Posted by: MewMew 29 August 2017
When writing a story, immersion is important. You want the reader to experience and understand what’s going on. It’s like translating physical sensations and emotions into words that can enter the reader and make them imagine the experience. The readers need the stimulus and sensations to reach the, from the text to the deepest reaches of their minds. This concept is the focus of the free-to-play visual novel, Love and Romance – A Study of Intimacy.
We covered the release of Love and Romance – A Study of Intimacy before, but now we can look deep into what this visual novel is. It focuses on those details and how to write passionate sex. This short visual novel was created for NaNoReno 2016. Michaela Laws, most known for her series, Seduce Me Otome, orchestrated the game. It eloquently explains ideas about writing and sex, but that may be all it leaves you with.
So, get on the bed, because it’s time to snuggle with Love and Romance – A Story of Intimacy.
You play as Amelia, a successful romance novelist, who decided to look through some of her older works. As she does this, Amelia realizes that the sex scenes she writes are complete garbage. Whether it’s because of negligent editors or the fact that she hasn’t gotten any in four years, her sex scenes just come off as robotic and monotonous. This unearths a desire in Amelia to better herself as a romance novelist who can write good, romantic sex. What better way to achieve this than going to a cabin alone with her attractive manager, Yoonho Lee, for a week and writing nothing but sex scenes.
At first, Amelia is hesitant to stay in a cabin with him because he has a girlfriend, but she soon learns that he broke up with her a couple months ago, which makes him free for the taking. The rest of the story consists of a study on writing sex scenes and how to approach them and Amelia figuring out if she has feelings for Yoonho. Whether Amelia sees Yoonho as a friend or lover is up to you.
Choices in the game matter a little bit. A few were used to personalize Amelia to the reader and the others were to increase Amelia’s affection towards Yoonho. The options that I found unique were when Amelia was writing sex scenes using her characters, Jasmina and Gerald. You get to choose what Amelia writes down and how the characters act. It’s basically a build-your-own sex scene, with slight dialogue changes. You can choose to think critically on what you want each character to do or you can mess up the entire scene with a, “And then they fucked. The End.” Yoonho judges your choices and he’ll either praise or criticize you, but that does not have any effect on Amelia’s relationship with him.
There are only two endings in this game, one where you are in a relationship with Yoonho and the other where you remain friends, the former being the most fulfilling of the two. The most important choices are the ones that give you the option to be romantic with him or not. You choose whether you want to kiss him, hug him, fuck him, etc. One of the main focuses of this game is consent. You can expect Yoonho to be a gentleman that will ask for permission before fucking.
There is also a stop button you can press whenever you want to stop a scene. While this is a perfectly fine feature to have in the game, it can get annoying when the game asks you whether you want to continue over and over to the point of ruining immersion. I am not against the idea of having a button to stop a scene if the reader wants it or the option to give consent. I just have a problem with going through a sex scene and, during the entirety of that one scene, being asked four times if I wanted to continue. Not only that, but sometimes the foreplay drags on for too long. Penetration doesn’t start until you give consent for the fourth time.
Yeah, that’s what the stop button is for. Now, please fuck me already.
The foreplay and sex aren’t lewd or over the top. It has kissing, groping, taking it from the front, and behind. There is more focus on narration than the sex itself. It feels more like you are reading a sex scene while listening to soft music. Sometimes, Yoonho would give a comment, ask for consent, or tell Amelia he loves her. There weren’t any slight changes in the CGs either and we didn’t see the dick unless is was on Yoonho’s sprite. I felt disconnected from the scenes and more like an observer, looking through a window, than an active participant.
The voice acting in the game is pretty good. There were three voice actors and every line was voiced except for Amelia’s dialogue and her inner narration. The voices sound nice, realistic and, considering that this was made for NaNoReno, professionally executed. However, the voices came up every so often and did not make any impact on the any of the sex scenes. The music matched the scenes very well, but became repetitive after being replayed too many times. It was just average creative commons, nothing too special. There weren’t any sound effects besides a cat’s meow and a cellphone ringtone, so don’t expect any auditory stimulation.
Love and Romance – A Study of Intimacy‘s art is beautiful and has a feeling of softness emanating from it, which works with the subject material. It’s meant to make you feel secure and at ease. The characters are well designed and attractive, but not very memorable. They were ordinary people who lacked real depth. I see them as real people, but I don’t care about them or I didn’t have enough reason to care. There isn’t much of a story to this game, but what really shines through is the writing. Instead of this being a fictional, romantic visual novel, it should be seen as what the title proclaims; a study.
The writing is more like a scholarly article that leaves the story and character development as second priority. It focuses on writing sex scenes and what they mean to Amelia as a writer. She differentiates the differences between a normal kiss and a kiss you would have before or during sex, talks about the importance of sex in romance novels, and how important it is to emulate the emotions and sensations through the written word. Meta themes like this are nice in a visual novel, but the execution could have been handled better. The analytical points were brought into the story fluently, but the story moves on without going deeper on the subject. I understand that nobody wants to read a wordy analysis in their visual novel, but the small points that were made could have been deepened through character dialogue. Amelia and Yoonho could have discussed writing sex scenes. Not only could that expand upon the points being made, but also add more characterization and development between them.
Who would ever say no to this?
You can download Love and Romance – A Study of Intimacy for free or name your own price on VAMachaelaLaw’s itch.io page for the game.
- Well written
- Lacking in lewd content
|Art And Graphics|