Sonicomi Communication with Sonico English PC Game Review

Title: Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Genre: Visual Novel / Idol Simulation / Rhythm Game / Photography Simulation / Dating Sim / Raising Sim

Platform: PC

Developer: Nitro+

Publisher: JASTUSA

Where to Buy: Jlist – use Coupon Code: MOE-22Y-E8BNV5 to get 5% off!

Geeky: 4/5 – High quality anime style graphics. This version of Sonicomi is the original PC version; however, for the US release, they integrated the new improved graphics from the Playstation version which adds a lot more visual appeal to the game. Sonicomi comes to life with fully animated and expressive movements. Unlike other visual novels which show only static images, the graphics in Sonicomi definitely do impress. There are multiple game modes and tons of achievements to unlock as well. Like most visual novels, this game is light on gameplay, however, there is some challenge to see how high you can score each photoshoot, and the appeal of unlocking new outfits for Sonico. There’s also 18 different endings and a surprisingly touching story.

PC Game Review: Super Sonico Sonicomi Communication With Sonico
PC Game Review: Super Sonico Sonicomi Communication With Sonico

Sweetie: 5/5 – Sonicomi is very cute! And the ability to customize her with hundreds of different pieces of outfit and tens of thousands of combinations for those outfits, makes this a game that girls are sure to love, just as much as guys who like the busty and sexy appeal of the pink haired gravure idol.

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Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10  As I mentioned when I announced the preorder bonuses for the game here, this game basically is like combining Princess Maker (which I reviewed here) with Pokemon Snap (a game in which you photograph pokemon). Of course, Sonico’s lusty and busty figure make this game a lot more “Ecchi” or perverted than those games, but the game mechanics are like a perfect mashup of these two gaming gems. You determine Sonico’s fate and what direction her career will take (similar to Princess Maker), while the gameplay itself is a visual novel with about a dozen different “levels” each defined by a photo shoot. On these photo shoots your client will request different images, from sexy to sweet and innocent, or even weird. You must try to recommend different locations, outfits, and poses to meet the needs of your client. At different points in the story you will be presented opportunities to respond to Sonico in different ways (hence the name of the game), your responses, as well as choices made and how well you perform the various photo shoots will lead you to one of 18 different endings. Each time you play the game, you keep any outfits you unlock and continue to add new items to use to dress up Sonico however you’d like. There’s different difficulty modes, and even a free play mode where you can just photograph Sonico without worrying about a timer or any requests from your clients. You can save and share these images to show off how cute Sonico has become.

Gravure Idol Simulation PC Game Super Sonico Communications with Sonico Review
Gravure Idol Simulation PC Game Super Sonico Communications with Sonico Review

Gameplay: 8/10 The story unfolds like a visual novel at different points you can talk to, or even touch Sonico in various ways which raises her affection or changes her mood or even changes how the public views her as an idol. The main gameplay however comes in the form of photoshoots. You start by choosing an outfit for Sonico by combining different pieces and parts, such as a jacket, top, pants, skirt, jewelry, handbag, shoes, socks, hair, skin tone, etc. In these shoots, you must complete all “takes” (ranging from 1 to 3) without wearing any duplicate items from the previous takes, all while taking into account the client request. Once on set, you’ll see Sonico frolicking around and soon begin to see blue and pink “rings” on your screen. It’s your job to mouse over these rings and click them right as they turn pink. Clicking too soon or too late will lower your score. Clicking at just the right time will allow you to “chain” “perfects” which gives a large boost to your score. Getting perfects will also begin to fill up a gauge on the screen which when full, left clicking will open a number of options such as Communication, where you ask Sonico how she’s doing – she may tell you she’s tired, thirsty, nervous, fired up/excited, or able to still go on. Another option is to give Sonico a break which will help refill her stamina, and if executed correctly will extend the time you have in the photoshoot. If you let Sonico get too exhausted you will fail the photoshoot so you must be careful. The remaining options let you change Sonico’s pose and position from standing, sitting, or lying down. If Sonico is “excited and fired up” and you select Communication, you will activate a special mode with new poses and bigger chances for bonuses. After each take you’ll see your score, and after completing all takes, you’ll receive a letter grade which you need to pass to move on to the next scene.

I deducted a few points because this game is impossible to play without a mouse or game controller. I bought a mouse just to play this game. I think a lot of casual gamers, especially those on laptop devices may not have a mouse? I didn’t because I played in bed anyways so where would I put a mouse? (Hint: I ended up putting it on the wrist/rest area near the touchpad, below the keyboard.) The touchpad on my laptop was totally laggy/nonresponsive – which was something weird caused only when playing this game. I couldn’t even get past the tutorial and it wasn’t from a lack of skill, my pointer on screen would not move where I wanted it, and even when it did, I found I couldn’t “snap” the photo, just nothing would happen when I clicked the “mouse button” (built into my touchpad). This seems like a weird glitch or bug? But now that I’m using a mouse, there’s no problem 🙂 And I’ve used the mouse in some other more actiony games too so it’s all good. Mice are cheap enough anyways *under 10 bucks* but I just can’t help thinking that the touchpad should have worked, or my touch screen on my laptop, but both were very laggy and made it impossible to play. Bad controls = bad gameplay. So you’ll want to make sure you have a mouse or steam controller or similar input device.

However, the gameplay is very engaging, and the hunt for new outfit pieces (all of which carry over into any new games you begin) as well as unlocking the achievements and all 18 different endings keeps you playing over and over. The in depth tutorial at the beginning of the game lets anyone just pick up and play the game, but some of the higher difficulty settings offer a large challenge even for more seasoned rhythm game players. The free play mode is really cute and fun too, especially with the ability to take and share steam screenshots, or collect the images in an in-game photo album.

Story: 5/10 I get the feeling that there’s only “illusion of choice” for very much of this game. Yes, there are 18 different endings, but it seems to me that they are determined more in how you do on photoshoots than how you respond to the story prompts. Although those DO impact the game also. I only suspect this, because on multiple play throughs, when I skip “previously read text” I’m skipping about 75-85% of the story. There is a decision later in the game to take Sonico’s career in different directions, such as being a commercial model or a high fashion model, but even that seemingly important decision does little to change the story – though it does change several of the different photo shoots in the later part of the game.

The story itself is pretty cute, but way too short and simplistic to really rank this score any higher than “mediocre” – but it’s a Gravure Idol Sim, people don’t really play this for story. — The story isn’t bad, actually I was pleasantly surprised that it’s very touching and hits close to the heart at times, but that’s mostly attributed to the strong character interaction which I’m scoring separately below. The story has a lot of comedic moments and some truly wtf moments as well which makes it highly entertaining.  Perhaps my biggest complaint against the story is that it starts strong, but just as it’s taking off, the game comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, and that’s not from getting a “bad end” but instead it just feels like the second half of the game is rushed, and that more could have been done which could have added not only more story, but more photoshoots and more gameplay too.

Cameo Appearance: Danny Choo Mirai Culture Japan Smart Doll Smartdoll
Cameo Appearance: Danny Choo Mirai Culture Japan Smart Doll Smartdoll

Characters: 10/10 The biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was how endearing and likable all of the characters were, especially Sonico. I had heard of Sonico, and seen cameo appearances in other games, but I honestly knew very little about her. As I played, I couldn’t help but think, OMG Sonico is JUST LIKE ME!! Since I related to her, it increased my enjoyment of the game and story and made her even cuter to me. She loves cats, I love cats (like REALLY love cats), She loves her grandma – I love my grandma, we’re like best friends. She loves sweets, I love sweets. She loves shopping, I love shopping. She’s really really naive and ditzy… I’m sadly also really naive and ditzy. She’s clumsy and hurts herself often, I’m clumsy too! It was like seeing myself as an anime character. Of course I’m not as cute or sexy as Sonico, but her pure heart and bubbly happy go lucky and laid back personality are very similar to my own personality and attitude.

Sonico wasn’t the only character who I found likable either. I also really liked Cutie Q who mysteriously turns up and gives you advice throughout the game, and Pandagawa, an idol manager who’s also a cute (and perverted) panda. And Sonico’s rival Angie, who is pretty much like Sonico’s exact polar opposite (and who I think should have her own game, right? she’s pretty amazing). All of the characters are really unique and quirky. Even Danny choo and his Smart Doll Mirai makes an appearance in the game which was a huge plus since I’m such a huge Smartdoll / Dollfie Dream / ABJD fan.

Pandagawa - Super Sonico - PC Game Review - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico
Pandagawa – Super Sonico – PC Game Review – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Graphics: 8/10 It’s already been said how cute and sexy Sonico is, and already been said that there’s literally tens of thousands of different outfit combinations possible to make Sonico look however you’d like. The environments and poses and background art is all very lovely. In the photoshoots it’s all 3D, and in free mode you can even adjust lighting and other touches to make the environment look as you please. In the visual novel, the backgrounds are done in an a more anime style. Sonico is a full body and fully animated figure. Her expressions and movements are just like a real person, which makes this visual novel stand out from others that just use static sprites or images. However, and where the game loses some points, is that Sonico is the only character who we ever “see” in the game or any of the photoshoots. There’s at least two occasions where you’re “supposedly” photographing another model with Sonico – and it would have been cute, awesome and AMAZING to have both models in the photoshoot at the same time, playing together, dancing, and frolicking around. — But okay, maybe that’s asking too much, but it would’ve been nice to see some better sprites for the other characters. In true visual novel fashion, every other character in this game, is just like every character in every other visual novel, just a chest and face with a few different expressions, and always over some background, like out of a comic book, which I guess is kinda cool in a stylistic way, but it definitely makes them seem less “alive” or “real” than Sonico. Also the clients and Sonico’s manager always have a mask on, which is just weird to me and makes them kinda unlikable honestly to me even though it also does add humor and make them memorable in a way too.

Angie Gravite the Black Ship - Super Sonico - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico PC Game Review
Angie Gravite the Black Ship – Super Sonico – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico PC Game Review

Music: 7/10 – The soundtrack, while being actually pretty good and not at all irritating, even on multiple playthroughs, just frankly, doesn’t have enough tracks or variation in it to score much higher than this. Each photoshoot has the same soundtrack, regardless of location selected for the shoot. Or if they were in fact different, it wasn’t noticeable enough for me to remember. The music is good, but you will hear the same tracks over and over when walking Sonico home, or at different key moments in the game.

Voice Acting: 9/10  I’m actually surprised how close the English voice for Sonico comes to capturing the original Japanese voice actress’ same “personality”. A bubbly, cute, and somewhat ditzy / brainless type of voice. The English voice actress for Sonico really put a lot of emotion into delivering her lines, which you can tell from how she enunciates or emphasizes different words or phrases. Even her laugh and other mannerisms are quite similar. I thought she did such a good job that I’ve played in English every time except for twice now. The Japanese voice actress is of course cute and adorable and does an excellent job, but that’s usually just a “given” when it comes to Japanese voice acting. They’re all pretty much amazing right? But that’s not the case (typically) with English dubs. (sorry to dubbed anime fans out there). While I think everyone should play the game at least once in it’s native language, you really in this case don’t miss much by playing it in English. I’ve gotten used to the English Sonico now, and actually, surprisingly, prefer her voice over the original Japanese one now. Also I’ve heard that this same voice actress does the Sonico in the anime (which I’ve never watched). But the good thing is, that no matter what you prefer, English or Japanese, they left both tracks in the game for you to choose! — It’d be nice if you could switch this option while playing the game but I think you have to save, exit, and select the option when starting back up. Also if I remember correctly, Sonico is the only character who’s voiced in this game, which is a little disappointing (and why I deducted 1 point).

Sonicomi - Free Style Game Mode - Sonicomi Review for PC - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico
Sonicomi – Free Style Game Mode – Sonicomi Review for PC – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Replay Value: 10/10 This game is super addictive! As if 18 endings weren’t enough to keep you playing, there’s also achievements, and new outfits to unlock through multiple playthroughs (which carry over into any new games you start), and sonicoins to earn which unlock even more outfits, and a free play mode that lets you enjoy uninterrupted time with Sonico in any location or outfit or pose that you’ve previously unlocked. You can then add the freeplay images into an album in game, or use the steam shortcut (F12 by default) to take pictures and share via steam or social media so you can spam your friends and share Sonico’s charm. There’s also different difficulty modes which let you challenge yourself as you become more familiar with the game. With so much to do and so many different dressup combinations and such a cute and charming idol to control, this is a game that will keep you hooked!

Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Sonicomi Communication with Sonico English PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Hello Nikki Anime Dressup Game with Limited Event Items

UPDATE 2018: Hello Nilki Let’s Beauty Up Has Been Closed For Almost Two Years. There is a newer app available in English called Love Nikki Dress Up Queen which I reviewed here.

Here is some more info about Hello Nikki Let’s Beauty Up shutting down their English version:

The game I reviewed was actually Hello Nikki Let’s Beauty Up! Developed by Gamedreamers MY (maybe stands for Malaysia? I’m not sure, but the game was released in English by a chinese publisher named xiong xiang (at least on the IOS app store)

The game closed in November 2016

It is amazingly similar to Love Nikki Dress Up Queen (because of the quests, overworld maps, story, characters, gacha, and online competitions with other players, etc)

Here is a post about the English servers shut down notice: https://www.facebook.com/gamedreamer.HelloNikki/photos/a.884213698312653.1073741828.820401318027225/1204833252917361/?type=3&theater

Interestingly enough last year the developers teased that the game may be coming back? (not sure why we’d need 2 very similar Nikki games, but then again we have 2 English versions of Romantic Diary too lol). (Unless they were hinting about Love Nikki Dress Up Queen – but I think that one’s by another developer?)

Here is a link to that teasing post from the Hello Nikki developers: https://www.facebook.com/gamedreamer.HelloNikki/photos/a.884213698312653.1073741828.820401318027225/1241024009298285/?type=3&theater

And you can see a lot of images, videos and past events at their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gamedreamer.HelloNikki/

Here is my original review below of Hello Nikki Let’s Beauty Up!


I’ve been obsessed with “Hello Nikki”, a cute kawaii anime dressup game that lets you learn about different cultures around the world while experiencing their fashion.

NOTE: Nikki is a series of games; you will find many other “Nikki” games available in the app store featuring the same characters AND the same basic “dressup” style gameplay. What sets “Hello Nikki” apart from any of the others is that it has “Gacha” mechanics to get random limited edition items. It’s also the only one to feature runway challenges, sky tower, quests, and more “RPG” like mechanics. ALL of the Nikki games are cute – but gameplay wise, “Hello Nikki” is the most addictive because it has that little extra something. It’s also updated very frequently with events and new items being added to the shops, etc.

Each map has several levels, each with a new challenge. There’s also limited time events which offer you the chance to get unique items that will never be offered again. There’s also weekly “runway” challenges where you compete against other players each week. Lastly, you can craft your own items with quest rewards or buy items with one of two game currencies, both are easy to win through playing the game but also available for purchase within the app.

The game has adorable graphics and characters which really add to the charming nature of this app. If you want a kawaii dressup game – look no further!

Title: Hello Nikki – Let’s Beauty Up

Release Date: October 2015

Developer: Game Dreamer MY

Publisher (English Version): xiong xiang – I’m assuming this is a chinese company – which is probably why the translation can be a bit rough – I don’t think it’s THAT bad, but a lot of users are complaining about it in their reviews. The Japanese version is by Line Play – Since Line is popular also in North America – I’m not sure why Line sold the rights to the English version – but whatever. The only complaint I have with the translation is they removed all the voice acting :*(

Grab it on IOS herehttps://itunes.apple.com/…

Here is the Android Versionhttps://play.google.com/…

You can play on both versions without losing your data by connecting your account with facebook – or registering a username and password before playing the game. The two versions are identical.

Geeky: 1/5 

geeky

Sweetie: 5/5 sweetiesweetiesweetiesweetiesweetie

Overall: 65/80 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Concept: 8/10 The concept of Hello Nikki is not that different from other dressup games. You collect new outfits, new hair, new accessories, etc, and use these items to put together a new look for each challenge. Hello Nikki does differentiate itself with it’s system of RPG like quests; however, those quests can suffer from a weak translation which can make some of them a bit difficult or even frustrating to complete. Hello Nikki also attempts to educate you about different cultures, food, fashion, and customs – however, it does so in a way which does not cram education down your throat and it manages to be fun and funny still. It’s not just all about Asian cultures either, which is really unique. There’s maps (and quests) for Australia, UK, USA, Egypt, and many more “western” civilizations as well. I deducted 2 points because of the sometimes quirky translation, and that the English version of Hello Nikki removed all of the voice acting :*(. I played the original Japanese version and it is 100% fully voiced. I miss that in the English version. Still, it’s a super cute, fun, and addictive dressup game.

Gameplay: 10/10 The game is played through a series of challenges. Each challenge has a short story which involves the different characters and gives you hints and clues about what to wear. Challenges are marked by circles on an overworld map. You must pass each challenge before moving on to the next. At the end of each map, you must have a certain number of clothes in your closet and a certain percentage of high scores to advance to the next map. Challenges can be replayed multiple times. You will use “hitpoints” to enter each challenge and lose hitpoints when failing a challenge. Hitpoints refill fairly quickly automatically over a period of time.

Dressing Up consists of layering different pieces together to create your look. This includes hair, makeup, top and bottom (or dress), socks, shoes, coats, hats, hair accessories, earrings, neckwear (such as necklaces and scarves), belts, bracelets, purses, and much more. All of your items need to look like they go together, either based on color, fabric, season, warmth, casual vs formal, or other criteria. The game does not really explain what these are – or if it does, the translation is often too vague to make it very useful, so you kinda just have to guess your way through a lot of it – still it’s not terribly difficult since it’s a casual game.

After you present your outfit, Momo, your cat, will grade you from F to S rank. S is the best you can get, A is the second best, B, C, D, F – that’s how the ranking goes. If you get an F you will have to repeat the challenge before moving on.

There’s also weekly “runway” challenges where you’re given a theme and compete with other players for best dressed each week. You can enter the challenge for free, and also if you vote on other people’s outfits, you can get free gems, the better of the 2 in game currencies. And if you happen to win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place you can win gems or exclusive outfits.

There are various shops and different “gacha” to help you get new outfits which you can use in the challenges. You can play Dream Loft for 18,000 gold, and get a ton of items this way. You have three seconds and just have to tap the screen as rapidly as possible. Each tap = one item. There’s also two “free” gachas each day. One you can play for free twice a day even.

There’s a clothing shop, pretty self explanatory there. And a crafting shop, where you can make items once you have the blueprint and necessary ingredients. Blueprints and ingredients drop randomly with S rank wins from each challenge.

Most recently (at time of this review) they introduced Sky Tower challenge where if you pass the series of random challenges you win exclusive items. There’s another tower too (or maybe I have them mixed up) where you have to guess what the outfit would be ranked as for a given challenge, matching your score to the actual score. Once again you’ll win (different) exclusive items for passing a series of challenges there.

You can also give “gifts” to the NPCs who run all of the shops to help lower prices and unlock new items.

They also have events frequently. Right now it’s a “clover” event, you can play once a day for free. You just pick a clover on the screen and get a random limited edition item.

New maps, new challenges, and new events are constantly being added to the game which keeps it super fresh and fun.

Story: 5/10 There actually really is a story in Hello Nikki – however, it’s not that great, either due to writing or translation. – But the basic gist is, on Nikki’s birthday she finds a treasure map left behind by her father. Apparently she has not seen her father in a long time. She enlists the help of her sister to travel around the world in search of their dad. There are other side stories that delay their investigation. For example one of Nikki’s friends goes missing and she has to look for her, another one she becomes an idol singer, or goes on a summer vacation.

Characters: 10/10 Hello Nikki is one of my favorite games because of the adorable characters. You get fashion advice from your cat! How cute is that? And Nikki herself is so adorable, no matter what she wears she looks great! Like a virtual barbie doll lol. There’s also other cute and interesting NPC’s such as Nikki’s sister, Nina, or her friend, a short little lolita girl.

Graphics: 10/10 I have to admit, I love cute, kawaii, moe games like Hello Nikki. It’s just my preferred style. I love the graphics in this game. Everything is so cute. It’s like a dream come true for me. Not only are they cute, but the characters are very large and detailed unlike a lot of anime dressup games that use chibi style characters.

Music: 6/10 Music is enjoyable and some maps have their own music; however, many of the sound tracks are reused throughout the game. Also as I mentioned, they removed all of the voice acting from the game which is a big disappointment.

Replay Value: 10/10 The frequent updates, the limited edition events, items, gacha, and the weekly “online” competitions with other players, will keep you coming back. It’s one of those games that I play every day just to see what’s new.

Overall: 65/80 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Hello Nikki Anime Dressup Game with Limited Event Items was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News