The Best Eroge Ever Review
At first this is a typical slice-of-life game set in a rather old-fashioned town, then it turns into a fantasy/action story once the routes begin and the powerful family's secrets are revealed.
The story follows multiple protagonists (the exact number is a spoiler) through their seemingly ordinary but very unique, colorful and entertaining lives. Oddly enough, the vast majority of the time is spent on comedy and/or slice-of-life, but it's consistently laugh-out-loud funny in just about every single scene that isn't meant to be serious (and some that are), which is extremely impressive. This is partly because there are a lot of characters, every single one of them is memorable and unique (often the very way they talk is bizarre enough to be instantly recognizable), and each one comes with plenty of depth and character development, which even plays out differently in different routes, so the VN simply never runs out of material. This also results in you getting emotionally attached to just about all of them over time, even the ones who seemed completely intolerable, one-dimensional or psychopathic at first. It helps that the heroines are still just as moe as you'd expect from Navel.
The good news is that the main plot is actually very clever and interesting. The protagonist definitely felt like a relatively normal human who, through some very unfortunate events, rose to the level where he could literally fight gods and goddesses and affect the history of the entire world, and as a result I genuinely cared about seeing what happened to him and helping him defeat the bosses (especially the final one). Also, every important plot thread got its fair share of closure by the end, and it always felt either satisfying or sad when it did (even when it was quite obvious what would happen).
The plot tying all the protagonists (and a few other characters) together is also quite intriguing. There's a steady supply of hints and reveals about various parts of it all the way from the first few scenes to the climax of the final route, and the resolution of the major conflict (and the heroine-specific conflicts) is satisfying and plausible in all routes. Admittedly, the vast majority of the time nothing really happens to advance this plot, and often I found myself wondering when something would, but the comedy was just too good for that to bother me at all. And because you spend so much time getting attached to the characters, when stuff does start happening to the protagonists later on, it hits hard.
Everything you love about the past WABs is here. Creative and original setting, very different from previous WAB settings but clearly part of the same WABverse. Distinctive artwork, different from previous styles but still quite memorable and appropriate for the series. Arguably it's less distinctive or less interesting than previous ones, but on the flip side there's no shortage of sprites, CGs or animations. The writing style is also exactly as you remember it, with plenty of fresh arc words to tease you with. Plus, for once copypasta is only a small part of the battle scenes (about damn time), so the fights are even cooler than usual.
P.S.: In case anyone wants an opinion on the translation quality: it could definitely use some editing/QCing but it's perfectly servicable.