Game Title: My Girlfriend is a Mermaid
Company: Sekai Project
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life:
Cloud Save Support: 
Yes
Download: 1.4 GB

Visual Novels are getting more and more releases on consoles, though it’s not every day we see these games getting console-exclusive access on the NIntendo Switch. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, that happened.

Granted, this isn’t total exclusivity as this particular game is also available on PC in English by the name “She is Mermaid”, but as far as handheld consoles go, the Switch seems to be the way to go.

Let’s get right to it, though. Here is my review of My Girlfriend if a Mermaid?! for the NIntendo Switch!

Story

mermaid 2 - story

This story revolves around a young man names Hiroto. After 10 years of being in the city, he travels back to his hometown in the country. When he arrives, he finds Ion, his childhood friend. Except for one thing: She’s been transformed into a mermaid.

With no inkling of Ion telling him how this transformation happened, Hiro’s vacation to cool down turns into an emotional trip around Ion, more mermaids, and a shrine priestess that seems to know more than they’re letting on.

The story here is very goofy and full of anime cliches, all the way down to Ion being a copy-paste tsundere character having a history of assaulting Hiro on a regular basis. It gets very good once you’re on the Good and True Ending routes when the big story drops happen.

Gameplay

mermaid 3 - gameplay

Mermaid is a Visual Novel in a very typical sense. Across the game, you go through story scenes while also having many dialogue choices to make to open up different scene variations and ending paths.

First of all, this is an updated version of the game “She is Mermaid” available on Steam and Mobile in Japan and Korea. On the Switch, you have redone 2D animations for character models and a bunch of new story content, known as “Extra Story” scenarios. So in essence, it’s a prettier version of the original game with a bunch of new story stuff to go through.

Progress in the game is pretty simple. You start the game and go through VN cutscenes. Although this doesn’t let you jump backwards in the Story Log, it has most other VN features like Auto Scroll, different VA options, and the ability to Skip any scenes you’ve already read/seen.

mermaid 4 - choices

The biggest part of control you have is through Dialogue Choices. There are 9 different endings to this game, and 5 of them are “Bad” Endings that you absolutely don’t want (unless you want to be extremely sad and depressed). Many choices you make will steer you to different endings and choosing very specific options will be able to either put you on or lock you out of the Good/True Ending path.

Because of this, you’ve got a lot of options and paths you go across. Granted, many scenes will be the same regardless of your path, but once you go onto those paths, the story will drastically change what you do or don’t see.

Of course, in terms of content, you’d expect a lot to be here. By itself, a single run through the game will likely only last you around 4-5 hours. However, getting the True Ending unlocks all of the Extra Story Scenarios, which can easily add another 3-4 hours to the game, plus that many more if you go back to do the different routes to unlock all of the side stories. If you do that, you could probably get around 10 hours or so out of the game.

Controls

Controlling the game is pretty easy, overall. You can play the entire game on touch controls or button controls, and there’s even a special Main Menu option to pull up the character models and tap them for different reactions for handheld players.

You can advance text with the A button and B cancels menu options and will turn off the UI for taking screenshots. Y toggles Auto Scroll and X pulls up the menu for Saving, Loading, and changing Settings. R lets you Skip dialogue and the other triggers aren’t used.

Presentation

mermaid 5 - presy

Graphically, it looks very good. All of the character models are incredibly detailed, from their looks to the way they’re animated during scenes, and many of the background environments have a unique air about them, sometimes looking more like live-action backgrounds than anime-style ones.

Audio is a big strange, though. The vocals for the characters will play as you get to their scenes, but won’t stop playing as you skip through dialogue. So, if you have dialogue set to move quickly and go to a narration segment before the VA gets done speaking the previous scene, they’ll keep speaking said scene, whether that dialogue is still on the screen or not.

Performance is great, though. No frame drops. No crashing. It plays wonderfully.

Battery Life

Being a VN, I expected great things. Here is the Battery Range:

Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 09 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 36 minutes

Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 54 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-FI – 6 hours, 24 minutes

As expected.

In conclusion, My Girlfriend is a Mermaid?! is a goofy little VN that has entertaining dialogue but also a very serious and emotional set of branching paths and endings. On the downside, there are some small bugs like the voice audio continuing to play past its dialogue scene and a lack of log jumping, but if you’re looking for a new VN or just love Mermaid stories, this is a game I had a lot of fun with.

Final Score: 9/10