Name: Twinkle Revue (76.25% in 8 votes)
Company: Fairy Tale
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
One of the *many* reasons why girls spend hours and hours dolling up themselves when they go out is not only to look their best, but to make the HIGHLY UNLIKELY event of some hollywood star scout asking you to be the star of the next sitcom or movie more likely than just 0.001%...
You play the role of a active manager of a production company. One day your boss orders you to go out and find the "star of tomorrow." However, you will not be walking around the streets looking for pretty girls...
On an isolated island down south which is only accessible by boat lies a talent development institution called Twinkle Actress School. There, girls take lessons that pertain to their acting careers. Your job is to sneak into there as an undercover and find potential candidates for your boss. The only person there who knows your true identity is your ex-trainee Sanae who is now the dorm director. Besides her, there are 5 girls that catch your attention: Nozomi who is Sanae's niece, Mayu who is the sister of a really famous star, Hiziri whose voice can make her a famous singer, Shizuya who has a great potential to be a beautiful model, and Mamiko who is talented in voice acting.
You will stay for 3 weeks, and during your stay you will take lessons with girls and communicate with them and get as much data as possible so you can report to your boss. On the system screen there is a bunch of profile data for your to discover for each girl, ranging from "what kind of food do you like" to "what type of boyfriend do you prefer" which of course should not be asked at the beginning. In addition each girl has 3 parameters to look out for: Trust, Love and Impression which is the average of the first 2. As you talk to each girl you will be given choices to respond. Obviously if you select the most appropiate choice not only will you get the profile data you want but also lead to a better conversation. Doing so will increase your Trust parameter. However, if you want to raise the Love parameter you need to use a special system called Twinkle Nabi System. Each day you are given 3 hearts to use during conversation. If you use one heart, one of the choices will change to a half-flirt response which will raise your Love parameter if you choose to respond that way. By the end of your stay you can choose which girl to be your candidate for your company. If your Trust parameter is high enough, you will get the ending with the girl getting accepted by the company which leads to her debut. If your Love parameter is high enough, you will get the dating/love/marriage ending. It is possible to get both endings at once but that requires a bit of challenge beacuse you need to balance out your responses and Twinkle Nabi's in order to raise both Trust and Love parameters.
The game overall is pretty damn interesting with a quite innovate background story. Graphics-wise it's lovely. With the artists from Palette and Virtual Call responsible for the character design, all the girls look really cute and adorable. Class animations are really cute, and I like these ones better than the ones in Pia Carrot and Comic Party. The game is well done in terms of music as well. The opening song is pleasing to listen to, and what's best about the music is that depending on the girl you have the ending with, the ending song will change. If you score Mayu, she will sing the ending song, but if you score say Shizuya, she will sing her own theme song. Oh, did I tell you that F&C will release in January 2000 a special edition of the game with full-chorus version of each song in it? That means I should have waited because each song is really nicely done.
The system is pretty nicely done too. With 4 quick-save and 8 auto-save spots in addition to the 8 regular-save spots means you can easily go back anytime. The best thing about this game is prolly the rewards you will get once you clear it. Like all FairyTale games since Lipstick Adventure EX, every game has a special site within F&C domain what is password protected and the game will give you the password once you finish the game, and with the password you can get some small presents for finishing the game (as a reward). In addition to this, the Omake function in Twinkle Revue is prolly one of the most well designed (if not THE) I have ever seen. Besides the expected music, CG mode and event replay modes, you can have extra chat with each girl for a short interview which is in fact some kind of staff comments. You can also challenge Sanae for a game-related quiz, and your reward will be extra CGs in the gallery. The best thing of all is the Omake Scenario function, which is a collection of rather humorous side-stories. If you can understand each character well and love side-stories (like me) you are in for a real treat. Another interesting thing is that each omake function has a girl introducing it and you can respond or flirt with them.
With a innovate background story, gorgeous graphics, different songs, lots of end-of-game goodies, are there drawbacks to this game? Not alot really, ignoring the obvious click-click issue for now. I think the game is a bit too easy. Choosing the correct response is not hard is you know decent Japanese, but the Twinkle Nabi System makes the response a dead-giveaway since the half-flirt response is highlighted and any person will know which response to pick. Moreover, the fact that you can choose to stick with the same lessons the girl is taking makes the game more easier. In addition, I'd say that each girl's story, although decent, could use a ~slight~ bit of work.
When I play Twinkle Revue, it feels like playing Palette which is released a year ago. Overall, if you like Palette, you will love Twinkle Revue. With gorgeous graphics, pleasing songs, a rich omake function, this "idol scout game" is prolly one of the best H-AVGs for the 1999-2000 winter season.
PROS: Gorgeous graphics, innovative concept background story, different ending theme songs, prolly the best omake function I have ever seen in any japanese game.
CONS: The idea of the Twinkle Nabi System, although fresh, makes the game a bit too easy.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: Virtual Call and Palette fans, people who want a light (non-hardcore) H-AVG, people who love to read funny side-stories.
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