Sweet Fuse: At Your Side stars Saki Inafune, niece to legendary game developer Keiji Inafune. Saki’s famous uncle opens an amusement park and Saki attends the opening ceremony, but things really heat up when Count Hogstein—a malevolent pig—takes over the park, and holds everyone hostage. Saki, along with seven sexy men, decides to enter Count Hogstein’s deadly game in order to save her uncle and the other hostages. Will she be able to solve the complex puzzles that Count Hogstein and his merry henchmen have in store? And most importantly, which steamy bachelor will Saki choose? (Game Description from PSN)
©2013 IDEA FACTORY ©KI/comcept Inc. Licensed to and published by Aksys Games.
FYI everyone, I write my reviews like standalone books, so readers who just want to know a specific route will read the common route and then see the character analysis. If you wish to just read about the character, please scroll down to the part where you just see the character’s picture and read from there!
A RIGGED BEGINNING
Okay guys, I’ve played this game so many times because I love it so much, so I may be biased but here is a bit about the prologue, and the common route you undertake before you start romancing the awesome men in here.
You play as Saki Inafune (but you can change your name in the beginning of the story), a high school student who shares an affinity for games and puzzles. You wake up one morning and realize its the grand opening day for the Gametorium that your famous uncle has desired to create and build. In this moment of the game, I got just as excited as the heroine since I LOVE GAMES, and the fact that they were bringing a gamer concept into an otome was amazing!
I digress, you get ready and head out to the train station only to bump into a mysterious person who actually stops you from falling over. While in the beginning, you don’t get to see this person’s face due to spoiler reasons, he asks you about the little trinket you have on your phone which is KANE DE BOO, the mascot for The Gametorium. The stranger lets you go and tells you to have a nice day, but keep in mind, that voice you heard as you’ll hear it turn up in the game from time to time.
You make it to the grand opening, and it’s loud and bustling with camera crews, security, and family of the staff that helped bring this amusement park to life. At the helm of this eventful day, your Uncle Keiji Inafune presents himself as the creator of the park and at first, all seems well and grand but as your Uncle begins to make a speech his microphone cuts out and suddenly the screens surrounding the entrance of the park flicker to life with a grotesque image of what seems to be KANE DE BOO…
At first, as the villain makes his first appearance, everyone thinks this is a joke as people are purposely being taken off stage by these Piglet dressed henchmen. As the MC, you’re thinking that this is all just a big hoax that your uncle has created since he is the type to do flashy and childish like antics. However, the child’s play of the event comes to an explosive halt as the villain, Count Hogstein, blows up the main icon of the Gametorium.
This sends everyone into a panic, and the MC realizes her mistake of not taking the incident seriously. Pushing against the crowd she tries to make it to the stage as she sees her uncle being hauled away by the Piglet henchmen, at this moment, Hogstein announces that he would be picking seven people to be the ‘heroes’ of a seven-day challenge.
These challenges would put the lives of the hostage and the park at stake because your family is in danger of being killed, you volunteer willing to take on the challenge and go against Count Hogstein and play his games in order to rescue your uncle.
After an explosive opening ceremony, you are able to enter the park and meet the chosen ‘heroes’ in this deadly game that Hogstein has created.
From the slideshow above:
- Shidou Subaru the cool and strict detective with an incredible hairdo
- Ryusei Mitarashi our resident tough guy who is the number one host of Ulysses
- Kimimaro Urabe, the fortune teller who happens to be a Yandere (YES HE IS A YANDERE//I LOVE HIM THOUGH LOL)
- Kouta Meoshi, the loveable gamer/cinnamon roll (he’s relatable on so many levels)
- Ayumu Shirabe, our sexy ossan man who is an investigative reporter with a sweet tooth!
- Towa Wakasa, an adorable scared cat who can sing and dance; our resident popstar
- Finally, we have Makoto Mikami… He’ll be unlocked after you finish the common routes, but be aware he’s a
I want to make this clear, all the men here were chosen versus you, someone who just volunteered. It’s easy to see how in the beginning the men are quick to throw suspicion on you, because you’re a young girl who just offers to be in a life or death match of games, while they were hand picked by Hogstein. To be honest, the heroine should have voiced that one of her family members was captured by Hogstein, and it would have helped the team be a little more confident with who they were working with.
After the brief introductions, Hogstein advises you all to join him in his merry little castle of doom that he ripped off of Castlevania or something. Once inside, and a few gruff statements are exchanged from Ryusei and Shidou, Hogstein describes seven rules to which you must all abide by for the next seven days, but the last rule is the killer one.
Upon stating the seventh rule, Hogstein demonstrates his power and control over the players and also the hostages as he reveals that the prisoners (including your uncle) are trapped in a large cage that is underneath a gigantic wrecking ball. Making it clear that one false move could end the lives of everyone beneath it, this hog meant business, so if you mess around consider your bacon cooked. (No, I’m serious, one of the other rules is that if you don’t complete a game the attraction blows up)
Thus, we begin the rigged game wars that Hogstein has created, and continue to the common route. The common route are stages 1-3 where most of the games are all the same, but your answers boost the morality of the romance with any of the guys around you. So keep in mind, that you’ll probably pick the same bout of answers for certain routes and for others you have to choose an obtuse answer that wouldn’t make sense to make in the real world, but this is fiction so just go with it.
Examining Towa Wakasa
CV: YUKI KAJI
Towa’s route is the first route that is recommended to be played, and to be honest if you don’t have a lot of patience, he is a handful. He comes off as a spoiled superstar and is one hell of a scaredy cat. I can understand he won’t be the easiest route to complete due to how his personality is… However, I’m used to working with kids and very obtuse personalities, the plus side of this character I LOVE his voice actor, and also the complexity of this character’s nature and why he acts the way he does is intriguing to me.
“For those of you familiar with Eren from Attack on Titan, Kanato Sakamaki from Diabolik Lovers, and Finis from Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~. Yuki Kaji voices Towa in an unrecognizable way that it amazes me, since most of the characters I;ve heard him voice are fairly… Psychotic… LOL. So if you’re a Yuki fan, this game should be put in your repertoire of things to either listen or play, because he voices this character EXTREMELY well.”
I digress, I’m fangirling over Yuki Kaji LMAO.
In the beginning, Towa it’s pretty evident that he’s going to be a pain in the ass, as he is too afraid to do anything heroic. He’s a big crybaby, and he even tells everyone that he wanted to runaway, but he was here for a promo gig from his work. When we come to the first attraction in the common route, he is adamant at not going in and he’s quick to throw out a bunch of statements due to his anxiety and fear of everything that is happening.
To say the least, he is unreliable and is quick to allow his panic to consume him. However, he’s understandable, he’s been a child actor and then turned popstar who’s lived a pretty easy life until this happened. His reactions to a situation and his panic is valid, as not everyone can think calmly or be brave in the face of danger all the time.
What makes him a likable character is that he admits to his faults, he knows he isn’t level-headed or a master genius at solving games or puzzles. Which is what makes him puzzled as to why he was one of the chosen heroes in Hogstein’s games. It’s difficult for him to comprehend because he knows that there isn’t much that he can do, and yet, the heroine says something to him that is beautiful and well said.
She tells Towa that there are only things that he can do and that is something he needs to remember, and that not everyone will react to danger with a cool headed approach. Whilst having this conversation both the MC and Towa get to understand one another better, strengthening their relationship over the course of the game.
“Can you speak to me normally? We aren’t that far apart in age.”
Over the expanse of the seven days, Towa slowly starts to chip away at his fearful nature, and he is honest about his feelings towards his actions at the end of the game. When you spend time with him, he elaborates on how he feels useless and he’s tired of being so scared of everything.
He uses singing and dancing as a way to express his emotions, and it is one of his ways of being honest with himself. That may be odd to some people, but this scaredy cat lover boy is really the most at ease when he’s able to perform music and just have fun. Which is very pivotal towards the end of the game when you move along further into his route.
You find out that this poor baby is just as sheltered as the MC, where he may know a few things about handling cellphones and what a host club is. He’s never been given liberty to do things on his own, so he’s always had to rely on someone to make the decision for him because no one ever gave him the right to do so.
He casually would go with whatever anyone said for him to do because he upheld this moral of always making people smile, regardless of how he truly feels.
Now… I did mention there are times that you can lose patience with him, and OH BOY~! Do you ever get to say something back to these guys in the games when they’re being idiots. There’s a part of the game that Towa does something that goes against not only his morals but puts people in danger, so you as the MC must stop him by doing the only thing you can do.
YELL AT HIM FOR BEING AN IDIOT AND STOP HIM!
“I cherish this game for allowing us to scream at the romanceable guys in here, and it’s a refreshing stance considering a lot of games I’ve played before didn’t give us an option to say something. It was more than we have to be submissive, yet, this is so hilarious, I can’t even stop laughing at how these guys get so scared or crushed when the MC screams at them for being assholes. I’m entering from the point but I had to add a shocked Towa in here for the sake of the funnies and just how great this game is LOL.”
Leveling Up with Towa Wakasa
When Towa realizes his affection for you is love, he’s a bit shocked by the revelation at first but then slowly breaks into a smile of happiness. Of course, due to the situation you both are in, it’s a bit of bad timing to announce that he’s in love to you but it was cute how he blurted it out and then blushed.
Towards the end, Towa redeems himself from the first few days facing his fears and anxiety even though he still is scared. And you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, at all, I do things scared all the time because we can’t get things done if we cry in the corner and never move.
Towa teaches us that you’re a lot braver than you believe yourself to be, and much more stronger than your own expectations. He cries over silly things at times, but he honestly admits his faults and his worries in a way to reflect how to be better than next day. Thus, which gives me and the heroine both faith in him to do the right thing, and do things he knows he can do.
I forgot to mention he’s just a cinnamon roll altogether and I have this thing for kids and family in games, when one of the characters daughter happens to get pulled into this horror show of games. She recognizes Towa and is fangirling beyond belief because he’s her favorite member of the boyband he’s in, and she asks him if he could sing for her.
And HSIAUHDIHKWIH!~* He does, and it’s so sweet, and not only that it shows where his passion and heart is… Making people smile with the power of his voice and his kind heart.
4.5/5 Stars ★★★★✧