Publisher: Aksys Games
Genres: Otome, Visual Novel, Science Fiction, Romance
Reviewed For: Nintendo Switch
Also Available On: PS VITA
Norn9 Var Commons is an otome game set in a sci-fi world where there are nine romanceable characters and three heroines. Recently released for the Nintendo Switch, the game was originally on the PS Vita in 2013.
The game’s story starts off in the year 2015. A 12-year-old boy genius, Sorata, is whisked off into the Taisho era period in Japan. The Taisho era is around the year 1919 before the first world war. In the Taisho era, Sorata meets a girl, Koharu, who tries to help him and takes him with her on a flying ship that might be the key to Sorata returning to his time period. The majority of the game’s events occur on the ship. However, there is a traitor aboard the ship who is deliberately sabotaging the ship.
I followed the routes in this order: Kakeru – Heishi – Senri – Sakuya – Itsuki – Masamune – Akito – Ron – Natsuhiko. I’m glad I started with Kakeru first since his character is very likable and the route provides a good introduction to the story. Each of the three heroines has three romanceable guys in their harem. After the prologue, you jump directly into one of the three heroines’ stories and choose your guy from there. For Koharu, she has Kakeru, Senri, and Masamune. Nanami has Heishi, Akito, and Ron. Mikoto has Sakuya, Itsuki, and Natsuhiko.
The best heroine for me was Mikoto. She is very headstrong, intelligent, and also very stubborn. She isn’t quick to recognize her feelings. Her romances start off slow and gradually build up, and that is how I like to see things progress. The other heroines are also very likable in their own way. I especially find Koharu’s pure innocence very endearing, although it causes her trouble with her suitors sometimes.
The best route is definitely Natsuhiko as he has great chemistry with Mikoto and everything clears up in his story. Although, I also enjoyed Akito’s route because it was fun seeing this tsundere warm up to Nanami and there is a revelation near the end of his route that I didn’t see coming. Senri has the best interactions with Koharu, and I didn’t think I would like his character so much as he is presented as a pessimistic shut-in in the other routes.
Overall, I really enjoyed Norn9 Var Commons. The writing and dialogue are well-executed, and the art is top-notch. Even though there were nine bachelors to romance, the game didn’t feel very long and I never got bored. The music has an ethereal, cinematic feel and suited the game perfectly. Each route has a unique story, which makes the plot a little inconsistent, but this didn’t bother me too much. I recommend Norn9 Var Commons to every otome fan, especially those who like plot-heavy otome games with a bit of slice-of-life. I haven’t played many otome games, but I can say that Norn9 Var Commons is one of the best otome games I’ve ever played.
- Beautiful artwork
- Well-developed characters
- Inconsistent plot