[PlayStation 4] A Summer with the Shiba Inu Review
In visual novel A Summer with the Shiba Inu from Ratalaika Games and Quill Studios, every character is a dog. Check our A Summer with the Shiba Inu review!
When Syd the Shiba Inu returns to Shiba Island after a ten-year absence, she sets off a chain of events that overturns the lives of all the dogs she had left behind. She gets back in touch with her old friend, Max, and along the way meets a mysterious Labrador retriever named Quei-Li. (What’s a Lab doing on the Island, anyway?) They are her only remaining allies as she tries to survive the past that made her leave the Island in the first place.
A Summer with the Shiba Inu is a visual novel in which you are following Syd, a Shiba Inu, which left Shiba Island over ten years ago. She’s now back on the Island, and she soon meets her friend Max, who challenges her on why she left. Soon after, he meets a Labrador named Quei-Li, which is odd since Labradors on Shiba Island isn’t a common sight. As she interacts with other dogs from her past, she’ll have to answer as to why she left for such a long period of time.
The story of A Summer with the Shiba Inu is one that boasts a lot of dialogue options. Not only is it a lengthy Visual Novel spanning over roughly 5-6 hours for each of your runs depending on the choices you make, but there are also more three different endings for Syd, plus more than ten specific dialogue paths that will take you towards different endings for the cast of supporting characters. This game features more than70,000 words to read, which, to put it in comparison, is similar in size to a book. Given that most of the fun of this game is to unfold Syd’s past and being gentle or rude to the other inhabitants of the island, the more content, the better, right?
I liked how, in this game, dogs live a life similar to the one we humans have. They live in houses and apartments. They use holographic watches, which is a direct parallel to how we use our cellphones. They go to restaurants and hang out with each other. It’s funny how this game managed to recreate a plausible version of intelligent dogs living as humans do.
As for the presentation, and with this being a visual novel, A Summer with the Shiba Inu has static backgrounds for each place visited, and each of the different dog characters is also static but has a few different poses depending on their feelings or what they are saying. The different characters are presented as dogs with items of clothing, with a hand-painted aquarelle feel to them. The background soundtrack felt appropriate but didn’t stick in my head after I had completed the game.
As for the trophies, this Ratalaika GAmes release has plenty of them: 14 Bronze, 10 Silver, 6 Gold, and, of course, a Platinum trophy for you. Without a guide, this Platinum would require over 15 hours for you to be able to find all of the choices you need to make to get all of the main endings and the extra endings for the rest of the cast. But, as it is often the case, this guide can help you achieve it much faster.
If you’re looking for a new visual novel to play on PlayStation 4, A Summer with the Shiba Inu is a good option. I liked how each dog featured human-like characteristics and how the story unfolded.
If you love visual novels, I’d also recommend [PlayStation 4] Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet also from Ratalaika, which I also loved.
As a bonus, here’s a video trophy guide to help you achieve the Platinum trophy the fastest possible:
This A Summer with the Shiba Inu review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.