I finally finished La Corda D’oro 3 AnotherSky feat. Jinnan so here’s my non-spoiler review for it. Any CGs in the post will be ones already shown on the official website.
Once again, the story is pretty straightforward: aim to win the national music competition. In fact, it’s like an alternate version to the original Corda 3. Instead, our heroine, Kohinata Kanade is recommended by her teacher to go to Jinnan to rediscover her musical side. At Jinnan, she meets Tougane Chiaki (CV: Taniyama Kishou), Toki Housei (CV: Ishikawa Hideo) and Serizawa Mutsumi (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa).
To be chosen to be part of the ensemble, Chiaki has Kanade pair up with Mutsumi. He secretly has them compete against the Seisou members before he approves of Kanade. From then on, the team will progress in the competition – Shiseikan in the semi-finals, and Amane in the finals. There is then a “true” final against Seisou. You get to meet all 12 characters again, but this time you can only go after 5 of them: Chiaki, Housei, Mutsumi, and Seisou’s Kisaragi Ritsu (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) and Sakaki Daichi (CV: Uchida Yuuya).
From the start of the game, they will guide you through all the game features so no worries. The gameplay is the same as the previous game, though they did have a few alterations. For example, Kanade can now travel between Yokohama and Kobei with a click of a button (which is amazing lol). And you now have to buy the necessary ingredients to cook, while levelling up Kanade’s cooking skills will unlock more recipes. This is necessary in order to see more events of each guy. Kanade also has to practice before 5 different cats 5 times each so as to gain special ingredients. With this, Kanade can make the guy’s absolute favourite dish and unlock a special event. This is key if you want to see all the CGs of the guys. It can be rather tedious, even when following a walkthrough. There are more alterations but I think this is the most important.
This time though, since Kanade meets all 5 guys at the start everyone’s routes are more balanced. All the guys have 2 endings each, except Mutsumi who only has one. I felt that Chiaki and Ritsu had routes with more depth, but Housei and Daichi’s were equally enjoyable. And I personally really like Mutsumi but it felt as though we were just getting to learn more about him – and then his route ended. /o\ Other than that, I felt that Kanade’s growth as a musician was clearer this time. As the game progressed, she gains confidence and learns different aspects as a musician (as indicated by the flower in the above image). Kanade was also the star in the final performance.
Again, this is fully voiced up till the NPCs. With each route you finish, you unlock bonus events. Naturally you can find the usual stuff such as CGs, scene playbacks, music etc. There is also a taikai mode where you can replay the music scores of Jinnan. I was satisfied with all the bonuses you get to unlock – except that I couldn’t unlock one despite having fulfilled the requirements (which includes going back to get all the events omg) so I gave up. I heard that it’s just congratulatory messages so it’s just as well.
Since the Jinnan guys were already my favourites to begin with – I really enjoyed my play of this. With all the routes being more balanced, there’s no issue like the last time of some characters clearly getting more focus or some getting more romance than the other. The rest of the characters still appear too, which is great as I enjoyed their interactions to begin with. Since there are only 5 characters this time, it’s possible to go after all of them at one go without too much headache. \o/ Just…save wisely and be prepared to abuse the quick-save/load functions.
In any case, I enjoyed the game since it had my favourite cast of characters from Corda 3. I don’t think I will be playing Shiseikan or Amane. Though I admit that Shiseikan could be interesting since theirs is a brass band but Kanade plays the violin. Anyway, I think that this is a good follow-up to Corda 3! It has sufficient content and doesn’t seem too repetitive, while retaining all the positive elements from Corda 3.