Sonicomi
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Step into the shoes of a gravure photographer and help the adorable model Sonico to kick-start her career. Sonicomi is more than just a typical visual novel as it also places a camera in your hands and requires you to take photos of Sonico according to the briefs of clients. Thanks to 18 different endings, interesting characters and a multitude of clothing options for the shoots the game has more than enough replay value to keep players busy for ages.

Gameplay: An interesting mix of visual novel and 3D photography scenes.

Graphics: Sonico is the only 3D model in the game, but she looks great and has plenty of charm.

Sound: Good music and sound effects along with two different voice actress options for Sonico

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Sonicomi

Developer: Nitroplus | Publisher: JAST USA | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Adventure / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / JAST USA

After a chance encounter with a beautiful girl at a music concert, your character in Sonicomi struggles to get her out of his mind. Much to his surprise, he runs into her again at work, where he is apprenticing with a professional photographer. It turns out that the girl, Super Sonico, is planning on making her modelling debut and your boss has appointed you as the photographer who will help her with this. As her personal photographer you are not only responsible for her image, but also carving out a niche for her in the competitive world of gravure modelling.

Fans of Nitro+ should already be familiar with Sonico as she has been the official mascot of the company for a while now. Although quite voluptuous, her character is very sweet and caring, but also quite naive. This means that she is rather trusting of your character, who she refers to as “Mr. Cameraman” throughout the game. In addition to taking her photos you also get to know Sonico a little better between shoots during the visual novel sections of the game. Ultimately the way you interact with Sonico and the direction you choose for her career will lead you to one of 18 different endings.

Most of the story is revealed during the visual novel sections where you get to sit back and watch the events unfold. Every now and then you are given an opportunity to interact with Sonic in one of three different ways; talking looking or touching. You are also generally given a choice when it comes to these actions, so if you want your character to constantly make lewd remarks about her physique, ogle her breasts and try to grope her you are free to do so. However, this is probably not going to endear you to Sonico and her Hannya mask wearing manager is usually around to threaten you with his katana if you overstep your bounds. On the other hand, if you are respectful towards Sonic and supportive then your cameraman/gravure model relationship could take a more romantic direction. Regardless of your choices, the game doesn’t feature any sex or nudity, although you’ll find plenty of fan service in the form of revealing outfits. Your choices will however affect the outcome of the game and sometimes not making any choice can also branch the story off in surprising directions.

Providing a break from the visual novel sections of the game are the photography sessions. Here you are given free rein to choose what outfit Sonico will wear and where as well as when the shoot will take place. You can even choose to ignore the needs of the clients, but doing so can result in getting a bad ending. Initially the amount of outfits to choose from are rather limited, but as the game progresses you get to unlock more. The more pleased clients are with your shoots, the more money you make, which can then be used to purchase even more clothes from the shop that is unlocked after your first playthrough.

The type of clothes you choose for Sonico will determine whether she appeals to mainstream, niche, energetic or mellow audiences. Each shoot can feature up to three sessions, so you have to be careful to choose different outfits for each. Most of the clothing articles feature different design as well as color options, each with a different influence, so choosing the right outfit is almost a mini-game in itself. Luckily Sonico will provide visual cues about how appropriate your choices are and you can also purchase items from the shop that take all the guesswork out of the selection process. In total there are fourteen clothing categories, ranging from outerwear and tops, all the way to bottoms, legwear, facewear and footwear.

The actual photography scenes are viewed in first person, through the lens of your camera and take place in 3D. You are basically given three minutes in which to take the best photos of Sonico that you can muster. To make your job easier targeting rings constantly appear over Sonico and taking a photo when they turn pink will provide you with a “Great” or “Perfect” shot. Perfect shots require Sonico to actually be in the shot, so you are encouraged to move around and photograph her from different angles. Getting good, great or perfect shots in succession increases your “combo” which results in a better score, but bad or poor shots breaks the combo. With each great or perfect shot you take, you’ll also increase Sonicos enthusiasm gauge, which can be used to increase her enthusiasm level. This is vital as it allows you to unlock additional poses for her. On the other hand, bad and poor shots deplete her energy gauge faster, which means the shoot can end prematurely if you don’t allow Sonico to rest. Overall the photography scenes are fun and the fact that each location allows for different types of poses keeps things varied. There are eight different shooting locations, ranging from the beach and a park to a studio and school scattered around Tokyo. However, most of them must be unlocked first by following certain routes through the game.

Visually Sonicomi looks like a typical visual novel and all the characters, apart from Sonico herself, are portrayed as 2D sprites. They are a wacky bunch too, with most of them wearing all kinds of bizarre masks for some reason. Sonico is obviously 3D during the photography scenes, but her 3D character model is also used for the visual novel segments. This looks a little strange initially, but it is something you’ll get used to quickly. It also allows for Sonico to show a lot more emotion than what would have been possible with 2D sprites, plus it means she’s constantly wearing new outfits. Overall we liked the graphics and about the only issue is some minor clipping problems with some of the clothes.

The audio is just as good and features plenty of catchy tunes along with crisp sound effects. The game features enough audio tracks that even after completing it a few times you can still end up hearing new tunes when you discover a different route. The only character with full voice acting is Sonico and this is handled by Jessica Nigri, who also did the English voice for the character in the Super Sonico anime series. The voice acting is as over the top as you would expect, but the option to switch over to the original Japanese voice of Ayano Yamamoto is also included, so everyone should be happy. The controls for the visual novel portions of the game are as straightforward as can be and anyone who has ever played a first person shooter should have no trouble with the WASD controls of the 3D photography sections.

Although Sonicomi is a little pricier than most visual novels, it is also more of a niche title thanks to the photography scenes. The game can be completed in only a few hours, but anyone who plans on only doing so once will be wasting their money. Half the fun is unlocking new clothes, discovering new story routes and finding all of the endings, which takes a lot more time. Completing the game the first time also unlocks a free mode where you can take photos of Sonico without time limits or target rings. About the only criticism we have is that the game can only be saved at certain predetermined spots and not at any time like we would have liked. Luckily all previously read text can be skipped, which makes repeated playthroughs a bit faster.

Fans of Sonico will have a blast interacting with her in the game as will players who want to step into the shoes of a gravure photographer. The story isn’t anything special, but a few of the routes do have some humorous or touching scenes. It’s a pity that the only model in the game is Sonico, but the vast amount of clothes available for her does make up for that a bit. We definitely recommend Sonicomi for all VN fans looking for something a little more interactive than what is typically found in the genre.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
  • Processor: 2.4Ghz Dual-Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 4 GB available space

Related posts

Metrocide

Metrocide

There’s no denying that Metrocide is a very hard and frequently frustrating game. Spend enough time with it though and you’ll learn to appreciate the punishing difficulty level. Your first few kills might be sloppy and chaotic, but with practice you’ll be able to take down your marks with precision and stealth. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to get anywhere in this game, but it is quite satisfying when you pull off the perfect kill. Just be aware that the game can become repetitive. Gameplay: If one hit kills and permadeaths are not your thing then neither will Metrocide. Graphics: The 8-bit aesthetic takes a while to get used to, but the visuals are not without their charm. Sound: No real soundtrack, but the ambient audio is very atmospheric.

Pale Cachexia

Pale Cachexia

Pale Cachexia is a kinetic novel with Gothic undertones featuring two young women who meet under strange circumstances. One suffers from a life-leeching plague called the Pale Cachexia, while the other lives on her own in the middle of a forgotten forest. Despite the differences in their backgrounds and personalities, the two girls become friends, but there are outside forces that will put their bond to the test. The unique story, setting, and characters make Pale Cachexia an interesting read and the gorgeous visuals, as well as the haunting soundtrack, certainly doesn't hurt either. Gameplay: This is a kinetic novel, but the lack of choices doesn't hamper the compelling story. Graphics: Beautiful character sprites and CGs as well as detailed backgrounds. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is excellent.

Ghost 1.0

Ghost 1.0

Play as a digital ghost with the ability to control androids in this great Metroidvania title from the maker of Unepic. The game challenges you to infiltrate the Nakamura Space Station and uncover its secrets, a quest that will take you through almost 300 rooms. Ghost 1.0 features tight controls, engaging writing, likeable characters and plenty of action, which makes it very easy to recommend to fans of the genre. Gameplay: Quite challenging at times, but very addictive. Graphics: Detailed visuals and some very nice design elements. Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the voice-acting steals the show.

Nihilumbra

Nihilumbra

Nihilumbra is one of those games that is hard to put down once you start playing. The stylish hand painted visuals along with some excellent creature designs give the game a visual flair of its own while the brilliant narration and moody soundtrack sucks you into the gameworld. Things start off deceptively easy but, once you unlock Void mode, you better be prepared to put all your skills to the test. Gameplay: A charming mixture of platforming and puzzle solving. Graphics: The hand painted visuals are stylish and enhances the atmosphere. Sound: Brilliant narration and a moody soundtrack.

Fallout 3 – Point Lookout

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout

The spooky swamps of Point Lookout are a welcome break from the dusty wasteland. Infested with mutated hillbillies and crazy cultists there is lots of interesting locations to explore. It is a little lacking in good loot, but the story and location hold up well. Gameplay: Less linear than previous DLC and a lot creepier. Graphics: A new location and a few new enemies. Sound: Still good.

Mirror’s Edge™

Mirror's Edge™

Mirror's Edge is a bit on the short side, but it definitely features some unique gameplay elements. It will probably not appeal to everyone and trying to play it like a first-person shooter will get you killed very quickly, but there is a lot of potential here. Hopefully, future installments can refine and expand on the concept. Gameplay: Definitely a unique take on the genre. Graphics: A fresh look for the genre. Sound: Top notch.

3 Comments

  1. Nguyen September 9, 2018
    Reply

    I really love the True Ending, to the point where I felt empty after that, because of so much time I spent trying hard with Sonico to overcome challenges. The only thing that disturbs me is the last photo of sleeping Sonico in her room. From the point of view of the photo, does that mean Sonico sleep with the protagonist??? I am so curious about this so please tell me what you think about it.

    • GAMERamble September 12, 2018
      Reply

      Congratulations on getting the True Ending, it takes a lot of time and dedication to accomplish that! As for the photo, I suppose it could be interpreted that way, but it could also just be a candid shot of Sonico relaxing and listening to some music with her eyes closed! -H

  2. Scott October 25, 2020
    Reply

    I also think that it is just a “modelled” shot and that she’s not actually sleeping with the photographer. Btw does anyone know where I can buy the Sonicomi artbook?

Leave a Reply to GAMERamble Cancel reply

1 × 1 =