Mini Review: Sweet Fuse-At Your Side

Sweet Fuse At Your Side

Alternative Title: Bomb Decision (Japan)

Year: 2013

Developer: Aksys

Platforms: PSP

So I came across this game back in 2013, I remember all the hype surrounding it, but at the time I didn’t have a PSP, so I wasn’t able to join in the first wave of players. I then was able to gain access to a PSP and a copy of the game and I absolutely loved it! While it is billed as an otoge, Sweet Fuse plays more like a adventure, puzzle visual novel than your typical romance visual novel. So when it went on sale in the PSN store I immediately went out and bought a copy of the game for myself.

The first route of the game that I played was Subaru Shidou, because I don’t know if I mentioned this before…but I have a thing for megane men. Plus he’s gorgeous, the typical otoge hottie and that suit…sexy!


The Plot

You play as Saki Inafune, the high school aged niece of renowned game creator, Keiji Inafune. She is on her way to the grand opening of Japan’s largest amusement park, with attractions based on several of her uncle’s video game creations. Everyone has turned out for the celebration, the press, idols, celebrities, and even the police, it’s looking like the day is going to be one of fun. That is until, the mysterious, Count Hogstein interrupts the festivities with a dangerous ultimatum. He kidnaps Inafune and the park’s board of directors and demands that seven of the park’s attendees participate in a seven day game or else he’ll blow the entire park and everyone in it sky high. With her uncle’s life on the line Saki volunteers herself as tribute  to participate in the dangerous game. She along with six eligible bachelors must solve the sadistic pig’s puzzles and save the hostages within the seven day time limit or suffer the consequences. But, there is more to these men than meets the eye, in fact they are all connected to an incident from long ago. So join Saki as she uses her intuition and brains to solve puzzles, defeat Hogstein…and find love along the way!

sweet fuse character
Left to Right: Saki, Shidou, Wakasa, Meoshi, Shirabe, Urabe, Mitarashi, and Mikami
  • Saki Inafune (Voiced by: Maki Kobayashi) is the protagonist of the game and the niece of renowned game creator Seiji Inafune. She is different from the other game participants in that she volunteered to participate. She is a no nonsense kind of girl and a bit stubborn, she uses her amazing intuition to solve problems.
  • Subaru Shidou (Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura) is a police inspector in charge of security for the park’s grand opening event. He is extremely rational and a stickler for the rules, coming off as uptight. But he is extremely loyal and great to have around in a pinch.
  • Towa Wakasa (Voiced by: Yūki Kaji) is a member of the popular all boys music group Junior Jr. Boys (talk about redundant). A charismatic performer, Wakasa is a scaredy cat in real life. He is often seen cowering in fear or tearing up.
  • Kouta Meoshi (Voiced by: Masakazu Morita) is an anti-social NEET. While he comes off as gloomy in person, online he is known as the legendary gaming legend Ares. What he lacks in physical strength he more than makes up for in gaming prowess.
  • Ayumu Shirabe (Voiced by: Ken Narita) is a freelance journalist who is constantly chewing on a Pocky-like snack. Like most journalists he is always in search of the truth, stopping at nothing to find it. He often looks like he is in need of a nap.
  • Kimimaru Urabe (Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe) is a gentle fortune teller. Beneath his eccentric appearance is a really down to earth and kind man. He is soft spoken and slow to anger.
  • Ryuusei Mitarashi (Voiced by: Satoshi Hino) is the number one host in Ginza, he uses the stage name Ulysses. Unlike Urabe, he is quick to anger and prone to engage in physical altercations. In spite of that he’s a nice guy, with a secret love of video games.
  • Makoto Mikami  (Voiced by: Chihiro Suzuki) is a college student. His route is the secret mystery route. Who is this guy? What does he have to do with the attack on the park?

final thoughts

I absolutely love this game, it puts a nice spin on the typical otoge premise. While romance is a major plot point of the game, it isn’t the only point of the game. There was a lot of thought put into the Hogstein Game, and each puzzle presents a new, unique challenge for the player. Then there’s the mysterious incident that forms the basis of the game’s subplot. In order to get the whole story on that, you have to actually play all of the routes in the game, but most especially Makoto’s route.

The characters are fun and engaging, each with their own character growth and development. You actually get invested in their stories and get caught up in their struggles and successes both as individuals and as a collective group. While I will admit that there were some characters that I liked more than others, the each member of the cast has their own merits.

The art is lovely, as expected from a commercial game like Sweet Fuse. The character designs were nice and seemed to really fit well with each character’s personalities.The sound and music was perfect and it only served to really drive home the emotions of the plot. The gameplay is simple enough to pick up on, so there isn’t a huge learning curve. There are a healthy amount of choices in each route and the reading really isn’t that dense. Normal choices sometimes have an effect on the affection levels of individual characters. There are also moments when Saki will get angry and the player has the choice of letting her unleash her anger or restraining her emotions. This can lead to some hilarious results, so I suggest playing around with both. In addition to the regular choices, there are moments when Saki has to use her intuition to solve a particularly difficult puzzle. The player must select the appropriate key words and phrases from a floating list, if done correctly Saki will solve the puzzle.

The game utilizes a branching story line, so the character interactions and choices made throughout the game are essential to deciding which ending you get. All of the characters (except Makoto) are up for grabs at the same time, so if you are aiming for a specific character, tailor your choices towards that character. Overall, I enjoyed this game and I highly recommend playing it if you have the chance. It’s currently available in the PSN store, so if you have a Vita or a PSP definitely purchase it there!

*Individual Character reviews coming soon!*

Have you played Sweet Fuse? What did you think about it? Who’s your favorite love interest? Any burning questions? Want me to review a specific game or character? Feel free to Comment on this post or Ask Me on my tumblr! As always Thank You for reading!

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23 thoughts on “Mini Review: Sweet Fuse-At Your Side

  1. I bought this ages ago and still haven’t gotten around to even turning it on. My PSP is pretty much dead with Power Cable Life Support, so it can be a pain to play. Also, buying a digital copy for the PSV means the resolution takes a hit as well. However, if my PSP won’t work, I will buy this game again and play it on my PSV. Sounds really interesting and different! I actually like how the heroes aren’t overly bishie-fied.

    Thanks for the review, pal! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww no problem, thank you for reading my review!!! 😄

      I’m the same way, I buy games all the time, but all they seem to do is sit around collecting dust. lol

      It’s a very interesting game, definitely worth the playthrough. All of the heroes have their own flaws and hangups and it’s fun to see them deal with them over the course of the game.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You started with Shidou? That must have taken some of the mystery out.

    Anyways, Sweet Fuse is really fun. I really like how they didn’t just make each route going through the same main plot but that each one spins off into its own adventure. The game references were also awesome. I’d love to go to the park! It also has one of my favorite systems to make it easy to replay. And the get mad option is always fun, especially the guy’s reactions. Really wish Sweet Fuse was made into an anime.

    By the way, Aksys, no one believes Wakasa is 17. And use “host” next time please. Kthx.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup! Idk, I was just drawn to Shidou, he looked gorgeous! Eh, kind of, but there were still alot of holes in the story and I waited awhile between playthroughs so it wasn’t too bad!

      This game was so much fun, it’s a shame not many people have played it 😦

      OMG, yes! I wish someone would build an amusement park dedicated to video games!

      lol, yes Aksys thought they were being clever, with Wakasa and Mitarashi…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohh, this was one of the first otome games I’ve played (because it was in English and my Japanese skills were pretty much non-existent back then lmao).
    Appearance-wise, I like Shidou the best. I mean, like you said, megane and suit ❤ That, and I think he looks the easiest on the eyes.
    When I played this, however, it gave me more of a detective/mystery game kind of feel. Mostly because of the "Explosive Insight" mechanic and the little subplot concerning the 6 men (+1). But it was a fun ride for me because I enjoy those kinds of games.

    This was a great review. Can't wait to read your individual ones ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it was my pleasure! It’s a really fun game and despite it being an otoge, it doesn’t really play like one. Most of the focus is put on the puzzles and the mystery, and the relationship building (while important) takes a backseat.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa you started with Shindou!! Did that ruin the mystery for you? Still, the game was fantastic and I’m so glad to see others talking again about this game! It honestly is one of my fav and had Hakuoki not come out before it, I think it would’ve been super popular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha, everyone has been asking me that…hmmm I don’t think it did. I feel like I was more concerned with actually romancing Shidou that I completely missed the ‘mystery’ lol…

      I definitely agree, more folks should talk about this game, it’s really quite good!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES YAS YES YAS
    FINELY SAID, ON POINT AAH (ノ^o^)ノ
    It is so good, and you’re right they the guys and their stories are so engaging, plus they’re all different and the scenarios aren’t similar to each other. The attractions are always different, ditto for the puzzles. I’m so glad you liked it (〜^∇^)〜
    Funnily enough I played Glasses-kun first too, but didn’t remove any of the mystery or suspense for the other routes, since the other dudes are all so different + their routes and what happens.
    I must say my fave was the shota, and then the old-san because he took her seriously and didn’t treat her like a dainty flower ready to blow away if she did anything /stares at Glasses-kun
    I really, really loved the gameplay/puzzles, I wish more otoge had that type of gameplay instead of the stat raising hell they love to use ヽ(°◇° )ノ
    I also really like that there is a slow burn/build of their relationship, and it isn’t instalove ヘ( ̄ω ̄ヘ)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol first off, I love your nicknames….and I hereby dub them the official character names on this blog lol! I totally agree about old-san and Glasses-kun lol I was so mad at him for being a butt munch during his route! Luckily he mellowed out towards the end tho! What about Gamer-kun? Didn’t you like him?

      Like

      1. /preens
        Thank you, thank you ヘ( ̄ω ̄ヘ)
        He definitely was a butthead, so I really liked how he improveded and got shown girls don’t need to be protected and can protect him too ┗(^0^)┓
        I liked Gamer-kun too, his past aah, so sad ;_;
        I think the ones I felt kinda eh about where Hoe-kun and Braid-san, but only because the others were so much better, they weren’t all that bad ヽ(°◇° )ノ
        Tbh, I wish it’d gotten a sequel or a fandisc, I want more games with this gameplay ヽ(*゚ー゚*)ノ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I aim to entertain and please ƪ(˘⌣˘)┐
        Maybe there is and we don’t know? Wouldn’t be the first time we get the main game but not a sequel ヽ(°◇° )ノ
        I called Ukyo EvilBraid while playing Amnesia, I have a thing for nicknames xDD (ノ^o^)ノ

        Liked by 1 person

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