Released for English-speaking audiences back in November 2016, Long, Guitars, and the Nashville Skyline is about road trips, music, and romance. What did I think about this yuri visual novel?
(Spoilers in this review)
Frankly, Love, Guitars, and the Nashville Skyline is a shaky recommendation. This is because of numerous flaws in its narrative and presentation. I wouldn’t discredit it entirely, but my enjoyment was certainly affected in a negative manner.
Also Known As: 恋と、ギターと、青い空, Koi to, Guitar to, Aoi Sora.
Length: Short (2 – 5 hours)
2/3 (Kissing, Hand Holding, Censored Nudity) for the Steam version 3/3 (Kissing, Wild Sex, Uncensored Nudity) for the Denpasoft version
Price: 9.99 / 14.99 USD
First of all, the pacing of this kinetic novel is very fast. The romance between Amanda (the strait-laced, closeted lesbian office lady protagonist) and Juliet (the rebellious musician who gets by playing in bars) happens instantaneously. “I love you” being dropped after a single night together is alarming but almost believable considering how copious amounts of alcohol were involved. Furthermore, the erratically rapid pacing extends to later parts of the novel since a few plotpoints seem both abrupt and forced. Some developments happen without any degree of foreshadowing. Other events seem to be thrown in merely to add drama.
There was a noticeable political charge within the dialogue. I can see some audiences possibly not enjoying how war is discussed and treated. Furthermore, Catholicism is painted in a very unflattering light. While Christianity has historically been very against homosexuals, Catholics are portrayed as close-minded individuals who devoutly hate lesbians. Then again, some people in real life are unfortunately like that and the character who behaves in this manner is a real piece of work. But it’s also unfortunate that homophobia is being included in the game, realistic or not.
I think the largest turn-off for me (and others) was how Juliet became inexplicably hostile and unreasonable (read: bitchy) out of nowhere. That’s the substantial lack of foreshadowing kickin’ in. Her sudden temper tantrum is very much off-putting.
Amanda’s acceptance of such behavior does not help. The office lady tolerates Juliet’s acting out while claiming that Juliet always went along with Amanda’s decisions. This, however, is blatantly false considering how Juliet begged for Amanda to adhere to her own desires on more than one occasion and how she ignored Amanda’s craving for Chinese congee in order to decide what they’ll be eating over a coin toss. In other words, Amanda justifies Juliet’s unexcusable behavior and comes across as being a weak character with no backbone. Which is ironic considering how she and Juliet discuss weak mothers who can’t stand up to their brutish husbands.
The strongpoints of the series is the music and the art. I also ended up feeling emotional during certain parts and the story is overall decent despite the flaws I’ve already mentioned. Some people may dislike how the backgrounds made such heavy use of real life photos, however. It was well integrated into the game, though (as it didn’t overly stand out).
As for the yuri, all that we see happening on-screen is kissing as well as censored nudity. Then again, I ended up buying the Steam version only to learn that there’s two seperate versions for sale and that there’s no R18+ patch for the Steam version. I would implore you to buy from Denpasoft if you’re into that. Usually I would play the uncensored version for the sake of the review, but I wasn’t willing to purchase LGNS twice. Several months after publishing this review, I went back and played the 18+ version. Unfortunately the sex scenes add nothing new. They’re done decently well and the voice actors are very enthusiastic, but it’s not worth playing through twice just to see if you accidentally bought the Steam version. I’m not even sure if paying the extra 5 USD is worth it, to be honest, since the uncensored version doesn’t fix anything.
The UI in this game is rather interesting with its button icon layout. Players can hover over the icons with their mouse in order to find out what each icon does. I considered it minimalistic and fun.
A flawed visual novel that neglects foreshadowing and gets preachy about Catholics and politics. It’s not a bad pick-up for a seasoned yuri fan, but this is definitely not good enough or welcoming enough for entry-level fans of the genre. Make sure to pick up the version Denpasoft offers if you want the uncensored version.
I would recommend many other yuri visual novels to play before considering Love, Guitars, and the Nashville Skyline. Out of all of the visual novels I’ve reviewed thus far (5/26/2017), LGNS only beats out Catch Canvas straight-up. So don’t be in a rush to play this visual novel.