"Himitsu tried my patience like few others. Following gal game tradition, the "introduction" consists of female photos scrolling across the screen while music plays. Himitsu's unique qualities are its amateurish character designs and a horrendous non-vocal intro song. It's some of the most abrasive MIDI I've ever heard, and no, I haven't forgotten AdLib."
Ingredients for the standard-issue Dreamcast gal game include things like pretty artwork, an animated opening, a vocal introduction song, and at least one or two inspired character designs. Princess Holiday may be dull, but it's gorgeous! Shirotsume Souwa features perhaps the coolest introduction and most powerful vocal songs you'll find in any Dreamcast game. As for character designs, KID's Memories Off series thrives on giving introverted Japanese teens some gorgeous fake girls to love.
Now forget all of that, because Himitsu: Tadagaita Natsu isn't standard. I'd like to call it "sub-standard", but such a kind description might mislead you into thinking the game actually has a redeeming quality or two. Well, I suppose it has one: the voice acting could have been worse. Huzzah! Everything else -- from the horrid music to the retarded character designs -- doesn't even deserve a spot in Dreamcast Hell. By the way, before anyone takes offense at my choice of adjectives, I mean "retarded" literally, as one of the so-called villains is a gluttonous pudgeball in a lavender shirt whose tongue dangles from his mouth. Fear the fatty!
Even before I met that swill-slurping porker, Himitsu tried my patience like few others. Following gal game tradition, the "introduction" consists of female photos scrolling across the screen while music plays. Himitsu's unique qualities are its amateurish character designs and a horrendous non-vocal intro song. It's some of the most abrasive MIDI I've ever heard, and no, I haven't forgotten AdLib.
The basic plot involves a mentally-challenged hero (who can't even recognize his childhood playmate-turned-biker chick) heading off on a summer vacation with a bunch of butt-ugly girls. Two of them occasionally look cute, but then the picture changes and you realize they're just as ugly as all the rest. The hero and his girlfriends do incredibly boring things like sit inside a cabin and talk, or walk around in the woods and talk, or stroll along the river and talk. Occasionally something extraordinary happens, such as the brown-haired girl getting sick and sweating a lot. I can't even begin to tell you how much feverish sweating turns me on! This exciting event results in the hero sitting inside a cabin and talking.
The hero's incredibly annoying (and extremely effeminate) best friend tags along, but he's quickly out-feminated by a midriff-baring, bleached-blonde Benimaru ripoff who hassles Our Hero in the woods. The blonde goofball's fearless leader is a rather sour young man with pink hair. This shirtless rebel is supposed to look tough. He has firm pecs. He also has a tattoo on his chest. Of a butterfly.
I'm not really sure what else needs to be said -- it's hard to care about a gal game when the hero is stupid, the girls are unattractive, the adventure is dull, and the villains are laughable. But if you really don't mind any of that, then Himitsu: Tadagaita Natsu is well worth buying!
Mine's up for sale.
Staff review by Zigfried (September 26, 2005)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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