in really really nice quality and it's a good imitation to the trump card artist style ^^. Nevertheless, With You Toybox is a must get for With You fans. The price is 5800 yen, which less than the cost of an orignal Hgame, but not as inexpensive as Pia Carrot Toybox which is in 4000's. My point is, for its low(er) price, it's worth getting as a collector's item.
PROS: Much more minigames than in Pia Carrot Toybox. Many are fun and wacky and can last for a long time. Forgot to say that the game is in full voice acting as well, as well as a CD-audio track of the full version of With You's opening song.
CONS:Wallpapers are not as glamorous as Pia Carrot Toybox. Lack a major side story like in Pia Carrot Toybox. Many plots in WYTB are way too off course to the main WY storyline. CD Player not too practical.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: With You ~Mitsumetetai~ fans.
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