There aren’t very many games that combine the visual novel and music genres. One of the best from the early 2000s was Symphonic Rain, which just got a remaster and Steam release! Featuring visuals remastered by the original character artist Siro, and with an official English translation, this HD translation is one fans of visual novels won’t want to miss.
Set in Piova, a city of music and endless rain (so… Seattle? Ed.) you guide player Chris Vertin on his path to become a Fortenist – a master of the magical instrument called the Fortelle. Along the way, you’ll play music selections with various vocal partners set to melodies composed and sung by Ritsuko Okazaki (singer-songwriter of songs for anime series including Wedding Peach, Fruits Basket, Princess Tutu, Symphonic Rain, Say “I love you”, and Love Hina.” When Chris’s playing harmonizes with the voice of a musical magic fairy, who knows what can happen. The game features multiple endings based both on your choices, and on your performances in the musical sections.
The HD remaster is now available on Steam. The English translation was performed by Degica Games, a Tokyo-based publisher who specializes in localizing Japanese games for global markets. Among their recent North American releases on Steam, they’re the publisher responsible for Skyborn, Nurse Love Addiction, and the RPG Maker series of development tools. Original developer KOGADO STUDIO handled both the original game and the HD remaster. They previously released Nurse Love Addiction on Steam, and had previously developed a number of other VNs, including Gadget Trial, Little Witch Parfait, Power Dolls, and Tristia of the Deep-Blue Sea.
Hopefully the success of Symphonic Rain HD will inspire them to release more of their back catalog in an accessible, localized format that VN fans in the West can enjoy.