[PlayStation 4] Strawberry Vinegar Review
In visual novel Strawberry Vinegar from Ratalaika Games and ebi-hime you follow a young girl through a crazy week. Learn more in our Castle Pals review!
Sakuraba Rie, aged nine, is a cynical and grumpy girl who cares little for her fellow classmates, and does not have a single friend.
That is, until a self-proclaimed demon from the deepest, darkest pits of Hell suddenly appears in Rie’s kitchen and steals a tray of cookies.
Strawberry Vanilla is a visual novel following a little girl named Rie. The game begins with a scene at home when she’s with her parents. Her father likes to cook, and soon after the game beginning, we are introduced to one of the various meals we’ll discover in this game. A few moments later, we are also introduced to the other protagonist of this story: Licia, a demon who’s there to take Rie away.
Being a visual novel, there are also moments in which you’ll be asked questions, and you’ll then branch out into different paths that will take you to find one of the six different story outcomes. Being nice or rude with Licia will send you down the road towards a good ending or a bad ending. Food is the name of the game, and you’ll see quite a few recipes and dishes throughout your experience, which is a game type relatively new for a western audience.
As for the game’s content, the dialogues felt at times a bit silly and inconsequential. Rie’s parents are… kind of dumb. Her father is way beyond simple-minded and only talks about food and never takes anything seriously. Her mother is a pop idol, and while being more classy than Rie’s father, she’s also simple-minded. Right off the bat, Licia – the demon – offers to spare Rie’s life in exchange for being cooked some delicious food for a whole week. In a visual novel, I usually like it when the dialogue has some substances, but there was not much of that in this game.
As for the game’s presentation, it is what you’d expect for a visual novel. The game spans a few days and has a few different locations for you to visit as you progress through the story. The interface is almost completely in pink, which felt stylish and appropriate for a game with a name such as Strawberry Vinegar, which is also a visual novel.
About the trophies for the game, there are many paths that will be hidden during your first run. You are encouraged to replay the game multiple times in order to reach each branching story path – and obtain the different endings trophies -, so that you can see each dish the game has to offer so that you can achieve a new Platinum trophy for your collection.
If you’re looking for a new visual novel to play on PlayStation 4, Strawberry Vinegar is a good option, especially for those new to the genre. I liked the presentation but thought that other than Rie and Lucia, the other characters surrounding this story lacked personality and weren’t that interesting.
As a bonus, here’s a trophy guide to help you achieve the Platinum trophy the fastest possible:
This Strawberry Vinegar review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.