Visual Novel Spotlight: NEKOPARA Vol. 0on August 18, 2015 by Shadocchi
Cats and girls combine in the latest volume of NEKOPARA, the visual novel series where owning adorable catgirls is just another average part of life. While NEKOPARA Vol. 1 followed a man named Kashou embarking on a new career with his two loyal catgirls, NEKOPARA Vol. 0 sees a day in the Minaduki family life, before Chocola and Vanilla left to live with their master.
It’s been a long time since our last roll in cat paradise. Too long, you could say. And that’s why NEKO WORKs and Sekai Project have answered our catgirl prayers in the form of NEKOPARA Vol. 0. Created as a fandisk (short bonus game) to NEKOPARA Vol. 1, volume zero shows us a day in the life of the Minaduki family before young Kashou left to start his patisserie. With only little sister Shigure at home to keep her pets in line, things can get out of hand, but it’s all good fun in a typical day with six active, bouncing catgirls.
Of the few things making a return in volume zero, the e-Mote system is the most noticeable, giving each girl life and showing animated movement quirks to every line of dialogue. It’s part of what makes the series so endearing and there is no shortage of fluff here. In fact, the game’s pleasantly aimless shenanigans, always-moving sprites and very involved voice acting captures the cute and fluffy feeling of volume one so exactly that if you enjoyed NEKOPARA Vol. 1, there’s no reason not to shamelessly indulge in volume zero.
Of course, NEKOPARA Vol. 0 addresses a very important aspect that was lacking in NEKOPARA Vol. 1: more catgirls. Yes, the game features all the catgirls of the Minaduki family, giving each kitty their time in the spotlight. What’s more, the game goes above and beyond simply filling your need for more catgirls – you can pet any of the girls at any time. This bears repeating: you can stop reading at any time and enter catgirl petting mode. Once you do, you can pet any of the girls on the head or… other places, and enjoy their nyans and gorogoros of delight.
Besides the new additions, there isn’t terribly much to say about NEKOPARA Vol. 0, mostly because the game itself is just under an hour long. The brevity of the game is a kind of strength: jokes are punchier, the “day in the life of” format makes it easier to shift to new scenes, personality quirks don’t feel overused and the day’s shenanigans feel new. The drawback is, of course, that there is just not enough time with the cast. What you do get, however, is exactly what you’re promised: a day in the leisurely daily lives of a loli cat lady and her pets.
If you’re considering finally hopping on the NEKOPARA train, though volume zero is a prequel of sorts, it may be better to visit it after getting your paws on volume one. While volume one lavishes love on catgirls, giving you history, biology and how catgirls fit into society, volume zero leaves this as assumed knowledge, making it perhaps a bit confusing to jump into. There’s also the fact that the Minaduki family cats are, for the most part, absent in volume one and that’s the kind of thing you need to prepare your heart for.
NEKOPARA Vol. 0 gives you your much needed dose of cute bouncing catgirls as well as an endearing look into the everyday life of the cat cast you’ve come to love. While incredibly short, it delivers the same fluffy feelings of NEKOPARA Vol. 1 in a concentrated dose. But if that’s not enough, the game also comes with a petting mode, allowing you to take a moment to pet the girls as much as you want. If you enjoyed volume one, volume zero is a must.
NEKOPARA Vol. 0 is available on Steam for Windows for £1.99 / $2.99. There is no 18+ version.