Name: A I R (90.00% in 3 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: Yang Sei Fu
(Not exactly) Shortly after the release of Kanon from Key Studios, another masterpiece was released one year after that. The piece "AIR" focuses on Summer, as to the previous games that Key (and Tactics) did in the past, such as "Kanon" for Winter, "ONE ~Kagayaku no Kisetsu" for Autumn, and now "AIR" for Summer (In 2003, "Clannad" will be released on the theme of Spring).
The story focuses on a wandering youth (Kunisaki Yukito), who is in search of a winged female. He as a traveller does not have much skills nor funds, and sustains himself by large rice balls and performing his special ability -- controlling a doll given by his mother by psychokinetic abilities.
One day, he arrives in a seaside hamlet (small town) and decides to take a rest and search for the winged girl, and paused for a lunch (a large, plain rice ball), when a girl sat beside him...
The story branches off into 3 main female characters, each with their own unique (not to mention tragic) plots.
With Kamio Misuzu (the girl that approached you in the beginning), Kirishima Kano (A short, sky blue-haired self-claimed psychic girl) and Toono Minagi (A "cold", long-haired quiet girl in the Meteorology / Astronomics club), Yukito's summer story is about to unfold a very interesting part...
After all 3 storylines are completed, Yukito's past will be revealed, and you will discover why Yukito was seaching for the winged girl, as you explore Yukito's ancestor's romantic experience 1000 years ago(spoiler!) with Kanna. A story of romance, tragedy and exile, discrimination and tears, Air brings out a person's emotional tempest, as joyous times are mixed with with non-stop tearful action in the storyline, and the solution to end the misery of the girl may not be a nice one for yourself. Afterall, you(Yukito) are only a person passing by...
Overall, the media mix in this visual novel is impressive, mixing the emotional and direct (not to mention sad) music created by Key Studios and feature artist Orito Shinji, and the mind-impressing and unique style of artwork that screams "KEY STUDIOS", credit to Asae Jyun, the game delivers an unspeakable rating to it from the critics.
Control -- 9/10. It's a visual novel. Point and click. Unless you THAT much of a klutz, then use the save feature...(scorns). Also, to get the storyline(for a specific ending), you basically have to get all your choices correct.
Graphics -- 8.8/10. It's Key, reasons stated above. Need I say more? (Actually, some people say that the girls look underage because of the style, but it's personal preference, ne?)
Story -- 10.5/10. Unless you hate tragedies, you will love this storyline. Key makes their stories "great" by creating tragic events and emotional rollercoasters. Even if you don't like it, just prepare a box of tissues and play away. You'll clap at the end for their brilliance.
Music -- 11/10. Although no voice unless it's the DC or PS2 version, the music (on 2 CD's or MP3) is something that you can pop into your MP3/CD player and listen for DAYS non-stop. I know that I am...Key and Orito Shinji is d4 b3s7!
Language Difficulty (NEW!) -- 7.5/10. The language involves some old or advanced Japanese and even native speakers have trouble reading it. The Kanji are also hard for people that don't understand it (I do, for I am Chinese). If you have played Kanon before, the rating of that is a 5.5. If you thought Kanon was hard, try AIR for size.
Overall -- 9.75/10. The PC versions (18X and all ages) have fantastic music, although no voice. But that doesn't bother the fact that it's another masterpiece by Asae Jyun, na?
Note: The review editor never played this game, but did extensive research on it, therefore became knowledgeable with the storyline.
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