Price: $12.99 USD
Release Date: May 29th, 2017
Useless Goddess is a spin-off from the original LoveKami Visual Novel, which has not been translated. It has another spin-off called Divinity Stage, which has an official translation. It’s strange that both spin-offs have been localized while the original game has not, but nonetheless each game is its own thing so it’s not a big deal.
The series has a simple premise: Shintoism is said to have a nearly-infinite number of deities, for they are present in pretty much everything. In this universe, all these Goddesses suddenly descended upon the human world and had to adapt to mortal society. In Useless Goddess, the plot is centered around the protagonist Sho and the guardian deity of his apartment, Akane.
Akane is an Aragami, a Goddess whose nature is to cause trouble for humans. Her personality and lack of control over her own powers will lead her to lose her status as a Goddess. To prevent this, she must rehabilitate into someone who will, at the very least, not cause trouble for others merely by existing. Sho begins supporting Akane and Inori, the Goddess charged with Akane’s rehabilitation. Should Akane be demoted from being a Goddess, his apartment will lose her protection and fall apart.
Useless Goddess has three routes-one for each heroine-selected from a single branching path in the story. There are no gameplay elements, purely a traditional visual novel narrative.
Game options are very rich, more than I’ve ever seen for a visual novel before. There is a multitude of volume controls, effect controls, shortcuts, gesture shortcuts, and even Widescreen type options to choose from. For such a short and bare-bones story, all of this feels so very pointless though.
The game is fully voiced, except by the protagonist himself. The voice acting itself is top-notch, too. The soundtrack is another matter, though. The whole game only has 10 tracks and all of them are horrible. Perhaps because I personally put so much value on a game’s music, but I just can’t help but deduct lots of points from this game’s score simply because the music in Useless Goddess simply isn’t trying at all.
Although I personally did not like the character designs, there is nothing wrong with the art-style itself. It’s generic anime art, perhaps a little on the bubbly side. The character sprites are animated, with moving mouths and blinking eyes. Once again though, Useless Goddess falls flat by having some of the worst animation I’ve ever seen on a visual novel. While the eye movement looks fine, the bodies just swing left and right, and the mouths open and close generically while speaking. Nobody put any actual work into making the mouths and speech sync, and it just looks really off every time someone speaks. It really would’ve been better without any animation at all.
Literally everything. While the premise isn’t terrible, the writing is amateurish at best. Every conversation flows in a completely artificial way and none of the characters behave in a believable way. There was no effort put into music or animation, either.
Is there anything in LoveKami-Useless Goddess- that isn’t bad? For a moment I thought: “Well, at least the art itself isn’t so bad”, but then I went over my screenshots and, alas, I saw this.
While it’s not so bad that I want to demand four hours of my life back, there is really nothing of substance to see here. Perhaps the other spin-off game isn’t bad, but having played Useless Goddess certainly hasn’t made me want to see more from this series. I am surprised MoeNovel would decide to localize such a bad game after doing a decent job with If My Heart Had Wings. Let’s hope they bring over something worthwhile next time.