Shira Oka: Second Chances
By Okashi Studios
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Ever wonder how things might be different, if you could go back in time and re-live your past? The main character of Shira Oka: Second Chances is given that chance to find out.
Will he get his act together, and become the person he always wanted to be? Will he pass all his classes with flying colors? Will he fall in love with the girl of his dreams? Or will he end up sad and lonely once again?
His fate is in your hands.
You control how he spends his time, who he becomes friends with, and who he falls in love with... if anyone. But no matter what choices you make, get ready for a roleplaying experience unlike any other.
What's New in Version 1.1.8
- Minor dialogue grammar and spelling tweaks.
- Improved memory utilization in a couple of large, resource-intensive scenes.
- Enabled application sandboxing.
A great effort; needs some tweaks
Shira Oka: Second Chances is a great visual novel/dating sim (sort of) game. Imagine Groundhog Day in Japan, over the course of a few years. Nice art, some actual voice acting, and an enormous variety of events will keep you busy for a long time. That's the good news.
The bad news is it'll keep you busy for a LONG time.
Despite having a guardian angel, who's ostensibly present to help guide you, most events surprise you. The action sequence is broken up into 5 day blocks and 2 day blocks. Unfortunately, lacking finer control means you can spend a LOT of time just treading water rather than actually improve your stats. There's very little in the way of guidance (Thanks, angel!) or information about your stats, success thresholds, and the like. You also start with some rather enormous strikes against you in the form of bad stats AND bad traits, which you can improve over time. No real information given on which ones do what means there are few strategies you can employ.
After the fourth go-round (the game resets you if you're not making adequate progress), I lost my patience. While my stats improved, and even some of my traits, I made no better progress in the academic or interpersonal arena. Frankly, playing for sixteen hours and not making appreciable headway falls on the developer (either needing better balancing or documentation). The game's solid and there's so few like this, it kills me not to give it five stars, but the gameplay flaws nearly made it three stars.
Incidentally, there are virtually no useful guides/FAQs for this game online. If the community steps up, that might make this a much more enjoyable game.