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 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 just read the character analysis please scroll down to the part where you just see the character’s picture and read from there! Otherwise, enjoy my hapshaw version of the game’s prologue!
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 at 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 to rescue your uncle.
After an explosive opening ceremony, you can 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 handpicked 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 is 1-3 stages 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.
Investigating Subaru Shidou
CV: Kenichi Suzumura
Shidou’s route is the last one that is recommended to be played before Mikami’s is revealed, while I think anyone should play the routes how they please; I do feel his route should be last considering everyone’s story ties in properly and a lot of the loose ends from everyone else’s route gets clarified.
To be honest with anyone who isn’t fond of a tsundere, or the very aggressive type, I am in that same pool and I really have a love-hate relationship with Tsun-Tsuns.. but Shidou is the classic Tsundere that I prefer, and unlike in other games where you are a submissive MC. You get to yell at this detective and win his love while screaming at him to get a clue LOL.
Shidou’s voice actor is Kenichi Suzumura, a very popular guy and is recognizable from being the voice taken of Sho Minazaki from P3, Momotaro from FREE!, and my utter favorite character from Gintama, Sogo Okita. It’s hard to believe that Kenichi played a serious and hard-boiled type of character but that just lets me know how talented the cast in this game is…
and I’m about to fangirl again so let’s get into the investigation!
Shidou is the calm and cool type, mixing with the traits of both a Kuudere and Tsundere, he can be obtuse with expressing his feelings due to his nature of being a detective and being a ‘lone’ wolf. While he has amazing hair btw, his eyes are sensitive to light which is why he has those pretty cool looking shades.
He happens to keep a spare of those glasses in his coat for emergency… He comes off as a bit of a prude towards you when you begin the game, since you volunteered yourself to be in the games rather than be chosen.
There are hints here and there in the game that you can see this man is trying to keep his emotions in check, usually, he will make an “ngh!’ sound when he tries to stamp down his anger.
However, because of his way of reasoning and his approach to situations, he is the level-headed one out of the group, acting as a pseudo-leader in keeping everyone together. I may be praising him a bit, but he also comes with his ego issues and his ‘white knight’ persona…. you learn first hand that Shidou is a bit of a sexist and that DOES NOT bode well for the MC, and he learns first hand at what happens when you piss off the heroine.
“When Shidou tells the heroine that she’s a girl, and she shouldn’t just go touching things… While we as the readers understand she shouldn’t have touched anything without checking out the situation first… What does having to be a girl have anything to do with the situation?”
Obviously, there’s a problem with the detective’s logic, and what better way than to call him out on his sexist bull-bull? SCREAM AT HIM LMAO!
Calling Shidou out on his sexist bull was one of the best things ever, and he had one of the best “shocked” expression out of the men besides Urabe and Mikami. I couldn’t help but shake with laughter at how the thunder and lightning rained down on him when she yelled at him for being a brute.
However, this moment taught Shido a fairly good lesson about his way of thinking, and how he should clean up his logic towards the heroine. At the end of the first stage, when you make it onto the cruise ship, you find Shidou in a brooding mood (why are all handsome men always brooding or something?). He introduces the heroine to the flavor of black coffee and talks to her about a few things about himself whilst holding a gun for emphasis (LOL).
Coming from my perspective, Shidou definitely the man you would want on your side to keep you grounded. While he may have some of his goofball moments, he is passionate about his work and caring towards others even if it comes off as him being a brute at times. Quick on his feet but also calm like an ocean about to turn into a massive tropical storm, the guy captured my heart in the first two stages of the game.
Endearing and careful to always be certain of your safety, he learns to start taking care of understanding his own way of speaking and approaching others. Though there are some exceptions with his attitude towards Mitarashi, you realize those two try to rival each other with their masculinity and macho man hoo-haa and what not. They do end up being best bros later in the game… Albeit I would have hoped they had a bromance like :
(I’m getting off course—AHEM* My inner fujoshi almost took over LMAO)
Anyways, into the daily challenges, you learn that Shidou is from a family of cops, and he takes that heritage in stride and upholds a lot of honor to it. This bit of information helped me put together his line of thinking a bit better, knowing he grew up around police officers and detectives in his life. It was no wonder why he seemed to have this detached persona down-pat until he met the heroine and lost some of that control he’s used to wielding around like a detective.
Getting past his crusty behavior in the beginning stages, as the gamer you start to see a different aspect of this man. Honorable to a fault, he takes a lot of initiative in putting his life on the line in protecting others, which causes a lot of trouble for the heroine. The man is selfless, and it’s hard for the MC to ignore the attractiveness of his alpha wolf nature. Also, that hair dude, I’m still wondering how he gets it to look like that everyday LMAO.
While being held in captivity at the park, the heroine and grow closer during the times that they finish the deadly games. Usually for all the break times that the game gives you, you get to uncover a little more about your chosen man. A lot of the time it’s self-reflection and conversing about how you both felt in the game and what could have gone better.
It’s during these moments of introspection that the heroine speaks about her doubts and her ability in helping solve the puzzles in the games. As she doesn’t have super strength, she can’t fortune tell, she’s not a detective, she’s a random school girl who volunteered as tribute to save her uncle and the hostages.
For Shidou, after listening to her worries, he tells the heroine that there’s nothing wrong with her abilities and that she is perfect the way she is. Similar to what occurred in Towa’s route, he tells her that there are things that she is only capable of doing, and that is more than enough.
We also find out during this moment, as he pats her head, that Shidou apparently likes things that are shaped like a circle or that are round. He’s adorable LOL.
Leveling Up with Subaru Shidou
Wooo boy… When this man falls in love, he lets you know it by showing his possessive side, immediately. Compared to the other guys, I knew that once he was hooked on the MC it was going to be pretty intense since he always seemed the type to be calm in all situations. Albeit he was very aggressive LMAO.
In his route you already know you feel for the man after a few life-threatening moments (suspension bridge effect?), and it’s hard to resist his charm once he’s turned his affections towards you. This is what makes the chemistry between the MC and Shidou very dokidoki, as he’s straightforward with his wants and desires after he captures your heart.
Shidou teaches us that staying calm in a scary situation can be tough, but panicking will also get you nowhere. Learning to assess things properly, and weigh the pros and cons of the situation can help you figure out your next move and determine the possibilities before you.
Another notion his route teaches us is learning to take bold risks, and betting on the unbelievable can also lead you to a magickal outcome.
“Sometimes risks are necessary to win the game.”
“Just like how they all had to dress up in animal suits and Shidou vehemently argued that he didn’t want to dress up as wolf and refused… But lost anyways and had to wear it LMAO!”
“YOU LOOK FINE, BOO THANG~! LOL”
4.5/5 Stars ★★★★✧