Have you ever wondered what being a ghost would be like? Wondering if you could play tricks on family members/friends or go around and be a bit overly ecchi? Well, wonder no more with the comedic visual novel titled Punch Line. Developed and published by the well-known team 5pb, Punch Line allows players to enter the world of a recently turned poltergeist who must regain his body all while avoiding seeing too much ecchi that could result in a world ending event. Those who love anime based visual novels with strange—but comedic—themes will certainly love Punch Line for what it delivers.
What to Expect
Punch Line takes the normal elements of a visual novel and twists them around in several ways. Rather than focus on the usual static images with occasional text-based choices, Punch Line includes animation, gameplay and of course, tons of ecchi for those who are familiar with the anime its based on. Take on the role of Yuta and play tricks on his housemates to see if he can re-obtain his lost body before it falls into the wrong hands. However, Yuta must also avoid seeing panties and various other ecchi things unless he wishes to allow a giant meteor to slam into Earth wiping out all of human existence! With numerous endings, different scenarios not seen in the anime and a ton of fan service, Punch Line will be sure to give visual novel fans a new perspective on not only life but the way visual novel adventure games can be played.
Yuta Iridatsu has found himself in a very strange predicament. During a bus hijacking, Yuta found himself dejected from his body and now is a spirit. However, Yuta isn’t dead and instead learns that some other spirit went into his body and is now possessing it! Yuta must obtain a powerful tome that exists within the housing complex he lives in to undo the possession and regain his beloved body. In order to get the tome though Yuta will need to find which of the tenants—who all happen to be attractive girls—has it first. Can Yuta regain his body and his life? Can he also prevent the world from being utterly destroyed if he happens to glance at a girl’s panties more than once!? Find out in this hauntingly silly visual novel called Punch Line!
Punch Line by developer/publisher 5pb took us by surprise here at Honey’s Anime. Based on the anime series, Punch Line was a game we didn’t think would come out in the west but somehow it did. Now we can feel some of you going what the heck is Punch Line and why should we care? Well folks, that’s what we’re here to tell you in our review of Punch Line for the PS Vita. Let’s get started by talking about what to expect when you enter this rather strange title.
The main premise in Punch Line is far from simple as its very…strange to say the least. Players assume the role of Yuta who must regain his body after he mysteriously loses it during a possession. Players must get Yuta his body back by doing something quite odd, haunting girls all while avoiding destroying the world by looking at panties for too long. Yes, Punch Line is weird but this weirdness works wonders for making a visual novel with actual gameplay sections. We feel explaining the visual novel elements isn’t necessary in Punch Line—seeing as how its typical read dialogue and watch animated sequences—but the gameplay is where you’re going to really want to sit down and pay attention to understand what Punch Line is all about.
When you’re not listening to extensive—but all too hilarious—narrative, you’re actually playing Punch Line. As a ghost, Yuta can do various ghostly actions and that is the cusp of gameplay. Yuta must haunt the various tenants of the house by being a literal ghost. For example, as a ghost Yuta can turn off switches and move items in a room. However, players must perform their hauntings in smart ways by having the girls actually see the hauntings to get their reactions. By doing this, players gain spirit points which strengthens their abilities and gives them the power to move bigger objects and perform stronger ghostly moves. Here’s the thing though, folks, while this might seem easy to do there are some tricks that keep Punch Line from being overly simple.
Players will often find that you must chain haunting actions—known as Trick Chains—to cause a serious of events to befall the tenants. That means just haunting a girl in random order might not get any results in the long run. You often need to plan out your actions to get the chain going and advance the story in the correct way. What also makes things a bit more complicated is the fact that Yuta needs to avoid getting overly excited while doing the tricks. This means that if the player sees a tenant’s panties, the camera will begin to focus on said panties causing an excitement meter to rise. If the meter rises too high, the world gets blown apart by a meteor. Why? We don’t know, but it’s hilarious to know the world can be destroyed if a guy gets too excited and it makes for an interesting gameplay mechanic.
Outside of the gameplay, Punch Line gets some huge props for being a visual joy to play. Unlike most visual novels that rely on static CG images and occasional anime cutscenes, Punch Line uses a lot of animation with a lot of moving characters that interact with one another. This helps to avoid the common pain of having to read with no on screen entertainment. Plus, almost all of Punch Line’s narrative is voiced with characters from the anime reprising their roles which always is a great thing. Overall, Punch Line is an amazing sight to see and hear which always makes our time with any visual novel that much better.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Punch Line is weird, silly, odd and all too insane…and we honestly loved it here at Honey’s Anime. This visual novel/adventure game hits all the right ecchi/comedy themes to be very similar to the anime its based off and allows for just the right amount of gameplay thrown in to keep you from getting complacent. Punch Line is a visual novel at its heart though and for those who don’t like long slogs of reading before the next gameplay section might have some problems with the pacing seen in it. Personally though, we loved seeing how each haunting went and trying to get the trick chains right in Punch Line. The beautiful animated sections with moving character models during the more text heavy based sections also was a real treat to make for a visual novel that doesn’t rely on static images. Punch Line did a terrific job of keeping us hooked to the characters, story and gameplay moments which for us means only one thing. We fully recommend grabbing Punch Line for either the PS Vita or PS4 when it drops this September 25th. Did we also mention Punch Line is filled with ecchi? We did? Just making sure…cause you know how much we love our ecchi here at the hive.
Laughable story that feels very similar to the anime
Great set of characters who all feel different and unique
Beautiful anime moments that break up the reading portions nicely
Simple but intuitive gameplay
Sometimes can feel certainly like a visual novel when you’re not doing anything but reading for 10 minutes
Honey's Final Verdict:
We here at Honey’s Anime loved our time with Punch Line and not just for the ecchi palooza we got while playing it—which is a lot to say the least—but for the fact that it feels more akin to playing an anime than just playing a visual novel. That’s why we really found little wrong with Punch Line and really recommend checking it out when it drops this September. Are you thinking of purchasing Punch Line to join Yuta and his female cohorts in a strange but silly journey? Tell us in the comments below and feel free to ask any more questions you might have about Punch Line. Remember to also keep stuck to our hive for more game reviews and gaming articles done by your friends at Honey’s Anime.
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!