Bustafellows is part crime caper and part otome romance, and those are common enough things, but it's the quality of the writing and the strong thematic core that helps to set this one apart. It might be perhaps a little too long for its own good, and so some of the impact of it is softened via desensitisation, but even then, there's no real lull in the storytelling, and it's one of those rare lengthy games that isn't simply throwing content at players. The best crime fiction stories are page-turners, filled with excitement and drama. Bustafellows adds several proverbial tonnes of charm, humour and panache into the mix, and thanks to all of that, it is one of the most dynamic and exciting visual novels you can find.
I don’t think Bustafellows is perfect, but it nails most of what it aims for. The story is engaging, but the character drama and hilarious dialogue are what sell the experience. The production value makes it a visual treat, and it was so nice to play an Otome that never dropped my attention. Previously I’d considered Collar X Malice to be the best introductory Otome, but that’s now been dethroned. I still like that game, but this was such a wonderful experience. Apparently a “Second Season” is in the works that claims to be more than the traditional Otome fandisk. I honestly can’t wait, I hope for both a localization of that game after it comes out and more Otome games from PQube.
Best visual novel I have played. Hands down. There are just too many positives to put here.
The voice acting is phenomenal. I usually advance at reading pace, regularly cutting voice actors off, but found myself waiting on every single line of this game before moving on. The delivery of the actors felt like it really added an entire new depth to the story at multiple parts - especially when Teuta was speaking. Her voice actor is absolutely brilliant.
The story was fantastic. Sure, there may be some suspension of disbelief, or a few moments of plot holes - but I honestly don’t remember any of them at the end of the day. I loved the fact that this game continually took you to dark places and serious topics - it didn’t shy away from real life conflicts and I couldn’t love that more. The blend of humor, heartwarming, and thought provoking content was an intense breath of fresh air from the other games I’ve played in this genre.
The characters - oh my god. I literally love every member of this cast. Each one feels like an important member of this team, and the game would be lesser without any of them. I went in expecting helvetica to be my least favorite, but even he grew on me by the end of the second or third chapter. They’re all flawed, but in relatable and great ways that make learning about them a pleasure.
Finally, the protagonist. Teuta may be one of my favorite heroines in a video game for the past few years. She is strong-willed, but not stereotypically so. Hearing her put forth very mature, and sometimes vulnerable, replies was fantastic. I loved how she was so well rounded by the end, I honestly felt like you could guess her responses to things before they happened. Other VN have this nasty habit of having the protagonist be this weak, submissive, doorstop that just sits and watches the problems be fixed for them. Teuta is not one of those protagonists. She felt like a true member - and a valuable one at that - by the end. She earned her spot through determination and her own morals, and I love her so much for that.
Overall, this is a truly fantastic visual novel in my opinion. If you’re looking for serious romance, you will be disappointed - full stop. The most that is in this is chaste kissing in most routes. However, if you want a fantastic cast of loveable characters, I cannot recommend this VN enough.
With so much to love about BUSTAFELLOWS, it’s an easy recommendation for all otome visual novel fans. It’s not perfect; the inability to save at dialogue choices is annoying for completionists, but that’s a small complaint in the grand scheme of things. Excellent characters, storytelling, localization, voice acting, art and more make this one of the best releases this year. Here’s hoping BUSTAFELLOWS is just the start of PQube’s otome localization career. Give it a look if you want a taste of the criminal underworld alongside delectable romance.
Bustafellows is a great representative of the fascinating stories visual novels can tell. The narrative features a strong lead and a cast of handsome boys with dark pasts that create this endearing tale. Still, it’s a story on society’s shortcomings, which makes it relatable in many ways as we ask ourselves what would cause us to take matters into our own hands. While some design choices seem odd in this release, this otome is an easy recommendation from me.
Bustafellows wants to be the complete package: an otome sweet enough to melt your mouth with cavities, as well as a dangerous and dark visual novel. But it leans too far in one direction to allow the other its chance to emerge seamlessly from the depths.
The glitches with text and voice-acting are pretty minor, but if you’re like me and this is a pet peeve, it might take a toll on you eventually. If you don’t care, then you’ll have an even better time. Overall, the characters were not for me this time around, but I did enjoy getting to try out Bu$stafellows and look forward to more future releases from this studio.
If you liked Collar x Malice then you will like this game. It is very action-packed and deals with things like gangs, corruption, drugs, etc but at the same time it has a lot of lovable moments. I love the interaction between all the main guys and I really like how they all get a chance to shine.
One bad thing about the game is that it can be kind of glitchy near the start. You hear people talking but you don't see text. This didn't take away from the experience and only happened near the beginning. Overall a great game
Loved how incredibly unique every path was. Sometimes surprisingly so.
I always expect one clunker in an Otome game but in this I found every character to have something unique about them either as a character or with the plot you get involved in with their path.
For example one character may not have the best romantic path, or stand out as a character, but their plot line is so incredibly captivating that you just get so invested.
The only thing I didn't like about this was the time rewind mechanic feels sooooo tagged on without explanation or sense. This is obviously a world where super powers do not exist in any way, shape or form but somehow for plot purposes we are supposed to just suspend disbelief for this one character. It sticks out like a sore thumb and is just utter nonsense but I understand it's need to help get a plot off the ground.
Overall though this is one of the better visual novels I've had the pleasure to play. This really just reinforced how Otome games just seem to work really well and gets me to want to play them more often.
Right out of the gate I’ll admit I’m a bit lost in trying to summarize the Bustafellows experience, but regardless I won’t deny it has style and attitude to burn. Mixing together a somewhat motley (but I’m sure intended to be quite cute) crew of criminals with your main character who is a female journalist in search of a big story (but who has an ability move back time just a bit and inhabit others), it opens the door to fleshing out the game’s characters and motivations in unexpected and unique ways. With your choices feeling like they have greater consequence than the average visual novel the level of engagement is pretty impressive, but ultimately whether it’s a game for you really rests on how much you like the unusual premise and whether it sounds like an experience you can just enjoy the ride with or whether it may be a bit too odd for your tastes.
Summary Arrive in New Sieg, a beautiful fictional town. Step into the shoes of a strong, smart and gifted journalist in this romantic adventure. You play the part of a young woman with the ability to leap in the past for a very short period in the bodies of others, which you use for data collection and helping people. After witnessing the murde...