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I often feel like video game adaptations of anime are great entry points for people unfamiliar with the source material. Punch Line, however, is hard for me to recommend to anyone but the most hardcore fans of the original anime. While this game has interesting ideas that approach the same genre as cult-classic Ghost Trick, the sloppy presentation and pacing make it more of a chore than a pleasure to play through. A lot of the appeal of the original anime has also been lost in the switch of mediums. Fans of the anime will likely get enjoyment out of the new stories and beautiful character models. Anyone else is better off starting with the original television series or simply avoiding Punch Line altogether.
Punch Line is a effective as a satire and parody. It's obviously only going to appeal to people that are that immersed in Japanese culture that their sense of hyperbole comes across as amusing and surreal, rather than just silly, but then this is very much an insider's parody of a type of anime that only the most dedicated (and therefore, likely aware) fans of anime in the first place. For that niche Punch Line is pitch-perfect.
Fans of the anime might enjoy some of the more outrageous story moments in Punch Line, but for those looking for an interesting visual novel in the same vein as Zero Escape, this one, unfortunately, fails to hit the mark.
Punch Line has a completely bonkers but utterly engrossing storyline. Its quirky cast of characters are incredibly captivating and it's easy to fall in love with all of them. The puzzles are a bit too easy but that just makes it quicker to get back to the thrilling story.
There’s a point in the Punch Line anime where main character Yuta Iridatsu says something about how the spirit world functions similarly to a video game, and there’s really no denying that time travel and abilities that become better as they’re used are the types of things that lend themselves perfectly to gaming. That makes it all the more surprising that the Punch Line game adaptation is a visual novel first and foremost, then, forgoing its gameplay in favor of its story.
It’s hard to say whether Punch Line as a game is a good jumping-in point for those that haven’t seen the anime prior, but I enjoyed my time somewhat more with the game. It’s silly, downright ridiculous at pretty much all times, but it’s the interaction with the story that the game allows, which makes it a more engaging experience.
The game was a joy to experience and I cannot wait to see how the world is saved. Visual novel fan or not, the characters, writing, and unique gameplay are all easily appreciated and enjoyed. And while the fan service is definitely there, it's not the focus of the game. In fact, in a perfect, non-destroyed world, you'll see as few panties as possible.
Punch Line is a quite good visual novel with an interesting story and a lot of fan service.
Review in French | Read full review
I had a fun time with Punch Line. I got a really cool story with twists and turns that keep my head spinning, with some interesting gameplay diversion as well, that helped to move the story forward. The episodic structure was really cool, giving it a different feel than most visual novels. This felt more like a binge watch than playing a game. Check this game out!
Punch Line tells a fantastic story amidst all the chaos that takes place. It may seem pervy from its advertisements but there is a charming experience here that you will surely remember.