I always tell people how my favourite genre in game is text adventure and my all time favourite game is Famicom Detective Club 2 on the SNES. After hearing that, all of them would just quietly back out and outright ignore me for the rest of their life.
Even though I love text adventure games I have never ever play a full length visual novel in my life until recently. I played some short doujins one and tons of detective text adventure games but I had never went down the path of choosing a girl you want to fuck. I started on Muv Luv because I actually like KGNE and wanted some new experience in life. To my surprise, Muv Luv is easier to read than I expected so I kept going with it.
Technically, Muv Luv is separated into 3 games, Muv Luv Extra, Muv Luv Unlimted and finally, Muv Luv Alternative. When people talk about Muv Luv they are talking about Muv Luv Alternative but the first two games are needed for that buildup. That being said, Unlimted isn’t that bad anyway and Muv Luv Extra can be tolerable if you are a fan of KGNE.
On a side note, it’s better to have watched KGNE and Akane Maniax because they can enhance your Muv Luv experience as there are crossovers of characters and references they made in Muv Luv will thus holds more weight. There are some crossovers from Kimi Ga Ita Kisetsu too but wtf is that anyway.
Muv Luv Extra is your usual wacky harem choose your girl slice of life bullshit with generic lousy forced drama type of visual novel. It is tolerable at best but thankfully easy to read. However, it can also be outright brutal when you are stuck with a character that you don’t like. If you want to get over it quickly which I recomend, you’ll only need to read the 2 main routes. They share like 90% of the text and are the only requirement to unlock the second game, Muv Luv Unlimited.
With that said, I still went on and did all the routes because I have to fuck every single fictional girl out there to fill up the emptiness in my life. It does however add quite a lot of context for the next two games so not all my time is wasted. Still, Chizuru route is stupid as hell and worthless in terms of adding context so fucking skip it unless you have a thing for her.
Things that you might like to know, it takes around 11 hr for the 2 main routes, 3-4 hrs for each side routes)there are 3 of them) and 30mins for all the bad ends.
After you are finished with Extra and collect all the dem CGs, you can march on to Unlimited. When you first start the game, your childhood friend is gone and the world is in some post apocalypse state. You went out of your room and find GUNDAM and get all excited because GUNDAM is finally real.
You went to school, found out that it’s a military base now and got thrown into detention barrack because no one knows you in this world. You saw your physic teacher and asked for her help but she doesn’t recognize you. She however find you interesting after knowing that you came from another dimension and start placing you through basic military boot camp. Why? Because this world is destroyed by aliens and 5 billion people had died and she needs more soldiers.
In this boot camp you can find all your girlfriends that you have fucked in the the previous game but they are all now strong and dependable unlike you who is some useless piece of shit because you don’t know how to army. They hate you for being so useless and tell you how pathetic you are. You went on being a pathetic weakling because military stuff is harsh and everyone besides you are proud and harden Nihonjin who are willing to die because they had never experience peaceful life at all.
That being said, things are still kinda light-hearted fun because it accentuates how you are this stupid and naive robot otaku trying to live in this harsh world with all your girlfriends who are turning into stranger. It’s also kinda play out when you became KIRA YAMATO in terms of robot piloting because you had done this countless time in videogames.
The story then progresses and you gets to fuck one girl and the whole world got destroyed. The end.
Technically, you only require to complete one route for Unlimited to get the whole story because all the other routes share 95% of the same text. The changes are some non eventful dialogs changes and which girl you end up fucking. However You should try the extra route which will be unlocked after completing any one end. It leads in very well to Muv Luv Alternative and it takes only 10 min.
In total I would say that Unlimited takes around 10 hr for one completed route, 20min for other side routes(not recommendable or required at all) and 10 min for that extra unlocked route.
After all that meandering around Muv Luv Alternative happens.
BAM! JAM PROJECT IN YOUR HENTAI GAME! You know they are serious with this one.
Muv Luv Alternative starts off with a timeloop and you are back to the war torn apocalyptic world again. The difference now is that you have carried over your previous save file from the two other games so you are now this awesome soldier with 3 years worth of experience. You also acquired the knowledge of what is going to happen so you intend to do it right this time. With that, you breezed through boot camp because you are all “been there done” that and won everyone’s trust. The tables have turned, instead of being the noob like in Unlimted, your girlfriends are all the noob now.
Everything went so wel land you think you are awesome. You went to fight some alien and got totally destroyed like a fucking fool. You seat there moping and your instructor came to console you. You picked up your courage after words of encouragement .You turned around and CHOMP, instructor’s head got beaten by alien! Good JOB, super soldier, now go cry in one corner and be all PTSD.
After this event, more fuckup shit happens and it just kept on one-up fucking the last fuckup and you will be left all fucked and broken. It’s brutal, hopeless and agonizing but situation turns for the better because characters actually exercise logic and pragmatism. LOGIC and PRAGMATISM! Now that’s rare in my anime game.
For example, you actually get sensible logic for seemly fanservice anime bullshit like how the male got drafted first and that explains why you have so many female soldiers instead because most of the men were killed. And most of the time, those who stand correct are the one who uses cold calculative predictions and data because logic wins over feeble anime emotions.
In other words, every single action was planned, calculated and executed without leaving things to chance or miracles. There are back up plans after back up plans and no corners were left unchecked. No one gets all anime-ish at any certain point of time so everyone is all mature and srsbzn because there is no time for anime hijinks. The whole game reeks of fuck anime and their peaceful idealism because this is a fucking war and generic anime shit would never work here because aliens are killing everyone.
After that, things happen,JAM PROJECT, EXPLOSION, GUNDAMS, YOSHINARI KOU and BAM! The end.
So yes, that’s my summary of the plot and I doubt I can find another visual novel like Muv Luv as it’s one of the best story I’ve experience throughout all known entertainment mediums I have seen. Legend of The Galactic Heroes is the best parallel for Muv Luv that I can draw in the anime realm because they are that kinda similar and yes, I am very serious when I said that.
With that all said and done, I think I will try Yu-No next to see whether Muv Luv is the exception to the rule or all the fuck anime girls game are actually that great.