Hello friends, not my first otome game but I decided to open a blog after constantly twiddling my fingers on how to do it and what to talk about! From little effort to a whole lot, we’ll see how long I’ll be around!
Anyways, I decided to start Bad Apple Wars after just saying fuck it. I first heard of the game towards its release and was initially going to buy it until I saw the reviews and decided to think twice as I held my bank account in hand. The initial premise of the game seemed interesting and I loved the whole bad and good concept going for it. For those of you who didn’t/don’t know much about the game as I did, there are basically two sides the bad apples or good apples, if you’re a good apple you’re basically bland af and don’t really have an identity, basically trying to forget your past life, on the other hand the bad apples are a group of rebellious kids who fight for their individuality. In the beginning before I knew anything about the game I just really liked the sound of good apples and reformation LMAO. I read some things on reddit and honestly thought that I might as well try it out as people said it wasn’t THAT bad of a game and was definitely something that appealed more to emotions rather than storyline. I’m a sucker for sob stories so once I got started I couldn’t put the game down till I got to the very end. (Disclaimer: Although not very specific this gonna contain some spoilers)
Here’s the order I went in: Higa -> Satoru -> Shikishima -> Alma -> White Mask
So I didn’t go in the traditional order, although Alma and White Mask were definitely the had to do last routes for me. It varies according to different people but after the treat I had with Higa’s route I decided that I wanted to get rid of the people that I knew I absolutely would not like….AKA Satoru. I had originally been planning on doing bad apples first and then good apples according to what people normally said to do…but…no. Satoru really annoyed me throughout the entire shebang and I decided to just get him over with. Maybe I would like him, maybe I wouldn’t we’ll see :). I was actually satisfied with the route I went with (wow I came back to this to say nevermind go to final thoughts to see the route I’d rather have went) and I think the only thing that I was upset about is that I had done Higa first! Not because the other routes were bad but because he’s the type of character I actually really love hehe
Storyline – 6/10
The initial storyline of the game is actually really fun and interesting but there was a lot that was left to be desired by the completion of the game. I wanted to interact more with the teachers and learn more about the world and its purpose. I wanted to know what happened to Yoh and Sanza along with the other minor characters I had interacted with! How did their lives end up? I enjoyed the other minor bad apple characters too although I had trouble remembering who everyone was at first, they each had their distinct personalities and own stories driven in each route. It really felt like a group of kids that were relying on each other for support and coming together as a family. ALSO I must emphasize this NARAKA WAS TRULY THE MVP OF THIS ENTIRE GAME. I absolutely loved him and everything he embodied. It would’ve been great and a change of pace to have had a route for him but unfortunately it wasn’t in the budget *tears*. There were a lot of times that when I was about to lose my shit at how DESPAIR everything Naraka just came to sweep Rinka and I off our feet. The emotional support he provided was so reassuring but it was also good that Rinka realized that Naraka was just in the same position of “lost” as she was. Their reliance was GOOD because they pushed each other to keep hope and I honestly think that without Naraka none of what Rinka had accomplished would’ve happened. He has such a good knack for seeing the good in people I— Naraka 10/10 non-canon boy in all of the routes. And let’s be honest… we were all hoping that he would’ve gotten a route with Rinka. I can just imagine him dressing her in cutesy clothes so cute >_<.
I in fact enjoyed the duality of the bad apple and good apple clothes for Rinka and thought it was cute, it seems almost ironic that bad apples wore white based clothing while good apples were cloaked in black. The game really had a great theme going on but when it came time for them to unleash everything–it just fell short. The main crux of the game just turned into you and your boi which I didn’t mind (that in itself had its own problems) but the potential for the game’s storyline seemed lost :/. Another problem with the storyline is that it’s a copy paste replica of the same events in each route. (*insert* the meme of copying homework but changing it only v slightly) Nothing really made a story unique other than the boys’ experiences/past. Who are the teachers really? Were they people in the past too? Why are they filled with only despair. PLS. GIVE. ME. ANSWERS T__T
Soundtrack/Voice Actors – 8/10
Wow, I was actually really impressed with some of the voice actors for the game. It was nice to notice my boi Van Helsing and Kent uwu. I personally felt that the sound for the voices of the characters was a little too quiet for some characters but it wasn’t a major issue…just when I couldn’t hear something….I REALLY had to listen. I was really happy that when I left the name as Rinka I got to actually hear them say her name, it definitely positively influenced the experience 🙂
I usually have little to no expectations for soundtracks but this soundtrack actually was very much my style and I find myself listening to it at work along with the commute. I think I saw someone describe it as a cross between Persona and Danganronpa music which I can honestly say I agree with. I would even say that there is a little Nier influence mixed in there? Especially with track 16 – World Warped by Despair imo. Sky of Determination reminds me of FF7 Crisis Core too! If there is anything from this game I’ll remember it’ll definitely be its soundtrack!
System – 2/10 – only for touch bb
When I talk about the system I’m mostly talking about the interactive parts of the game. In terms of “system” for going back and forth around each route and the system settings…I’d probably give it a 6? Didn’t really like that I couldn’t just skip to a chapter and continue the game from that point.
Now if you were expecting, a game full of choices and decisions along with super fun mini games…this is not the game for you. I knew it going into the game but even the choices were…well non-existent. It is practically a visual novel! The only thing giving this game a 2/10 was….the godly touch system ^o^ it definitely brought some cute moments and was a spark of light in the nearly un-interactive game. When the risky part of the touch system happened…I was SHOOK. I was not expecting the game to take a turn for that and I suddenly understood why they wanted us to use headphones. Also beware of playing the game on the T or in public places during those parts it really was hard to hide the screen as I tried to tap and move on…oof. Anyways 2/10 we love touch but maybe a little too much touch is bad for my heart uwu
Higa – 8/10
AHHH hands down. best boy. That is all.
Higa is exactly the kind of boy I like to see, someone who likes the truth and for people to be honest with him even if it hurts. I cried so much when I saw his past, I guess I could relate a lot to his feeling of wanting to repay and satisfy other people. A lot of people disliked how Rinka and Higa both were very emotionally dependent in this route, but it made me reflect on some things personally and I thought it was a good route to start off with. That feeling of emptiness vs. effort and satisfaction was a theme that I think panned out well throughout his route. Higa was never really the PROBLEM of the route and most of the problems I want to say stemmed from Alma, but that was a problem for Higa as he had grown so dependent on Alma and didn’t know how to choose for himself. He wanted to let Alma’s judgement push ahead of his own. His romance with Rinka was really cute and I enjoyed his blushing and 10 packs very much :).
His actions towards Rinka were really blunt but because of his honesty and straightforwardness it really helped Rinka to learn to be honest with her own feelings and just goddamn SPEAK UP. By the end I could tell that Rinka and him were sort of like a duo in the Bad Apples and I really enjoyed that they had a good companionship going on. Their chemistry was one of the best in the game imo and by the end Rinka had grown and shed her title of a shell for sure. I loved their playing catch scenes and honestly would’ve loved even more. One of my favorite scenes was when they broke the illicit relationship rule and Higa got all embarrassed because he was able to tell Rinka’s thoughts while kissing her. Higa proceeded to report to his big bro Alma about breaking this rule and embarrassed Rinka all the while professing her love for her in front all the other bad apples. We stan a decisive and honest boi. I had a strong feeling that due to the age gap…the ending would end up the way it did but even so I wish they could’ve done it slightly differently? I was actually very monkaS when I realized he was the son of his brother and I was sad that at the end he actually didn’t have memories of what had happened. It made me sad to think that Rinka was the only one that remembered but also the idea of reincarnation was kind of wish washy for me. In my head I know they are supposed to be the same but…his memories of his previous life…I wish he had them. 😦
Satoru – 4/10
Y’all I already said it. I did not like Satoru from the beginning so going into the route every time he was stuck studying I was just like….y’all really gonna b like that huh. Anyways, the route definitely took a slower pace for things and showed the gradual change in Satoru’s attitude towards Rinka. I really liked Rinka in this route! While I did not enjoy this route romantically, if I went into it with a different point of view…I think I would’ve enjoyed it but unfortunately I get really annoyed by personalities like Satoru and…I never was in the game of pitying him for his past. Rinka’s so called attraction to him…seemed really abnormal as I felt like although he did make some supportive comments here and there I could only see it as him being a good younger brother? Which he was….but I digress.
I feel like for the kind of people who like quiet types…you might like his route and will definitely enjoy his ending! But personally…the story felt bland for me and I felt like there was no real moment of connection for me with him. His past was sad but…I feel like a lot of his problems could’ve been solved if someone just really snapped his mom out of it like what was his teacher even doing smh but I mean it was clear that Satoru was clearly filled with wonderful people just…his mom was literally not fit to raise him.
Shikishima – 8/10
I had a pretty good impression from the beginning, he seemed like a normal dainty(?) guy but I knew that there might be something wrong with him given the fact that he seemed to be so calm. My assumptions proved to be true, however, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing and personally I enjoyed Shikishima’s constant babbling and abstract metaphors. I think his storyline really emphasized the purpose of trying your best no matter what and how hopeless it seems. A lot of Shikishima’s despair seems to have been caused by a lack of encouragement from those around him…and probably also his uncle. I actually started crying towards the end of Shikishima’s route, especially because as you learn Shikishima is bound to die from his illness either way. Instead of giving up on his life he learned to find the resolve to push through and actually make something instead of leaving his regrets at the end of his life unsolved. His interaction were really sweet and in comparison to the other routes, it really was a breather to just be sitting down and spacing out for a bit. Just relaxing! Rinka cried a lot in this route but I don’t blame her, the struggle of trying to understand Shikishima especially when she couldn’t understand his poems and the feelings that came along with it were very Shikishima like. Learning that it was okay to not understand someone right away and that feelings are something that are conveyed one step at a time.
Anyways, his route was pretty solid and expecting what I did, the ending was not that bad either. Some people dislike that it wasn’t actually Shikishima but…for me after reading something like Pandora Hearts I think it can be kind of a comfort to have someone else who knows who Shikishima is and who can remember him/his paintings with Rinka, whether or not he is Shikishima’s true reincarnation, I could see their relationship developing into something more and that’s that. I think whatever the outcome Shikishima’s feelings will always be with Rinka as the painting transcended time to reach her. Overall good route, one of the best ones in the game. I don’t think I have that much criticism looking back one it, if any.
Alma – 6.5/10 (.5 for the ending uwu)
We stan Ouji sama. Throughout the route was thhe ultimate question is Alma is wearing a leotard or not anyone know? We finally are on the final stretch! I had read some light spoilers before but didn’t realize they were talking about Alma as the boi with the dead girlfriend, but it makes sense in retrospect. Any who this route was different then how I would expect it to go and I definitely think they could’ve done a better job at explaining Alma’s emotions towards Rinka. At times I was confused about who he was seeing, Rinka or his girlfriend which wasn’t necessarily bad thing in the beginning, but if it ends up being ambiguous as to how Alma got to liking Rinka…well it’s not that satisfying. I kept on praying that they wouldn’t throw in Rinka as the reincarnation of his ex girlfriend but at the end they finally did and I was like OH BOI YOU’RE REALLY DOING THIS like jesus just let him move on with his life…like the whole point to all of this was learning to move on and forgive himself and you completely ruin it by making Rinka into her reincarnation. I would’ve been angrier if Rinka had realized it and it became a big thing but it didn’t and thank god for that. Now throughout the routes I’ll be honest and say that I was kind of confused what the big problem was that Sanzu disappeared, this route definitely gave me more of an understanding as to why everyone was going bananas over her disappearing and why Yoh was super depressed. I didn’t realize the importance of actually eating the apple lmao and I was just confused about the second graduation…but that’s a storyline problem not an Alma problem. The ending of Alma’s route included a bit of Sanzu as what assumed is that she reincarnated into someone else. Alma’s ending was nice and I thought it was really cute how he waited for her to group up instead of pouncing on her like a predator LMAO. He wanted her to grow and develop her point of view which I honestly find to be a godsend in Otome. I have no complaints about his ending. Overall his route was okay…, ending was great, would’ve liked to see more emotional development between the two in terms of Alma loving Rinka for who she was before anything came up about his past.
White Mask – 2/10
As the final route of my journey I was kind of surprised that there was no progression in teasing this route in the other paths. Everything about the “White Mask” seemed to be hidden and mysterious. There were times I could slightly tell that he was off and felt it was most apparent in Alma’s route when he heard Sanzu’s music. But yeah you’re probably about my rating. I’ve never felt so underwhelmed for a route this bad. I expected going into this route and giving it at least a 7 because of how excited I was for it but unfortunately it fell flat. White Mask otherwise known as Watase is the prefect leader and he has been through some shitty ass times and I felt bad for him! Honest! Learning about him really helped to develop his character and where he was coming from and gave Rinka more of a perspective of how he was thinking. My major complaint however is that other than these moments of back to the past there was no substantive chemistry between the two. The fact that I’m supposed to assume that Watase fell in love with Rinka at first sight irl was just…so anticlimactic. I felt more of a connection with his teacher rather with Rinka. I don’t understand why Rinka would fall in love with Watase and I don’t understand why Watase would fall in love with Rinka at the academy .
Once we hit chapter 6 I was immediately worried because I knew things were supposed to ramp up and they did but also just as we reached the peak of Watase’s past we also reached the peak of Watase’s affection for Rinka it literally went 0-100 real quick. Rinka obviously want to help Watase but just because she wanted to help doesn’t mean she has to fall in love with him. There was no reason she would’ve fallen in love with him: he never gave her any real support, he was cryptic af, and there was no moments of kindness that I saw from chapter 1-6 it was just lecture this, mindfucked here, etc. I was also pissed off at the sequence of events when Watase just decided to become scientist sensei’s experiment and when Rinka went to save him she just left him for like what three days or so? Alma told her to be patient but I mean–y’all are the bad apples and you can’t send all of yourselves there and beat one guy like what is this. The fact that I had to watch Rinka interact with others while Watase was being wrecked was so UGH. The worst part was that they tried to address that point by showing Rinka’s anxiety about Watase but it never got resolved until it finally came time to actually fucking do something. Thinking about it now, why tf did Rinka’s state of mind go from saving Watase to first getting the forbidden apple before even saving him? Thinking about it now just made me go and lower the route by another point. I was just so utterly disappointed by his route, I could go on forever. The way the route shifted to each scenario was bizarre and unnatural. The only saving grace in all of this was seeing my baby Higa and Naraka. Even Alma in this route was kind of weird. Or I guess his insecurities shined through even more in this route. I just couldn’t help but yell at the screen, “Why don’t you stop them! Would you rather them forget who they were and the people they’d love then stop them from becoming empty husks of their former selves!!”
The ending of Watase’s route was a bit weird because Rinka went back first and I think I should re-read it but I was just really confused what Watase was staying behind for. The scenes showing them in the hospital together were actually really cute and I just wish some more of those one to one NORMAL moments were shown earlier in the development of the route. Also I don’t know if it was a translation error or something but he clearly says his real name is Watase Iku but the translation said something like Shou so I was like ??? what’s going on here. REGRETS REGRETS AND MORE REGRETS. I think this last route actually broke me and it is so unfortunate that I had to end this game off with being so disappointed in the poster boy’s route even though the overall game was not THAT bad. Anyways lets go to my final thoughts.
Final Thoughts/Overall Rating – 6/10
Hmm I don’t know if it’s the summer getting to me but this game was pretty emotional for me, I also tend to be a sucker for these kinds of angsty plots. It definitely wasn’t as bad as I was expecting based on the reviews but it also had a lot of potential that was left unturned. I honestly feel like if the writers had fleshed out the story more and stopped with the copy/paste and tried to actually make the routes unique to the character it would’ve been a completely upgraded game. I didn’t actually play through the bad ends (decided just to watch on youtube since I’m lazy aside from White Mask’s) but even the bad ends seemed somewhat incomplete? I’m not sure if they ran out of a budget for the game or whatever but if I was to rate the completion of the game I feel like it was done 60% of the way…hence the 6/10 and had the potential to at least be a 7 or 8. Half of the characters I liked a fair amount: Alma, Shikishima, Higa. The other half I hated: Satoru, White Mask. We loved the minor characters. If I were to do all of this again?…I would probably have went Satoru -> White Mask -> Shikishima -> Higa -> Alma. I think Shikishima is a good buffer in between bad and good apples because he was the odd one of the bunch. But man good apple side of this really disappointed me and it’s sad because I was really looking forward to see what the good apples would be like in contrast to the bad apples. I think Alma, although with some flaws would’ve been a good way to end this journey as much as I liked Higa. Was this game worth $40? By no means in hell but luckily I waited till now to buy it and got it for 2o/25$ which I think fairly describes its price. I think this game was definitely a good way to fill the drought of otome games getting localized and I would honestly recommend it for anyone else who wanted to play something as its current price is not bad at all for the game’s value.
I hope y’all enjoyed my review it was my first time so I’m sure my writing is pretty shitty and the formatting can be kinda wonky but I had fun writing and expressing my thoughts. I’ll try to spend more time with editing in the future but I got lazy towards the end lolol. I’m off to play the Code Realize Fandisk I picked up and then replaying Collar Malice HAHA Thanks for reading ❤