I received this copy of Maitetsu Pure Station in exchange for a review. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Title: Maitetsu Pure Station
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: January 2020
Genre: Visual Novel
Overall Score: 87/100 87% Very Good Game For Girls
Geeky: 5/5 This game is educational and full of both history and sci-fi elements.
Sweetie: 5/5 This game also has adorable cute anime characters and stunning graphics. The story is good with a lot of emotional and cute scenes. The production values are high and the music and voice acting are all well above average.
Overview: 8/10 Maitetsu Pure Station is a somewhat older Eroge game from 2016. However, for its North American release all hentai content has been removed.
Even with heavy censorship, this game still bothers some people I guess because the only other review I found online points out that it is creepy because of the perceived age of the romanceable characters.
I do not share that person’s opinion. Maybe because I collect Dollfie Dream and Pure Neemo and similar dolls… when playing Maitetsu I’m not creeped out, instead I’m reminded of Danny Choo’s SmartDoll prototype and the possible future of dolls, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
I have long been fascinated by artificial intelligence and robotics and now it is just packaged in cute anime doll form. That’s because some of the characters in Maitetsu Pure Station are robotic dolls and not human but capable of very human like expression.
So let’s talk about the game itself. If you don’t know what a visual novel is, it’s like an interactive book with graphics, music, and voice overs to help draw you into the story. Anyone remember the old choose your own adventure Goosebumps books from the 90s? This is kinda similar to that.
But now for some “bad news”… Choices are few and far between… in fact each route only offers one choice… and each route takes over ten hours to complete…
If you don’t like reading this game isn’t for you. Even if you do like reading, this game isn’t perfect. It’s riddled with far to many typos and grammar mistakes.
I’ve included a few in the screenshots I took spread throughout this post. And there were dozens and dozens Maybe even hundreds more that I didn’t photograph.
But yet on the other hand, there were choices made with this translation that I like very, very much, such as leaving in all of the honorifics and nick names.
And if you want to read even MORE, you can look at TIPS when a yellow word appears on the screen. – There’s a lot of detail – a lot of text – and so some typos are expected, but I just think there’s still too many, even for the amount of text. They needed to proofread and get playtesters playing this ahead of release instead of after. And it seems there’s no plans to fix any typos because it’s been out for 3 months and no patch yet.
Due to lack of choices and many typos I deducted two points from overall score.
Gameplay: 2/10 The story is interesting but long and without (m)any choices all you do is keep pressing A over and over. This might work better in the game’s native language because then instead of reading you can just watch and listen since it is almost fully voiced.
But the reading and lack of interaction frankly makes me sleepy. I’ve put in over 8 hours and have yet to get to a choice. There are ten endings including one final ending that ties everything up together but I can’t make it through even one of them right now and actually just archived it to make room for Animal Crossing in two weeks. (And I’m well versed in visual novels with fifty or more of them under my belt). This one’s (almost complete) lack of interaction is the reason for my limited interest in completing the game at this time.
Story: 8/10 Taking off a few points for way too many typos and the slow pacing of the story. That aside, the game is charming and relaxing. It is full of heart, mystery, charm, and undeniable cuteness.
Spoiler free recap of the story thus far. You play as Setsuo Migata, adopted son to a family of sake brewers living in a rural and remote area of Japan.
You were taken in after a terrible train wreck caused you to become an orphan. The man you were taken in by had two young granddaughters who you view as family now.
You are grown and have left home to join what basically amounts to a futuristic Air Force of semi-self aware aircraft. You return to your rural home town to oppose the opening of a new manufacturing facility of such aircraft because you worry about it disrupting the peaceful country life and clean air and clean water of your quaint little town.
Yet despite this you also seem highly fascinated by the technology within your own aircraft. You feel as though the artificial intelligence is capable of much more human like thought than it admits.
When returning home the only space for you to stay is your Grandfather’s old room. While tidying up, you find a strange but beautiful doll in a glass case.
The doll is later revealed to be a Raillord a computerized system that was able to communicate over a network with other Raillords for the safety and efficiency of operating the national railroad system.
Now long since a thing of the past, only a few railways remain in use across Japan, and the locomotive attached to this raillord is in disrepair.
You push aside your fear of railroads (remember the crash that killed your family?) and choose to help this doll like being whose artificial intelligence is greater than that of even your aircraft by restoring her engine and trying to bring back Japan’s love of railway travel.
As you draw closer to everyone in the story you get closer to unraveling the mystery of what really happened on the night of the crash.
Characters: 10/10 I have no complaints about the characters. They’re all so cute and remind me so much of my Dollfie Dream dolls and make me wish my dolls had artificial intelligence too! And they are well voiced and well written. I feel a strong emotional connection and deep interest in the characters.
Graphics: 10/10 This game is beautiful, cute, and highly detailed. The characters use live2D and are fully animated from breathing to blinking to soft strands of hair or fabric swaying. They are given numerous expressions and animations of both face and body.
I do have a complaint about the graphics – more specifically the text – although I did not deduct a point for it. My complaint is that depending on the size of your TV and distance from your chair, the text can be hard to read. There is no way to change the font size, although you can select different type-faces. I think being able to increase font size would help reduce eye-strain and help combat that sleepiness I feel after playing the game more than 3-4 hours in one sitting.
Music: 10/10 The music is calming, maybe a little sad, and tinged with suspense.
Voice Acting: 10/10 I really like that the game is fully voiced, even the protagonist and all of the voices seem to fit the characters.
Replay Value: 9/10 – with 10 different endings and one grand route at the end this game has incredible replay value for a total completion time of more than 60 hours. But I dunno who will play it to completion because of the lack of (almost any) interaction required by the player.
As an adult with little time, lots of games, a full time job, and other hobbies and interests too, I won’t be completing this game for a long time. I am grateful I can archive the software which is over 6gb and not lose the save data on my Nintendo Switch.
Kawaii: 10/10 To balance out some of the negative areas I added this area because the game is so cute!
Overall Score: 87/100 87% Very Good Game For Girls