Come See Me Tonight (PC) review
"Parents are supposed to be around to support their children. Not so for Ryoichi Sakaki. He returns home one day to find an empty house that’s just been put on the real estate market. Left with only a little cash and a farewell note, the high school senior faces the prospect of being hopeless and alone. However, this recipe for angst is quickly sweetened into a light romantic comedy. Though Come See Me Tonight provides solid characterization and plot, it hurts itself by withdrawing ..."
Parents are supposed to be around to support their children. Not so for Ryoichi Sakaki. He returns home one day to find an empty house that’s just been put on the real estate market. Left with only a little cash and a farewell note, the high school senior faces the prospect of being hopeless and alone. However, this recipe for angst is quickly sweetened into a light romantic comedy. Though Come See Me Tonight provides solid characterization and plot, it hurts itself by withdrawing a potentially strong emotional component. The humor and fluff can only carry this adult bishoujo game so far, and in the end, only its most over-the-top sexual escapades add color to this title’s otherwise bland complexion.
Ryoichi’s reprieve from a hapless life comes immediately from his mother’s relative Chidori, a savvy businesswoman who owns one of the classiest restaurants in the city. She doesn’t just provide a roof over this head, though; she plans out his entire future. According to her vision, Ryoichi will train in her kitchen until he’s skilled enough to become head chef, and then he can rise to take over the establishment. Of course, the scheme also involves his eventual marriage to one of her three beautiful daughters, and Chidori give Ryoichi permission to choose his favorite.
The eldest of the sisters is Misago, a gentle and considerate girl. She’s always helping out around the house and looking out for others. However, she’s not always the model of responsibility, as any remotely cute object instantly bewitches her. Following Misago in line is Tsugumi, who is the same age as our hero. Tsugumi acts much more aggressive than either of her sisters, a behavior borne out of her desire to be her mother’s successor. Though outwardly confident and in control, the teenager experiences hidden moments of vulnerability and self-doubt. Finally, Kobato is the last of the three. She’s only a couple of years younger than Ryoichi, but she looks, and sometimes acts, much more like a little kid. This covers up the mature aspects of her mind and body, but part of Kobato wants to engage in more grown-up activities.
Of course, you can also have Ryoichi be his own man and chase a different target. If you like older women, Chidori herself is tragically available. Widowed at a young age, she nevertheless raised her family and prospered professionally. She can capably handle any situation, which inspires admiration from all those around her. Although, her mature allure has something to do with that as well; no one can resist the appeal of her husky voice and sexy kimono. You can also look outside the family and towards the hapless apprentice, Hina. She’s left her family’s humble restaurant to learn from the absolute best, but she’s not having an easy time of it. Despite being a little too clumsy and uncertain, though, Hina still always puts forth her best effort. Her indomitable spirit and tiny, meek voice will no doubt draw you in her direction.
As attractive as all these ladies are, the story of Come See Me Tonight fails to seal you interest in any of them. The first half of the game feels like an extended introduction where each scene involving one of the girls simply accentuates her prominent characteristics. In fact, much of the focus is placed on Ryoichi’s trials as he starts at the bottom of the restaurant’s food chain and struggles to gain some respect. While these episodes carry a certain amount of charm, they can’t pull you into the game’s world.
The choices you have to make in this command selection adventure won’t beguile you either. It looks promising at first, as you’re offered choices fairly often, and some are actually ambiguous, like deciding whether to openly praise or boldly grab a girl’s ass. However, overall the path to your desired target is easily discernable. You can even make a few mistakes and glide into the second half of the game; only the gluttonous harem ending requires the player to tread through the forty-plus options with absolute perfection.
Once into the latter portion, Come See Me Tonight takes turns for both the better and worse. On the good side, Ryoichi will quickly escalate his relationship with the woman you chose, and they will embark on a gentle rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs. The problems they face, though, are usually not enough to elicit much response, and the main character’s void of deep feelings won’t let you empathize with him. This is a kid who has already displayed a lack of concern for his parents’ sudden absence, and he seems to maintain a certain distance from his mate to almost the very end. However, in a baffling turn, he’ll openly weep with joy if someone happens to enjoy food that he prepares. With Ryoichi such a conundrum, the burden falls on the girls to spark the player’s interest. Unfortunately, all of their shallow stories so closely mimic the same general outline that the prospect of playing through every scenario loses its appeal.
About the only reason one will have to tread over all that territory is to see the numerous sex scenes. Ryoichi has around five encounters with each girl, and an episode includes three or four individual CG’s. The downer for voyeurs is many of these shots focus only on the upper bodies of the women, leaving the text to describe the juiciest parts of the sexual activity. Worst of all, some of the single pictures are actually reused in different instances, a huge letdown considering most games continually offer new content.
For the most part these escapades, tame intertwining limited to normal positions and activities, are as one would expect considering the young and inexperienced characters. Even the locations are safe and routine, and the ordinary groove is only interrupted by Hina’s unique shrieks. Fortunately, the game rewards those tenacious enough to seek out its harem endings. It is possible to make every female in the game fall so in love with the protagonist that she won’t mind sharing him, a fact that can lead to some lascivious displays of sisterly love. Granted, even these orgies maintain a sense of naughty decorum, but they are easily one of, if not the best, highlight of the game.
However, even these momentary glimpses at decadence cannot raise Come See Me Tonight to any remarkable heights, and the harem ploy certainly isn’t exclusive to this game. Many other titles should be explored before this one is even considered, ones that provide more humor, more lasting characters, more emotion, and even better sex than this one could ever hope to impress upon a player. For those myriad possibilities, if you’re thinking about buying Come See Me Tonight, just wait until tomorrow.
Community review by woodhouse (September 24, 2004)
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