Genre: Visual Novel, Otome
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Disclaimer: This is a review of the Append Disc, which contains extra content and a new route.
Dynamic Chord feat. Liar-S is the second game in the Dynamic Chord series. While in [rēve parfait] Honeybee placed its main cast in their favorite setting (high school), in Liar-S the characters are in university, hence the themes explored are more mature than those in the first visual novel.
Feat. Liar-S’s protagonist is Futami Nina, a recently graduated rich girl who convinces her parents to let her attend a common university of her choice. Taking into account her status as a sheltered ojou-sama, her future had been planned out by her parents from the beginning of her life. As our heroine grew tired of leading a senseless life without finding a passion of her own, she took the first step that would lead her to an independent and fulfilling lifestyle.
Unfortunately for Nina, her parents change their minds and force her to spend two years studying abroad. They’re convinced that it will help her improve her English and benefit her results in her major – foreign languages.
On Nina’s last day in Japan, she’s taken to a rock live show by her best friend, Shio. Nina is especially attracted to the performance by a band named S-leeper. Their music deeply touches her heart and ignites deep emotions inside of her.
Nina ends up meeting the S-leeper members on her way home thanks to her acquaintance Yuisaki Seri, who is also the drummer of the band. Hinoyama Sakura, the vocalist of the group, gives her helpful advice to find what she wants to do in life, and thanks to what she experienced that night with all of the members she’s motivated to finish her studies overseas quickly and become a better version of herself.
Feat. Liar-S truly starts off once Nina returns to Japan. Now in her third year of university, she goes back to attending the establishment of her choice to graduate from her foreign languages major. During her first days back at home, she spots several ads featuring some of the S-leeper members. Shio explains that S-leeper debuted and are now a professional group named Liar-S, with Hinoyama Sakura as the vocalist, Suzuno Chiya as the guitarist and composer, Haruna Soutarou as the new bassist, and Yuisaki Seri as the drummer.
The best word to describe Feat. Liar-S’s writing is messy. Don’t get me wrong, I clearly remember that rēve parfait’s narrative had plenty of drama in it, yet the relationships and chemistry between characters were handled very nicely and the soap opera worthy content was engaging. Regrettably, this is not the case in Liar-S. The interactions between the cast don’t give the same sense of closeness as in the game’s predecessor, and out of the individual routes only the poster guy’s was thoroughly enjoyable, even though its start wasn’t ideal.
A recurring theme in three out of four routes was rape (even if subtle in Sakura’s), and then the remaining guy’s story was just incredibly uneventful, felt very short and was just all-around boring. As only the poster character had enjoyable plot and overwhelming chemistry with the heroine, playing him first led to an astonishingly frustrating experience, which involved me struggling to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I basically finished the only good part of the otoge first and had to force my way through the remaining 20+ hours.
Another ridiculous aspect was how cooking turned out to be the most important part of the narrative. I am not even joking nor exaggerating. In every single route, Nina would spend most of her time cooking for or with the guy to grow closer to them. The dudes are reserved and cautious? No problem, just cook their meals and watch them fall head over heels for you! I swear to god, the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is taken to the next level in this game. Bonding talks? Bonding situations? No, just cooking is enough for Liar-S’s writers. Getting good food will fix all of these men’s flaws and bring all the character development they need.
The plot was so sloppy that I genuinely couldn’t find a way to make the experience enjoyable, and to make matters worse, I left Seri’s rapefest for last. Perhaps finishing off the VN with the most offensive and chaotic route wasn’t my brightest move. Rēve parfait’s lack of yanderes made me get cocky and assume that this game didn’t have any either. Oh, how wrong I was.
I liked Nina a lot as a heroine, and I thought she was very cute and less emotional than Rio from rēve parfait, but in Seri’s route it’s like her charming features are taken away and replaced by idiocy and a strong case of Stockholm syndrome. Leaving that aside though, she was very adorable and determined, plus she also took the lead often, something Rio rarely ever did.
My favorite guy was definitely Sakura –the only engaging one–, followed by Chiya, then Soutaro, and finally Trash Seri.
Fujiwara Ryou was in charge of the art in Liar-S, however there’s a huge improvement from the CGs in Feat. [rēve parfait]. The proportions are no longer incredibly weird in every single illustration, and the artist improved a lot drawing different angles. To be honest I liked the CGs a lot, and they were beautiful for the most part. The characters looked a bit stiff here and there, but it’s nothing too noticeable.
Like the art, feat. Liar-S’s music showed an improvement over its predecessor, for the band tracks were a lot better and I enjoyed listening to all of them. The group’s music wasn’t messy this time around, and the vocals weren’t remarkably sloppy as in the previous Dynamic Chord entry. Unfortunately, the BGM was recycled from [rēve parfait], hence saying that I grew tired of the basic and repetitive tracks is a huge understatement. I’m pretty sure I only heard one or two new background tunes and they were rarely ever used. Honeybee preferred to continue spamming the usual BGM, and as a result I was very tempted to mute the game because I couldn’t stand listening to the same thing for over 50 hours.
Once again, the voice acting was average. Unfortunately there wasn’t a Hirose Yuuya to make miracles happen, yet Terashima Takuya –Sakura’s voice actor– stood out thanks to his appealing voice color. I actually flopped and didn’t realize it was him at first – I only heard Kakihara Tetsuya’s voice would be in the game, but didn’t look up who voiced the other characters. The reason Terashima wasn’t recognizable was that he’s usually behind more energetic guys; nevertheless his tone as Sakura was a lot deeper and mature. I liked listening to him a lot.
As mentioned above, I had high hopes because Kakihara was in Liar-S… turns out he voiced the trashiest character (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ彡┻━┻ why is Dynamic Chord doing my favorite boys so dirty!? I won’t keep roasting Seri but HAVE I MENTIONED THAT HE’S SCUM?
Dynamic Chord feat. Liar-S was a rough ride. A rough, messy, underwhelming and terrible ride that I don’t ever want to repeat and definitely wouldn’t recommend to anyone. Honestly if you have the money and want some trashy entertainment go for it – Sakura is still best boy material, however I doubt he’s worth sacrificing your sanity making your way through this clusterfuck.
Actually I retract one of my previous statements, I can definitely recommend this to fans of Diabolik Lovers. Go for it; you’ll probably have a blast.
I was planning to try out apple-polisher, yet not only did I experience this terrible Dynamic Chord entry, I also noticed that there is no PC Append Disc planned out for apple-polisher. I won’t really play a shorter, unfinished version of the game simply for lacking a PS Vita to play the V edition once it comes out. If the final otoge with the Encore routes is ported to PC I’ll give Dynamic Chord another chance, nonetheless until then my trip through Honeybee Black’s territory is over.