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This article is about the Japonese visual novel. For the Beach Boys album, see Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!).

Summer Days (サマーデイズ Sama Deizu?) is a Japanese erotic visual novel developed by 0verflow with music by KIRIKO/HIKO Sound and publishing by Stack Ltd. released initially for the PC on June 23, 2006.[5] On April 11, 2008 it was re-released as a DVD TV game port by AiCherry.[6] The original computer game is notorious for being released in a highly unstable condition littered with software bugs and the sheer quantity of patches that followed in response. Presently the game is at a stable version of 2.01.[7] Summer Days was preceded by School Days and succeeded by Cross Days on March 19, 2010.[8]

Gameplay

Summer Days, like traditional visual novels, is played by watching and advancing through scenes of plot and selecting actions or responses when a situation or character asks of them. These choices are structured hierarchically so that each one will redirect the already developing story in another direction, ultimately leading to erotic scenes and one of seven endings. If however, the player fails to establish the grounds to a relationship in the beginning, the game will prematurely end.

Although the gameplay of Summer Days isn't different from its predecessor, it does adhere to the same presentation that made School Days popular. Instead of traditionally static CG artwork with captions and subtitles for narration or dialog, the game is presented in a limited animation format and style with voice acting; collections of scenes divided into acts, similar to episodes. The game is audibly stereophonic with a music score of 31 songs,[9] sound effects and voices. Progress can be recorded in 10 save slots.

The limited edition game disc additionally contains an Adobe Flash minigame called Ahoge Battle (アホ毛 バトル Ahoge Batoru?), featuring a super deformed parody of the School Days ending "The Bloody Conclusion" (鮮血の結末 Senketsu no Ketsumatsu?) The player controls Sekai, who attempts to force off a manically assaulting Kotonoha by repeatedly pressing the Z and X keys in quick succession, gradually filling a progress bar. If the maximum is reached, the player wins; the alternative being a loss if the minimum is reached.

Synopsis

Setting

While Summer Days is the successor to the original School Days computer game, the story is moderately rewritten as a spin-off, using new and original characters but having them meet during summer vacation instead of the first two semesters of high school. The fictional and unmentioned location of the story thus remains the same as it was in School Days, but with students out of school, focus is predominantly made around the urban and suburban areas, particularly the Radish restaurant and residences of the main cast. Except for friendships between characters that had preexisted prior to the story, the cast is unfamiliar with each other; effectively disestablishing the recognized love triangle between Makoto Itou, Kotonoha Katsura and Sekai Saionji.

Plot

Setsuna Kiyoura is a typical high school student enjoying the summer break off from school with her family and peers. When her close friend, Sekai Saionji, falls bedridden with a common cold and is unable to attend to her part-time waitress job at Radish, the family restaurant, Setsuna opts to fill-in until Sekai is better. Although she comes to find the job is a little more demanding and stressful than expected, she befriends a handful of acquaintances at work, becoming particularly infatuated with fellow student and patron Makoto Itou.

Characters

Ai Yamagata (山県 愛 Yamagata Ai?)
Voiced by: Mio Sakuragawa
Ai Yamagata is a student in year one of class three. Is good friends with Sekai Saionji, Hikari Kuroda and is an acquaintance of Makoto Itou from middle school.
Karen Katou (加藤 可憐 Katou Karen?)
Voiced by: GUNTA
Karen Katou is the playful younger sister of Otome Katou. Unlike her older sibling, Karen is cheerful and unabashed who is just as playfully teasing as she is concerned of Otome. Of both girls, Karen is bustier. She is good friends with Kuzuha and Futuba Nijou and looks up to Makoto as her mentor and role model.
Kuzuha Nijou (二条 一葉 Nijou Kuzuha?)
Voiced by: Aoi Kamigatsu
Kuzuha Nijou is the older monozygotic twin of Futuba Nijou, distinguishable by her red headband and sailor outfit school uniform. Is a fellow classmate and good friend of Karen who looks up to Makoto as her mentor and role model.
Futuba Nijou (二条 二葉 Nijou Futuba?)
Voiced by: [ayoi Sougetsu
Futuba Nijou is the younger monozygotic twin of Kuzuha, distinguishable by her beige headband and dressy clothes. Like her sister, Futaba is a fellow classmate and good friend of Karen who looks up to Makoto as her mentor and role model.
Oruha Hashimoto (橋本 織葉 Hashimoto Oruha?)
Voiced by: Souumi Haduki
Employed waitress of Radish. Oruha Hashimoto initially does not like Setsuna and teases her with ridicule and put-downs, but eventually grows to accept her. Is good friends with Noan Murayama. Of the entire female cast, Oruha is the only girl with an established boyfriend from the start.
Noan Murayama (村山 野杏 Murayama Noan?)
Voiced by: Yuka Hara
The second waitress of Radish, Noan Murayama is roughly the same as Oruha, though she is more gentle and easygoing. Is looked up to as a role model by Setsuna.
Mai Kiyoura (清浦 舞 Kiyoura Mai?)
Voiced by: Umihou Natsu
Mai Kiyoura is the biological mother of Setsuna. She is a restaurateur with friend, and slight rival, Youko Saionji.

Development

Release history

Summer Days was publicly released in Japan on June 23, 2006. On October 27, Stack re-released the game, patched up to 2.01.

With the exception of a few minor changes, the original Summer Days computer game has been ported to a current one other platform. On April 11, 2008, based on version 2.01, AiCherry released a four disc DVD TV game edition. Changes include the removal of time restrictions during choices, male voice mutability, route map and progress saving; replaced by password access chapters.

Technical issues

Shortly after Summer Days had made its commercial debut, 0verflow began to receive large amounts of mail and telephone calls from upset customers who complained that the game was bugged in spots. The company investigated the complaints and found that a major oversight had resulted in the game being released in a heavily defective condition. Previous updates that had been made to Summer Days while in development were not all entirely removed when Stack published and shipped the game, leaving in portions of faulty source code that caused unexpected crashes, inaccessible scenes, routes, endings and muted voices. In response to this discovery, 0verflow issued an apology to customers on June 28,[10][11] stating that work on patches to fix the problems had started, and that customers who had registered their copy would be sent a new game disc when it was brought to its most stable version.[11]

Patches

The first of the patches to be released was an exorbitant 2.3GB in size. The scope of users and volume of traffic downloading this file was so great that the company servers reportedly became overloaded and crashed. While this patch did in fact resolve a few issues, it ended up creating additional inconsistencies, such as the removal of the pixelization censor in erotic scenes, leading to a recall.[12][13] Patches 1.01 and 1.021 followed the recall, distributed by 0verflow through torrents to prevent server outages, yet, despite these patches, more software bugs were found which in turn prompted the released of more patches.

Patch 1.03 had a bug in itself that erased save data, patch 1.04 cycled the game in an infinite loop and patch 1.06 was unable to even apply itself. On July 23, patches 1.09 and 1.09B were released, solving most of the problems. Version 2.00 of the game was released after these patches with patch 2.01 later bringing Summer Days to its most stable build.[14]

Reception

Summer Days was generally received poorly. Anticipation of the game had been strong, as School Days had previously been a commercially successful title. To promote Summer Days and elevate hype, 0verflow visited select cities, notably Osaka, Koriyama, and parts of Tokyo such as Akihibara, to showcase the game and a few of the character voice actors and actresses.[15] This marketing effort proved to build up considerable excitement, and following about three weeks of promotion, Summer Days was officially released to the public on June 26, 2006. It premiered as the number one game sold on Getchu.com during this time,[16] subsequently ranking eighth in the company for the overall year.[17]

In spite of the eventful advertising campaign, however, the aforementioned buggy release of the game and series of unusually large, frustrating and numerous patches made it very unfavorable among players.[18][19] As a result of this, a rumor surfaced that 0verflow was forced to layoff half of its company employees.[20][21] Conclusively, Summer Days ranked eighteenth for the entire year of all eroge sales, selling a total of 23,480 copies.[22]

References

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  2. "Summer Days". GameFaqs.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
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  9. "Summer Days Original Soundtrack". VGMdb.net. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  10. Script error
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Darkmirage" (6/29/06). "0verflow Apologizes for Summer Days - Ramblings of DarkMirage". darkmirage.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. Script error
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  18. "oOgA" (9/28/07). "Summer Days (PC)". abanzai.animeblogger.net. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. Script error
  20. Script error
  21. Script error
  22. "cannedzepy" (03-01-07). "Eroge Sales Rankings Year 2006". zepy.momotato.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links

ms:Summer Dayszh:Summer Days

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