First off, I was only able to review your first 2 episodes. Oddly enough, it seemed like Episode bugged put and when I went to play the third it started me back at the beginning of episode 1. I have limited time to play since I’m on holiday currently (hence why I’m posting this one day later than I said, oops!), so I’d rather start the next story than replay an episode. Hope you understand!
Onto the review:
I’m personally not a big fan of these kind of “falling in love” stories, but I felt like you did a good job keeping my attention. The flashback to her childhood at the start of episode 1 really helped with that I think. It added a layer of mystery which made playing it more enjoyable. I did think you could’ve done without the flashing at the start of ep 2 where you summarised the nightmares. Since most people will likely play the first 2 episodes close to each other, it didn’t really add anything. That’s more of a nitpick than anything, though!
I think your story could’ve easily turned into feeling very cliché, but you managed not to give off that feel. I think a part of why that is, is because you had an interesting introduction with the flashbacks and long episodes to make the story feel more stretched out (rather than rushing into things like most of those stories do). I feel like I generally have a pretty good idea of where the story is heading, however, so I hope there’s plenty of twists ahead! If not, I’d say think about implementing some that could really blindside the readers, or at least give them an indication that not everything will be like what they might be coming up with in their predictions.
I can tell that you’ve put quite a lot of effort into your directing, which is a good thing! I don’t think anything you did was particularly inventive, but that’s not at all necessary. I think the amount of effort you put in really helped the story stand as well. The use of custom overlays were also a nice addition, and I’m glad to see you credited the people who made them! I wasn’t a fan of the colored transitions, as they were somewhat jarring and kind of took me out of the story. I think the contrast of going from a scene to a bright color to another scene is what made me pause, so I could consider making the transitions a bit more natural. I do think there was definitely a lack of choice, so I hope the amount of choices picks up in later episodes. You did mention in the story there wouldn’t be many for the first episode, but in the second episode there also weren’t many, barring a dressing game.
I do think you did a good job introducing the characters and giving them all the time to sink into the story naturally. The character design was pretty good as well, nothing that took me out of the story. I do think you could try and make Sam stand our a bit more rather than being your typical gay best friend. Some of the dialogue did seem somewhat forced to me, though. I think it’s mostly the more humorous dialogue I wasn’t always a fan of, but I recognise that’s also a more subjective case. Sometimes you injected it into the story to the point where it was somewhat distracting to me. The punctuation in your story could also use a second look if you’re striving for perfection in that field, but it was very readable nonetheless.
Overall, I don’t regret spending my time with your story but it’s not something I’m likely to continue, which is more thanks to personal preference than the quality of the story. I think you did a good job to make your story stand out in the sea of similar stories and I think it’s definitely worth continuing, barring some improvements here and there like I mentioned above. I’d rate your first 2 episodes 6.5/10 collectively, which I don’t see as a bad score at all! If you’d like reference, I’d consider a 5 truly mediocre, a 6 enjoyable and a 7 good.
I hope this review was useful to you, and I’m sorry again for only getting to review your first 2 episodes. I hope you feel like I wasn’t unfair or rude to you at any point, but if I was: please do call me out on it! If you feel like there’s anything I missed which you’d like my feedback on, do tell me and I’d be happy to give it to you as well! I did enjoy your story and I hope you keep writing it for the people who are following it. I wish you the best of luck with it!
Next up is the review for @S_Unique. I hope to have it done in a few days at most!