Title: 放課後 colorful*step うんどうぶ！
Release Date: January 9, 2014
Official Site: http://www.honeybee-cd.com/colorful_step.html
Twins Haruko and Natsuko transfer to Tokiwa Gakuen. As new students, they have join the club of their choice.
In Undou-bu, you play as Natsuko and you have to choose between the Basketball, and Track and Field club.
The story starts with the first day of the twins in Tokiwa Gakuen. The twins are the quiet Haruko and this game’s heroine, the cheerful Natsuko. After the introductions and first-day shizz, the teachers will have you join a club as it is required to have one. The twins have 1 month (entire April) to choose a club until they narrow it down to only 2 choices. Along the way, they will also meet the other capture-able guys in the game.
Once they have chosen a club by the end of April, Natsuko spends her May-June in the club. Either club she chooses, the members have some sort of problems we all have encountered a lot of times in anime and manga. You will enter a guy’s route at the end of June and spend July-onwards with him. How to know that you have entered the main route? There’s no more date in the upper left-hand side of the screen. 🙂 The entire game can be played in more or less 5 hours; the last few hours for the guy’s route. Boo.
Houkago Colorful Steps is divided in what I call the general route – during April, then once you join a club it’s the common route, and finally your chosen guy’s route. Since the common route for each club is the same in every member, expect to skip galore. Other than the copy-paste events, even if you are pursuing a guy (talk to him, go home with him etc) you get to hang out with other guys. It feels like you are still spreading yourself to other members despite choosing a guy. Heck, you might even get a half-nekkid or someone sleeping on your lap CG. I dunno about you but I think it should be added on their routes instead.
The two clubs here are the Track & Field, and Basketball Club. Natsuko will be a regular member of the former while she will be the manager for the latter. In the first half of the game, I find myself liking T&F more than Basketball. T&F members have a lighter atmosphere and I enjoy the conversations of the 3 main guys. Though that is mostly due to Tokito’s playful personality. Basketball club has more drama. I don’t really like Sasagi that much, Kou is a jerk, and only Kumashiro is their only saving grace. Despite that, this side has given more chances for romance to develop. The members have their moments in the common route wherein they get to have a scene with Natsuko solely in their route. Say, the usual romance per route is 10%; for Basuke-bu members, it is around 20% (perhaps 30-40% for Tachibana ww). Still low on romance overall, though. lol
Another thing that I like about Basketball club side is their epilogues. While there is still club activities involve, they are more focused on the lovelife of the couple and their ichaicha moments. Compared with T&F, wherein every route it focuses on the interhigh stuff and the partner supporting whoever is competing. Please, I’m so done with all your club activities. I. NEED. ROMANCE.
There is an Omake section. It includes CG gallery, character scenes, movie, and extra scenarios. Don’t get your hopes up with the extra scenarios hoping for more raburabu scenes. Because even if they have some sort of raburabu times, the main focus of EVERY story is jealousy. Either the guy or Natsuko or both will get jealous due to guys/girls surrounding them. Sigh. I mean, jealousy-themed is okay as long as you don’t make it in every single route. I don’t want you pulling some 5minute angst just to get some dose of romance.
As I’ve mentioned above, you mostly talk to the guy so you’ll just have to choose any choices that has his name lol. The game system is pretty simple in that. The more tricky part is knowing which training menu you should choose. It is your job to make training menu for the club (an especially important task in Basketball Club). For instance, Kumashiro of Basketball Club needs to practice his defensive skills so you’ll have to choose that when making menu.
There are four ends in the game: Friend end, Bad end, and 2 Renai end. The renai ends are divided in Best and Good (Renai 1 & 2) ends. I don’t bother playing the other ends except for the Best end. It is the only end that contains a CG so why bother with the other o/. BUUUUT there is an exception. Babu Kou has a CG in his Good end so I have to get that.
There is a limited number of CGs in this game! D: Only 7 types I think (unless you’ll include the changing of facial expressions etc). THERE IS NO KISS CG. WTF. There are kiss scenes, yes. BUT NO CG. WHAT THE FREAKING HECK HONEYBEE. When the characters kiss, there will be a blinding light~ in the screen saying that his lips touches hers etc etc. Meanwhile, there are LOTS of hug CG to compensate for the lack of kiss CG. That, or they can’t think of any scenes where they can hide the face of MC. Yep. You’ll never EVER see Natsuko’s face. WTF. Am I playing a mobage??! Most of the CGs are either the guy is alone or with other characters. Kinda like a Tokimemo CG feel. It surprises me that NPCs (some even plays an important part in the story) have faces in the CGs even though they don’t even have sprites during stills. They beat the heroine there. lol
BUUUUUT there are exceptions. The first exception is Sasagi’s epilogue CG. I am SUPER happy when that CG appears because it’s like a super rare moment in the game. You can actually see the full profile of Natsuko albeit having her face still hidden behind her fringe (and Sasagi is mega adorbs here <3). Have you guessed the second exception already? 8D YES! IT’S BABU KOU! <3 <3 <3 Remember that CG in his Good end? THAT IS A KISS CG!!! AAAAHHH LIFE IS STILL GOOD. I gasp when that CG appears lmao. But why put that CG in his Good end and not in his BEST end? :O
The characters are fairly enjoyable but not enjoyable enough to make me laugh so hard (just like with Dot Kare). Everyone turns out okay, I guess.
The younger of the twins.
She is bright and cheerful. In her previous school, she is a member of Track & Field Club.
The problem with her character is that she easily fades into the background. She doesn’t have much of a personality so it’s even harder to relate to her. She is predictable too.
Natsuko is a borderline Mary Sue heroine. She is everyone’s saving grace, like a goddess walking around their school~. It is as if she is an angel from up above who redeems every guy. She is cute, she gets along with everyone, good at cooking, puts others before herself, and a hard worker. Well, you get my point.
It is not always the case though. I catch glimpses of her potential as a level-headed teenage heroine in Kou’s route. Still, the shortness of the game doesn’t allow it to fully blossom.
I decided to play alternating each club, playing characters of same year level. Let’s start with the dependable buchou of both clubs.
Serious captain of Track & Field Club.
I have a hard time reading his surname lol. Ninomae is written as “一”, so my brain immediately goes “Ichi-senpai” www.
Due to his rather stoic feature, Ninomae looks like he is difficult to approach. On the contrary, he is easy to talk to and a good listener. His mature way of thinking allows him to understand and give advises to those who seek his help.
He is passionate in running and cares for the other club members deeply. Everyone regards him as the club’s brother figure. I bet he is seen as a “大先輩”.
In contrast to his strict nature, he looks like a docile child when it comes to Natsuko. He usually softens up to her when she scolds him. It is so nice to see him being sweet and caring. Too cute! For him, Natsuko is his pillar of support and relies to her (like every other guy in this game, really).
The energetic captain of Basketball club.
Kumashiro has an interesting backstory with Ninomae despite their contrasting personality. Too bad it isn’t mentioned in this route (Ninomae doesn’t even appear!). Instead, we have a continuation of Tachibana drama from the common route.
As the captain, he believes in everyone and supports them. He is the mood-maker of his team. His blinding smile is always ready for anyone.
His teammates (especially Sasagi & Kou) call him “天然” for casually saying pickup lines to Natsuko without any malice. In his extra scenario, he drags Natsuko away after their teammates are all over her praising her cooking skills. The guy doesn’t even realize that he is jealous until Natsuko points it out.
There is a time in his route when his tone becomes low. I immediately panic and said “dare” aloud www. I don’t realize it’s him OMG. The gap between his usual happy happy character is so wide!
Now, to the promising rookies of their respective clubs.
The adorable kouhai.
Kiryuu is hard-working and passionate toward Track & Field . He goes to practice earlier than anyone. He is the type of kouhai you can always count on as he is willing to guide Natsuko.
He gets flustered easily and stutters when praised. This causes Tokito to always tease him. He is probably secretly happy about it since he is a big Tokito fanboy. |D
His route is more consistent to his reason in asking Tokito to run seriously with him.
It is pretty obvious at the start that he has a crush with Natsuko. Too bad, I can’t see him as a boyfriend material as he is too cute. Even when they are (quite) flirting in the extra scenario, it feels as if she is talking with her brother.
Ah but I prefer him more than Sasagi though…
The Tsukimori Len of this game.
…or so I thought. I ended up liking him more than I thought I would.
Initially, I hate how he is too strict and serious. Hence, calling him “Tsukimori Len”. But Len is more of the Ice Queen so maybe Sasagi is the Ice Princess lol.
Sasagi is also opinionated. If there’s something he doesn’t like, he’ll mention it again be it his senior or not. He is the complete opposite of Kiryuu. Not cute at all. He is adamant to have Natsuko as their manager. Later, he softens up to her as she proves herself worthy of her position.
His route is almost similar to Kiryuu down to what Natsuko used to help him. The difference is that it feels more like a date than in Kiryuu route.
Out of all the guys, Sasagi is the only guy who is direct with his feelings. He conveys his feelings in a straightforward manner. His end is sweet too! The two of them become bakappuru. Despite his ever strict nature, Sasagi teases Natsuko when they’re together. It’s adorable to see them going ichaicha with each other lol. He compliments her personality the most.
Now we’re down to the prodigal members of T&F, and Basketball club.
Flirty seatmate of Natsuko.
Tokito is in the same class as Natsuko. Apparently, he has natural talent in T&F but avoids getting serious about it under the pretense of avoiding anything that tires him. Despite that, he still inspires other
fanboys players like Kiryuu.
He appears to be playful and flirty. He even hits on Natsuko several times. Due to that, he is seen as the playboy type. Deep inside, Tokito is a pure-hearted romantic guy ww. Pfft otomegokoro. XD
His route is like a reverse Kou. His attitude in the beginning, annoys me a little since he always runs away from the problem. But well, tenshi Natsuko comes in and saves the day.
Kou is like a ghost member of Basketball club. He often skips practices and sleeps the rest of the day on the rooftop. He has a big appetite and eats a lot at any given moment. His words mainly consist of eat-sleep-hungry-tiresome. Really, this sloth is like a spoiled elementary school kid.
Despite his nonchalant and forever poker face expression, he is sharp and reads the atmosphere really well. One proof is when he teases Natsuko and Kumashiro in his captain’s route. He is blunt and straight to the point most of the time.
The first half of basketball side is about his problem with the club is about his problem with the club and its members. The second half is still about him though this time, he and Sasagi shares the same problem. His main route consists of more problems. Like, it is the root of all problems concerning Kou.
I call him jerk because who dares throw a ball to a girl?! Even if he is angry, that is not enough reason.
I am ready to hate him for good until I play his route. Babu Kou have a problem which is completely unrelated to basketball. Finally a character who has a life outside his club! And Babu have a love problem! Ah someone has emotions! But why Kou? Do I sense a favoritism here? Hmm. lol
I love both of his ending! The Best end is good with his marriage-proposal like speech lol. Not the one with the ring but more of a promise they’ll be together and have kids etc. But Good end is the bomb! I totally don’t expect that. That CG catches me by surprise. It’s just him hugging Natsuko (you can still see her back though) but the shot is far. You can see their entire body in a room bathe with moonlight wwww. The kiss CG that comes with that scene shocks me the most! Ahaha OMFG. To make matters worse (for my heart at least), Kou is being an adorable, clingy boyfriend, acting all spoiled with Natsuko. Aaaahh baby~~
After my zoning out experience here, I don’t think I’ll ever want to touch Bunka-bu. Though someone said that it is more enjoyable than Undou-bu, I’m still not sure. This is a short game yet it takes me weeks to finish because I’m friggin bored. The characters are okay, I liked most of them except Natsuko. But I would have appreciated this more if there’s more romance and less club crap. Or make the guy’s route on equal length with the common route. Anyway, I’m so done with this series. This game is so light it puts me to sleep.