Game Title: Neko Para Volume 2
Company: Neko Works, CFK
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Battery Life: 4 – 5 hours
Cloud Save Support: Yes
Download: 2 GB
More and more visual novels have been coming to consoles, lately, and especially the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo allowing more risque themes in game ports has really helped both their console base and the handheld base that came from the PS Vita. And the best example of this is the Neko Para series.
Neko Para is an adult-themed VN that even got censored when it released on Steam. Of course, Sony’s recent changes in policy regarding censorship even affected Neko Para, delaying the PS4 release of Volume 1 a good few months past its Switch version.
But handheld fans don’t need to worry about extra censorship past the already censored “Safe for Work” versions as the series goes forward. Releasing this Valentine’s Day, this is my review of Neko Para Volume 2 for the Nintendo Switch!
Volume 2 centers around two of the catgirls that joined the La Soleil Bakery at the end of Vol. 1: Azuki, the tomboyish elder sister and Coconut, the tall and clumsy young sister. The story follows how they fit in at the bakery and their own growth around each other and with the Main Character, Kushou.
This game’s story is full of comedy, mostly due to the fact that the entire cast is around for most of the game, unlike Volume 1 that was almost all just Chocola and Vanilla. As such, I found it much more entertaining, in the vein of Volume 0 and Nekopara EXTRA, which is an unlockable scenario built into this game.
Though there are some nitpicks I have with the storyline. Like the first game, this is an Adult-themed game with its sex scenes taken out and written around. The replacement scenes that they use here work fine on their own, though there’s a lot of dialogue around those scenes that don’t fit well or make sense with what they replaced them with, making those segments not flow well and feel out of place.
The only other nitpick is the fact that there are occasionally places of the story with untranslated text. The ones I found were just names, so you still get the whole story, but it’s quite noticeable.
Like the first game, Neko Para Vol. 2 is a Visual Novel. Throughout the entire game, you’ll be navigating through story cutscenes along with unlocking in-story cinematics and movies as you reach them.
First off, this technicaly has 2 games inside it. You have Nekopara Vol. 2 from the start. However, when you get through the main story, you unlock the more recently-made Neko Para EXTRA to go through, much like Vol. 1 on the Switch included Vol. 0 as an extra.
Secondly, let’s talk about censorship. Outside of it being the Non-Adult version of the game, the PS4 version of Vol. 1 had the Chest Bounce feature turned off and not toggleable. Thankfully, those changes were not put into this version of Vol. 2 as that Setting is still here and unchanged.
In terms of gameplay, it’s pretty simple Visual Novel format. From the Main Manu, you can go into the different games or go into the Gallery to view artwork and go into Config to modify settings.
In story, you go from scene to scene with options available to Auto-Advance Text, remove the text to see artwork, save and load your game, etc. It also has a very handy feature that lets you select previous dialogue you may have missed, actually jumping the story back to that scene instead of just reading the “Dialogue History” page.
In terms of content, we have about the same as the first game. Volume 2 on Auto-Advance took me around 4-4.5 hours and EXTRA took almost another 2 hours. So, you’re going to get around 6-7 hours, depending on how quickly you can read. This is acceptable for the asking price, which is the same as the base price for Vol. 2 and Extra combined on Steam.
Pretty simple control scheme, overall. No touch controls, though you can use Motion Controls to make the sprites bounce during cutscenes.
You move around the menus with the Left Analog Stick or the D-Pad / Arrow Buttons. A allows you to select options and B is used for cancelling certain options.
When in story scenes, though, A advances Text and B removes the text and UI from the screen. Y is used to pull up the Save/Settings Menu and X is used to pull up Dialogue History. The Plus button is used to turn on Auto-Advance.
Graphically, it looks very good. All the environments and renders are highly detailed and look flawless and smooth. The animations done to the models in cutscenes is also high in detail, all the way down to the catgirls’ ears perking up when they’re happy and down when something is bothering them.
I also found nothing wrong with performance. No freezes, no frame drops. Everything went smoothly, from start to finish.
Considering the VN nature, I expected Battery Life to be high. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 15 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 34 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 37 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 51 minutes
Although this is a little less than we got in Volume 1, this is still very good and more than enough to get thorugh most of the game in one charge.
In conclusion, Neko Para Vol. 2 brings in more comedy and entertainment to the Catgirl-heavy franchise. On the downside, the written-around changes from the NSFW version feel out of place, and there are some untranslation hiccups. But it’s a lot more refined with a lot fewer mistakes than Volume 1 had. If you want comedy and Catgirls in a VN, it’s a fun read.
Final Score: 8/10